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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jadotville (now called Likasi) is a mining town in the Katanga region of the Congo. In September 1961, it was the scene of a bloody 5 day battle between 156 Irish troops (A Company, 35th Irish Battalion) serving under the United Nations and over 2,000 mercenaries and local paramilitaries (the Katanganese Gendarmarie). The Irish troops had been deployed there as part of a UN mission to aid the newly independent Congolese government in ridding the area of armed mercenary groups.

The Irish were attacked during morning mass on Wednesday the 13th September but were able to beat off the initial assault thanks to the preparations of their Commander. Commandant Patrick Quinlan had realised that his position was vulnerable to attack and had drilled his men and ordered them to dig deep defensive trenches, actions that later saved many of their lives. Over the next 5 days, they withstood attack after attack (even being bombed and straffed by an aircraft), amazingly suffering only 5 wounded casualties but killing or wounding over 200 of their attackers. They had held out hoping for reinforcements from the main UN force in the capital, Elizabethville, but unfortunately, the only road to Jadotville crossed a river over a bridge in Katangan hands and each attempt failed. Eventually Quinlian realised that his situation was hopeless. A helicopter had managed to fly in supplies but it hadn't been enough (and much of the desperately needed water had been contaminated by dirty containers). In Quinlan's own words "God, my men were fine... Ireland never reared better sons. They would have died to a man... They never wavered... We did not come here to shoot Africans, we came to help them.. I was not prepared to let my brave men die for nothing"

On Sunday September 17th a ceasefire was agreed and the Irish surrendered the next day (having run out out water and low on ammunition). After a month as hostages, they were finally released back to the UN and most of the men went straight back into action - Quinlan himself leading a raid to destroy the rebel's fuel stores. After their arrival back home in the December, the "Jadotville affair" was quickly forgotten by most people - despite several recommendations, no medals or other awards were ever made and it wsn't until 2005 that a commemorative stone honouring the soldiers of A Company was erected in the grounds of Custume Barracks in Athlone.

My figure is based on photos in the book "Heroes of Jadotville" and an illustration from Osprey's "Irish Defence Forces since 1922". He's probably not 100% accurate and I'll probably "tweak" him a bit over the next few weeks but hopefully you'll like him. Any comments always welcome..







HS/body - DML
Uniform - BBI (seems to match the uniforms in many of the photos)
Helmet - DML M1 Helmet Liner - painted (the book describes the men wearing "plastic helmets" I've found pics online of painted helmet liners being used by UN troops.)
Boots - DID
Gaiters, brassard - Custom
Swedish K, belt, holster, pistol, watch, scarf - DML

Cheers
Greg
 

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Wow, I never knew about this story. Your excellent figure does justice to these men. Fantastic work!! :thumb :thumb :thumb
 

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wow what an obscure bit of History!!

Wow
Thats just unheard of!! What a really neat bit of History along with a super cool figure!! man I love it!! Anything that get others interested in History is cool!!

I showed your figure to a buddy of mine here in cali who is both an Irish citizen and a big African Bush wars fanatic and he was floored!! said that was the best hed ever seen not to mention that was history he hadnt heard before!!

AWSOME Figure!!

Kudos Sir!!
Paul
 

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Fine bit of work Greg, and hopefully a story lead that others will follow. The long fighting in the Congo featured an amazing and complicated set of participants, with some heroes and many villains. Nice to see the Irish contingent get some recognition.
 

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Fantastic....wow....
I always remember the rebels also used bow and arrows against the Irish UN forces in the Congo. One soldier emerged from his tent to find several wounded or dead covered in arrows like in a western or something.
My grand uncle was in the army and has gone on many peacekeeping missions with the UN, including Cyprus and Lebanon, it's a really interesting field
Great bash, very well done. The armband is exceptional
 

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"Tweak him" you say?.............Tweak nothing at all "yee boy ya"...he's excellent as he is Greg!!!..........A wonderful tribute to the Irish soldier, and just one of many brave souls who were surrounded like that (kinda like a modern day Zulu):wideyes
You are certainly the King of originality Greg, and each and every one of your works, makes me sit back a smile.
You definately keep giving inspiration to others Greg, with these original themes
keep 'em coming mate,.....wonderful stuff.

Neil.
 

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Excellent stuff Greg!

It's great to see some Irish troops.
Fantastic work on the rank markings - back in the day when sergeants were mistaken for corporals due to the crazy marking system!

Superb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi
Thanks for comments - I have to admit I'd never heard of Jadotville or anything else about the Irish involvement in the area until I came across it online while searching for something else (I was actually looking for info on the Swedish K machine gun!!) It's just a shame these guys never got the recognition they deserve.
I can't really claim the credit for the insignia - I found a picture of a brassard online and just printed it onto fabric!!
Anyway thanks for looking
Greg
 

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:bravo Great to see an Irish soldier that isn't IRA for a change! Excellent work too!
 

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Great figure and an even more amazing story. It's a shame that this heroic event has been buried in the pages of history until recently. A wonderful tribute to the Irish soldier, and a perfect way to commemorate St. Patrick's.
 
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