Howth – Eire 6

During the second world war Ireland declared itself neutral but its geographical proximity to England (especially Northern Ireland) made it still exposed. Starting in September 1940 and until mid-May 1941, the German air force (Luftwaffe) carried out continuous heavy air strikes against British cities in what has been called the Blitz. Around the same time, though on a smaller scale, the British air force (RAF) also began to carry out sporadic air strikes against German cities. If the German attacks lost strength from May 1941, the British force increased from 1942 and then grew.

The technical navigation possibilities left much to be desired when the bombers, regardless of nationality, would find their targets and return to their home bases. In the dark and bad weather, this deteriorated even more and it could be problematic to know which country you had beneath. Even in clear weather, it could prove difficult to determine where you were if you for various reasons lost orientation.

Irish officials wanted to minimise the risks of being mistaken for English territory and avoid damaged aircraft landing on Irish soil. Therefore, along the Irish coast, large 83 large markings were established with the text Eire followed by a number. This would inform lost pilots that it was Ireland they had below them and nothing else. About 15 kilometers east of Dublin, there is a small town called Howth, where along the coast was established in 1943 a mark that was given the name Eire 6.

Current status: Restored with monument (2023).

Location: 3°22' 29.30" N 06°02' 58.24" W

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Markeringen ligger vackert belägen intill kusten och restaurerades av en ideell förening så sent som 2022. Dess läge gör den också väl synlig för inkommande plan på väg att landa på Dublins flygplats, även om dagens piloter har andra hjälpmedel att hitta rätt.

Follow up in books: Holland, James: The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940 (2011).