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Forum LockedBest Post-Second World War guerilla forces

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    Posted: 21-May-2009 at 01:24
What would everyone say are the best guerilla forces that have existed in the Post-Second World War era, all the way up to modern day?
 
This includes such areas like in terms of equipment used, quality of leadership, organization, and strategies employed. As well as their effect against superior firepower. In addition to their manipulation of public and world opinion.
 
I personally think the Viet Minh/Viet Cong, The Tamil Tigers, and Al-Qaeda are among the best and most effective of the Post-World War II era. I guess the Provisional IRA and the Afghan insurgency in their war against the Soviet Union in the late 1970s'/1980's  deserve a mention also?
 
Any opinions on what maybe or have been the best guerilla forces of the Post-Second World War era?


Edited by Kevin - 21-May-2009 at 01:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 01:40
The Vietminh are my personal favourite, defeating one major power and one super power. The cost was terrible, but they bore it with stoic optimism.

Yet one must remember that a great many guerilla warfare forces do sooner or later resort to conventional tactics.

Guerilla warfare was employed because of the assymetry in military resources (e.g. US military against Vietminh/North Vietnamese military resources).

When a force has the ability to match or surpass their opponents in conventional warfare, they are quick to make the transfer in order to bring about a decisive shift.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 02:49
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

The Vietminh are my personal favourite, defeating one major power and one super power. The cost was terrible, but they bore it with stoic optimism.

Yet one must remember that a great many guerilla warfare forces do sooner or later resort to conventional tactics.

Guerilla warfare was employed because of the assymetry in military resources (e.g. US military against Vietminh/North Vietnamese military resources).

When a force has the ability to match or surpass their opponents in conventional warfare, they are quick to make the transfer in order to bring about a decisive shift.
 
True in many ways just look to the Tamil Tigers or the Taliban Pre-US intervention as an example of that.
 
The Tamil Tigers even had their own airforce and navy of considerable capacity and abilty!Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 07:28

Didn't Mao have a belief that Guerrilla war works in phases, up from Agrarian agitation, sporadic attacks and onwards and upwards to conventional military combat? At least thats what the Chinese communists seemed to do in the pre WWII era.

I would say the communists of Cuba are probably the most succesful, if not the most technically brilliant. With such a small force they managed to take over the entire island.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 20:49
Originally posted by Kevin Kevin wrote:

I personally think the Viet Minh/Viet Cong, The Tamil Tigers, and Al-Qaeda are among the best and most effective of the Post-World War II era. I guess the Provisional IRA and the Afghan insurgency in their war against the Soviet Union in the late 1970s'/1980's  deserve a mention also?
The Provisional IRA cannot compete with the Viet Minh / Cong.  The Vietnamese groups out lasted a determined super power with almost unlimited recesources. Meanwhile, the Provisional IRA became another criminal street gang with political overtures.
 
Though the Afghan insurgents were very good, I dont think that they were facing the same level of opponent in the 1980s Soviet Union as the Viet Cong were against America. Al Queda's reputation as a guerilla group in Afghanistan was far from superb (bungling amateurs).  It was only after they changed into a terrorist group did they start to consistently carry out successfully.  
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 26-May-2009 at 20:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 20:52
Yes, the Cong were good, the original members were also almost totally erradicated by the time the war ended. Tet alone wipped out most of the VC personel then active which were then replaced by Northerners.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 03:25
I wouldn't say that the U.S. was that determined to win the Vietnam war, because the war had very little popular support back home. Plus in the Vietnam war victory was never a possibility; dropping more bombs than all dropped in ww2 was not going to work unless you had a ground invasion. It's simple if someone strikes you you have to strike back in order to defeat your opponent. The U.S. never struck back only taking blows but never even setting a foot in North Vietnemese soil. That is why we failed Vietnam is unlike Iraq because vietnam was a war fought mostly for political reasons which most people would probably not die for. Iraq although everyone denies is thought of by some to be another crusade; a religious war in which one would die for their religion.

Sorry for the Rant... just stating my opinion about the Vietnam war
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 14:11
The Provisional IRA were idealists, but they were certainly were criminals as well. Criminals motivated by ideals are very dangerous things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 14:46
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by Kevin Kevin wrote:

I personally think the Viet Minh/Viet Cong, The Tamil Tigers, and Al-Qaeda are among the best and most effective of the Post-World War II era. I guess the Provisional IRA and the Afghan insurgency in their war against the Soviet Union in the late 1970s'/1980's  deserve a mention also?
The Provisional IRA cannot compete with the Viet Minh / Cong.  The Vietnamese groups out lasted a determined super power with almost unlimited recesources. Meanwhile, the Provisional IRA became another criminal street gang with political overtures.
 
Though the Afghan insurgents were very good, I dont think that they were facing the same level of opponent in the 1980s Soviet Union as the Viet Cong were against America. Al Queda's reputation as a guerilla group in Afghanistan was far from superb (bungling amateurs).  It was only after they changed into a terrorist group did they start to consistently carry out successfully.  
 
 


In terms of Al-Qaeda I was thinking much more of their role as a terrorist organization but somewhat as a guerrilla one also.

Their acts during the 1990's, 9/11 and their actions against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan give them mention in my opinion.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 15:16
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

I wouldn't say that the U.S. was that determined to win the Vietnam war...
Rather than focusing on what we did not do (carry the war to North Vietnam), look at the effort that we did make....
 
At one time there were 450,000 American troops in Vietnam, we armed probably an equal number of South Vietnamese, we even got South Korea and Australia to send elite forces. All these men were equipped with the best equipment that money can buy and backed by incredible fire power. U.S. forces were also getting more effcient, thousands of special forces were sent out to hunt Viet Cong using counter insurgency warfare techniques. Next, the country was almost defoliated. Yet....the Viet Cong kept on fighting and out lasted all this.
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

Iraq although everyone denies is thought of by some to be another crusade; a religious war in which one would die for their religion.
I would place more emphasis on the word "some". A small minority of the U.S. forces in Iraq do view the war directly as a defense of Christianity and / or western civilization. This small minority, however, is getting smaller. 
 
Many people have gotten dis enchanted with the Christian ministers who issued the "fatwa" for the war.  Though their religous movement  has many members and is still strong, nominal members have drifted away and recruiting has slowed.
Originally posted by Kevin Kevin wrote:


Their acts during the 1990's, 9/11 and their actions against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan give them mention in my opinion.
Good point about Iraq and the current war in Afghanistan. But.... I think the Viet Cong come out on top by a significant margin.


Edited by Cryptic - 30-May-2009 at 15:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 17:03
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

I wouldn't say that the U.S. was that determined to win the Vietnam war...
Rather than focusing on what we did not do (carry the war to North Vietnam), look at the effort that we did make....
 
At one time there were 450,000 American troops in Vietnam, we armed probably an equal number of South Vietnamese, we even got South Korea and Australia to send elite forces. All these men were equipped with the best equipment that money can buy and backed by incredible fire power. U.S. forces were also getting more effcient, thousands of special forces were sent out to hunt Viet Cong using counter insurgency warfare techniques. Next, the country was almost defoliated. Yet....the Viet Cong kept on fighting and out lasted all this.
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

Iraq although everyone denies is thought of by some to be another crusade; a religious war in which one would die for their religion.
I would place more emphasis on the word "some". A small minority of the U.S. forces in Iraq do view the war directly as a defense of Christianity and / or western civilization. This small minority, however, is getting smaller. 
 
Many people have gotten dis enchanted with the Christian ministers who issued the "fatwa" for the war.  Though their religous movement  has many members and is still strong, nominal members have drifted away and recruiting has slowed.
Originally posted by Kevin Kevin wrote:


Their acts during the 1990's, 9/11 and their actions against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan give them mention in my opinion.
Good point about Iraq and the current war in Afghanistan. But.... I think the Viet Cong come out on top by a significant margin.


I agree with you on that, although thy could be tied with the Tamil Tigers in terms of equipment used and some other factors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evilbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 17:41
What about South America? I am especially thinking of the Farc, they have been waging their battle for more than fourty years, yet they still haven't been wiped out and they haven't converted to using political instruments either. In the mean time, the Colombian government is well funded by the USA as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 15:56
Originally posted by evilbu evilbu wrote:

What about South America? I am especially thinking of the Farc, they have been waging their battle for more than fourty years, yet they still haven't been wiped out
I agree, the FARC is good, but most of their existance over the last 15 years has been as a drug / kidnap gang than guerillas. Also, once the cold war ended, the defeat of the FARC has not been national priority for the USA (though the Columbian armed forces are still funded as you mentioned)
 
I think the Latin American Guerilla champions would have to be the El Slavadoran leftists. Consider the following:
-They operated in a very small, densley populated country with few hiding places.
-They operated at the height of the cold war when a super power had made their destruction a national priority.
-Unlike the Viet Cong or the Afghanis, they had no base camps or safe havens in neighboring countries. Also, the USSR was slowly collapsing and losing the ability to assist them.
 
Depite huge amounts of military aid to their opponents and the presence of experienced super power advisors,  the El Salvadoran leftists continue to fight.  Not only do they avoid destruction, but they eventually negotiated a peace on near equal terms.


Edited by Cryptic - 01-Jun-2009 at 16:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evilbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 16:06
I guess we need a proper definition of "best guerilla forces".  What are the tactics they are allowed to use, and the goals they should try to achieve.
Indeed, sometimes the FARC just seems one of the many criminal gangs earning money by selling drugs and kidnapping people.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 16:19
^
Perhaps we could define guerillas as "attacking mostly armed targets (no terrorists) and not using their armed activites as a means to enrich themselves (no drug, mafia or kidnap gangs)"
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