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Blueshirt

Blueshirt refers to two different political movements in the 1930s.


The Blueshirts was a group within the Kuomintang in the 1930s which were actively modelled on the brown shirts[?] and black shirts[?] of Italian and German Fascism. They were disbanned in the 1940s after the Japanese invasion and after China found itself at war with Italy and Germany.


Blueshirts was also a nickname given to the Army Comrades Association, an Irish organisation set up by General Eoin O'Duffy[?] in the 1930s. Its opponents accused it of being fascist, given that its leaders all wore fascist-style blue-shirts and gave a nazi-style salute. Its leaders argued that it was simply defending democracy, citing the actions of the IRA who had attempted to break up meetings of Irish opposition groups whom they regarded as 'traitors'. It viewed its role as protecting opposition political parties from IRA attack.

The Blueshirts merged with a number of organisations to form the Fine Gael (United Ireland) party, which was the principal challenger to Eamon de Valera's Fianna Fáil and remains the second largest Irish political party. Opponents still use the term Blueshirts as a means to attack Fine Gael. While it adopted the fashion accessories of fascism, it is generally not perceived as a serious fascist movement, though the then Irish President of the Executive Council (prime minister), Eamon de Valera, feared it might become so. O'Duffy himself was deposed from the Fine Gael leadership within one year of the party's formation and ended up going to fight on General Franco's side during the Spanish Civil War.



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