Michael Collins Essay

Michael Collins

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“Michael Collins the Man Who Made Ireland”
     
“Michael Collins the Man Who Made Ireland” is a biography written by Tim Pat Coogan. Tim Pat Coogan is a famous author who was asked to write the biography by his former teacher Fr Michael O’Carroll. During the author’s childhood he was not told anything about Michael Collins. He learned it was a name that either people admired or hated. The reason for this was that some people think of Michael Collins as the man who gained Ireland’s independence, while others did not like it when he signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December, 1921, allowing the British to keep Northern Ireland and were against him for betraying Northern Ireland. When Coogan began his research he discovered that Collins was the founder of modern guerrilla warfare. Also, rulers, such a Mao Tse Tsung of China, had studied Collins tactics. Collins started out with just a small force of eleven men but managed, with all odds against him, to make one of the most powerful empires agree to Ireland’s independence.
     This book is all history and is very accurate in its telling of Michael Collins life. The book is so precise and it mentions so many people’s names it almost hard to keep track of who they are. This book has helped people learn more about the fight for the independence of Ireland and about a national hero who should never be forgotten. In my opinion this book was great and I learned many interesting facts. I would only recommend this book to people who are interested in learning about the fight for Irish Independence and Michael Collins. The reason is because the author at times gives too much detail that is not essential to the story and that makes the book a little boring. The most memorable part of the book is the way that Collins fought the British with so few men and supplies. Most of the men only had revolvers and pistols. His squads had eleven men or fewer yet they went up against much larger numbers of troops that were heavily armed. I was amazed with the intelligence network Michael Collins set up to spy on the British. He used the information from his network to plan where and whom his assignation squads would hit.
      The difference between De Valera and Michael Collins was very interesting to me because of the way it played out.

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De Valera wanted to have general warfare with the British. While Michael Collins wanted to keep using Guerrilla tactics. When Michael Collins signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty De Valera resigned as president and became Michael Collins Opponent in the civil war.
     When the time came to negotiate with the British, even though De Valera was an experienced negotiator, he chose instead to send others to parley against the far more experienced British team. He did this because he knew that neither a Republic nor a United Ireland could be won at the conference, so he refused to attend. Instead, he sent Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins to head the Irish delegation. Neither Griffith nor Collins wanted to go. Michael Collins stated that he was a soldier, not a politician. Michael Collins knew that a Republic that included Ulster was not possible at that time. Michael Collins knew a Treaty that excluded Ulster would be taken badly in Dublin, but he decided that a step toward Irish independence was better than an all-out war that would mean more bloodshed. This treaty signed by Michael Collins turned Ireland from a country fighting for independence into a country at civil war. Collins made every effort to avoid a civil war. He drafted a new constitution which he hoped would be acceptable to De Valera. The rebels had been Collins' comrades-in-arms and he wanted to avoid killing them, but his efforts failed. In a move to dislodge Republican troops who had taken over the Four Courts building, on June 28th, Collins ordered the shelling of the Four Courts. On July 6, 1922, the Provisional Government appointed a Council of War and Collins became Commander-in-Chief of the National Army.
     The end of the book tells of how Michael Collins had become the enemy of the Anti-treaty group and how they were out to kill him. When Michael Collins was going back to Dublin from his home county he was killed. His convoy of troops was ambushed and he was shot in the head. The ironic part of this is the men who killed Michael Collins were trained by him and fought with him before the split of the party.
     This book, as you can see, taught me about Michael Collins efforts to make Ireland independent from the British Empire. I learned he is viewed as either a traitor or a hero in the minds of the Irish people. The author showed Michael Collins as an intelligent man who was forced to deal with complex political issues.



Michael Collins, Irish Patriot Essay

Michael Collins was an Irish patriot. He accomplished the impossible by creating an Irish Free State. Collins spent his entire adult life fighting for freedom. He is remembered as the first urban guerrilla, then for laying the foundations of a state and negotiating its independence, was chairman of its Provisional Government, and then its commander in Chief of its armed forces when it was plunged into a civil war.

In 1909, Collins was sworn in as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was given the position of Director of Organization, which was in charge of creating an intelligence network, organizing a national loan to fund a rebellion, creating an assassination squad and an arms smuggling operation. He perfected a system where he was able to spy on the spies who were spying on him even from England. He used inside informants in every section of Dublin Castle.

With his intelligence agency set up and working, Collins then set to work on his most effective tactic which was a group of assassins, a specially selected hit squad directly under Collins orders also named the "12 Apostles." This was the first time in Ireland's history that a secret assassination group was used. The 12 Apostles were very effective with their jobs and they removed almost all of the British Intelligence system known as the "G" division in Ireland.

Collins realized that the IRA would not be able to fight the British in the open rather he perfected modern guerrilla warfare. The British police force in Ireland was the Royal Irish Constabulary and they were spread throughout Ireland. To intimidate them the IRA used tactics of ambush, terror, and brutality against the police primarily, but also against Irish collaborators and the army. He studied the tactics of guerrillas and learned and improved from them. These new tactics were more consistent with that of Che Guevara rural guerrilla warfare. Guevara created isolated bases (usually in the country) to recruit, train and coordinate supplies. This required a great deal of coordination, just as Collins used. Like Collins, Guevara didn't target the civilian population. Instead Guevara would build up the guerrilla group so that columns could be created. These columns could then be used to engage government forces. These columns would join other columns until there were enough columns to form an...

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