The Siege of Jadotville is a 2016 movie, which is based on the book, “Siege at Jadotville,” by Declan Power, which is based on the real events that unfolded during the Congo Crisis in the early 1960s. The film follows “A” Company of the Irish 35th Battalion, deployed as a United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Congolese state of Katanga, where multiple factors and factions reached a boiling point. As the title of the film suggests, “A” Company, stationed in Jadotville, is besieged by an overwhelming force of separatists and mercenaries. I won’t dive into the politics of the conflict here, other than to say that one of the hot commodities that added to the turmoil in Katanga was that it was known for its rich supply of uranium, some of which found it’s way to end World War 2.
THE Irish GUNS OF THE “SIEGE OF JADOTVILLE” MOVIE
The events surrounding the ‘Siege of Jadotville’ aren’t well known and seem to be buried between the larger conflicts of the late 20th Century. During The Siege of Jadotville, there are plenty of firearms showcased. As expected, the Irish arms were pretty standard, and the guns all saw great screen time, wielded by actors that had been put through military training in South Africa specifically for the film. The film’s antagonists were shown to use a mix of guns, including German K98’s, Enfields, PKM’s, and FAL’s and a Walther P38 amongst others. Let’s jump into the Irish guns of the Siege of Jadotville.
While I wasn’t surprised to see some Lee Enfield’s see some action, it was sniper designated No.4 Mk1 T to get the first shot of the action. The company’s sniper dramatically rings the bell with a shot from his rifle to alert the rest of the company during Wednesday Mass. The standard configured Enfield’s were shown in use by both sides of the conflict.
You can see a standard Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1 in action from TFB TV’s Alex C’s run and gun video below, as well as the 9 Hole Reviews YouTube channel’s video of the sniper variant, running its paces through varied distances.
As with the Lee Enfields, the FAL saw a lot of screen time on both sides of the conflict. Below, the Company Commandant Quinlan is seen getting briefed on the situation just after being alerted by his sniper’s shot on the town’s bell. The Irish FAL’s were first adopted in the same year as the siege. You can check out the TFB TV review of DSA’s Israeli FAL below.
THE BREN GUN
One very curious scene had the sniper switch from his scoped sniper rifle to the iron-sighted Bren in order to make a more precise shot on a man that was directing the action against the Irish Company. This was really the only scene in the movie that didn’t make sense considering that the Mk4 and Bren were both chambered for the same .303 British cartridge and both are equipped with a 25-inch barrel. Interestingly, the Wikipedia page dedicated to the actual event doesn’t mention any Brens but says they had several Vickers machine guns. Check out TFB TV’s Miles running the Bren below.
VICKERS MACHINE GUN
The movie also implied that the Company only had access to one Vickers machine gun, which they employed in numerous positions, including an anti-aircraft capacity. As seen in the title image to this article, the siege was also assisted by a Belgian Fouga Magister Trainer jet fitted with bombs and machine guns. Below, Ian from the Forgotten Weapons YouTube channel digs into the Vickers machine gun.
CARL GUSTAV M/45
Another staple firearm in The Siege of Jadotville movie was the Carl Gustav M/45 submachine gun, used by several of the Irish peacekeepers. TFB’s Eric B. wrote about an interesting Swedish competition strictly using the Carl Gustav M/45’s.
Overall, I thought The Siege of Jadotville was a great film about an event that was previously unknown to me. In doing some light reading on the background and the siege itself, I thought the movie stayed on task to convey the overall surrounding situation, while keeping most of the firearms and equipment accurately portrayed. The battle imagery almost had an epic comic book feel to it, but not in a cheesy sort of way. I highly recommend giving The Siege of Jadotville a watch. As of the time of this publication, the movie can be seen on Netflix.
For those of you that have already watched the movie, what did you think?