the term Guerilla [geˈrɪlja], and from it derived guerrilla war, over which French takes out of the Spanish, means guerilla war with not-regular Kombattanten. Who operates it, also Guerrillero is called.

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word meaning

Etymologisch descends the word from the Spanish guerra for war. Guerrais again a borrowing of the reconstructed Germanic word werra, which means „confusion “, „war “. The Wandalen brought this word during the people migration on its way via Spain to North Africa.

Guerrilla “is meant the reduction form of guerra and therefore„Small war “. The expression „small war “was in the German linguistic usage to in 19. Century inside usually, before it together with first the again coined/shaped German word „people war “(and for guerrilleros - partisans) by the Guerilla term was displaced. In thisForm was then transferred it as foreign word again to the German language. It concerns thus a back borrowing.

For the first time the term Guerrilla became in 19. Century during the Spanish resistance against Napoléon uses. Particularly in that1807 to 1814 the Guerilla under Empecinado had start time of the French-Spanish-Portuguese war, the minister Merino and other one the Frenchmen to create made difficult. This was particularly at an useful organization and because of the favorable topography for the guerilla war,with mountain landscapes and firm living places. In the open area they could not maintain ground against efficient troops. Since in Spain and also on Cuba in the civil wars Guerilleros had appeared to that time again and again.

With the situation in Spain are comparablehere the animal oiler rebellion under Andreas Hofer and the free corps in the German wars of liberation against the napoleonische crew. In Spain the word has „Guerrilla “due to its connection with the fight against French crew power a continuous positive Konnotation, howat that time (and longer still) also in Germany „the people war “, as they are described by Gneisenau in the early memoranda.

As analysts of the Guerilla is Carl von Clausewitz, T. E. Lawrence, Mao Zedong, Carl Schmitt and Ernesto CheGuevara stepped out.

meaning and history

the word Guerilla designate

  • a military tactics: small, independently operating combat units, which support the tactical objectives of the army guidance, usually in the hinterland of the opponent, and outside of their combat missions not asSoldiers are recognizable. To the Guerillataktik “needle-pass-like” military operations, which do not destroy the opponent, belong but zermürben are.
  • the guerrilla war as a special form of politically motivated, revolutionary or anti-colonial wars. With the guerrilla war it concerns a “weapon of the weak ones” approximatelyone militarily, above all military-technologically superior opponent. A condition for a guerrilla war is the missing hope of the population to be able to achieve their political and social demands with political and legal means like this in a dictatorship, one of onestrange power occupied or dominated country the case is. For the success of the Guerilla the simultaneous, the military fight equivalent political fight is crucial. In an open field battle the Guerilla would have to necessarily be subject, because it the equipment of a conventional armyand their fighter inside usually over no sufficient military training is missing orders.

A crucial characteristic of the Guerilla is its high mobility and flexibility. Guerilla units are in constant motion, in order to evade to the militarily superior opponent. Their success depends on whether ityou succeed the decision over it too kept, at which place and at which time and under which conditions the military confrontation with the opponent takes place. The classical Landguerilla operates usually from the mountains, which form optimal retreat area. It is dependent on the support of the Landbevölkerung, which supplies it with food and information.

legitimacy and legality of the Guerilla

the strategy of the Guerilla with view of those Geneva convention and Hague the Land Warfare Convention is called unorthodox war guidance.Here it concerns however international contracts, which treat intergovernmental armed conflicts. The Guerilla corresponds in its developing phase rather to the term the levée EN mass, like it in that Hague Land Warfare Convention defined is (therefore it also “people war”). Only ifthe Guerilla the last step to the revolution army carried out, corresponds its fighters as part of a military command structure the Kombattanten that Hague Land Warfare Convention.

Most modern conditions contain a resistance right (example Basic Law: “Against everyone, which undertakes it, this (constitutional) orderto eliminate, all have German the right to the resistance, if other remedy is not possible. “) or even a resistance obligation (French condition).

Of great importance one for the Guerillabewegung is the question of the “Belligerenz”, the acknowledgment as a war-prominent party. The political acknowledgmentby states of international importance or the acknowledgment as official contacts by the opponent the basis for the reaching of the political goals of the Guerilla forms (see the discussion around the acknowledgment of the Palestinian PLO). Only as a war-prominent party can caught guerillas their right status as prisoners of war make valid. Without the status as an international-law legally armed war participant (“Kombattanten “) guerillas are regarded such as Franctireurs (snipers), treated thus as heavycriminal. Examples from that 2. World war and at present (2005) from Guantanamo Bayit shows however that the rules that are not often enough even kept Hague Land Warfare Convention regular soldier opposite.

The military-political opponents of the Guerilla however will always try to prevent the acknowledgment as a war-prominent party and the Guerilla linguistically as politically tookriminalisieren: Criminal organizations, terrorist, agent of a strange power etc.

In contrast to this the Guerilla is always endeavored to prove its legitimacy ( the revolutionary correctness of its doing) and its legality (the lawfulness of its war actions). In addition the creation of actual or apparent belongs politicallyStructures (Asamblea de Guaímaro in the Cuban war of independence or the parliament of the Palestinian PLO) as well as of political representations abroad in supporting states or in international organizations like the UN. The introduction of clear command structures, a hierarchical-military order with thatpertinent ranks is particularly in the last phase, in the development to the revolution army, which put equivalence out of the Guerilla in relation to the conventional opposing army. Only if the opponent sees itself forced to negotiate with the Guerilla officially the Belligerenz is actualmanufactured.

the development phases of the guerrilla war

successful guerrilla wars go through the usually following phases:

  • The guerrilla war begins as rebellion movement, thus without or with only weak own armament. The weapon procurement takes place via assaults on opposing military units or - mechanisms.The fighters are not soldiers and have frequently not even military training. They are part of the civilian population and due to their political goals by these are supported. Without this support the Guerilla is doomed to failure. That differentiates between thoseGuerilla of the terrorism, which gets along also without support of the population.
  • Guerilla units can no strategic successes achieve, thus about strategically important areas durably occupy, but must always again withdraw themselves.
  • For the reaching of strategic goals the Guerilla units the form of one must accept central steered army. They occur thereby from the tactical, defensive phase a strategically offensive phase. A revolution army develops.

anti-guerrilla war guidance

the guerrilla war places a conventional army before problems, it with intergovernmentalDoes not give wars:

  • The opponent is to be identified not clearly. Each person, approximately in an occupied country, can constantly or occasionally belong to the Guerilla, support these militarily, logistically or politically. That applies to men such as women, also to children, young peopleand old humans.
  • There is no front, which separates the trailers and opponents of the dominant regime. Thus usually of regions one speaks, which become “controlled” by the government or of the Guerilla. In addition, an area can at nightof the Guerilla and on day by the government to be controlled. The term of control is very indefinite thereby. So it can occur that the same businessman pays both to the government and to the Guerilla taxes.

By the employmentfrom Kontraguerilla units the regular army tries to adapt to flexible warfare of the Guerilla (Viet Nam). To attack (not to confound with the counter-revolutionary Guerilla, which is used by a strange power, in order with means Guerilla tactics an existing revolutionary government - see Versus (organization)).

The government army will thus always try to separate civilian population and Guerilla. That can happen about through calls to the population to leave up to a certain time an area. Everything after this time in this areapersons present are then called Guerilleros. The population, who leaves this area, must be accommodated and supplied, to which the military is usually neither personnel, logistically or material in the position. Campos the de developed in such a way reconcentración (Cuban war of independence) or concentration camps (Burenkrieg) the fighters should a clearly circumscribed enemy's country for the attack from the remaining population separate and thus the government army define. The emergency dominant in the camps (hunger, diseases) leads however inthe rule for the political stabilization of the Guerilla. A freiwillige evacuation from humans from the Guerilla controlled areas becomes thereby improbably. Since the inevitably indiscriminate bombardment of Guerillagebieten does not only meet the Guerilla by the regular army, but everyone,that is there, there living humans is forced to go into the protection of the Guerilla. The dominant regime drives so often neutral parts of the population on the side of the Guerilla.

More successful anti- Guerilla strategies try, the Guerilla politically tooisolate. That can happen in different way:

  • for individual subpopulations an improved economic situation is reached (e.g. Support of drug production and - marketing in Colombia or Afghanistan).
  • one the Guerilla similar Kontraguerilla is created, those in the name of the Guerilla acts, those commits the Guerilla to be charged and it in the eyes of the population discredited (Viet Nam, Cuba).
  • since the Guerilla, particularly in its developing phase, fights usually decentralized, frequently fighting units, which do not divide the political goals of the population, but personal developEnriching or power to win wants (Caudillismo - military Führertum). These can be used by the dominant regime or a strange power easily for their goals. Numerous rebellions in Latin America and Africa took this way and led across a people movementto an enriching dictatorship, which finally co-operates with the original military opponent and whom revolution replaces by an exchange of rule elite.

In principle an anti-guerrilla war can not militarily won, but the conflict only politically, by partial or complete giving way in relation to the goalsthe people movement, to be solved.

examples of guerrilla wars

  • of the 30-jährige independence fight of the Cuban Mambises against Spanish colonial rule 1868 - 1898 were in its military phases guerrilla war and ended with the occupation of Cuba by the USA.
  • the three-yearCuban revolution war against the dictator Fulgencio Batista 1956 - 1959 ended with the escape of the dictator and led to a Cuban revolutionary government.
  • the eight-year old Algerian war of independence against French colonial rule 1954-1962 ended with the establishment of the People's Democratic Republic Of Algeria.
  • thatWar of the vietnamesischen people against Japanese crew, French colonial power and later against US-American occupation troops 1941 - 1973 ended with the establishment of a socialist state.
  • The Guerillakampf of the group around Che Guevara in Bolivia failed 1967 because of the missing support throughthe population.

to Guerilla and guerilla warfare

see article partisan

the word partisan originates from the Italian, while Guerilla of Spanish origin is. Militarily seen it concerns synonyms. The irregular units fighting in Europe against the fascist crewpartisans are called, while the release fighters of the anti-colonial movements after that 2. World war Guerilla to be usually designated.


see also


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