1920 Burning of Cork by British Forces

Jun 2014
720
Republic of Ireland
Thought the Croke Park Massacre was by Auxillery Division members. Not Black and Tans or the Army. Auxillery Division were Irish (recruited all over GB and Ireland though) police reserves right? Or wrong?
The Croke Park Massacre was carried out by the Auxillery Division and members of the regular RIC. Confusion arises because the term "Black and Tans" can refer to all of the above, in Ireland. The war (Anglo Irish War/Irish war of independence) was commonly referred to as " The Tan war" in my part of the country.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,062
Navan, Ireland
The Croke Park Massacre was carried out by the Auxillery Division and members of the regular RIC. Confusion arises because the term "Black and Tans" can refer to all of the above, in Ireland. The war (Anglo Irish War/Irish war of independence) was commonly referred to as " The Tan war" in my part of the country.
Pretty much correct, 'the Black and Tans' were originally recruits from Britain who were enlisted to bring the RIC up to strength , which was haemorrhaging numbers.

the RIC was really not a terrifying Imperial force but rather a sleepy country Police force many of whose members were middle aged Catholics more interested in their good pensionable job rather than fighting a counter-insurgency.

As a result many British ex-service men were enlisted when numbers fell as many left the RIC (for many reasons). They were scattered throughout the RIC and due a shortage of Police (very dark green almost black) wore a mixture of that any army uniform hence the name.

They do not deserve their reputation, while they were hard drinking and rough soldiers (mainly ex rankers) who could often shock their deeply catholic 'strong farmer' RIC comrades with their 'worldly' ways they were tough but not generally murderous.

What generally people actually mean by the 'Black and Tans' are the 'Auxiliaries' mainly ex-officers recruited as an auxiliary division of the RIC and deployed as distinct units dozens strong, out of RIC and army control. It was them who committed most atrocities and were the most brutal-- above the law in many ways.

To try an understand their thinking they would say (remember most were ex-officers not the tough rankers of the real Black and Tans) I presume they were fighting a dirty unorthodox war with dirty unorthodox means, most had seen long service in WWI and may well have been brutalised by the experience.

But they did (IMO) commit murders, interestingly from what I have read they weren't that 'accurate' in their targets-- the real danger was RIC men who actually knew the locality and if they were still in the force were 'well motivated' either to the crown or as lack as not due to revenge for past intimidation.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
Pretty much correct, 'the Black and Tans' were originally recruits from Britain who were enlisted to bring the RIC up to strength , which was haemorrhaging numbers.

the RIC was really not a terrifying Imperial force but rather a sleepy country Police force many of whose members were middle aged Catholics more interested in their good pensionable job rather than fighting a counter-insurgency.

As a result many British ex-service men were enlisted when numbers fell as many left the RIC (for many reasons). They were scattered throughout the RIC and due a shortage of Police (very dark green almost black) wore a mixture of that any army uniform hence the name.

They do not deserve their reputation, while they were hard drinking and rough soldiers (mainly ex rankers) who could often shock their deeply catholic 'strong farmer' RIC comrades with their 'worldly' ways they were tough but not generally murderous.

What generally people actually mean by the 'Black and Tans' are the 'Auxiliaries' mainly ex-officers recruited as an auxiliary division of the RIC and deployed as distinct units dozens strong, out of RIC and army control. It was them who committed most atrocities and were the most brutal-- above the law in many ways.

To try an understand their thinking they would say (remember most were ex-officers not the tough rankers of the real Black and Tans) I presume they were fighting a dirty unorthodox war with dirty unorthodox means, most had seen long service in WWI and may well have been brutalised by the experience.

But they did (IMO) commit murders, interestingly from what I have read they weren't that 'accurate' in their targets-- the real danger was RIC men who actually knew the locality and if they were still in the force were 'well motivated' either to the crown or as lack as not due to revenge for past intimidation.
Yes, the regular RIC/DMP committed many more vigilante killings of Republicans than the Tans/Auxies/Regular army. But that was an inconvenient fact when so many of them ended up in the Civic Guard/DMP, even being given special incentives to join (republicans in the police objected of course and mutinied but the Free State Government just sacked the mutineers). Hence why the B&Ts became the convenient bogeymen of Irish nationalist mythology and why people use phrases such as 'Tan War' even though they just took part on the last year of the conflict.
 

annelouise17

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,442
Amerikay
Yes, the regular RIC/DMP committed many more vigilante killings of Republicans than the Tans/Auxies/Regular army. But that was an inconvenient fact when so many of them ended up in the Civic Guard/DMP, even being given special incentives to join (republicans in the police objected of course and mutinied but the Free State Government just sacked the mutineers). Hence why the B&Ts became the convenient bogeymen of Irish nationalist mythology and why people use phrases such as 'Tan War' even though they just took part on the last year of the conflict.
I assume they were at lose on how to fight a war with no battle fields. And the Irish were not cowards just smart.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
I assume they were at lose on how to fight a war with no battle fields. And the Irish were not cowards just smart.
I assume you mean they were 'at a loss'? No, the British forces were very adaptable to guerrilla war, hence why we won.

We Irish are very brave and smart, it's the IRA who are the cowards
 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
Pretty much correct, 'the Black and Tans' were originally recruits from Britain who were enlisted to bring the RIC up to strength , which was haemorrhaging numbers.

the RIC was really not a terrifying Imperial force but rather a sleepy country Police force many of whose members were middle aged Catholics more interested in their good pensionable job rather than fighting a counter-insurgency.

As a result many British ex-service men were enlisted when numbers fell as many left the RIC (for many reasons). They were scattered throughout the RIC and due a shortage of Police (very dark green almost black) wore a mixture of that any army uniform hence the name.

They do not deserve their reputation, while they were hard drinking and rough soldiers (mainly ex rankers) who could often shock their deeply catholic 'strong farmer' RIC comrades with their 'worldly' ways they were tough but not generally murderous.

What generally people actually mean by the 'Black and Tans' are the 'Auxiliaries' mainly ex-officers recruited as an auxiliary division of the RIC and deployed as distinct units dozens strong, out of RIC and army control. It was them who committed most atrocities and were the most brutal-- above the law in many ways.

To try an understand their thinking they would say (remember most were ex-officers not the tough rankers of the real Black and Tans) I presume they were fighting a dirty unorthodox war with dirty unorthodox means, most had seen long service in WWI and may well have been brutalised by the experience.

But they did (IMO) commit murders, interestingly from what I have read they weren't that 'accurate' in their targets-- the real danger was RIC men who actually knew the locality and if they were still in the force were 'well motivated' either to the crown or as lack as not due to revenge for past intimidation.

It's odd how supposedly well educated and intelligent people can become so brutal, what happened to officers being gentlemen? Many of the SS were educated in the classics and law. I guess they must have missed the bit about hubris.
 

annelouise17

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,442
Amerikay
I assume you mean they were 'at a loss'? No, the British forces were very adaptable to guerrilla war, hence why we won.

We Irish are very brave and smart, it's the IRA who are the cowards
It was more like a draw. The Anglo Irish War was Britain's exit from Ireland, it forced the British to take decisive action in Ireland.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
It's odd how supposedly well educated and intelligent people can become so brutal, what happened to officers being gentlemen? Many of the SS were educated in the classics and law. I guess they must have missed the bit about hubris.
They WERE officers and gentlemen and they were INCREDIBLY restrained but they were faced with a situation where a man could murder his neighbour because he was different to them and rather than be castigated by the community would be praised and elected to parliament. The B&Ts did what was necessary and saved many innocent lives.