WartimeNI : Northern Ireland during the Second World War

WartimeNI tells the stories of the people and places of Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Learn about American GIs, the Belfast Blitz, and more.

Ulster enabled us to keep our Atlantic life-line open, and saved Ireland from becoming a battleground in which many powerful forces might have been involved. A strong, loyal Ulster will always be vital to the security and well-being of our whole Empire and Commonwealth. Linked with us, Ulster must also share in the happier days to come, when the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will renew its strength in peace and honour.”

Letter from Sir Winston Churchill to Sir Basil Brooke – June 1945.

Second World War in NI

WartimeNI tells the story of those who lived, fought, and died in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Many men and women from Ulster served abroad but many American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Polish, and Belgian troops called the province home for a while between 1939 and 1945.

Featured image for The Polish Airmen in Northern Ireland

The Polish Airmen in Northern Ireland

The Polish Airmen who served with the Royal Air Force during World War Two were some of the most fearless and talented men to take to the skies over Europe.

Featured image for United States Army in Northern Ireland

United States Army in Northern Ireland

The first troops of the United States Army to enter the European Theatre of Operations landed at Dufferin Dock, Belfast, Co. Antrim on 26th January 1942.

Featured image for Remembering the ANZAC Forces with connections to Northern Ireland

Remembering the ANZAC Forces with connections to Northern Ireland

Members of ANZAC forces from Australia and New Zealand served throughout Northern Ireland during World War Two particularly alongside the Royal Air Force.

About WartimeNI

Since 2014, WartimeNI has researched the stories, people, and places in the province during the war.

Some stories you will know. The Battle of the Atlantic, the arrival of American GIs, and the Belfast Blitz are common tales. We hope you find out much more of this part of the country’s history and join us in remembering tumultuous times in WW2 Northern Ireland.

Visit Northern Ireland

Explore the historic six counties of Northern Ireland, learn about the troops based throughout the province and discover what life was like throughout Ulster in World War Two.

Map showing Wartime Co. Antrim

Wartime Co. Antrim

During World War Two, Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland played host to RAF and USAAF airfields, evacuee camps, and bases and training grounds for American GIs.

Map showing Wartime Co. Armagh

Wartime Co. Armagh

Co. Armagh was a hive of activity in the Second World War. Thousands of American GIs passed through the Orchard County from bases such as Brownlow House.

Map showing Wartime Co. Down

Wartime Co. Down

Every branch of the military saw action in Co. Down during the Second World War from US Forces and General Eisenhower in Bangor to the RAF at Ballyhalbert.

Map showing Wartime Co. Fermanagh

Wartime Co. Fermanagh

Troops based in Co. Fermanagh during World War Two were ideally placed to patrol the Atlantic Coast from bases such as Castle Archdale and RAF Killadeas.

Map showing Wartime Co. Londonderry

Wartime Co. Londonderry

The construction of wartime infrastructure in Co. Londonderry pre-dated the arrival of the US Army while Lisahally was the scene of a mass U-Boat surrender.

Map showing Wartime Co. Tyrone

Wartime Co. Tyrone

During World War Two, Co. Tyrone hosted troops from the United States Army as well as the newly formed Belgian Infantry Brigades and a large airfield.