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"Spain 1808: The birth of guerrilla warfare" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse30 Jan 2019 9:18 p.m. PST

"The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan forced most modern and technologically advanced armies to revise their strategies by adapting to the new contingencies of asymmetric warfare. The U.S. military occupation of Iraq was an excellent example of how a top-level military force could crumble in the face of an uncontrollable popular uprising. After a triumphant march to Baghdad, the U.S. military's total lack of a strategic plan quickly embroiled it in a long and stressful confrontation against small groups of insurgents whose actions made Iraq ungovernable.

A careful analysis emerges as to how the British and the French armies–given their colonial experiences–are the most accustomed to dealing with this type of emergency. In fact, many tend to forget what the European continent was like after the French Revolution, when the republican armies wore the liberators' uniforms. The Revolution of 1789 and its repercussions on the pre-ordered equilibrium by the main monarchies originated many episodes of insurgencies that found their maximum expression in Vendée (1793), Italy (1799), and then in Spain during the Napoleonic wars, from 1808 to 1814…."
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Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 4:05 a.m. PST

Spain was not the 'birth' of guerilla warfare, though the name was coined there.

The French had dealt with irregular warfare successfully in the Vendee, Italy, and in the Tyrol. In point of fact, the French believed that the Tyroleans were much more deadly than the Spanish.

Aethelflaeda was framed In the TMP Dawghouse31 Jan 2019 7:10 a.m. PST

Guerilla warfare goes all the way back to Classical Antiquity or even earlier.

Personal logo ioannis Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 7:20 a.m. PST

Here is an original…


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 7:44 a.m. PST

I would not, personally, care to go to the Carolina backcountry and try to sell Napoleonic Spain as the start of modern guerilla warfare. They still remember Marion, Pickens, Sumter and the Overmountain Men.

As for the "new contingencies of asymmetric warfare" how many years between the Hukabalahop Insurrection and the Vietnam War? Between Vietnam and Mogadishu, and between Modadishu and Iraq? A thing is not "new" because the US defense establishment finds a new word for it, nor because the Army stubbornly refuses to remember. This is more the Bobert E. Howard Problem. ("Man is still an ape in that he forgets whatever is not before his eyes"--except that the Army is really good at remembering the stuff it likes and only forgets the stuff it didn't like.)

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 11:53 a.m. PST

Another attempt to shoehorn a series of modern issues, whether military or political, into a set of historical events and make them analogous or the same thing or whatever is the "concept du jour."

Doesn't work very well, as we can all see.

And this particular attempt is amazingly thin on the historical ground, as well as basic beyond belief.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse31 Jan 2019 12:20 p.m. PST



NavyVet03 Feb 2019 8:44 p.m. PST

The people in English colonies in North America from the 1600's to the 1700's called it Indian Warfare. This kind of warfare has been around as long man has had confilict his hjs felllow man. It got the name from Spain.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2019 4:56 a.m. PST

In Europe before the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic period it was called either la petite guerre or partisan warfare, and the latter was what it was called during the War of the American Revolution. In point of fact, the Continental Army designated two units as partisan corps: the 1st Partisan Corps was formed from Armand's Legion and the 2d Partisan Corps was formed from Lee's Legion. Both units consisted of three mounted and three dismounted companies/troops.

Greene formed one provisional unit of this type under William Washington which consisted of his own cavalry unit, Kirkwood's Delaware light infantry company, and a detachment/unit of riflemen. This unit was employed at Guilford Courthouse in March of 1781. At the same time, Lee's Legion was temporarily assigned a unit of riflemen to conform to Washington's provisional command.

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