Follow

1916, the largest war of human history so far rages the world around. the imperialist powers grind men and material as though they are nothing to establish a hegemony of their own.

Ireland at this point has been a British territory for 750 years. 750 years of colonialism, oppression, suppression, assimilation and exploitation. once more the Irish people have been drafted and fed into the meatgrinder of British imperialism. and what will the people of Ireland win out of this? true representation? home rule? the right to speak their own language? no.

and the Irish Republican Brotherhood knew this, they wanted an Ireland free of all of this, a republic of the Irish. in 1912 the Ulster colonists had formed their own volunteer militia to resit those agitating for home rule, so the IRB founded their own volunteer militia. the militia wasn't openly to found a republic, to declare that would get them arrested of course, it was to defend Republicans is all, right :)

the true radical wing of the Irish militias was a separate organisation, the Irish Citizen Army. the ICA were trade unionists, radical socialists and wanted a socialist republic in opposition to the oppression that had been so wrought due to capitalism and property, as their oppression had so often fallen along the lines of Anglo land owners and poor Irish workers.

the ICA was founded by James Larkin, a prominent communist who ended up moving to the US, and the most famous man of the rising, James Connolly. Connolly not only founded the ICA, but he was a part of the founding of the IWW, he was a major Marxist thinker of the time and an all around good lad.

The O'Rahilly was the military man behind the rising. he was not a part of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and actually wasn't told the rising was going to happen, but he was the man who used his private wealth to stockpile arms and ammunition, he also drilled the IRB militia for the coming rising and took part in it once it had taken off.

the plan for the Rising was a simple one. with permission form the state the IRB militia would do marching, parades, exercises that sort of thing, and then this would be used as a covert way to mobilise. after they had mobilised they would then seize all of the key parts of Dublin, the train station, factories, and most importantly, the GPO. they would then attempt to hold out for as long as possible while the rising caught on with the rest of the country, and people flocked to them leading to the end of British rule. not to spoil things but, things didn't go to plan.

off the bat, the Germans had tried to use a u-boat to ship thousands of guns and millions of rounds of ammunition to the IRB and ICA, but the British intercepted them and the shipment never reached the Irish Republicans. this scared a lot of people in the IRB, because they needed that, a lot. once the O'Rahilly caught wind of the seizure of the arms, he sent out a message to all the IRB affiliated men to NOT go ahead with the rising, this was april 21st JUST THREE DAYS before the planned easter rising. this then meant that when the rising came, huge portions never rose up who were ready to due to the mixed messages.

Easter monday, April 24th, 1916. in Dublin ~1,200 armed Irish Republicans took to the streets.they began to muster at key locations, the ones they had planned to seize. armed with whatever they could stockpile before hand they mostly had out of date old rifles, pistols, shotguns and whatever crude explosives they could make.

around mid day, they put their plan into acction and began to march into the key locations. they didn't have the manpower they had thought they would have, and needed, due to the message not to rise mere days beforehand, but events had gotten too far ahead to back down by now.

James Collony and 400 or so men march to the GPO, the General Post Office and hoist a green flag witht eh words Irish Republic on it, the flag of the Irish Republic they would fight under for the next few days. at the steps of the GPO, the decleration of the Irish republic was read aloud to a crowd of people who frankly had no fucking clue what was going on and were quite disinterested for the most part, nobody really understood the chaos and bloodshed that was about to envelop Dublin in the coming days

the now occupied GPO would be the central HQ of the rising, and thus becoming the most important post office in the world. (as a side note, I would really recommend going there, it's a really cool experience). the decleration of the Irish Republic was posted all over walls around the city, screamed in the streets and even put on a radio broadcast after the Republicans seized the telegraph station, calling on all good men of Ireland to rise and join them for the Republic.

after occupying each of their key points, the Republicans fanned out and created outposts as firing positions to hold the key points. they took houses, shops, anything they really could even digging trenches in parks and even making makeshift barricades as though this was 1871 all over again. they had truly tried to turn the city into a makeshift fort, to try and resist the British who they knew would be coming any day now. this rag tag group of frankly nobodies, armed with whatever they could scrape together, untrained on the doctrines of modern warfare, lead by idealists and teachers, now braced themselves for the reprise they knew was coming

Dublin Castle was the centre of British rule in Ireland, to seize it wasn't just of strategic importance but symbolic too. a small band of the rebels went to seize the place. a police officer came to stop the rebels walking in, he was instantly shot, the first shots of the rising. hearing this the chief of intelligence fired his handgun out the window at the men trying to seize the place. shots were exchanged and the rebels fell back, little did they know something like 13 men was the total amount of armed men in the entire castle, and the place could have been taken with ease. this is another backstep for the rising

the rising was not the mass popular one that had been romantically talked about in the back rooms. when they seized these locations, and began to barricade the places of work, life and commerce people used, the civilians tried to dismantle their barricades, get them to leave and all sorts of things. this lead to more than a few incidents in which civilians were shot dead by their supposed defenders against British tyranny.

the lack of manpower meant not all the key infrastructure could be taken, one of the key telegraph stations was never taken, and so the British within Dublin were able to communicate with authorities outside the city and get orders in and out. the telegraph stations they had seized... they had cut the wires to try to stop the British using them... so they now went to go and quickly repair what they had just destroyed. these series of setbacks like the lack of manpower and failure to seize all key infrastructure are part of the coming failure of the rising

the only real fighting was the Royal Irish Regiment. they really just accidentally walked into the rebels position in the south dublin union building. the rebels opened fire, but they weren't able to scare of the royalists. the royalists regrouped and counter attacked, taking parts of the building, but not the entire thing.

things weren't totally just a failure on the Republican side however, the British really had no fucking clue what was going on. they knew *something* was going on in Dublin, but they really had no idea what, and so they didn't mobilise straight away while the rebels dug themselves in. 2 divisions were sent in to have a look at what was going on, they were instantly fired upon and lost several men leading to a fast retreat, and to go and tell the higher ups what was going on and how big a deal this really was.

Tuesday was when the Brits finally came in. they only had about equal numbers of men, some 1200 or so, at first themselves. they however were far better armed, disciplined and trained than the republicans were. this was 1916, these were British soldiers in the middle of a world war who were armed and trained for that, against civilians who had guns from the Boer war and whatever they could smuggle in. much of Dublin was still very open and very easy for the British to take a hold of, and where they did they were able to set up machine gun outposts, which the republicans simply had no means to take with their limited arms, no artillery and lacking manpower.

in one of the large open green areas the republicans had dug trenches, the British were able to just simply set up a machine gun outpost that overlooked the place, and light up the entire area. the republicans tried to use the trenches as cover and would try to take out the machine gun outposts that gave the British control of the area, but really they just had no chance than hoping they got a good shot.

The Brits brought in 18 pounder guns, heavy artillery that could just blow apart the defenses of the republicans. once coming into range, they blew apart several street barricades in Norther Dublin and were able to make ground into the city. there was no way that this could be stopped, as the republicans had no heavy weaponry, had no way to attack the British positions and really had no way to hold their ground against being blown to shite

and this is the kind of fighting that the republicans can only do, try to hold good defensive ground but they really have no offensive capabilities so when the British get a good firing position, they had no way to get them out of it. and then when the heavy guns came in, they could blow apart any barricade or building with ease and without any artillery counter fire from the rebels, it was just easy pickings

the rebels were naive to how hard Britain intended to crush them. they of course knew that the British had heavy guns, they of course knew that Britain had gunships and all sorts of things to blow them apart. but, they naively assumed that there was no way Britain would shell Dublin... right? they were very very wrong

due to the lack of manpower, not all the trains stations had been taken, and the main port was still completely unoccupied. and so, thousands of British soldiers poured into Dublin with arms and heavy guns. a gunship sailed up the river and was able to turn it's guns on major rebel locations within the city. this killed thousands of civilians, the republicans thought there was no way the British could have the heart to do this to their own subjects. make no mistake, when power is challenged, the state does not go easy against the left, and never will.

the republicans expected the rising to be heavy street fighting at outposts and major locations, the British knew they had the ranged advantage, so why try to attack the strongholds like the GPO? they just shelled the GPO, as there was no reason to try to take it by hand on Tuesday. some feirce street action did take place, as the brits marched down the city streets they were fired upon from snipers in civilian homes.

my favourite little story from all of this is the occupation of number 25 Northumberland Road. on wednesday two men marched into the house, went up the stairs and took a firing position in an upstairs bathroom. one was a sniper, the other a spotter. British troops marched in a column up Northumberland road, when they reached #25 they were shot at. when they were shot at, they had no idea where the shots were coming from, they had no cover, and they just scrambled from this orderly march into men diving behind what they can to not die, their officer couldn't get a word in over the total chaos. reports from the soldiers at the time claim they thought there was TWO HUNDRED men firing at them, it was 1, he just was a fucking good shot.

at the top of Northumberland road was Mount Street Bridge, a wide bridge with no cover that the Brits HAD to cross to reach the other side of the river. this is where the largest bloodbath of the rising happens. 1000 Brits tried to cross the bridge in small groups, hopping behind the tiny amounts of cover they had to pray they could reach the over side without a bullet in them. 7, yes seven, Irish men held the crossing on the other side. 240 Brits were shot attempting to cross the bridge, 7 men held this position all day and took out 240 British soldiers. you'd think after the first hundred were shot, they'd stop throwing men over but nope, they just kept coming. in an entire days fighting they had crossed the bridge and taken the position on the other side, and lost 240 men doing it, 4 republicans died holding the position.

the south dublin union was still partly held by the rebels, and much of the area around it had point blank gun fights, firing out of windows to lower levels and all sorts of insane extreme close quarters fighting in the large building complex. this is the type of fighting that the republican had hoped they would be fighting, because it just comes down to how well can you hold this ground and attempt to cause attrition to the other side.

some areas of North Dublin experienced extreme amounts of intense skirmishes. where several hundred republicans were dug in and the brits tried to charge over and over the take the place. there was even a recorded bayonet charge at a republican position, where the entire British line was gunned down before they reached the republican position. after taking the position, the houses nearby that the rpublicans had occupied were stormed, the British murdered 15 civilians who were suspected republicans

the Irish knew they had no way to beat off the British, but that was never the point of it, the point was now to hold Dublin to attempt to make as much noise as possible, to get the cause to become world news and to get people to give a shit. they already knew they had lost by thursday

by the weekend the republicans were seriously on the backfoot. the Brits had shelled the christ out of them, the GPO was barely holding together, Connolly had been hit by a ricochet bullet and although still alive, he wasn't able to lead the rising any longer. the O'Rahilly tried to push out from the GPO to gain some breathing room and regroup a counter attack, but he and several other men were shot and killed.

the republicans blew out the walls to the housing touching the GPO in order to evacuate the men holding the place and to reorganise the leadership of the rising to hold onto what they had left.

by this point all the major positions had been cut off form one another and were themselves under heavy fire and British encroachment. Dublin was burning to the ground and being blown to pieces before them. when the leaders have evacuated the GPO they took a general look at the state of things, and the state of Dublin itself and said to themselves they couldn't put the civilians through any more of this, the British had already started on the spot executions, the city was burning, every building they took was shelled, and so, they surrendered.

"In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commandants of the various districts in the City and County will order their commands to lay down arms" was the order given. and so on saturday the easter rising formally came to a close, although fighting continued in some pockets until sunday morning when the order to lay down their arms reached the cut off garrisons still trying to hold on

the rising had lasted 6 days, 1200 men had tried to give Britain a black eye, and all around them the city they were fighting for was now nothing. only 66 republicans died in the rising, 2,200 civilians died and some 400 British soldiers. a blow had been dealt, and the seeds of further revolt had been planted. the major leaders were executed, and became martyrs for the Anglo-Irish War, finally leading to that republic that had first been dreamed of by Henry Joy McCracken in 1798.

and that's it! that's the easter rising in a nut shell. if you ask me, the whole thing was so god damn poorly planned and had absolutely no chance what so ever of working, but it did eventually lead to the Anglo-Irish War which did win Irish independence, so it wasn't entirely in vain. it's not a much talked about event outside of socialist circles, and even then it's not like people know what happened in the easter rising for the most part.

the GPO is great, and I would highly recommend anybody who is ever in Dublin go see it. it's a lovely building and has so much history attached to it with this event.

if you got and questions or things to add, feel free to ask!

@TwoVealCutlets@radical.town this one is morew niche but I am very proud of it

@CornishRepublicanArmy What if things had gone slightly differently - the rebels took the castle, the u-boat got through, british command wasn't so fucking stupid?

@RedFuture I think that's a seriously interesting question. if the Brits hadn't shelled the christ out of Dublin, the rising had gone off perfectly and all of that, they still would have lost honestly. at MOST the ICA and the IRB could muster a few thousand, the British army had hundreds of thousands under arms at the time, and were just so much better trained they would have taken Dublin.

@CornishRepublicanArmy
2019, the cutest birb of human history so far kisses girls the world around.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Lynnestodon

@lynnesbian@fedi.lynnesbian.space's anti-chud pro-skub instance for funtimes