An Cosantóir

April 2012

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

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Page 26 of 35

history | 27 covered from a multitude of posts. The area around Sackville Street (now O' Connell St.) was covered from multiple positions, each mutually supporting. Fortifications consisted of barricading, mouse-holing and the sandbagging of posts. In order to retake Dublin city, the British army found themselves up against a well organised and well entrenched force that had high morale and dedication. There is no doubt that British crown forces were taken by surprise in The entrance to Boland's Mill Mount Street Bridge (facing Ballsbridge) relation to the events that took place on Easter Monday. However, they managed to regain a number of key positions by the end of the first day and reinforcements began arriving into the capital from a number of barracks outside the city. Having secured and reinforced a number of positions in Dublin city such as Dublin Castle and Trinity College, Brigadier W.H.M. Lowe then established a number of "jumping off points" throughout the capital. An outer cordon was thrown around the city and an inner cordon was placed around each Volunteer position. By mid week the British army were in a position to begin the retaking of the city. The British army possessed no equipment specially designed for urban operations, nor did they have much in the way of formal doctrine to guide their efforts. Like many urban conflicts of today, they depended on trial and error. During the battle for Dublin city, improvised Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) were used for the first time and 'marching fire' and artillery were used to neutralise Irish positions. Despite the outcome of the Rising, the battle for Dublin city remains Paul O'Brien's new book Crossfire, 1916 & the Battle for the Four Courts - is the true story of one of the bloodiest engage- ments against crown forces in Dublin city during the 1916 Rising, available now, see for more info. a classic study in urban warfare that clearly demonstrates not only the rigors and demands of fighting and defending in a built up area but also the valour and fortitude demanded of the soldiers and volunteers who fought in such a situation. The British army retook Dublin city from the Volunteers and paid a high price in doing so. Today, military operations in an urban terrain are still in its infancy. In drawing a comparison with Dublin of 1916, many of the lessons learned are just as valid in today's urban combat environment. Please note that the Bureau of Military History will be available as a fully online collection in the near future, visit Military Archives website for more info: South Dublin Union (now St. James Hospital) Inside the entrance to the South Dublin Union THE DEFENCE FORCES MAGAZINE

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