Hitler and the Shannon scheme

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2010), Letters, Volume 18

I found Tom Landers’s letter (Democracy?) in the last issue (HI 17.6,Nov./Dec. 2009) silly and puzzling. What connection had Hitler with theShannon scheme, which was started before he was even heard of andcompleted nearly four years before he came to power? While Siemens hadthe contract, it was Irish-financed and built by Irishmen. My father, aUCC engineering graduate, worked on the scheme. He asked a Germanforeman why he wore a bayonet and was told that in Germany, where therewere tensions on sites, he always wore it. Also one German executiveused to kick his revolving chair around when in a temper. Some Germansmade disparaging remarks about the Irish labour force, many of whom hadserved with the Brits in Europe. With spades and shovels at the ready,the Germans were told: ‘We bet yez on the Somme, we bet yez on theRhine, and, by Jaysus, we’ll bate yez on the Shannon!’

—Yours etc.,
D. M. KENNEDY
London

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