View Full Version : The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle

09-26-2016, 08:13 PM
I'd forgotten this 'small war' in the Congo, in October 1961, but a hitherto unknown website has the story how an Irish infantry company held off an attack for a week without any deaths. The attackers outnumbered them, had better weapons and more. The Irish had engineers, leaders and dug trenches.

There is a new Netflix's film being released, there is a short trailer and a twenty minute audio with a veteran who wrote the book.


One of the comments has several links to an official review and background to an ambush in 1960, such as this reminder:
During the course of the mission from 1960 until 1964, over 6,000 Irish troops participated and 26 soldiers diedLink to Irish Army article pgs.9-23, on the bloody ambush, not the siege:http://www.military.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/images/Info_Centre/documents/Annual_Reviews/Defence_Forces_Review_2010.pdf

Today the UN is still in the Congo, now the DRC and current UN peacekeeping has a thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8209

10-04-2016, 02:58 PM
Another review and this update on watching the film:
The Siege of Jadotville is out in cinemas in Ireland on September 19, and available on Netflix from October 7.Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/on-demand/2016/09/09/watch-jamie-dornan-in-the-new-trailer-for-the-siege-of-jadotvill/

Bill Moore
10-09-2016, 09:35 AM
Just watched a good film, a movie on Netflix, about the Siege of Jadotville, where an Irish Company of UN Peace Keepers held out against improbable odds for six days in 1961against a large adversary force of French Mercs and African troops in the Congo. Once they ran out of ammo, they surrendered, and were held captive for a month before being released. Based on a true story, what little I can find of the history the movie follows the historical narrative.

Also a sad story on UN politics and bureaucracy, but there won't be any surprises there.

10-09-2016, 02:07 PM

Just watched the film, excellent and sad those who served waited till 2005 to be properly honoured by their own, Irish government. Perhaps the passing of Dr Conor Cruise O'Brien enabled this? No, he died in 2008.

A new Irish newspaper account ends with:
If there is a lesson for today in the UN mission of 1960-1964 in the Congo, it is that force should only be applied for well thought out political objectives.


I will merge this thread into the one started last week.

Bill Moore
10-09-2016, 07:50 PM

Thanks for finding a proper home for my post. The conflict in the Congo is probably the world's longest running World War (at 7 different countries involved, more at other times). I recall in hindsight the SecGen of the UN dying in aircraft crash from my history readings, but I didn't know anything about the UN peacekeeping/enforcement role. Fascinating story, very sad the company commander didn't get due recognition before he died, but ultimately he received the ultimate award, the respect of his soldiers.

11-05-2017, 01:59 PM
An update on Commandant Quinlan, the CO @ Jadotville:
A brave army commander whose lightly armed force held out for six days in a siege made famous on film has finally been honored with a memorial in his home county, Kerry, 56 years after the battle. Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, officiating at the memorial, said Quinlan was an extraordinary leader and a true hero to his men following a furious battle with Katangese forces in the Congo in September of 1961.
He said Ireland should be proud of its Defence Forces and their peace keeping work with the United Nations from their first mission in the Congo to the present day.Link:https://www.irishcentral.com/news/irish-hero-of-siege-of-jadotville-finally-honored