Written from the first person, this is what we did perspective, Tom Barry’s legendary memoirs as a guerrilla commander in the IRA during the Irish War of Independence. As probably the only Irish Armenian Southerner you’ll ever meet, its a significant story for me and should be for you as well. Of the critical takeaways, my own notes are these:
- You cannot bury the pride of a Nation nor of a People.
- Tom Barry was a veteran of the British Field Artillery in the war against the Ottoman, he understood the essentials of organization, discipline, fire and maneuver, and tactical patience.
- Barry also recognized the most important factor- the importance of local organization and favorability of the populace. Throughout the memoirs he continuously made an cognitive effort to work in the interests of the local population. His survival hinged upon it. In once instance they questioned the destruction of a bridge that served as a major agriculture pipeline due to its potential impact- and these are questions you’ll be asking yourselves. METT-TC always matters, as I cover in class.
- The history of a place matters- its people come and go, enduring much- but its history will always remain among them.
- Ammo conservation is critical. You’ll never have what you need, but you’ve got to make do with what you have. A guerrilla band would be so fortunate to have a case of 5.56 (or, in their case, 303).
- Never forget, no matter how grim it looks, as a leader you owe your men positivity and the will to win.
And with that, Erin go Bragh. Toast a Murphys, drink some Carolans and Tullamore. We’re celebrating Saint Patrick and tonight’s Sons of Liberty is going to be lit.