We are learning about World War II. Life during WW2 was very tough because food was very scarce. Food was scarce because supplies usually came to Ireland and Great Britain by ship and many supply ships were sunk by German U-boats, which were submarines. Because food was scarce it was rationed. This meant that you could only buy a certain amount of rationed food per week. Everyone had a ration book with coupons. You gave the ration book to the shopkeeper and then you got your food for the week. Foods that were rationed were eggs, bacon, lard, butter, tea, sugar, and coffee.
In Ireland during WW2 it was called “The Emergency”. Éamon de Valera, was the Taoiseach at the time and he made Ireland stay neutral during the war. That meant that Ireland was not on any side during the war. Two places in Dublin were bombed by German planes during the war. They were the Phoenix Park and the North Strand. The president’s house, Áras an Uachtaráin, was damaged in the bombing. 38 people were killed and 70 homes were destroyed. Germany apologised after the war and paid for the damages. Belfast was also bombed twice during the war.
Some children had to be evacuated from cities to the countryside because bombs were being dropped constantly in cities to destroy supply factories that made weapons for the war. Children were only allowed to bring whatever they could carry and their favourite toy. They also had to bring their gas mask. Sometimes children’s gas masks were called “Mickey Mouse Gas Masks” to encourage them to wear it. Mrs Breen brought in a gas mask from WW2 and we tried it on. It smelled very strongly of rubber. You put it on like a swimming hat. It was meant to be tight so that gas would not get in. You couldn’t take it off to get a drink.
To end the war the USA dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanesen cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the first and last time such a bomb had been used. The first bomb was called “Little Boy” and when it blew up it gave out a mushroom cloud. It killed 138,661 people in the first five days.