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Ireland is an interesting country to play as if the player starts aligning with Germany at the start of the game, as it will give the Free State an opportunity to seize Northern Ireland. If you go down this route it's best to wait until Britain has been targeted by Operation Sealion if the Axis can be bothered, as Britain will move the majority of its troops away from the border and give you a chance to take Northern Ireland and Scotland as long as you are quick.
Irish technology is behind, it does not have light armour, planes, nor destroyer research.
Distribution of Leadership
Historically, Ireland maintained a strict policy of neutrality during the war. Anti-British sentiment was still high following the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921 so while an alliance with the Axis was deemed too provocative, many nationalists supported them in the hopes that German invasion of Britain could see Ireland gain control of Northern Ireland which had been formed in 1920 by the Government of Ireland Act 1920.
Éamon de Valera, Taoiseach of the Irish Parliament at the time said "We know, of course, that should attack come from a power other than Great Britain, Great Britain in her own interest must help us to repel it."
Ireland therefore is in a good position to side with either the Allies or Axis. Siding with the Axis before or shortly after the outbreak of war could lead to a British reclamation the Emerald Isle in their entirety before help arrives. Waiting for British forces to be elsewhere occupied leaves the British-held regions of Northern Ireland vulnerable. On the other hand, a neutral Ireland could prove a tempting target (if you are unlucky) for German interests in Scotland, Wales and England, in which case an alliance with your old enemies, the British, could be in both your interests.
However, it is not impossible to join the Comintern as well. This can be achieved by aligning towards the Comintern from the start of the game and by the start of the War should be able to join (it can be longer or shorter, depending on how much diplomatic influence the British exert over you). This puts Ireland in an interesting position as she can choose to assist in a number of fronts with relative safety from attack, and through Lend Lease be able to expand her industries and purchase units from the Soviets for a small price. This does cause the British to be rather wary, and station a few divisions in Northern Ireland to safeguard the border making reunification a rather difficult prospect.
When you side with the Allies and fight the Germans, if the Germans have conquered France, they will strategically bomb Dublin and destroy your IC, so prepare a few good AA divisions or build up the provincial AA in Dublin. Although in vanilla the Germans are too lazy to invade overseas, so you're safe land-wise.
Ireland has only 2 infantry divisions and they are not mobilized
Ireland has only 1 transport boat
Not in the beginning of the game
War with X
Gaming the System
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