What if at some point during the Troubles in Northern Ireland (between 1969 and 1997) the Republic of Ireland for whatever reason decides that it could no longer stand idly by and that it must intervene militarily in Northern Ireland?

In 1970 military the Irish Government examined the possibility of intervention in the North with the aim of protecting the Catholic population. Whether this was a seriously considered option or some sort of internal political manoeuvre is still up for debate however a military study was produced under the name EXERCISE ARMAGEDDON.
Armageddon as written was completely unworkable and was even regarded by the Irish General Staff as utter suicide. The plan was essentially for the Irish Defence Forces to invade Northern Ireland and seize Catholic majority areas such as Newry and Londonderry from the British.
For many, many reasons the plan would have never worked and the only certainty was that it would have made things a whole lot worse for people on both sides of the border. In a way the name Armageddon would have been an appropriate name to describe the outcome irrespective of whatever that may have been.

Is there a way Exercise Armageddon could have been made workable?

Leaving Armageddon aside is there any other reason why or method by which the Irish Defence Forces could have ended up crossing the border between 1969 and 1998?

How would the British Government and Armed Forces have responded to this eventuality?

How would the various factions within Northern Ireland have reacted?

What would the long term effects have been?

Leaving aside some sort of large scale Irish Defence Forces operation what would the effects have been of something smaller scale happening such as some sort of clash on the border between British and Irish forces that results in casualties being sustained by either side or something like an Irish Army Ranger Wing force being caught on the wrong side of the border (similar to when eight members of the SAS were arrested after being discovered south of the border)?
 
If the UK decides to fight then the Irish lose. The UK have total air and naval superiority and even with NATO commitments they'll still well outmatch the Irish Army on land too.

I know there was some build up on the Irish side of the border after Bloody Sunday but in reality if they'd have moved over the border they'd have either retreated the first time they met a British soldier or they'd have started a completely unwinnable war and the British would have had an excuse to carry out operations against the IRA and INLA that they would never have got away with in "peacetime".

A small scale clash such as one side accidentally crossing the border (very easy to do in a lot of places where roads cross and recross the border) and ending up in a contact with police/military on the wrong side of the border will be written off as what it is - a tragic accident caused by bad map reading. There'll be a bit of hot air expended in Parliament or the Dail but that's about it.
 
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The British Army wouldn't have to lift much of a finger to repel the Irish. The Ulster Protestants would have done just that. Even if by some miracle it works, the Irish will quickly withdraw because they simply cannot afford to wage a reverse-Troubles.
 
This only happens one way.

Elements of the British army marches into Catholic areas and starts massacring people. The sane parts of the British army acts to shut down the insane parts and the Irish defense forces try to protect Catholic portions of Northern Ireland.
 
This only happens one way.

If the British army marches into Catholic areas and starts massacring people. The sane parts of the British army acts to shut down the insane parts and the Irish defense forces try to protect Catholic portions of Northern Ireland.

The idea that the British Army would ever engage in large-scale massacres of civilians within the United Kingdom is...inaccurate...and incredibly offensive.
 
Exercise Armageddon was called Armageddon for a reason. It was the last resort of last resorts and the Irish defence staff knew it. Any attempt would end in the British Army to quickly beating back the Irish forces. It would also very possibly result in British occupation of large parts of the Republic. Expect American diplomats to be screaming down the phone lines to Dublin for doing something so incredibly stupid.
 
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The Build up post Bloody Sunday was mainly dealing with NI Catholics fleeing from the activities of the Loyalist paramilitaries and the blind eye of the RUC/British Army, it was never to launch an attack.

There is zero chance of such a situation, if a Taoiseach ever even ordered it I'd imagine the Irish General Staff would "go slow" while waiting for the Cabinet/Dail to remove said Taoiseach from office. You'd effectively have to go back to the founding of the state, replace en-mass the Finance and Defence departments and their policies, and have an actual defence investment policy from then to the 60's for Ireland to even have any capabilities.
 
Is this some kind of IRA/Noraid* thread? If it is, it's yet another reason to be incredibly offensive.


*supporters of terrorists.
 
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The idea that the British Army would ever engage in large-scale massacres of civilians within the United Kingdom is...inaccurate...and incredibly offensive.
Considering the involvement of elements of the British army with "loyalist" terrorist organisation leads the average person (in particular catholics in Northern Ireland during this area) to find the idea not unrealistic.

I'm not going to suggest that the British army enmasse would participate in a massacre but I would not be surprised to have elements participating in massacres.

Let's take Bloody Sunday 1972 (26 civilians shot, 14 dead with hundreds of British army soldiers lying to justify it) and ramp it up every day for a week.

It's still a long shot that there would be an intervention but it's an outside possibility. It would be almost impossible to have success but success could be seen if the British government attempts to withdraw military forces in Northern Ireland in the wake of massacares.
 
Is this some kind of IRA/Noraid* thread? If it is, it's yet another reason to be incredibly offensive.


*supporters of terrorists.
No this is absolutely not an IRA/Noraid thread and I do not in any way condone or support either of those organisations.

I'm looking at writing a timeline about a hypothetical conflict between Britain and Ireland and am thus exploring ways by which this may have come about and what the long term effects would have been.
 
No this is absolutely not an IRA/Noraid thread and I do not in any way condone or support either of those organisations.

I'm looking at writing a timeline about a hypothetical conflict between Britain and Ireland and am thus exploring ways by which this may have come about and what the long term effects would have been.

The sides are just too lopsided. There is no way Ireland would enter into a violent war with the UK, since they'd get destroyed. Whatever problem is dire enough to cause war is made worse when the British bomb the heck out of you.
 
No this is absolutely not an IRA/Noraid thread and I do not in any way condone or support either of those organisations.

I'm looking at writing a timeline about a hypothetical conflict between Britain and Ireland and am thus exploring ways by which this may have come about and what the long term effects would have been.
Short of something in WW2, you really aren’t going to get to that point, the DF are just too small, ill equipped and outmatched by the British Forces. Something in the Troubles is suicidal.
 
It would so epically futile and foolishly brave that they would have to use the darkest of sciences to reanimate Lord Tennyson's corpse in order to write a poem worthy of it.
 
The sides are just too lopsided. There is no way Ireland would enter into a violent war with the UK, since they'd get destroyed. Whatever problem is dire enough to cause war is made worse when the British bomb the heck out of you.
Yep, as I said, outside of Churchill pushing his obsession on the Treaty Ports to the point of actual attack I can't see an armed conflict post Treaty. Either that or as I said somehow the GHQ plans for building up the DF up actually happened and was sustained/supported till the 60's then it can't happen (and really even if GHQ got their fantasy the DF would still be outnumbered).

My Godfather was put on alert during the Post Bloody Sunday for deployment though he never was, but without question the DF knew how it was an impossibility.
 
The British Army wouldn't have to lift much of a finger to repel the Irish. The Ulster Protestants would have done just that. Even if by some miracle it works, the Irish will quickly withdraw because they simply cannot afford to wage a reverse-Troubles.

It just occurred to me that in a lot of ways the Northern Irish Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist militia's probably severely outgunned the Irish defense forces in a number of ways. I think the Irish army was still using Lee Enfields from WW1/WW2 as their main service arm and their main machine gun were WW1 vintage British surplus Vickers guns.

All in all it's completely implausible with that POD. You need a much earlier POD with a much much stronger Ireland (and a weaker UK) and some sort of situation where Ireland has an extremely powerful very close friend (Really they'd need one of the super powers) and long and bitter armed tensions with the Brits.

I suppose the largest armed conflict that is plausible would be for the Brits to send a Spec Ops team (I suppose SAS) illegally into the Irish Republic (probably for something like launching a Bin Laden style raid on some leading IRA official or headquarters) with the Brits ditching all identifying marks and trying for plausible deniability. Only for the operation to go tits up and the Irish Defenses Forces to be made aware and assume for some reason that the SAS troopers are in fact IRA militants trying some sort of open heavily armed operation. A gun fight ensues before someone comes to their senses or one of the forces is decisively defeated. It'd end in a diplomatic clusterfuck with a lot of BS emerging. But there's very little chance it would actually lead to an all out war.
 
Yep, as I said, outside of Churchill pushing his obsession on the Treaty Ports to the point of actual attack I can't see an armed conflict post Treaty. Either that or as I said somehow the GHQ plans for building up the DF up actually happened and was sustained/supported till the 60's then it can't happen (and really even if GHQ got their fantasy the DF would still be outnumbered).

My Godfather was put on alert during the Post Bloody Sunday for deployment though he never was, but without question the DF knew how it was an impossibility.

I suppose you could have Ireland go differently in terms of political development after Independence and either go fascist or become very friendly with Germany. Friendly enough that the Brits at least think that the Irish are intending to imminently allow German forces to base out of Irish territory for an attack on the UK. Then I suppose you might see something like the joint British/Soviet invasion of Neutral Iran or the intervention in Iraq in early WW2.
 
No this is absolutely not an IRA/Noraid thread and I do not in any way condone or support either of those organisations.

I'm looking at writing a timeline about a hypothetical conflict between Britain and Ireland and am thus exploring ways by which this may have come about and what the long term effects would have been.
Well in that case it will be a very short tale. "The Irish army crosses the border and get their collective arses handed to them within a very few hours. The End".

On the other hand, the British knew pretty much who the players were on both sides of the religious divide. Were they so minded, it could be an opportunity to have them all "suddenly and quietly go abroad unannounced", (cough cough), quite coincidentally defanging both sides. Not that any British government would last more than 5 nanoseconds were that to happen of course.
 
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