An Cosantóir

April 2012

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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26 | FISH & CHIPS & THE 1916 RISING BY: PauL o'BRIeN Ma PHOTOS: CouRTeSy oF MILITaRy aRChIveS Much has been written in relation to the easter Rising of 1916, yet this event is still providing new avenues for research. The insurrection is considered a pivotal point in Irish history and also a first for many military strategies and tactics that are still in use today. The 1916 Rising was one of the first conflicts of the 20th century that saw the use of urban combat. The Irish Defence Forces call it 'Fighting in built-up areas" or "FIBua", the american army call it "military operations on urban terrain" or "MouT". Causing Havoc in Peoples Streets (CHIPS). Joseph Plunkett, on the first meeting F of the Military Council of the Irish Volun- teers, produced a plan of the insurrection on which he had worked on for years. This plan involved the seizing of a number of strategic buildings throughout Dublin city. or the ordinary soldier, urban combat has become known as Fighting in Someone Else's House (FISH) and These buildings were in turn supported by a number of outer posts. The Irish Volun- teers had under gone months of rigorous training in relation to fighting in built up areas. Weekends were spent in Finglas and the Dublin mountains, learning assault and defence techniques. On Easter Monday morning, the rapid deployment of each Volunteer battalion in their designated area of operations ensured a strong defensive perimeter had been established before British assaults began. The Battle of Mount Street Bridge is an example of Fighting in a Built-Up Area and this case scenario is still used today in the briefing of young recruits. Under the com- mand of Lieutenant Michael Malone sev- enteen Irish Volunteers killed or wounded 240 British soldiers in one of the bloodiest engagements of the week. Fighting from four well defended and mutually sup- porting positions, the Volunteers caused havoc among the ranks of the British troops before the Volunteers withdrew from their positions. In the South Dublin Union (now St. James Hospital) Commandant Eamonn Ceannt's unit fought from building to building, delaying British forces as they attempted to regain control of the city. Vicious close quarter combat resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. The occupation of the Four Courts and APC vehicle made from a locomotive smoke-box on a lorry chassis the buildings in the surrounding area was an excellent tactical plan. This large area was seen as a blocking action against British forces that would come from the west of the city. Commandant Edward Daly's force barricaded the streets and oc- cupied key buildings in the area which they heavily fortified. Any approaching force was channelled into kill zones that were An Cosantóir April 2012

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