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  1. #251
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    March 2018 Military History magazine (US) has a page about Jadotville under their "What we learned from..." series. It's behind a paywall, but the first bit is a very brief summary of both the background and the action, which everyone here would know in a lot more detail.

    The Lessons bit is worth quoting, though:

    Accurate intelligence is crucial
    Poor Intel led to a breakdown in UN planning, resulting in Company A's placement in an untenable position.

    Overconfidence breeds failure
    Boasting better weaponry and numerical superiority, the Katangese sensed an easy victory. They miscalculated the resolve of the Irish peacekeepers.

    Plan for the worst
    Had UN commanders anticipated the worst-case scenario, Company A would have had adequate air and ground support.

    Learn from your mistakes
    The Congo Crisis was the UN's first peacekeeping mission with a significant military component. It served as a training ground for subsequent operations, though UN forces again experienced setbacks in Rwanda in 1994 and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.
    Link at http://www.historynet.com/march-2018-table-contents.htm but there is a paywall.
    Last edited by Flamingo; 11th January 2018 at 22:38.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  3. #252
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    The full article is now online

    What We Learned From… Siege of Jadotville, 1961
    By Frank Jastrzembski
    March 2018 • Military History Magazine

    On June 30, 1960, amid violent riots after 52 years of colonial rule, Belgium reluctantly granted independence to Congo. No longer satisfied with the status quo, black enlisted men in the Force Publique (Congo’s military) mutinied against their white Belgian officers, and the country soon erupted in anti-white violence. Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba subsequently Africanized the military as the Armée Nationale Congolaise, prompting Belgium to deploy its own troops to safeguard white citizens. Lumumba in turn petitioned the United Nations for the removal of the Belgian troops. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution to that effect and ordered peacekeeping troops to the country.

    On July 11, four days before the first U.N. troops arrived, the southeastern province of Katanga, with support from Belgian troops and businessmen, seceded from Congo. The move augured financial collapse, as the majority of the nation’s revenue came from the mining region. The last Belgian troops left Congo proper by July 23, but Belgian and mercenary forces remained in Katanga.

    As tensions threatened to erupt into civil war, the U.N. sent additional troops, and by early 1961 its peacekeeping force numbered 20,000 men. That August the U.N. ordered its “Blue Helmets” into the breakaway province. Their primary mandate was to arrest and repatriate Belgian troops and mercenaries, effectively ending the revolt. The troops lacked accurate intelligence and were ill equipped, carrying gear better suited to their original policing mission. Furthermore, the Katangese, white and black alike, largely regarded the peacekeepers as invaders.

    Among the U.N. forces was the 158-man Company A of the Irish army’s 35th Infantry Battalion, led by Commandant Pat Quinlan. In early September the unit was sent to the remote mining town of Jadotville, 80 miles northwest of the Katangese capital of Elisabethville. Though most of Quinlan’s men were in their late teens or 20s and had never seen action, they had gained experience and developed a solid rapport while patrolling the region in previous weeks. They were armed with modern FN FAL battle rifles, but much of their supporting equipment dated to World War II, including Vickers machine guns, 60 mm mortars and a Bren gun.

    Noting a buildup of hostile forces, Quinlan ordered his men to stockpile water and dig trenches. The assault came on the morning of September 13, as 3,000 Katangese soldiers attacked the garrison under the direction of foreign mercenaries. Though outnumbered 20-to-1, Company A held its ground for five days. Finally, on September 17, his unit’s ammo, food and water exhausted and with no orders to the contrary, Quinlan was compelled to surrender. Some 300 Katangese lay dead, another 1,000 wounded. Company A had suffered just five wounded.

    After weeks of negotiations between U.N. officials and the Katangese, the Irishmen were sent home. Treated as outcasts for having capitulated, they were branded the “Jadotville Jacks.” Their reputation was somewhat restored by a 2016 film about the siege.



    Accurate intelligence is crucial. Poor intel led to a breakdown in U.N. planning, resulting in Company A’s placement in an untenable position.

    Overconfidence breeds failure. Boasting better weaponry and numerical superiority, the Katangese sensed an easy victory. They miscalculated the resolve of the Irish peacekeepers.

    Plan for the worst. Had U.N. commanders anticipated the worst-case scenario, Company A would have had adequate air and ground support.

    Learn from your mistakes. The Congo Crisis was the U.N.’s first peacekeeping mission with a significant military component. It served as a training ground for subsequent operations, though U.N. forces again experienced setbacks in Rwanda in 1994 and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.
    https://www.historynet.com/learned-s...ville-1961.htm
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  5. #253
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    No UN setbacks between the Congo and 1994

  6. #254
    Hostage Flamingo's Avatar
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    Or since 1995...
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  8. #255
    Lt Colonel Buck's Avatar
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    Was at the Jadotville talk by Leo Quinlan in the Connacht Hotel the other night and we were also privelaged to have Jadotville veteran Charlie Cooley there too. The talk itself was brilliant and really brought the whole historical context to life. Leo has done a lot of work (along with others) in getting these men recognised.

    It was heartbreaking to hear from some of the other lads in attendance (who served with Charlie and some of the others post-Congo) to say "all these years we worked with Charlie and he never said a word, none of them did" Charlie turned around and said "they called us all cowards, we didn't want to talk about it". Hard to hear. Charlie also said to the room "I'm not just saying this because it's you that's here Leo, but I'd have followed your dad to hell". A testament to both Comdt. Quinlan and the men he commanded.

    I was also lucky to shake Charlie's hand on the evening. All I could really say was thank you. Funny, when I shook his hand, one of the other lads Charlie served with at home said "ah here to meet the war hero...watch now, he'll batter the head of me with that cane of his" Charlie did threaten to!

    If you hear of Leo giving the talk near your locations, do go along. The ONE organised ours and all funds on the night went to the organisation's drive against homelessness.
    I knew a simple soldier boy.....
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    And no one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you'll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

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  10. #256
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    Was at the Jadotville talk by Leo Quinlan in the Connacht Hotel the other night and we were also privelaged to have Jadotville veteran Charlie Cooley there too. The talk itself was brilliant and really brought the whole historical context to life. Leo has done a lot of work (along with others) in getting these men recognised.

    It was heartbreaking to hear from some of the other lads in attendance (who served with Charlie and some of the others post-Congo) to say "all these years we worked with Charlie and he never said a word, none of them did" Charlie turned around and said "they called us all cowards, we didn't want to talk about it". Hard to hear. Charlie also said to the room "I'm not just saying this because it's you that's here Leo, but I'd have followed your dad to hell". A testament to both Comdt. Quinlan and the men he commanded.

    I was also lucky to shake Charlie's hand on the evening. All I could really say was thank you. Funny, when I shook his hand, one of the other lads Charlie served with at home said "ah here to meet the war hero...watch now, he'll batter the head of me with that cane of his" Charlie did threaten to!

    If you hear of Leo giving the talk near your locations, do go along. The ONE organised ours and all funds on the night went to the organisation's drive against homelessness.
    I was privileged to be at a talk by Capt Noel Carey a few years ago

    Shame it took so long

    Nice touch that he presented the DF Values awards in UNTSI a week or 2 ago
    Last edited by DeV; 2nd June 2018 at 21:21.

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  12. #257
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    Out of curiosity, were any of the weapons surrendered by the Irish ever recovered?

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