Jadotville gets its due
In the ongoing crapshow that was the Katanga conflict, A Company, 35th Irish Infantry Battalion, led by Commandant Pat Quinlan, was part of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) peacekeeping mission in the region in 1961.
The mixed force of 150 men, armed with the random collection of WWI/WWII era equipment that the Irish forces were known for at the time, held the village of Jadotville (modern Likasi) against a determined force of (up to) 3,000 Katangan gendarme–mostly bands of Luba warriors– led by French, Belgian and Rhodesian mercenaries and supported by light artillery (WWI-era French 75s) and a French-made Fouga CM.170 Magister*, a jet trainer that could carry cannon, rockets and small bombs.
Winning a tactical victory, the Irish refused to quit for a full week until they were out of ammo, short of water, and with no relief in sight– without losing a life. Surrendering, their story was one of shame instead of victory due to striking their flag. Well, that has finally been reversed in recent years and a film has been made of the fight. Great footage of the Vickers dotting up the Magister.
The film, set to release on October 8 on Netflix, is based on the book and scholarship about Jadotville book by Declan Power, who gives a great synopsis and overview in the interview below.
(*Ironically, the Irish Air Corps operated six Fouga Magisters from 1975 to 1999, four of which equipped the Silver Swallows display team, and were the last armed jets the Irish flew).