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"Britainís WW2 Guides to Guerrilla Warfare, Techniques" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

437 hits since 20 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2018 10:14 p.m. PST

…. of Chicago Gangsters were Included

"From sabotaging factories to ambushing patrols, guerrilla warfare played a vital part in the Second World War. From early on, the British sent covert operatives to carry out these missions, as well as supporting locals in areas occupied by the Germans.

These missions created a challenge for the men in charge, as there were no existing programs or textbooks to train men in this way of fighting. Someone had to write the book on guerrilla warfare…."
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Lonkka1Actual21 Oct 2018 2:40 a.m. PST

"It was Joan who decided that the books should be published pocket-sized, on edible paper. This way, they could be carried by operatives in the field, for ease of reference.

If they were in danger of being captured then an agent could swallow the book, a few pages at a time, in less than two minutes. They just needed a glass of water to wash it down."

Bonnaught21 Oct 2018 4:00 a.m. PST

Very interesting. I knew the British Army compiled training/lecture material based on their 1920-21 guerilla war experience in Ireland from a counter-insurgency perspective, but interesting to see documents that were informed by the tactics of their Irish Republican Army opponents and other proponents of irregular warfare.

EssPee21 Oct 2018 5:24 a.m. PST

@Bonnaught- could you provide anymore details of that British Army lecture(s)?


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)


Bonnaught22 Oct 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

@EssPee, hi, one of those lectures was

"Guerilla Warfare, Ireland 1920-1921", a post-war lecture given by Major (later Lieutenant General) A. E. Percival.

Reprinted as Chapter 8 in 'British Voices From the Irish War of Independence', ed. William Sheehan (2005)

The Britain's official 'Record of the Rebellion in Ireland 1920-22' contains training/instruction documents that were drawn up during the conflict.

E.g. "Appendix X – 5th Division Standing Orders for Armed Parties moving by Lorry, and for Lorry Convoy".

The start of "Appendix XXIV – Notes on Guerilla Warfare in Ireland" refers to 'tactical exercises carried out at guerilla warfare classes held at the Curragh'. The latter was a major British Army base in Ireland.

Its possible these classes took place during the truce that preceded the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, as hostilities were expected to resume if and when negoiations failed.

Part of the Record has been printed as 'Hearts & Mines: The British 5th Division, Ireland, 1920-21', ed. William Sheehan (2009).

Another part of the Record has been printed in 'British Intelligence in Ireland 1920-21' ed. Peter Hart (2002), from the Jeudwine papers held in the Imperial War Museum.

Hope this is of use.

EssPee23 Oct 2018 4:04 a.m. PST

Perfect- thanks Bonnaught. ~Just what I was looking for.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

Many thanks!.


Legion 423 Oct 2018 2:44 p.m. PST

Well the gangsters of the USA in the '20s &'30s were pretty good at doing what in the military could call small scale raids and ambushes.

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