This sample essay on Michael Collins Movie provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.




Michael Collins Movie Summary

Michael Collins Movie


The producer Neil Jordan perfectly depicted the contentious life and death of the ‘Lion of Ireland’, Michael Collins, who guided the IRA against British rule and established the Irish Free State in 1920. After the devastating defeat of Irish insurgents by advanced British forces during the 1916 Easter Week rebellion, Michael Collins formulated new approaches that would lead to the liberation of Ireland.

His strategies include what is currently accepted as urban guerrilla techniques and planned assassinations of collaborating Irish men who worked as spies for the British government and British intelligence. Although Collins was confused about the need for a violent approach, by 1920, the British were ready to discuss.

Eamon de Valera, the Sinn Fein President sent a hesitant Collins to London to thrash out an agreeable settlement.

When Collins came back with a concession that proposed an Irish Free State and a divided Ireland instead of the whole republic, the president himself was at the forefront in vilifying his decision. Similarly, his lifetime friend, Harry Boland also denounced him after learning that Collins and his girlfriend Kitty were having a secret affair. Towards the end, Collins found himself in the middle of a civil war on propagated by rebels on one side and rejection from his fellow citizens who blamed him squarely for the resultant mess.

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Question One

Guerrilla insurgencies involve irregular warfare that involves a group of combatants who implement military tactics such as sabotage, ambushes, petty warfare, and raids. They normally use the element of surprise and extra mobility for purposes of dominating less-mobile and larger armies. The approach and devices of guerrilla warfare were inclined to concentrate around employing an undersized, portable force challenging a superior, more cumbersome one. The guerrilla concentrates on grouping into small units, based on the support from the neighborhood inhabitants, as well as using terrain to their advantage to cover these small units. Guerilla insurgencies are also used for striking vulnerable targets as well as withdrawing from an attack. The movie Michael Collins revolves around a revolutionary leader in Ireland and director of intelligence, Michael Collins. He served as Irish Republican Brotherhood president. Hence, the bylaws of fellowship gave him the status of president in the Irish republic.

People in the film are portrayed as guerrilla fighters or social reformers. They take up arms as a means of responding or protesting against their oppressors. They engage in warfare with a view of changing the social system that keeps their society in misery or ignominy. From the year 1913 to 1921, the Irish people (spoken about in the movie) engaged in warfare with the British for their independence, and Michael Collins was the IRA helm. Collins endeavored to study Boer insurgency in the republic of South Africa and applied it to quash Britain’s attempt to take over Ireland. In this case, the people in the film, through Collins, were able to identify the pitfalls of convectional warfare and its failure to secure independence.

Hence, they saw it fit to engage in guerilla insurgencies and operate with massive autonomy to overthrow the British. The strategy implemented by Collins succeeded and the British were left with no choice but to come to terms the Irish demands. Strategically, the Irish guerrilla army avoided any altercations with larger units of enemy forces, but sought and eliminated small groups of soldiers to reduce losses and frustrate the opposing force. To do this, they required firearms and light weapons to finish off the enemy gradually.

Question Two

The type of insurgency exhibited in the movie can be categorized as Phase 3 level. In this case, the people began acting in the form of armed revolutionaries. In this case, the insurgents looked seize supplies and weapons from the British; destroy its transportation and communication in and out of localized areas. Additionally, they worked to destroy British governmental enforcement such as army garrisons and police stations. In this case, the insurgents were hiding in rural areas between attacks or blending in with populations in urban areas as a means of avoiding reprisals by the British government. Public propaganda such as graffiti, posters, and public speeches were used for garnering support from the Irish population. Once they were able to take control of certain areas within the state, the conflict now switched to a guerrilla war.

The reason for selecting the third stage of insurgency was that the Irish Republican Army had already waged a war against the British government between 1919 and 192. After this, the two combatants had signed a treaty although within the contract, Michael Collins was given the worst part of the deal. His choices caused a rebellion among the same groups of people who clamored for independence. A major element of phase 3 insurgency, the creation of alternative administrative units, was evident in the Irish conflict. A section of the rebels had set up their own territory and government under Michael Collins who had negotiated with Britain for part of their land back. The nature of the war also transformed from a small-scale guerilla type clash to a frequent and well-organized combat.

Question Three

According to the lecture, even though there are common characteristics that across the different types of insurgencies, there are categories based on other criteria. The type of insurgency exhibited by the Irish state can be declared a local-international one. This is because Ireland’s revolt against the British was self-contained in scope, cause, and effects. The insurgents in this case were seeking and receiving eternal support to wage the fight. The support was in terms of expertise, finances, and valuable information regarding the British. However, it is important to understand that the outcome of this insurgence was determined by local factors, the local population, and local insurgents.

The scope of the insurgency itself was national. The whole of Ireland was at stake with the British and native Irish people both struggling to gain control over the resources and people within the same territory. When part of the insurgency split up and decided to accept the terms that Britain had forwarded, the anti-treaty IRA waged a war against their fellow Irishmen because of the “independence” clause in their agreement. The issue of state sovereignty and self-governance is a national aspect of conflict and therefore, the type of insurgency can be considered as being local-international.

Question Four

Most of the techniques applied by the IRA were largely influenced by the ancient methods of militant Irish societies such as the Irish Land League, the Ribbon men and the Defenders. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was initially made up of paramilitary troops that were organized into several regiments. The IRA used a combination of several techniques that included surprise ambushes, rapid mobility, and sabotage and inventory raids. The basic tactic was to employ surprise to attack a strategic part of the enemy troops such as the food stores, arsenals and healthcare provisions. Care was taken to damage, steal or destroy every useful resource and withdraw immediately to safer grounds. In this way, the enemy could be slowly weakened and frustrated until they were defeated.

Question Five

In the conflicts and civil wars that erupted within Ireland as the British, the IRA and the anti-IRA groups engaged in endless battle, many civilians were killed in the crossfire. This was mainly because it was difficult for the British to discern who was an innocent civilian and who was an insurgent. The main factor that determined how the civilians were treated was on which side they were supporting in the clashes. While the British camp protected and catered for any Irish civilians that collaborated and cooperated with them, the Irish considered such groups of people to be traitors who were lumped together with the enemy. Conversely, civilians who desired to see an independent Ireland were recruited into the IRA as guerilla soldiers to fight against the British advancement.

Question Six

The British government in Ireland used a strategy that revolved around the Secret Service that at the time, was ill prepared to handle the opposition posed by Michael Collins. The first technique was to employ Anglo-Irish and English secret service soldiers to handle the spy work at the local level. Britain also opted to sideline the M15 division that was the best counter subversive group in their intelligence and picked the Special Branch to handle the Ireland situation. In turn, the Special Branch appointed a contingent of hastily trained officers. The ill timing of the politically inspired restructuring within the British intelligence in early 1919 was a major reason that contributed toward the failure of the British government in ruling over Ireland. In contrast, Michael’s techniques were slow but efficient in depleting the British resources and personnel.

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Michael Collins Movie. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Michael Collins Movie
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