Siege of Jadotville

In the Siege of Jadotville [ʒa.do.vil] in September 1961, a small contingent of the Irish Army's 35th Battalion, designated "A" Company, serving as part of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (Opération des Nations Unies au Congo, ONUC) were besieged in the mining town of Jadotville (modern-day Likasi) by Katangese forces loyal to the secessionist State of Katanga. The siege took place during the seven-day escalation of a stand-off between ONUC and Katangese forces during Operation Morthor. Although the contingent of 155 Irish soldiers repelled attacks by a 3,000-man Katangese force for five days while an undersized relief force of Irish, Indian and Swedish troops attempted to reach them, they were eventually forced to surrender having run out of ammunition and water. "A" Company was subsequently held as prisoners of war for approximately one month. Despite inflicting approximately 1,300 casualties (including up to 300 killed) on the attacking force, with no deaths amongst "A" Company, and surrendering only after running out of ammunition, it would be more than half a century before Ireland acknowledged the bravery and achievements of the vastly outnumbered Irish soldiers at the Siege of Jadotville.

Siege of Jadotville
Part of Operation Morthor in the Congo Crisis
Jadotville
Siege of Jadotville (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Date13–17 September 1961
Location10°59′S 26°44′E
Result Katangese Pyrrhic victory
Belligerents

 Katanga

ONUC

Commanders and leaders
Strength
  • ~3,000 Katanga mercenaries and irregulars led by Belgian, French and Rhodesian mercenaries[4][5]
  • 1 close air support jet aircraft
  • Irish company:
  • 155 soldiers[6][7]
  •  
  • In support:
  • 500 Irish, Indian and Swedish soldiers
Casualties and losses
  • ~300 killed[8][9]
  • ~1,000 wounded
[10]
  • 3 Indians killed[11]
  • 5 Irish wounded
  • 155 Irish captured
  • 1 transport vehicle
  • 1 helicopter damaged

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