Northern Ireland in the Second World War

Politics, economic mobilisation and society, 1939–45

By Philip Ollerenshaw

Northern Ireland in the Second World War


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9050-9
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: October 2013
  • BIC Category: Politics, General & world history, History & Archaeology, 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999, HISTORY / Military / World War II, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, Northern Ireland, Humanities / Second World War, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000


This original and distinctive book surveys the political, economic and social history of Northern Ireland in the Second World War. Since its creation in 1920, Northern Ireland has been a deeply divided society and the book explores these divisions before and during the war. It examines rearmament, the relatively slow wartime mobilisation, the 1941 Blitz, labour and industrial relations, politics and social policy. Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK with a devolved government and no military conscription during the war. The absence of military conscription made the process of mobilisation, and the experience of men and women, very different from that in Britain. The book's conclusion considers how the government faced the domestic and international challenges of the postwar world. This study draws on a wide range of primary sources and will appeal to those interested in modern Irish and British history and in the Second World War.


'Ollerenshaw skillfully explains the interplay between the major forces of economic mobilization, politics and social policy.Northern Ireland in the Second World War is a valuable look at the place and time. It is a study which helps fill a significant research gap in British, Irish and Second World War studies' Mark M. Hull, US Army Command and General Staff College, Kansas, Journal of Military History

'Ollerenshaw deals with Northern Ireland's unique political and economic situation skilfully, using a breadth of archival material, providing the reader with a sense of the impact and legacy of the war. This will unquestionably be an important work for anyone interested in the history of Northern Ireland during the middle part of the twentieth century, or to those interested in the mobilisation of societies during the Second World War.'
William Butler, University of Kent, Irish Studies Review

'Philip Ollerenshaw's excellent book...a tightly organised, dryly funny and genuinely eye-opening panorama...It contributes substantially to the wider project of recalibrating study of the war to a regional scale'.
Marc Mulholland, St Catherine's College, Oxford, Irish Historical Studies


I. The background to war
2. Problems of economic mobilisation, 1939-c.1941
3. The war economy 1941-45
4. Early wartime politics and society
5. Later wartime politics and society
Select Bibliography


Philip Ollerenshaw is Reader in History at the University of the West of England, Bristol

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