IRA Leader Michael Collins: Father of Modern Urban Warfare

Michael Collins and the War of Independence

Episode 23 of the Irish Identify (2016)

Featuring Marc Conner

I also found the 23rd episode, focusing on the 1921 Irish War of Independence, really valuable. For the 120 year lead up to the war see Hidden History: The Long War for Irish Independence

In the 1918 UK election Sinn Fein, which ran on a platform of full Irish independence, won all the seats in southern Ireland. Instead of taking their seats in London, they formed their own Irish National Assembly. This Assembly, in turn, voted to declare Ireland an independent Republic with Eamon de Valera as president and Michael Collins as minister of finance. It also founded the Irish Republican Army (IRA), as well as demanding the withdrawal of all British troops.

Originally born in New York City, De Valera had been imprisoned after the 1916 Easter Rising. He now returned to the US to raise funds for the coming revolution, leaving Collins to fill his shoes as president.

The Irish War of Independence began in January 1919, when the IRA, under Collins’ leadership, attacked a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) outpost to seize their explosives and killed two RIC officers.

Collins, considered the father of modern urban warfare, conducted a mainly guerilla war aimed at assassinating both RIC* members and the large British spy network that supported them.

Focused on keeping order in the cities, by 1920 the RIC had totally lost control over rural Ireland. The British responded by recruiting Irish criminals as mercenaries. Referred to as the “Black and Tans” for their irregular uniforms, they became notorious for their lawless brutality against unarmed civilians.

By 1921, it became clear that the IRA lacked the numbers and weaponry to defeat the British military. De Valera, who had returned from the US, sent Collins and Arthur Griffith (founder of Sinn Fein) to negotiate a truce with British Prime Minister Lloyd George.

The best deal they could achieve was a December 1921 treat that created and Irish Free State (consisting of all but six countries in Northern Ireland**) which remained a member of the British Commonwealth and required all public servants to swear a fidelity oath to the British monarch. The treaty stipulated the withdrawal of all British troops except for designated bases.

Ireland would remain a Commonwealth member until 1936, when a new constitution transformed it into a full republic.


*The RIC was an internal police force made up primarily of Irish Catholics. Many who weren’t killed resigned in preference to attacking fellow countrymen.

**Britain had long encouraged the settlement of Northern Ireland by Scottish Protestants who they rewarded with large land estates. The 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty redrew the boundaries for the six counties to guarantee the region a 2/3 Protestant majority. The resulting political system denied Catholics access to land, adequate housing, and government positions – resulting in a virtual system of apartheid.

People who belong to a public library can view the entire course “Irish Identity” free on Kanopy. Type “Kanopy” and the name of your library into your search engine.

7 thoughts on “IRA Leader Michael Collins: Father of Modern Urban Warfare

  1. He didn’t go hat in hand to the villains, but made Eyre indepedent. The british (government) used THUGS against the Irish. Maudling was accused by Monty Python, which Reginald Maudling in the 70s tried justifying Bloody Sunday, police utter sudden violence by misguided anti-leftist, pro-opressionist indoctrinated hatred: Already in the 30s, the vast feudality, threeclass society, disequality, was exposed, as the British didn’t only opress other Countries, but likewise Countries very near to Britain as in, near to England, which is – still – both the same: ruthless capitalism, simply, the instrumentalisation against all ethics, against life, which instrumentalisation is slavery. The west contradicts itself, as it is supremacist and denying truth, opressionist, and disequal, as in, it constructs a materialistic sudo-value, that is delusional, and all big governments are “western” and compete insanely stupidly for “resources”, and don’t even seek Equality and good Life Conditions for all People, don’t properly limit, what companies of economy can do, but are collaborators with economists, – against the People, really simply. simply seeably so.

    Well, hence I am typing this. Becuz, with a Megatruhn Prototype, with a Spuck, they can’t engage. a musk can’t. Does he even know of goethe, and that the latter was really largely an idiot. musk is a non-critical sponge, and exactly no “Sponge-Bob”, namely. He’s a tech-freak without ANY expertise at ANYTHING else – and he’s NO tech-expert, simply, no computer-dude AT All, simply, but merely an: economist, capitalist. the same as the hilariously dumb zuckerberg, who can’t even oversee any own bigger than brig ship, simply.

    The longer Assange is imprisoned, the worse for human rights globally, obviously. plus corona finishes off the People, their power, which is now totally gone, simply. largely. it surely is abhorrant, that corona-power-abuse, the pretense, by governments.

    Some orthodox-“jewish” other Dame online “posts” her ABSOLUTE mustard about any “god” that “would”, as she pre-proposes extremo-dumbly, be there, –

    more than almost the same as some other dude, our Dude with the Symbols, LOL, the NAZI symbols, which he “LOVES”, ADORES – He now adores Heinrich Himmler, for Himmler having been a “Mystic”. 🙂 VERY nice. 🙂 For real: Himmler once VOMITED when invited to besee a shooting against some Jews at some KZ. Which is, what that Symbols-loving Dude simply doesn’t say, but he rather tries to “invite” people into a “nazi realm”, LOL, futilely, nowadays, of course, tristly, ludicrously. His “interest” in “esoterics” was abused by nazis covering up the nazi cause AS any “esoteric”, whereby the typical old nazi figures DO NOT get PROPERLY represented PSYCHOLOGICALLY more than MERELY ideologically. simply.

    buhari of nigeria is a bad example of how someone should not govern. He had thugs barge into a courtroom, where a known anti-government Critic was almost spoken free, at which point, the thugs barged in violently, and illegally arrested the Critic – in the service of buhari, simply, they did that. which is now merely one year ago. buhari leads opressively, by thugs, simply. abhorrant. he is arrogant, power-blinded, power-seduced, and in NO way as HUMBLE as most Africans SIMPLY goodly, SO goodly are, who speak the Tongue of TRUTH, unlike he, simply.

    if macron doesn’t help the cold fusion reactor to get built finished, then macron is finished.

    Ramelow will support Cold Fusion drastically. How drastically, must be so, that He should check, understand it, that it must be very drastic, the furthering of cold fusion. only that CAN save the rainforest. cuz then no petrol nor nuke fission needed. simple thoughty.

    alrighty then! 🙂

    Hillary or Biden. trump is really even out, A DO guesse.

    Anti-technology fanaticism is wrong. The Telescope on Hawaii must get built.

    nutnyahu and monotheism must be overcome. but by all people. period.

    discrimination, political and societal lies, rape, enforced sexuality, anti-homosexual prejudices and discrimination, racism, capitalism, supremacism and chauvinism, must disappear. The later, the worse against humanity.

    False Morals, sudo-morals, must vanish. period. A Polanski isn’t a monster, – but who is a monster of dumbness, was that bbc-moderator of “britain’s darkest hour”, who spoke in words of anti-homoexuality against that homosexual Lord of 200 Years ago, whose entire Furniture was stolen by the state, simply.

    The indoctrination of monotheism has to vanish. And that’s the last phrase here. period.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. … The other Symbols-loving Dude mayhap doesn’t yet know, that Himmler screamed into the Telefono to Berlin, in 1943:

    “STOPPT die ZÜGE! ODER DIE AMIS WERDEN UNS HASSEN!”

    , which means, “STOP the TRAINS! Or the AMERICANS WILL HATE US!”.

    His Phone Call didn’t get any much attention, and He wasn’t quite put through to the “Furor” Führer, LOL, obviously. 🙂

    The Symbols-Dude was simply rigged esoterically, whereas some of those esoteric absolute dumbasses, that mal-rigged his brain, are simply ludicrous, as they mal-explain everything in a completely non-intellectual, wrong way, simply. Merely for anything getting wrongly esoterically malinterpreted, it then gets glorified uncritically, BY the typical monotheist and some other initially few fanatics, who spread their wrong sudo-thinking, enhelped by their pretensive totally botched, totally disintellectual sudo-empathy that is not empathy, but merely the pretense of nice behavior in order to brainwash other People to of course do absolute nonsense, primitive and instrumentalised, but always very primitive and also abhorrant deeds, and the deed mainly of denying science and of not thinking logically NOR by Oneself, simply, which is the anti-mental sickness of typical fanatics, to which the typical esoterics also belong. KEN HAM would have fallen to WORSE than MERELY the Daeniken’s ufos and aliens of grown-up age and at all ON this planet, LOL, (when They’re in CELL-Form in Space, on more than 5000 extrasolar Planets, right now), if not Bill NYE would have spoken a rightly, correctly beteaching Word to Him insofar, – that simply, Humans didn’t live at the same Time, as the Dinos, Who came Millions of Years before the Mammals, simply. Those, who “deny” that, by futile effort, are those, who behelped already the massmurder against the Mammuths and against the Neanderthals, and now, that massmurder, which is now repeated by unrightful incarceration against Assange, against Nekane (in some african country) and against Nkunda in the Congo, and is the same as the murder done by governments against Scientists, due to which, those government-parts must be accused and taken down or rebelled-against. Awareness, being informed, is all. That’s what the big governments want to keep from taking place. ha-ha. I wanna see that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: REBEL YELL: IRA Leader Michael Collins: Father of Modern Urban Warfare | RIELPOLITIK

  4. Pingback: The Irish Civil War | The Most Revolutionary Act

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