Emmet Dalton


my knowledge of the Civil War is pretty limited, but I am looking to use Emmet Dalton's attack on Cork as an example of manoeuvre and amphibious operations for some teaching lessons.

Could you please point me towards some relevant reading/websites?


Thanks, but the link is for the wrong Dalton. I'm looking for info on Maj General Emmet Dalton MC, ex Dublin Fusilier and associate of Michael Collins.

The standard work on the Irish Civil War would be Hopkinson's "Green against Green."

IIRC Calton Younger's "Ireland's Civil War" gives a detailed account of the operation, based mostly on Dalton's account.

The Cork landing wasn't decisive in itself, it was one of a series of landings on the south coast.
The most elaborate and decisive naval landing was that conducted against the city of Cork, considered the capital of the 'Munster Republic' and certainly the last major city remaining under Republican control. The plan was the joint creation of C-in-C Michael Collins, Chief-of-Staff Gen. Richard Mulcahy, and Maj.Gen. Emmet Dalton, who would personally command the operation. Information on Republican forces were provided by intelligence contacts and a reconnaissance flight flown by Col. C.F. Russell of the fledgling Irish Air Corps (see Appendix L). (170) On Monday, 7 August, the two cross-channel steamers 'Arvonia' and 'Lady Wicklow' (the latter having returned from the landing in Co. Kerry) were commandeered by the Irish Government. Not surprisingly, the predominantly Welsh crew of the 'Arvonia' were less than enthusiastic about her new role as troop transport. Maj.Gen. Dalton's expeditionary force consisted of roughly 800 men supported by two Peerless and one Whippet armored car, and two 18 pdrs, along with several Lancia APCs. Some 200 of these troops were raw recruits who would receive rudimentary firearms training during the voyage. Maj.Gen. Dalton accompanied the 456 officers and men on the 'Arvonia'. Additional troops and equipment were loaded onto other ships for landings in support of the Cork operation. (171)

The transports left North Wall and reached Roche's Point at 10:00 p.m. on 7 August. A pilot from Cork harbor was brought aboard the 'Arvonia', unaware of her mission. When he seemed reluctant to provide the necessary aid in navigating the harbor, Maj.Gen. Dalton did not hesitate to draw his side arm to help persuade him to cooperate. Initially Maj.Gen. Dalton had hoped that they could dock at Ford's Wharf, near the city, but the pilot informed him that a 'blockship' had been sunk to bar the way. The only other deep water berth that was not mined was Passage West. Steering their vessels around another 'blockship', the 'Owenacurra', the Free State flotilla reached Passage West early Tuesday morning, 8 August. (172) At 2:00 a.m. Maj.Gen. Dalton ordered Capt. Frank O'Friel to take twenty men from his Company by boat to the shore and reconnoiter the area. Upon his return, Capt. O'Friel reported that the Republican guards had abandoned their post with the appearance of the 'Arvonia' and 'Lady Wicklow' (having captured a few of them), so that it was safe to land. Maj.Gen. Dalton waited until dawn to disembark three Companies of fifty men each, supported by an armored car and an 18 pdr., in order to form a protective screen a half a mile around Passage West. Once this was accomplished it was deemed to be safe enough to land the rest of the forces from the 'Arvonia' and the 'Lady Wicklow'. (173)

While Maj.Gen. Dalton's troops were disembarking at Passage West, two other landings were being conducted in support of operations against Cork. At Youghal 200 men, along with two Lancia APCs and an 18 pdr., were put ashore from the gunboat 'Helga' without incident. The 180 troops that had arrived on the 'Alexandra' landed under fire in small boats at Union Hall, Glandore. All the same, they managed to reach the shore and eventually unloaded their armored car and three Lancia APCs from the 'Alexandra'. (174)

Once the Republican command in the city of Cork learned of the landing of Free State troops in Passage West, they determined to make a stand at Rochestown, located halfway between Passage West and the city. The bridge leading into Rochestown was blown, buildings were occupied, and positions were established in the hills overlooking the road leading into town. Word was sent to Cork units in the Kilmallock area and they returned in special trains, from which they immediately marched to join the defenses outside the city. (175)

Despite these measures, by the evening of the Tuesday, 8 August, Maj.Gen. Dalton's troops had fought their way into Rochestown, forcing the Republicans to retreat westwards to Old Court Woods. The following day fighting resumed with considerable intensity. Free State forces attempted to outflank Republican positions, but came under heavy fire from some 200 defenders armed with nine machine guns. Resistance was finally broken when Capts. Peadar Conlon and Frank O'Friel led twelve men in an attack on the last remaining Republican stronghold in Cronin's Cottage on Belmonte Hill (for which they both earned field promotions to Commandant). By the end of the day seven Republicans and nine Free State soldiers had been killed, while there was a considerable number of wounded on both sides. The advance began again on Thursday, towards the town of Douglas, just outside of Cork city. At one point government troops were caught in a crossfire, though it was eventually suppressed by their own machine guns. When the Whippet armored car that had been in the lead entered Douglas, it nearly collided with a truck full of Republican troops. The armored car gave chase, followed by a detachment of eight men under Capt. Conlon. A local woman warned Capt. Conlon of an ambush waiting for them down the

street the armored car had passed through. As such, the Captain was able to take his would-be ambushers by surprise, capturing all thirty-two of them. Maj.Gen. Dalton wanted to pause for the night before pressing on to Cork, but his men insisted that they continue into the city. As usual, the Republicans ordered an evacuation, accompanied by the burning of barracks. Therefore, on the evening of Thursday, 10 August, Free State forces captured the city of Cork. (176)

On 11 August Liam Lynch abandoned his headquarters in Fermoy and Republican forces throughout the province of Munster and beyond reverted to guerrilla warfare. The war would drag on needlessly for another eight months into the spring of 1923. Republican operations would degenerate into a campaign of sporadic sabotage. Both sides would commit atrocities that would generate bitterness that has lasted to this day. The Irish government would pass an Emergency Powers Bill allowing the execution of Republican prisoners, of which seventy-seven were killed (more than were executed by British authorities during the War of Independence). Comdt. Frank Aiken, who had succeeded Liam Lynch as Republican Chief-of-Staff after his death in 10 April, issued a cease fire and a dumping of arms on 24 April, effectively ending the war.
Redcaptain.Ivan said:
He was well known to Florrie O'Donoghue- Tom Barry's brilliant Int. man.

Viva La Quince Brigada!!!!!!
And Dalton would have had no time whatsoevr for the sort of fellow-travellers who spouted such guff as Viva La Quince Brigada!
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