By Rob Morgan
History Ireland is not, I’ll admit, a regular read of mine, but it does occasionally throw out a few gems. A colleague pointed out one or two interesting articles in Volume 23, No.6 (Nov/Dec 2015). On page 66, there’s an article entitled “Uniforms & Flags of the Irish Citizen Army” by Joseph Cowell Jr. It deals briefly with the Easter Rising of 1916 and the bitter war which followed until 1922 (the same issue carries an article on the burning of Cork in the Irish Civil War).
Most interestingly, the author regards the Osprey title on the subject “Irish Volunteer” highly, and gives some basic background of significant use to the wargamer. The description of the flags of the Republicans at Dublin, plough and stars, harp, and tricolour (sometimes with horizontal bands!) is indeed useful; and a few very good references on uniforms, weapons and history – “The Volunteer,” a volume published in 2004, would seem a sound introduction to the centenary celebrations of a short period of history that had immense knock-on effects for Britain and the world.
I don’t know of any ranges of figures for the Irish volunteers, the Black & Tans and Auxiliaries, but with the 100th anniversary approaching, it would seem likely that some will shortly appear from UK or probably US manufacturers ere long.
The same issue contains “Bantry Bay in the First World War,” a longer piece on the naval base used by both the Royal Navy and the US Fleet. Some valuable background material for the naval wargamer here, and interestingly, USS’s Utah, Oklahoma and Nevada were all based at Queenstown.