The Siege of Jadotville

This 2016 movie is based on a true story.  In September, 1961 the United Nations, under the leadership of Dag Hammarsjold, sent a company of Irish soldiers to Katanga in central Africa to protect the lives of citizens in a small mining town of Jadotville.  Company “A” was made up of 155 men and was led by Commandant Pat Quinlan.  When the Irish soldiers got there the town was deserted, but soon came under siege by Katangese forces.

The Katangese force was made up of local Luba warriors plus mercenaries from France, Belgium and others and numbered three to five thousand men. Katanga had seceded from the Congo and took umbrage at the UN’s efforts to re-unite them.  So, they attacked Company “A” without mercy for 5 days.

The Company fought bravely all by themselves because the UN was unable (or unwilling) to send relief forces.  However, when their ammunition and water ran out, they had to surrender.  They remained in a  Katangese prison for about a month until the UN was able to get them released.  All members of the Company survived, although 5 were wounded.

When the men returned to Ireland they were looked upon as losers, not heroes, because they had surrendered.  It was not until 2005 when their honor was restored and they were recognized as heroes.

The movie was well written, directed and acted.  It wasn’t an epic saga, but was interesting enough to keep me glued to the screen for its one hour and forty eight minute duration.  “Yes”.

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