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Siege of Jadotville

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 162 ✭✭Utrinque Paratus


    xflyer wrote: »
    I'm sorry Utrinque Paratus what is your problem? Is is impossible for you to imagine that Irish soldiers could have done something like this? Is it only the British who have this ability or indeed Irishmen under British command? Is it impossible for an Irish officer to be good at his job?

    Sure the attackers were second rate but the Irish weren't exactly 2 Para either.

    What about the lack of casualties, maybe they were damm lucky. The simple reality is that the Irish held off a superior force, a force which repelled a relieving force. They ran out of ammunition. Do you suggest it they were firing at trees.

    Read one or other of the books. Then shed your prejudice.


    I am Irish, what are you talking about :rolleyes:

    All I said was the hard evidence did not back the claims.

    The Irish army agreed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 901 ✭✭✭ChunkyLover_53


    I am Irish, what are you talking about :rolleyes:

    All I said was the hard evidence did not back the claims.

    The Irish army agreed.

    What hard evidence?

    Are you now suggesting that the Defence Forces denies knowledge of the battle and has covered it up?

    Everyone knows the battle took place and the outcome of it. Its just not celebrated or honoured. As the hireachy of the time viewed the surrender as a blemish on the Irish role in the UN as it forced the UN into hostage negotiations at the time where they did not wish to appear weak in the talks with the Congolese Govt.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 162 ✭✭Utrinque Paratus


    What hard evidence?

    Are you now suggesting that the Defence Forces denies knowledge of the battle and has covered it up?

    Everyone knows the battle took place and the outcome of it. Its just not celebrated or honoured. As the hireachy of the time viewed the surrender as a blemish on the Irish role in the UN as it forced the UN into hostage negotiations at the time where they did not wish to appear weak in the talks with the Congolese Govt.



    Thats Bs, the battle if true is one of the most incredible of 20th century warfare, any army would be proud of such a feat. As for prisoners, many armies had soldiers taken prisoner after fighting for the UN. There is no shame in that, especially as its calimed they fought 6 days outnumbered 40-1 before running out of ammo.

    When they got home the army accused them of cowardice. The army buried all records of the battle.

    "Even though A Company 35th Battalion had tactically defeated a much larger enemy force at Jadotville the Defence Forces buried all record of the battle, presumably over shame that A Company had in fact surrendered. Commandant Quinlan eventually retired as a full Colonel but never served overseas again, and it was recognized by the officers who fought at Jadotville that it was best for one's career not to mention the battle."


    But if youre more comfortable with the A team version so be it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,267 ✭✭✭concussion


    Thats Bs, the battle if true is one of the most incredible of 20th century warfare, any army would be proud of such a feat.

    Hold on, you use this
    the Defence Forces buried all record of the battle, presumably over shame that A Company had in fact surrendered. Commandant Quinlan eventually retired as a full Colonel but never served overseas again, and it was recognized by the officers who fought at Jadotville that it was best for one's career not to mention the battle.

    to support your argument, yet the very same quote begins
    A Company 35th Battalion had tactically defeated a much larger enemy force at Jadotville

    Your own source says that Comdt. Quinlans Coy defeated a superior force, how can you say the battle is bull****?????


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,717 ✭✭✭Raging_Ninja


    Thats Bs, the battle if true is one of the most incredible of 20th century warfare, any army would be proud of such a feat. As for prisoners, many armies had soldiers taken prisoner after fighting for the UN. There is no shame in that, especially as its calimed they fought 6 days outnumbered 40-1 before running out of ammo.

    When they got home the army accused them of cowardice. The army buried all records of the battle.

    "Even though A Company 35th Battalion had tactically defeated a much larger enemy force at Jadotville the Defence Forces buried all record of the battle, presumably over shame that A Company had in fact surrendered. Commandant Quinlan eventually retired as a full Colonel but never served overseas again, and it was recognized by the officers who fought at Jadotville that it was best for one's career not to mention the battle."


    But if youre more comfortable with the A team version so be it.

    Because it was the first mission in which Irish troops served abroad for the UN, and they were captured and held hostage by a bunch of uppity wogs* and used for propaganda purposes. The Defense Forces and the UN felt embarrassed.

    The battle occurred as described. They were outnumbered by over 20:1, but at the end of the day, they still lost.

    *in the opinions of the day


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,267 ✭✭✭concussion


    held hostage by a bunch of uppity wogs*

    *in the opinions of the day

    It was years before I realised that the phrases "stop acting like a Baluba" and "gone Balubas" must have originated from the DF's time in the Congo! Haven't heard the former in quite a while but the latter is quite common in Limerick to describe someone on a serious drinking binge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,717 ✭✭✭Raging_Ninja


    concussion wrote: »
    It was years before I realised that the phrases "stop acting like a Baluba" and "gone Balubas" must have originated from the DF's time in the Congo! Haven't heard the former in quite a while but the latter is quite common in Limerick to describe someone on a serious drinking binge.

    It's used a fair bit by the middle-aged crowd in Galway as well.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,029 ✭✭✭Wicklowrider


    All I said was the hard evidence did not back the claims.
    You've a funny idea of what comprises hard evidence.

    So far you have said:

    Irish killed up to 2000 attackers - you were wrong about that.

    Enemy had 105mm Artillery - you were wrong about that.

    that the jet was armed with:
    * 2x 7.5 mm or 7.62 mm machine guns, 200 rounds/gun
    * Up to 140 kg (310 lb) of weapons on two underwing hardpoints, including 50 kg (110 lb) bombs, unguided rockets, and Nord Aviation SS.11 anti-tank missiles.
    - you were wrong about that ( and also missed out the fact that bombs dropped by the jet fell on the evacuated garage area and so caused zero casualties.....)

    That there were no forward observers - there were, wrong again.

    That the forward observers did not spot the assembly of the attackers - when there are clear reports including radio logs, that they did - wrong again.

    That the Fouga "drive bombing with its machine guns..."
    It didn't - it maintained high altitude after being hit by LA fire - you were wrong again.

    That Mike Hoare was ex SAS - he wasn't - wrong again.

    It doesn't look like you have bothered reading up on Jadotville nor even read what people are posting.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 901 ✭✭✭ChunkyLover_53


    Thats Bs, the battle if true is one of the most incredible of 20th century warfare, any army would be proud of such a feat. As for prisoners, many armies had soldiers taken prisoner after fighting for the UN. There is no shame in that, especially as its calimed they fought 6 days outnumbered 40-1 before running out of ammo.

    When they got home the army accused them of cowardice. The army buried all records of the battle.

    "Even though A Company 35th Battalion had tactically defeated a much larger enemy force at Jadotville the Defence Forces buried all record of the battle, presumably over shame that A Company had in fact surrendered. Commandant Quinlan eventually retired as a full Colonel but never served overseas again, and it was recognized by the officers who fought at Jadotville that it was best for one's career not to mention the battle."


    But if youre more comfortable with the A team version so be it.

    I'm at a loss for words.

    I have never known of anyone to actually deny the battle (any battle for that matter!) took place. I now have to take a step back and look at all of history, not just Jadotville, from another point of view.

    I'll now bow out of this thread, Good day to you sir.

    I would hope anyone wishing to learn more on the Battle of Jadotville would actually do some research on the subject other than take on board some of the comments on this thread.

    It is a sad tale, the events that followed after the homecoming of the troops of A Company. The battle was not spoken of in wider terms at it was deemed as a failure due to the surrender of the troops. this, in my view, unfortunatley was due to the mindset of those in command in 1960s Ireland.

    RIP to those who lost their lives and those who have gone to their graves without getting recognition for their actions (and who are STILL not getting recognition to this very day)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,029 ✭✭✭Wicklowrider


    http://www.irishsoldiers.ie/images/Jadotville/content/index.html

    Some classic photos here.

    Note Irish F.N rifles in Jadoville.......


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,100 ✭✭✭ironictoaster


    I did this topic for my history leaving cert project. My grandfather was there Congo during those times, heard a few interesting stories!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,029 ✭✭✭Wicklowrider


    I did this topic for my history leaving cert project. My grandfather was there Congo during those times, heard a few interesting stories!

    Chances are that your grandfather and my father caught some rays together....... :)

    When did you do your leaving cert? I'm betting it was recently because when I was in the Army in '70's 7 '80's it wasn't discussed. For years I thought it was just old guys exaggerating. Turned out they didn't tell half of what happened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,100 ✭✭✭ironictoaster


    Chances are that your grandfather and my father caught some rays together....... :)

    When did you do your leaving cert? I'm betting it was recently because when I was in the Army in '70's 7 '80's it wasn't discussed. For years I thought it was just old guys exaggerating. Turned out they didn't tell half of what happened.



    Possibly, here's the man himself, in the middle. It's a new thing the history course is doing where they let hand in an essay before the exam on any topic in history you want to. I did it because I wanted to more about something I didn't have a clue about it. I did it in 2009

    ixvc7k.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,677 ✭✭✭deise go deo



    When they got home the army accused them of cowardice. The army buried all records of the battle.


    Its really not hard to understand, If Jadotville became a widely know event, then far to many awkward questions would have been asked about why A Coy was in Jadotville in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe


    Hi there,
    Remember that the Dept of Defence had been caught napping, having spent the years between the Emergency and the Congo, buying virtually nothing if it could avoid it, egged on by the Dept of Finance. They had already been embarrassed by sending men out to the Congo in grossly unsuitable uniforms, with bolt-action rifles, useless armoured cars, inadequate heavy weapons and ****ty radios and grossly inadequate training. Institutionally,they were less well prepared to fight an African war than the British or Germans in 1939 and had few, if any serving personnel with actual combat experience. It's a miracle that they achieved as much as they did.
    regards
    Stovepipe


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    Having just read some information about it I'm astounded that this piece of Irish history has been effectively buried. I read some of the reasons why it was buried but I strongly disagree about this. The Defence Forces get a lot of stick from civilians so I believe the DF should be publicising the heroics of the Irish in Jadotville.

    It was the Defence Forces themselves that buried it, not civilians.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    Even though A Company 35th Battalion had tactically defeated a much larger enemy force at Jadotville the Defence Forces buried all record of the battle, presumably over shame that A Company had in fact surrendered. Commandant Quinlan eventually retired as a full Colonel but never served overseas again, and it was recognized by the officers who fought at Jadotville that it was best for one's career not to mention the battle.

    ..................Why would it be a shame to surrender after six days of fierce fighting to a massively larger and better equipped force ?

    Depends which way you look at it. Here's Anthony Mockler's opinion in his book "The new Mercenaries"

    - On 13 September United Nations Indian troops under Brigadier Raja seized control of key points in Elizabethville and throughout the state. Conor Crusie O'Brien announced unwisely: "Katanga's secession is ended". Next day the Katangese gendarmerie counter-attacked. Heavy fighting followed in Elisabethville and elsewhere. Three days later the Irish garrison at Jadotville surrendered to the Katangese. Admittedly they were surrounded and their water supply had been cut off. But their position, although unpleasant, was not desperate; if their morale had been high they could have fought their way out and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Katangese and the mercenaries. The least that can be said is that this surrender was hardly in the spirit of Irish history. -


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    Jesus. wrote: »
    Depends which way you look at it. Here's Anthony Mockler's opinion in his book "The new Mercenaries"

    - On 13 September United Nations Indian troops under Brigadier Raja seized control of key points in Elizabethville and throughout the state. Conor Crusie O'Brien announced unwisely: "Katanga's secession is ended". Next day the Katangese gendarmerie counter-attacked. Heavy fighting followed in Elisabethville and elsewhere. Three days later the Irish garrison at Jadotville surrendered to the Katangese. Admittedly they were surrounded and their water supply had been cut off. But their position, although unpleasant, was not desperate; if their morale had been high they could have fought their way out and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Katangese and the mercenaries. The least that can be said is that this surrender was hardly in the spirit of Irish history. -

    I understood that they didn't have the supplies to fight their way out.

    I'm not quite sure how he came to that conclusion given the relief efforts couldn't fight their way in.. Surely harder to fight out, this way needless blood was not spilt


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    Grudaire wrote: »
    I understood that they didn't have the supplies to fight their way out.

    I'm not quite sure how he came to that conclusion given the relief efforts couldn't fight their way in.. Surely harder to fight out, this way needless blood was not spilt

    Several Ghurkas & Irish soldiers died trying to get a relief force through to the besieged troops if I recall rightly and the efforts forced back, and the defenders - if I recall - were out of mortar rounds, out of ammunition for the vehicle-mounted Vickers machine guns, running low to empty on water and not doing so great on ye olde ammunition supplies for personal arms. Yes they had caused a severe dent in the morale of the enemy in that the officer cadre reportedly had to take to executions to prevent desertions, but they were still woefully outnumbered and - more importantly due to their supply issues - outgunned.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    Grudaire wrote: »
    I'm not quite sure how he came to that conclusion given the relief efforts couldn't fight their way in.. Surely harder to fight out, this way needless blood was not spilt

    I think that's where Mockler's charge comes from. Cmdt Quinlan was a fine soldier but his promise to the Virgin Mary in Athlone to bring all his men back home safely was at the expense of his ultimate mission. Yes a commanding officer has a duty to his men's safety but in Quinlan's case his priorities were mixed up. Casualties and a continued siege or an attempted break out would've been the decision of, for example, most British commanders in that situation.

    His leadership and tactics up until the ceasefire were impeccable, as was the conduct of his men. However he undid it all with the way he mishandled said ceasefire. If you read Declan Power's book the surrender only came about when, bit by bit, the enemy mosey'd on up to the Irish positions and under the pretence of friendlienss basically made it impossible for A Co to resume fighting. It was due to this complete bluff by the crafty Katangans that they won the battle.

    In sporting terms Quinlan reminds me of a Goalkeeper who performs heroics over 90 minutes with spectacular save after spectacular save only to allow a feeble back-pass go through his legs in the final minute of injury time to lose the Cup final.

    It pains me to say it but its no wonder the Army buried this story at the time.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    Jesus. wrote: »
    I think that's where Mockler's charge comes from. Cmdt Quinlan was a fine soldier but his promise to the Virgin Mary in Athlone to bring all his men back home safely was at the expense of his ultimate mission. Yes a commanding officer has a duty to his men's safety but in Quinlan's case his priorities were mixed up. Casualties and a continued siege or an attempted break out would've been the decision of, for example, most British commanders in that situation.

    His leadership and tactics up until the ceasefire were impeccable, as was the conduct of his men. However he undid it all with the way he mishandled said ceasefire. If you read Declan Power's book the surrender only came about when, bit by bit, the enemy mosey'd on up to the Irish positions and under the pretence of friendlienss basically made it impossible for A Co to resume fighting. It was due to this complete bluff by the crafty Katangans that they won the battle.

    In sporting terms Quinlan reminds me of a Goalkeeper who performs heroics over 90 minutes with spectacular save after spectacular save only to allow a feeble back-pass go through his legs in the final minute of injury time to lose the Cup final.

    It pains me to say it but its no wonder the Army buried this story at the time.

    Well perhaps I'm a big nationalist, but I consider the fact that the Irish army took a different approach to what the British army would have done as a bloody fantastic thing.

    Seriously, what was to be gained by fighting on? Yes they became bargaining chips, but that was always going to be the end result. If either relief effort had actually penetrated then you might have a point, otherwise this is pure glorious sacrifice cr@p

    If you want to be critical you have to look at the overall mission - how the hell was the planning so bad! The limited inadequate supplies, the support.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    Grudaire wrote: »
    Well perhaps I'm a big nationalist, but I consider the fact that the Irish army took a different approach to what the British army would have done as a bloody fantastic thing.
    What by losing?
    Grudaire wrote: »
    Seriously, what was to be gained by fighting on? Yes they became bargaining chips, but that was always going to be the end result. If either relief effort had actually penetrated then you might have a point, otherwise this is pure glorious sacrifice cr@p
    Glorious sacrifice? Never mentioned such a bizarre thing. However, when it was clear the Katangans were breaking the rules of the ceasefire, the men should've been immediately ordered back into their trenches and the Katangans given two minutes to get out of there before being fired upon.
    Grudaire wrote: »
    If you want to be critical
    I don't want to be critical. But its hard to avoid asking questions about how it ended. You have to remember that it was the Army itself that was embarrassed by this. It caused a lot of friction between soldiers to the point of fights breaking out in the Mess. Not long afterwards it was never mentioned again and as stated in the OP, if you wanted to further your DF career you never brought it up. Also, as far as I can ascertain the average Irish civilian wasn't at all critical.
    Grudaire wrote: »
    you have to look at the overall mission - how the hell was the planning so bad! The limited inadequate supplies, the support.
    Which was ridiculous. You are 100% correct there. Nevertheless if they'd retook their positions who's to say the Katangans wouldn't have just sat in themselves given that they couldn't break through for the whole week? Who's to say relief wouldn't have finally arrived?

    Once again I have to ask the awkward question: What would a British company have done in the same circumstances?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭donaghs


    Jesus. wrote: »
    Which was ridiculous. You are 100% correct there. Nevertheless if they'd retook their positions who's to say the Katangans wouldn't have just sat in themselves given that they couldn't break through for the whole week? Who's to say relief wouldn't have finally arrived?

    Once again I have to ask the awkward question: What would a British company have done in the same circumstances?

    How do you wait for relief if you've run out of water?

    Also, how exactly would they achieve a "breakout"? They were low on supplies, and heavily outnumbered, in hostile territory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    donaghs wrote: »
    How do you wait for relief if you've run out of water?

    Also, how exactly would they achieve a "breakout"? They were low on supplies, and heavily outnumbered, in hostile territory.

    Ah shtop humouring him, I wasn't bothered to respond to such a poor argument :)

    The fact is that there is no evidence of any way to win the battle. They held out long enough to see two relief efforts fail, indeed with loss of life.

    In terms of the bigger picture a glorious sacrifice (which on occasion can be justified) would have only made things worse. The Irish any would have been pulled from UN duty almost undoubtedly and indefinitely.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭gallag


    What size were the factions? The allied forces trying to break in? The unit under siege and the opposition?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,254 ✭✭✭source


    gallag wrote: »
    What size were the factions? The allied forces trying to break in? The unit under siege and the opposition?

    Trying to remember from the book I read,

    The Irish Company had I believe 158 troops. The Katangese forces numbered approximately 3,000.

    There were only a few Irish troops wounded and, I believe in the region of 300 Katangese killed. with a further 300 to 800 wounded. The Katangans also had air support in the shape of a Fouga Magister.

    Edit: I know it's a wiki page but good rundown here.

    Looks like my figures weren't too far off.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    donaghs wrote: »
    How do you wait for relief if you've run out of water?
    Wait for it. The Helicopter got through once it could get through again.
    donaghs wrote: »
    Also, how exactly would they achieve a "breakout"? They were low on supplies, and heavily outnumbered, in hostile territory.

    They needn't necessarily have attempted a breakout. They could have continued to dig in for more time. But if they did try to breakout, as far as I can tell they still had enough ammunition to do so.

    Besides the overall argument is that Quinlan actually had no intention of surrendering when the ceasefire was called. It was his mishandling of the ceasefire that led to the surrender. From that one can presume he intended to continue on for some time to come.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe


    Continue with what? three further days without water and men would die. Their behaviour was excellent for an Army with no combat experience, not even residual experience of WW2 or Korea. People who weren't there blamed them for surviving a hellish fight and said that they "embarrassed" the Army, despite knowing that the Army was so keen to take part, that they went out with outdated weapons, grossly inadequate clothing, pathetic armoured vehicles. My grandfather served until into the Sixties and knew a lot of those who went out to the Congo. The men were scathing of the decision to send them out in bullswool, armed with .303s and with Ford armoured cars made out of boiler plate. The Army bosses and the Depts of Finance and Defence knew it was wrong and the Americans laughed at them, when they saw the Irish boarding their airlifters in bullswool tunics. The hierarchy refused to take advice from Irish people who had served in Africa as doctors, nurses and missionaries and they refused to listen to the veterans of WW2, who knew what to expect. The Army embarrassed itself and the State was complicit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    Jesus. wrote: »
    They needn't necessarily have attempted a breakout. They could have continued to dig in for more time. But if they did try to breakout, as far as I can tell they still had enough ammunition to do so.
    I think everyone agrees that a breakout was not possible,

    Then the question becomes what would digging in for more time have achieved?


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,794 ✭✭✭Jesus.


    Grudaire wrote: »
    I think everyone agrees that a breakout was not possible,

    If a co-ordinated attack on the Lufira bridge was made with Kane on one side and Quinlan on the other, could they have broken through?
    Grudaire wrote: »
    Then the question becomes what would digging in for more time have achieved?

    Potentially a victorious outcome to the engagement. Either by being re-supplied through the air or the Katangans morale breaking. I don't think the situation had reached a critical point at that juncture.


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