A Bloody Victory: The Irish at War’s End, Europe 1945


Dan Harvey 

June 2020 

The first comprehensive survey of Irish involvement in the final battles of World War II.


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Post D-Day, with the Allies on the newly created ‘Second Front’ driving fast eastwards beyond Paris, and the Russians on the ‘Eastern Front’ pressing westwards, the fervour of the fascist Nazi regime remained undiminished. For the Third Reich it was intolerable to believe that they must now concede. Instead of ending the war, the levels of hostility, brutality and terror increased. The resistance to the Allied advances across Europe, first towards, then inside, Germany intensified, and every inch of the Fatherland was bitterly contested. With the Allies, in their thousands, were the Irish.

A Bloody Victory unearths these people from the corners of Irish history and transports them back to the D-Day beaches and the bridge at Arnhem, to the frozen landscapes at the Battle of the Bulge, the banks of the River Rhine, to the unimaginable horrors of Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps, and finally to the ruinous Battle of Berlin.

There was no one ‘Irish narrative’ in the Second World War, but there was a narrative of Irish individuals, and in A Bloody Victory, Dan Harvey pays due tribute to their significant contribution.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

  1. The Second Front
  2. The Battle of the Bulge
  3. Thunderclap and Bombing the Big B
  4. Forcing the Rhine
  5. Developing the Situation
  6. Fighting on Another Front
  7. An Indescribable Shock
  8. Fighting to the Finish
  9. Aftermath
  10. Telling the End of War Story

Chronology of Event
Timeline Operation Varsity Plunder

About the Author 

Lieutenant Colonel Dan Harvey, now retired, served on operations at home and abroad for forty years, including tours of duty in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and South Caucasus, with the UN, EU, NATO PfP and OSCE. He is the author of A Bloody Week: The Irish at Arnhem; A Bloody Dawn: The Irish At D-Day; Soldiering against Subversion: The Irish Defence Forces and Internal Security During the Troubles, 1969–1998; Into Action: Irish Peacekeepers Under Fire, 1960–2014; A Bloody Day: The Irish at Waterloo; A Bloody Night: The Irish at Rorke’s Drift; and Soldiers of the Short Grass: A History of the Curragh Camp.



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