If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
Its the most brutal kind of warfare.
If you are not bound by rules of war then the most brutal sort of reprisals work best in the short term like killing entire families if one of them is found to support the guerilla.
In long terms such brutal measures wont be sustainable but in the short term it works.
It doesn't even work in the short term.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
Its the most brutal kind of warfare.
If you are not bound by rules of war then the most brutal sort of reprisals work best in the short term like killing entire families if one of them is found to support the guerilla....
That is the best way to reinforce guerillas, not to fight them.

In regard to civil population, it's exactly the reverse that has to be done: gain popular support/simpathy/(neutrality/indifference at least) to deprive guerillas of their support.

No guerillas is viable without a significant local support.
 
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Oct 2018
143
Sweden
That is the best way to reinforce guerillas, not to fight them.

In regard to civil population, it's exactly the reverse that has to be done: gain popular support/simpathy/(neutrality/indifference at least) to deprive guerillas of their support.

No guerillas is viable without a significant local support.
i guess it depends upon the nature of the conflict and the goals of the ones trying to supress guerillas
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,521
Las Vegas, NV USA
If you're occupying the country against its will, be ruthless. A number examples have already been given. If you'r fighting in a country as an ally and the guerrillas are indistinguishable from innocent locals: use ally intelligence and reliable citizens to infiltrate the enemy. If its your own country and a large majority of the population support the government, do the same as with an ally. You don't want to be ruthless if the majority your own people already support you. If you don't have the support of most your people, be ruthless and terrorize them into submission.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
If you're occupying the country against its will, be ruthless. A number examples have already been given. If you'r fighting in a country as an ally and the guerrillas are indistinguishable from innocent locals: use ally intelligence and reliable citizens to infiltrate the enemy. If its your own country and a large majority of the population support the government, do the same as with an ally. You don't want to be ruthless if the majority your own people already support you. If you don't have the support of most your people, be ruthless and terrorize them into submission.
Generally speaking, in "ruthless", You can look at how it worked out this no further than the WWII.

Occupation of Poland or Yougoslavia by Germany vs occupation of Germany by the Allies.

The aftermath (both on short and long term), we all know it.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
If you're occupying the country against its will, be ruthless. A number examples have already been given. If you'r fighting in a country as an ally and the guerrillas are indistinguishable from innocent locals: use ally intelligence and reliable citizens to infiltrate the enemy. If its your own country and a large majority of the population support the government, do the same as with an ally. You don't want to be ruthless if the majority your own people already support you. If you don't have the support of most your people, be ruthless and terrorize them into submission.
You cannot occupy a country against its will and not have an insurgency. That's why they form, because individuals refuse to accept.

Ruthlessness is great. As long as its largely focused on the insurgents themselves. Capture them or kill them. Interrogate and detain, maybe even try/execute the worst of them. C'est la guerre.

But not random civilians. It doesn't matter if the civilians might know about insurgents but don't talk, targeting them does nothing unless their culture is already extremely weak willed. Those that aren't, what it really does is entice more to actively fight as insurgents, or directly support them through various means (funding, intel, safe houses, etc), or even simply moral support.

When did slaughtering mass civilians really work?

1) When geopolitics was such that regimes could get away with murderous genocides without outside pressure, to include foreign military intervention, overt or covert, against the occupying force, and/or support of insurgents.

2) the occupying military force were so skilled in warfare compared to humans civilians fighting them was a joke

3) before technological force multipliers, specifically high explosives and firearms that allow relatively unskilled 12 year olds to kill a 20 year special operations veteran with relative ease if they fight when they hold initiative.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,521
Las Vegas, NV USA
Generally speaking, in "ruthless", You can look at how it worked out this no further than the WWII.

Occupation of Poland or Yougoslavia by Germany vs occupation of Germany by the Allies.

The aftermath (both on short and long term), we all know it.
I'm speaking from the viewpoint of an aggressor. If you are going to occupy a country against its will (ie conquest) you obviously have to expect resistance and you need to deal with it. Otherwise you shouldn't be in the conquest business. And you're correct. The naked conquest business has seen better days.:(

"Peace in our time or we wipe them out." (Erroneously attributed to Nikita Khrushchev.)
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,643
Spain
If you're occupying the country against its will, be ruthless. A number examples have already been given. If you'r fighting in a country as an ally and the guerrillas are indistinguishable from innocent locals: use ally intelligence and reliable citizens to infiltrate the enemy. If its your own country and a large majority of the population support the government, do the same as with an ally. You don't want to be ruthless if the majority your own people already support you. If you don't have the support of most your people, be ruthless and terrorize them into submission.
Ruthless was not very useful for French in Spain and Germans in Russia or in Yugoslavia...on contrary... each year Guerrillas were more powerful... if in 1808... they attacked garrisons, detachments, liaisons, stores, convoys etc... in 1812 they had enough power to attack whole divisions in openfield...In 1808... El Empeciando begun his guerrillero career with an army consisted in 2 teenagers... in 1811.. he was the commander of a division consisted of 8.000 men...Espoz y Mina begun with only 7 men....in April in 1810.... only 2 years later. he commanded the "División de Navarra" consisted by 14.000 men, organized in Regiments and with cavalry, Engineers and Artillery! French killed members of their families...Espoz for example... but... that actions were seen as evidence of the weakness of the French army ... and gave much greater popular support to the guerrillas.

And I guess the same about Josip Broz or about Ho-Chi-Minh and Nguyen van Giap.

As I wrote yesterday... It doesn´t exist a magic formula.. not at all. War is not a mathematical formula...Terror worked in La Vendée and in Naples...in Egypt too.. but not in Spain. Germans easily controlled France during 1940-1945... but not so easily Jugoslavia, Greece or Russia...

So, terror sometimes works and sometimes doesnt´t ...it depends on circumstances.. but if Guerrilla have the support of population....it is very much difficult...
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
speaking from the viewpoint of an aggressor
Me too.

Ruthless/disregard/indifference towards civilian occupied population is counterproductive, when not dangerous. It slaps back.

One have to deal not only with the warriors but with their base too. And guerillas base (and one of their strong points) is the popular support.

Fighting directly guerillas without in parallel working on depriving them of the popular support becomes costly, lengthy.

WWII Germany's exemplary public executions didn't stopped partisans. I have the impression it had the contrary effect.
 
Oct 2018
143
Sweden
Generally speaking, in "ruthless", You can look at how it worked out this no further than the WWII.

Occupation of Poland or Yougoslavia by Germany vs occupation of Germany by the Allies.

The aftermath (both on short and long term), we all know it.
Yes but the allies and germans had very different goals in mind.
The germans wanted to conquer and drive out/kill/create a lower class of non germans in the countries they conquered for settlement by germans later.