The Irish Army in the Congo, 1960-1964
This revealing book is based on the personal reminiscences of Irish Army veterans who served with the UN peacekeeping forces in the Congo from 1960 to 1964. In addition to tracking down foot soldiers, retired battalion commanders and journalists who covered the Congo, the author has also spoken to Belgians who were part of the pre-independence administration in the huge African colony, Swedish soldiers who played key roles as interpreters for Irish Army units, a Congolese clergyman and a Congolese journalist from Kinshasa. The book also takes a refreshing and controversial look at the Congo in the immediate wake of independence in mid-1960, after almost a century of Belgian rule. Here, published for the first time, are secret dossiers and previously unpublished photographs of military and civilian life in the newly independent Congo, which challenges the received understanding of such events as the Niemba massacre and the fighting to end the secession of Katanga, including the battle of Jadotville. The Irish Army in the Congo provides fascinating background to the development of UN peacekeeping missions around the world. This was the first major overseas mission in which Irish troops had ever been involved and the personal accounts gathered for this book shed valuable light on this chapter of Irish military history.
Publication Date: 11/1/2005