Limavady Air Base, 1943

This 1943 by Charles Ernest Cundall illustrates the strategic importance of Northern Ireland to the crucial Battle of the Atlantic. The Irish Free State leaving the Commonwealth in 1938 and declaring neutrality in the war with Germany meant that Britain was deprived of vital ports and air bases. The British actually challenged Irish neutrality from bases such as Limavady by flying over the Irish Free State to extend the range of its aircraft in helping to fight the U-boat threat. Fortunately, the Irish Free State chose not to protest these overflights and turned a blind eye to the challenging of its newly won sovereignty.


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by Stephen Luscombe