Fascinating Facts!

Arms and the man.

The Dutch Blue Guards, the personal bodyguard of King William III, were devout Catholics to a man.

Over 150,000 Irishmen fought in the American Civil War (1861-1865), accounting for one in sixteen of the combatants.

In 1578, the Irish rebel James Fitzmaurice hired two thousand Italian mercenaries to help him free his homeland from the English. However, When the ship docked at Lisbon, his soldiers were commandeered by the King of Portugal. Ever one of the would-be liberators of Ireland died in the trackless wastes of the Sahara.

The commander of Drogheda, Sir Arthur Aston, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg after Cromwell's soldiers captured the town in 1649.

Condoms were an integral part of IRA bombs in the 1970s.

John Barry of Wexford founded the U.S. Navy.

Chieftains in medieval Ulster went out of their way to marry Scotswomen because their dowries consisted of axe-wielding galloglass mercenaries. When Turlough Luineach O'Neill married Lady Agnes MacDonald of Kintyre in 1568, she brought 10,000 troops with her.

The most one-sided battle in Irish history took place at Knosale in 1601 when more than 2,000 Irishmen lost their lives compared with just one English fatality.

The British Army base at Bessbrook, County Armagh, is the world's busiest heliport with some 200 flights daily to and from the Ulster border.

The Bloody Oak, a tree standing near Armagh, contains fragments of bullets fired during the battle of the Yellow Ford (a rare Irish victory), fought on the site in 1598.

Lousi Brennan of Castlebar, County Mayo, invented the torpedo.

Dublin housewife Kit Welsh disguised herself as a man and served twenty years in the army of the Duke of Marlborough from 1692. She was wounded four times without doctors discovering her secret and survived to be personally decorated for bravery by Queen Anne.

The Europa in Belfast City center is the world's most bombed hotel, having been blasted thirty-three times since the first explosion in 1971.

The Duke of Wellington was a Dubliner.

The infamous Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854 was a direct result of the ineptitude of Mayoman Lord Bingham. Bingham was later promoted to the rank of field marshal.

Brussels was liberated by the Irish Group of the British Army in 1944.

The tough Mayo pirate queen Grace O'Malley once attacked a Turkish merchantman whilst heavily pregnant. Retiring below decks at the height of the ensuing sea battle, she is said to haven given birth of a son before returning to sink the enemy ship and slaughter its crew.

The Nazi Broadcaster William Joyce, alias Lord Haw Haw, was from Salthill, County Galway.

The main square in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina is called the Plaza Del Mayo in honor of Mayoman William Brown, founder of the countries' navy.

Concentration camps were developed not by the Nazis, but Kerry born British General Lord Kitchener during the Boer War (1899-1902).

Kerryman Dan O'Connell held the bizarre distinction of being both a French general and a British colonel at the same time during the Napoleonic Wars.

The 1702 Battle of Cremona in northern Italy was fought entirely by Irishmen serving in the armies of Austria and France. Not surprisingly, the Irish won.

Eamonn De Valera shocked the world in 1945 when he called at the German embassy in Dublin to express his condolences at the death of Adolf Hitler.

The famous phrase "War is Hell" is attributed to the Cavan-born American Civil War General Phil Sheridan.

One of the oddest military escapades in history took place in 1866 when Irish Fenians, veterans of the U.S. Civil War, invaded Canada with the intention of holding the entire country (all four million square miles of it)hostage to exchange for the freedom of Ireland.

There is a German military cemetery near Avoca, County Wicklow. It contains the remains of servicemen who crash-landed or whose bodies were washed up on the coast of Ireland during World War Two.

The only survivor, animal or human, of Custer's last stand in 1876 was Comanche, the horse of the Irish cavalry officer, Captain Myles Keigh.

In 1922, at the height of the Civil War, Free State brigadier Patrick Paul escaped from his Republican captors in Waterford disguised as a mother superior.

Medieval Irish soldiers decked and matted their hair as an effective protection against sword blows.

Those on the receiving end of 'the shots that echoed round the world' at Lexington in 1775 were soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment.

The Modern submarine was invented by a Clare schoolteacher, John P. Holland. He was financed by the Fenian Brotherhood who intended to use it to sink Royal Navy ships.

As a tribute to the city's role in the Battle of the Atlantic, the entire German U-boat fleet was surrendered to Derry before it was scuttled in 1945.

More than half of George Washington's army were of Irish extraction.

The skull of Corkman, Sir Charles McCarthy, killed during a native revolt in 1824, is the most sacred relic of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana in West Africa.

Some of the buildings on O'Connell Street in Dublin still bear bullet holes dating from the 1916 Easter Rising.

During a particularly fierce siege in the 17th century, the defenders of Moy Castle in County Tyrone smeared the walls of their fortress with cow dung to lessen the impact of enemy cannonballs.

The Phrase 'by hook or by crook' originated during Cromwell's 1649 campaign in Ireland when he vowed to capture Waterford by advancing by sea round Hook Head or through the village of Crooke.

The first casualty of the Civil War (1922-23) was a Free State Sniper smashed over the head with a teapot by an elderly Dublin woman.

Over 400,000 Irishmen served France in the famous Irish Brigade between 1690 and 1792.

The famous Irish general Owen Roe O'Neill, who never received so much as a scratch during a brilliant military career spanning thirty years, died of blood poisoning after stepping on a rusty nail in 1649.

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