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Basic Tactics by Mao Zedong (1937)

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Soviet cogitations: 832
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 02 Apr 2008, 16:55
Not as well know as On Protracted War or On Guerrilla Warfare but probably the most detailed and practical of Mao's military writings. ... wv6_28.htm

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


How is it that the bare-handed masses, banded together in ill-armed military units without guns or bullets, are able to charge the enemy, kill the enemy, and resolutely carry out effective action in the war? This is a very widespread and very reasonable query. But if we know the function of the weapons used by an army and the aim of an army's action, we can then understand how our popular masses, although bare-handed, still have weapons and can engage in action to subdue the enemy.

The principal function of an army's weapons is simply to kill the enemy, and an army's final aim is simply to reduce or destroy the enemy's fighting strength. Well, in our daily life, is there any object that cannot be used to kill the enemy or any type of action that cannot reduce or destroy his fighting strength? For example, a kitchen knife, a wooden cudgel, an axe, a hoe, a wooden stool, or a stone can all be used to kill people. Such actions as cutting electric lines, destroying bridges, starting rumors, spreading poison, or cutting off supplies can everywhere inconvenience the enemy or reduce his fighting strength. All these are methods we may be unwilling to utilize or unable to employ. If we really want to kill and exterminate the enemy, there are weapons for us everywhere and work for us to be doing at all times, in order to ensure effective united action by the army and the people.

After from this, we must pay special attention to the present war on the national level, which has become cruel beyond our imagination and has also lasted a long time. We must not, because we are undergoing the suffering of a war more cruel than any seen in the past, immediately capitulate; nor must we, under the influence of a long war, suddenly lose our endurance and give way to lassitude. We must inspire ourselves with the most resolute spirit of unyielding struggle, with the most burning patriotic sentiments, and with the will to endurance, and carry out a protracted struggle against the enemy. We must know that, although the circumstances and the duration of the war are cruel and protracted, this is nothing compared to what would happen if the war were lost; if our country were destroyed and the whole of our people reduced to a position of irretrievable ruin, the suffering would be even more cruel and would never come to an end. Therefore, however cruel the war may be, we must absolutely and firmly endure until the last five minutes of struggle. This is especially the case with our present enemy, who finds his advantage in a rapid decision in the war, whereas our advantage is to be found in the strategy of a protracted war.

When we see the enemy, simply because he has a weapon in his hands, we must not be frightened to death like a rat who sees a cat. We must not be afraid of approaching him or infiltrating into his midst in order to carry out sabotage. We are men; our enemies are also men; we are all men, so what should we fear? The fact that he has weapons? We can find a way to seize his weapons. All we are afraid of is getting killed by the enemy. But when we undergo the oppression of the enemy to such a point as this, how can any one still fear death? And if we do not fear death, then what is there to fear about the enemy? So when we see the enemy, whether he is many or few, we must act as though he is bread that can satisfy our hunger, and immediately swallow him.

When it is not advantageous for our main land army to meet the enemy in large-scale engagements and we, therefore, 'send' out commando units or guerrilla units, which employ the tactics of avoiding strength and striking at weakness, of flitting about and having no fixed position, and of subduing the enemy according to circumstances, and when we do not oppose the enemy according to the ordinary rules of tactics, this is called employing guerrilla tactics.

At a time when our country's national defense preparation are not completed, and when our weapons are inferior to the excellent equipment with which the enemy has provided himself, we must observe the following principles whenever we wish to wage a battle with the enemy:

When we are on the march, we must send plainclothes units armed with pistols ahead of our vanguard, behind our rear guard, and to the side of our lateral defenses, in order to spy out the situation and to forestall unexpected attacks by the enemy, or superfluous clashes.

When we encamp, if there is a presumption that the enemy may be near, we should send every day a guerrilla company—or at least a platoon—toward the enemy's defenses to carry out reconnaissance at a distance (from 20 to 30 li ) or to join up with the local forces and carry out propaganda among the masses, in order to inspire them to resist the enemy. If this unit discovers the enemy, it should, on the one hand, resist him and, on the other hand, report to us so that we can prepare to meet the foe or to retreat without being drawn into an unnecessary battle.

If the enemy guards his position firmly or defends a strong strategic point, then, unless we have special guarantees of success. we must not attack him. If we attack him, we will waste considerable time, and our losses in killed and wounded will certainly be many times those of the enemy. Moreover, in guerrilla warfare, our artillery is not strong: if we recklessly attack a strong position, it will be very difficult to take it rapidly, at one stroke, and, meanwhile, it will be easy for the enemy to gather his forces from all sides and surround us. On this point, the army and the people must be absolutely firm of purpose and cannot act recklessly in a disorderly fashion because of a moment's anger.

If we do not have a 100 per cent guarantee of victory, we should not fight a battle, for it is not worth while to kill 1,000 of the enemy and lose 800 killed among ourselves. Especially in guerrilla warfare such as we are waging, it is difficult to replace men, horses, and ammunition; if we fight a battle and lose many men, and horses, and much ammunition, this must be considered a defeat for us.

When we are encamped in a certain place and suddenly discover the enemy but are not informed regarding his numbers or where he is coming from, we must absolutely not fight, but must resolutely retreat several tens of li. It is only if we are right up against the enemy that we should send covering units, for, if the enemy comes to attack us, it is certainly because his forces are superior or he has a plan, and we must under no circumstances fall into his trap. If the enemy is in force, it is obviously advantageous to retreat. If his numbers are small and we retreat, nothing more than a little extra fatigue is involved, and there will always be time to return and attack him again later.

Modern warfare is not a matter in which armies alone can determine victory or defeat. Especially in guerrilla combat, we must rely on the force of the popular masses, for it is only thus that we can have a guarantee of success. The support of the masses offers us great advantages as regards transport, assistance to wounded, intelligence, disruption of the enemy's position, etc. At the same time, the enemy can be put into an isolated position, thus further increasing our advantages. If, by misfortune, we are defeated, it will also be possible to escape or to find concealment. Consequently, we must not lightly give battle in places where the masses are not organized and linked to us.

When the enemy surrounds us and blockades us, we should rouse the popular masses and cut the enemy's communications in all directions, so that he does not know that our army is already near him. Then, we should take advantage of a dark night or of the light of dawn to attack and disperse him.

When we have reconnoitered the enemy's position and have kept our men at a distance of several li and when he has unquestionably relaxed his precautions, then we advance rapidly with light equipment, before dawn when the enemy does not expect us, and exterminate him.

On the basis of a decision by the main force of the army, in time of battle, we send out part of our forces, divided into several units—the smallest element being a platoon—to lead the local militia, police, volunteer army, or other popular masses of the peasantry and the workers. These groups use a great variety of flags, occupy mountaintops or villages and market towns, use brass gongs, spears, rudimentary cannon, swords and spikes, trumpets, etc. They scatter all over the landscape and yell, thus distracting the enemy's eyes and ears. Or, both night and day, on all sides, they shoot off isolated shots to cause panic among the enemy soldiers and fatigue their spirit. Then, afterward, our army appears in full strength when the enemy does not expect it and disperses him by a flank attack.

When we are faced with a large enemy force and do not have sufficient strength to meet its attack, we use the method of circling around. We hasten to a place where there are no enemy troops, and we use mountain trails so that the enemy cannot catch up with us. At the same time, along the way, we utilize the popular masses, getting them to carry on reconnaissance work in the front and the rear, so that we are not attacked, by the enemy from either direction.

Presume that in the rear there is a pursuing army and in the front an obstacle, or that the pursuing army is too strong for us. As a plan to get out of such a difficult situation, we can send a part of our forces 4 or 5 li off, to lure the enemy up a big road, while our main force follows a side road and escapes the enemy. Or we can make a detour around to the enemy's rear and attack him there by surprise. Or we can use the local militia and the police to go along another route, leaving some objects, making footprints in the road, sticking up notices etc., so as to induce the enemy to follow them. Then, our main force suddenly rushes out from a side road, striking at the enemy from the front and the rear, encircles him on all sides, and annihilates him.

When the army wants to attack a certain place, it does not advance there directly but makes a detour by some other place and then changes its course in the midst of its march, in order to attack and disperse the enemy. "The thunderclap leaves no time to cover one's ears."

When the enemy is pursuing us in great haste we select a spot for an ambush and wait until he arrives. Thus, we can capture the enemy all at one stroke.

When we learn from reconnaissance that the enemy plans to advance from a certain point, we choose a spot where his path is narrow and passes through confusing mountainous terrain and send a part of our troops—or a group of sharpshooters— to lie hidden on the mountains bordering his path, or in the forest, to wait until his main force is passing through. Then we throw rocks down on his men from the mountains and rake them with bullets, or shoot from ambush at their commanding officers mounted on horseback.

When our spies have informed us that the enemy is about to arrive, and if our force is not sufficient to give battle, we should then carry out the stratagem of "making a strong defense by emptying the countryside." We hide the food, stores, fuel, grain, pots and other utensils, etc., in order to cut off the enemy's food supply. Moreover, as regards the popular masses of the area in question, with the exception of old men, women, and children, who are left behind to provide reconnaissance information, we lead all able-bodied men to hiding places. Thus, the enemy has no one to serve as porters, guides, and scouts. At the same time, we send a few men to the enemy's rear communication lines, to cut off his supplies, capture his couriers, and cut or sabot age his communications facilities.

(1) When the enemy advances, we retreat. If the enemy's forces were weaker than ours, he would not dare advance and attack us. So, when he advances toward us, we can conclude that the enemy is certainly coming with superior force and is acting according to plan and with preparation. It is, therefore, appropriate for us to evade his vanguard, by withdrawing beforehand. If we meet with the enemy in the course of our march and either do not have clear information regarding him or know that his army is stronger than ours, we should, without the slightest hesitation, carry out a precautionary withdrawal.

As to the place to which we should withdraw, it is not appropriate to go long distances the main roads, so that the enemy follows us to the end. We should move about sinuously in the nearby area, winding around in circles. If the enemy appears ahead of us, we should circle around to his rear, if the enemy is on the mountains, we should descend into the valleys; if the enemy is in the middle, we should retreat on the two sides ; if the enemy in on the left bank of the river, we should retreat on the right bank ; if the enemy is on the right bank, we should retreat on the left bank.

Moreover, in withdrawing, when we come to a crossroads, we can deliberately leave some objects in the branch of the road we do not take or send a small fraction of our men horses that way, in order to leave some tracks or write symbols. Or we can write some distinguishing marks on the road we do take to indicate that it is closed. Thus, we induce the enemy to direct his pursuit and attack in the wrong direction.

At such times, it is best to evacuate the popular masses and such armed forces as the militia, police, volunteer army, etc., by various routes in all directions, in order to confuse the enemy's eyes and ears. We can leave behind part of our men, who bury their uniforms and weapons and disguise themselves as merchants, street vendors, etc. They spread rumors or pretend to be obliging in order to spy out information regarding the enemy's numbers, his plans, the location and routine of his camps, and the precautions he is taking. If the enemy questions them about the direction in which we have withdrawn and the strength of our force, they should talk incoherently, pointing to the east and saying the west, pointing to the south and saying the north, replacing big by small and small by big, talking at random and creating rumors. They wait until our army is about to attack, and then they dig up their uniforms and put them on, take out their weapons, and attack the enemy from his midst, thus completely routing him and leaving him with nowhere to turn.

(2) When the enemy retreats, we pursue. When the enemy army retreats, it is appropriate to take advantage of the situation to advance. On such an occasion, the enemy's military situation must have undergone a change, otherwise he would not have retreated, and he is certainly not prepared to join battle against us with any resolution. If we take advantage of the situation and make a covering attack on his rear, the enemy's covering units will certainly not be resolved to fight, and in the context of the enemy's over-all plan it will be difficult for his forward units to return and join in the fray. In rough mountainous terrain, where the paths are narrow and rivers and streams intertwined so that there are many bridges, even if the enemy's forward forces were to turn back, this move would require much time. So, by the time he turns back, his rear will already have been annihilated and he will already have been disarmed.

At this time, the organizations of the popular masses, should devise methods for destroying the bridges on the route over which the enemy is retreating, or cutting the wires of his communications system. Or, best of all, they should wait until the bulk of the enemy's army have retreated and, taking advantage of the protection afforded by our guards and army, block the enemy's path of retreat, so that, although his forces may want to turn back, they cannot do it, and, although they yearn for help, they cannot obtain it.

But, at such a time, the most important task of the popular masses is to spy out the direction in which the enemy is withdrawing, in order to ascertain whether or not there may be an ambush or a feigned retreat intended to encircle us from two sides, and report to us immediately so that our army can pluck up courage and pursue the enemy or devise a method of evading him.

(3) When the enemy halts, we harass him. When the enemy is newly arrived in our territory, is not familiar with the terrain, does not understand the local dialect, and is unable to gain any information from the scouts he send out, it is as though he had entered a distant and inaccessible land. At such a time, we should increase our harassment—shooting off guns everywhere, to make him ill at ease day and night, so exercising a great influence on both his mind and body under such circumstances, I fear that any army, however overbearing, will begin to waver and will become weary. We need only await the time when his spirits are wavering and his body weary, and then, if our armies rush in all together, we can certainly exterminate him completely.

Fighting as we are for the existence of our nation and the achievement of the aims of guerrilla warfare—which are to destroy the enemy and to stir up the courage of the popular masses— when we are faced with a weak enemy, naturally we should unite with the popular masses of the place in question to surround him and exterminate him at one stroke.

There are always a good many among the popular masses who forget the great cause for the sake of petty advantage. Frequently having received great favors from the enemy, they act contrary to conscience and aid the forces of evil. For this reason, before the arrival of the enemy in a given place, we must do our utmost to whip up the spirits of the popular masses, to rouse their will to resist and to endow them with an unshakable resolve to fight to the end. without seeking advantage, without compromise or surrender. We must induce them to follow our orders sincerely and to cooperate with our army to resist the enemy. At the same time, we should also organize "resist-the-enemy associations", "associations for national salvation", and other types of professional bodies to facilitate the transmission of orders and the evacuation of villages in time of necessity and to clean out traitors and prevent their utilization by the enemy.

The ultimate aim of guerrilla warfare is certainly to disarm the enemy, to destroy his fighting strength, to get back the territories he has occupied and to save our brethren whom he is trampling under foot! But when, because of objective circumstances and other factors of various kinds, it is impossible to attain this goal, it sometimes happens that the areas unaffected by the fighting are controlled by the enemy in all tranquility. This should not be. Because of this possibility, we must think up methods for inflicting economic and political damage in these areas and destroying communication facilities, so that, although the enemy has occupied our territory, it is of no use to him and he decides to withdraw on his own initiative.

In guerrilla warfare, we must observe the principle "To gain territory is no cause for joy, and to lose territory is no cause for sorrow." To lose territory or cities is of no importance. The important thing is to think up methods for destroying the enemy. If the enemy's effective strength is undiminished, even if we take cities, we will be unable to hold them. Conversely, when our own forces are insufficient, if we give up the cities, we still have hope of regaining them. It is altogether improper to defend cities to the utmost, for this merely leads to sacrificing our own effective strength.

(1) When we are devoting ourselves to warfare in an open region, it is the sparsely populated areas, with a low cultural level, where communications are difficult and facilities for transmitting correspondence are inadequate, that are advantageous.

(2) Narrow mountainous regions, rising and falling terrain, or areas in the vicinity of narrow roads—all of which are inconvenient for the movement of large bodies of troops— are also advantageous.

Opportunities also exist:

(3) When the people in the enemy's rear are in sympathy with our army.

(4) When the enemy is well-armed, and his troops numerous and courageous, so that we have to evade direct clashes.

(5) When the enemy has penetrated deeply into our territory and we are preparing everywhere to carry out measures of harassment and obstruction against him.

(6) Dense forests or reedy marshes, in the depths of which we can disappear, are most advantageous for this purpose, especially in the late summer and autumn, when we find ourselves behind a curtain of green.

The action of a guerrilla unit takes one of the following forms:

(1) We send out a large cavalry unit from our main force, together with mounted artillery, or cavalry accompanied by a platoon or more armed with light automatic weapons. They penetrate as rapidly as possible into the enemy's rear destroy there all his communications links, and carry out the thorough and complete destruction of all his storehouses of food, grain for his horses, and ammunition. Moreover, they send out a small group of their forces to destroy all places of military significance in the enemy's rear. Once these forays have been carried out, the group fights its way out in another direction and rejoins the main force.

(2) We send out cavalry or a special task group of infantry. Their strength should be from a platoon to a few companies. They should penetrate as deeply as possible into the enemy's rear and, moving rapidly and unpredictably, should carry the battle from one place to another. When there is no alternative, or when the enemy is not expected to arrive before a certain time, they can also dwell temporarily in secret where they are. As required by the exigencies of the situation, they can employ either all or a part of their forces. They return when the time comes that they can no longer stay in the enemy's rear, or when the task entrusted to them is completed, or because the enemy has already discovered our traces and our intentions, and has taken effective measures of defense.

(3) In the enemy's rear, we choose some young, strong, and courageous elements among the local population and organize some small groups who will accept the leadership of the experienced and trained persons we send out or of experienced persons whom we had trained previously in the place in question. The secret activity of these small groups involves moving from their own area to another one, changing their uniforms, unit numbers, and external appearance, and using every method so as to cover their tracks to the utmost.

(4) Or we seek volunteers from our army and provide them with high-quality light weapons, in order to form them into special guerrilla units under the leadership of such officers as have benefited from experience and study.

(5) Guerrilla units can be classified according to their nature. Those formed of selected volunteers are called special guerrilla units. Those organized generally from a part of our army are called basic guerrilla units. Those organized from the local population are called local guerrilla units. When basic and local guerrilla units engage in combined actions, they are subject to the unified command of the commander of the basic unit.

(6) As for the choice of the members of a guerrilla unit, the members of a basic guerrilla unit should be taken from among those soldiers who are healthy, firm of purpose, patient, courageous, and quick-witted. Moreover, the soldiers themselves be willing to join the group in question. In the case of the independent actions carried out by these men in the course of guerrilla operations, there is generally no way to verify whether or not their tasks are executed in accordance with orders, and frequently they act beyond the knowledge of the responsible commander. For this reason, the choice and training of members of guerrilla units should have as its central theme "faithfully carrying out one's task. "

(7) The choice and the nomination of the commander of a guerrilla task group or small group requires even greater forethought and reflection. The capacity of the commanders for faithful and courageous action, their military knowledge-especially their knowledge of guerrilla tactics-their possession of a lively intelligence and the ability to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances, their loyalty, and their daring are indispensable conditions for carrying out plans and completing our tasks.

The number of men belonging to a guerrilla unit is determined by the tasks, but it commonly ranges from five or ten men to something over a thousand. However, the maximum strength of such a unit may not exceed one regiment. If the number of soldiers is too large, the movements of our forces will be encumbered, there will be greater difficulties regarding food supply, and it will be difficult to conceal the troops by the use of false uniforms. Because of these problems, our plans may be discovered or revealed before they have been carried out. Moreover, replenishing our supplies of ammunition will be a problem. Furthermore, we will often have difficulties because of poor roads, with the result that not only will all our plans prove merely illusory, but also we will often fall into difficulties to no good purpose in going and returning.

The great superiority of a small guerrilla unit lies in its remarkable mobility. With very little expenditure of time and effort, one can get food, and it is also easy to find a place to rest, for one does not need much in the way of rations or a place of shelter to camp. Still less is one held up by bad roads, and supplies of ammunition and medicine are also easy to replenish. If we do not succeed in our operation, we can retreat in good order.

As for the type of soldiers employed in guerrilla units, cavalry, engineers, and highly mobile infantry troops are excellent. Cavalry is entrusted with the task of creating disorder on the enemy's flanks, and also, when we are pursuing the enemy, with that of maintaining pressure on his rear guard and creating confusion on his flanks and in his rear. Moreover, at all times, cavalry is the guerrilla unit's only instrument for transmitting correspondence and for reconnoitering. Hence, the cavalry is indispensable to any guerrilla unit. Engineers are used for destroying communications in the enemy's rear (such as railroads, telephone and telegraph lines, bridges, etc. ) As for the highly mobile infantry units, they are useful to startle the enemy and produce in him a feeling of insecurity night and day.

Apart from the rifles of the infantry and the cavalry, light machine guns, hand grenades, etc., guerrilla units should also be supplied with pistols and submachine guns.

To the extent that the terrain permits it, one can also add heavy machine guns, mortars, and small cannons.

Convenience of movement and agility being the characteristics of a guerrilla unit, the baggage train, cases of equipment and ammunition, etc., should all be kept as simple as possible for the sake of convenience. The combatant and noncombatant members of the unit should all be organized as most appropriate for guerrilla warfare, and all other persons who are not indispensable should be kept to the strict minimum.

(1) The officers and men in each guerrilla squad should not exceed 8; each platoon should not exceed 26; and each company should not exceed 100.

(2) When automatic weapons are somewhat more numerous, the number of men can be still further reduced, and guerrilla units composed of 5 or 6 men can be sent out repeatedly, in order to achieve the greatest results in terms of harassing the enemy or securing intelligence.

(3) Each commanding officer of a unit should have only one orderly at most. Apart from this according to the complexity of the tasks, two or three officers should share the services of one orderly. Even more attention should be accorded to not abusing this rule by unnecessarily increasing the number of couriers as a substitute for orderlies and to seeing that an unnecessarily large number of men are not sent to carry out a given task, thereby reducing the fighting strength of one's own unit. Hence, when one sends out couriers, one must reflect carefully on whether they can accomplish their task or not.

(4) It is preferable that each mass unit should not carry bundles of food. When the dry rations carried separately by each soldier are exhausted, one should take advantage of opportunities to borrow the pots and pans of the population so as to prepare supplementary rations. If it is necessary to carry bundles, each unit should not carry more than two.

(5) Bundles of writing materials should not be carried in excess of needs. Normally, two bundles per regiment, one per battalion, and one per company are permissible. The weight of each bundle should not exceed 40 kilograms.

(6) Each officer and soldier should carry his own bedding, knapsack, etc. Bearers should not be engaged to transport these items. This rule should be firmly established in advance.

A guerrilla unit preferably should have the following things:

(1) Equipment and explosives for destroying railroads, telephone and telegraph lines, arsenals, etc.

(2) Medicines. Those needed in case of emergencies should be carried according to the season, but dressings, etc., should be provided on a permanent basis.

(3) A compass, and maps of the area in which the guerrilla unit operates.

(4) Light radio equipment, which is especially important in order to be able to report at all times on the situation of the enemy and to listen in on the enemy's reports.

(5) A certain quantity of gold coins, to provide for unexpected needs and for buying food.

Whether or not the military discipline of a guerrilla unit is good influences the reputation of our whole army and its ability to secure the sympathy and support of the popular masses. Only strict discipline can assure the complete victory of all our independent actions. Consequently, our attitude toward those persons who violate military discipline, harm the people's interest, and do not resolutely execute the orders of their superiors, should consist in punishing them severely without the slightest regard for politeness. The application of military discipline in a partisan unit does not aim exclusively at punishment. Rather, it aims at strengthening the political instruction of the officers and men and raising their level of political consciousness, thereby indirectly eliminating a large number of actions contrary to military discipline and causing the officers and soldiers to understand the psychology of the masses, so that at appropriate times they can unite effectively with the common people.

(1) Each guerrilla task group and small group should have a political director, and in the headquarters of the guerrilla unit there should be a political training department, for directing the political work of officers and soldiers and dealing with the human problems of all the political instructors.

(2) Each mess unit of a guerrilla unit should establish a special commissioner in order to guard against the infiltration and activity of reactionary elements and to encourage those soldiers without clear ideological consciousness who are wavering in their purposes.

(3) In order to prevent desertion by the soldiers, a committee against desertion, as well as "groups of ten," should be organized in each guerrilla unit. The groups of ten and the committee against desertion are negative methods for preventing desertion. Their organization and work should be carried out roughly as follows:

a. In order to prevent desertion, every guerrilla unit should establish a desertion committee and every mess unit should organize a group of ten.

b. The committee against desertion should be composed of from seven to nine people, one of them being the chairman and the others members. It should be composed of lower-level cadres who can endure difficulties and whose thinking is friary, as well as heads of the groups of ten. The groups of ten are composed of ten men in all, one of them being the head and the others members. They are made up of faithful and reliable soldiers.

c. The over-all activity of the groups of ten is subordinated to the committee against desertion. As regards military matters, it is subordinated to the commander of the unit and to the committee against desertion. In other work, it is subordinated to the political training department. Both groups of ten and committees against desertion must accept the guidance of their commanding officer.

d. The work of the group of ten should take account of all the actions and talk of the officers and soldiers, especially of "camp idlers" and such. Unstable elements should be secretly watched, even if they are members of the group of ten or their friends.

e. Meetings should be held once a week to review the work and to report to the commanding officer and the committee against desertion regarding the situation in general at all times. After each extreme difficulty or when our army has suffered a slight defeat and is staying in its base camp, special attention should be paid to unfavourable attitudes that may develop among the soldiers and to conversations that may endanger the morale of the soldiers.

f. The work of the committee against desertion consists above all in reviewing the work of the groups of ten and in admonishing and guiding them at the appropriate times. The committee may also call conferences of the heads of all the groups of ten, or plenary conferences of all the members of the groups, to discuss the progress of the work as a whole.

The soldiers' life is rather like living in the desert, and every day the men undergo the fatigue of political study and training in the art of combat. This may easily engender feelings of disgust and opposition. In order to provide entertainment for the army and to compensate for a dull life, one should establish in a guerrilla unit clubs or amusement rooms. (For details of the organization and activities of such clubs, see the account in Chap. XV, 10.)

(1) In order to make up for insufficient supplies of ammunition and poor marksmanship, every company should have: from three to nine sharpshooters, to be employed exclusively for shooting from ambush at long distances or for shooting at special targets (enemy officers, machine-gunners or artillery-men, couriers, etc. ) .

(2) The commander of each task group and small group should choose particularly sharp-eyed couriers to serve as observes. Normally, a task group commander should have two of these, and a small group commander one. These men serve exclusively to remedy the insufficiency of battlefield observation.

(3) Each task group and small group of a guerrilla unit should have two nurses, who devote themselves exclusively to emergency care of sick officers and soldiers and to instruction in hygiene.

(4) In order to obtain reliable information regarding the enemy's disposition, so as to be able to oppose him without losing any opportunities, all guerrilla units should establish groups of scouts. Normally, it will be sufficient if each unit has one platoon, each task group has one squad, and each small group a smaller element. A network of local scouts should also be established by the group of scouts wherever they go, or by scouts concealed in advance.

The principal object of the action of a guerrilla unit lies in dealing the enemy the strongest possible blows to his morale, and in creating disorder and agitation in his rear, in drawing off his principal force to the flanks or to the rear, in stopping or slowing down his operations, and ultimately in dissipating his fighting strength so that the enemy's units are crushed one by one and he is precipitated into a situation where, even by rapid and deceptive actions, he can neither advance nor retreat.

1. Destroy railroads and highways within the area of action, as well as important structures along the roads. Telephone lines and telegraph systems are especially important.

2. Destroy the enemy's principal or secondary supply depots.

3. Destroy the enemy's storehouses of food and military equipment.

4. Strike in the enemy's rear, at his baggage train, or at his mounted and unmounted couriers, as well as at his mounted scouts, etc. Also seize the provisions and ammunition that the enemy is bringing up from the rear to the front.

5. Strike at the enemy's independent task groups and at the inhabited areas that he has not yet solidly occupied.

6. Mobilize and organize the popular masses everywhere and aid them in their own self-defense.

7. Destroy airfields and military depots of the air force in the enemy's rear.

1. The first principle lies in careful and secret preparation, and in rapid and sudden attack. Fierce wind and heavy rain offer a favorable occasion for a guerrilla attack, as do thick fog, the darkness of night, or circumstances in which it is possible to strike at an exhausted enemy.

2. The operations of a guerrilla unit should consist in offensive warfare. Whether its numbers be great or small, such a unit can nonetheless appear where it is not expected and, in its attacks, take advantage of the enemy's lack of preparation. But when there are indications that the situation is unfavourable, or when there is no certainty of victory, it is appropriate to withdraw rapidly, so as not to suffer damaging losses. If the attack originally planned by the guerrilla unit fails to give an advantageous result, and, the enemy goes over to the offensive, a guerrilla unit should withdraw quickly. Only when the enemy pursues us, and it is impossible to evade his attacks, can we fight a defensive action and then gradually withdraw.

1. The redoubtable force of a guerrilla unit definitely does not depend exclusively on its own numerical strength, but on its use of sudden attacks and ambushes, so as to "cause an uproar in the east and strike in the west," appearing now here and now there, using false banners and making empty demonstrations, propagating rumors about one's own strength, etc., in order to shatter the enemy's morale and create in him a boundless terror. In addition, we must pay attention to such principles as: "The enemy advances, we retreat, the enemy retreats, we advance, the enemy halts, we harass him," camouflaged attacks, etc.

2. A really excellent stratagem for bringing the enemy to his destruction lies in mobilizing the popular masses, in making a strong defense by emptying the countryside, in luring the enemy to penetrate our lines deeply, in cutting his communications, in placing him in a position where he has difficulties with his food supply, where his men are weary and the terrain is unfavorable and then launching an attack.

3. By such tactics as sudden attacks, ambushes, making a strong defense by emptying the countryside, etc., a guerrilla unit should make every effort to avoid positional warfare, and all frontal engagements. Before the local guerrilla units have received regular military training. they should not be launched against the enemy in a regular and prolonged battle. For this reason, when local guerrilla units are first formed, they should be used only in conjunction with actions by basic or special guerrilla units. It is only after a certain period that they can act independently.

4. If we strike at the point where the enemy feels the greatest difficulties, in order to draw his main force to come to the relief of the position, then, afterward, we send our main force somewhere else, either to attack other isolated and weak forces of the enemy or to attack his reinforcements on the march.

1. Because open terrain affords very little good cover, it is slightly disadvantageous for us when guerrilla units operate there. Covered, mountainous, or broken terrain are advantageous for us.

2. A guerrilla unit should be thoroughly familiar with the terrain in its region of action and should think frequently about the ways in which it can appear from a place where the enemy army does not expect it, following secret and hidden routes such as valleys, forests, or narrow winding paths, so as to approach close to the enemy army and take advantage of a situation in which the enemy, persuaded he is quite secure, has taken no measure of defence whatsoever. Then, following the principle that the "thunderclap leaves no time to cover one's ears," the unit can strike sudden blows and then vanish into hiding without a trace, thus reducing the enemy to a level where he does not feel secure whether he is withdrawing or advancing, attacking or defending, moving or remaining still, sitting or lying down.

3. Relatively large villages, market towns, and places where there is a reasonably large amount of grain and other moveable property are frequently the objects of enemy attack and harassment. A guerrilla unit should regularly spy out the enemy's traces, and prepare an ambush so as to attack him when he is in the midst of his march.

4. A guerrilla unit should use every method, within its area of action, to prevent the enemy's small units from entering. and his main force from concealing itself there. In case of necessity, a guerrilla unit should also strive to unmask the military strength, disposition, and plans of the enemy operating outside its area of action.

A guerrilla unit must consider the seasons (winter, summer, or autumn are suitable for operations ), with reference to the strength of our forces and those of the enemy, and especially with reference to the weapons of war; it must also be thoroughly familiar with the organization of the enemy's rear. Whether or not each season is favourable to us is also determined with reference to the terrain.

The peculiar quality of the operations of a guerrilla unit lies entirely in taking the enemy by surprise. Consequently, we must take every possible measure to preserve military secrecy, as described in detail below:

1. The commander of the unit should explain to his subordinates their tasks and the plan for the operation only just before the action begins, or while they are advancing. In case of necessity, he should explain the whole plan only by stages, so that others learn about each stage only when required.

2. The best method for the transmission of orders in a guerrilla unit is by oral explanations from the commander to his subordinates. It is necessary to limit written orders insofar as possible, in order to avoid leakage of military secrets.

3. One should not discuss the whole of one's actions and plans with guides or the local population. This is the case even with regard to local populations favourable to us; it is even more necessary to forbid such talk when we are about to attack a certain place.

4. We should send out faithful and reliable scouts in advance to observe the point where we are going to camp or to lie in ambush along important roads in the enemy's rear, in order to cut off his information.

5. When we advance, our rear guard should take full responsibility for obliterating and removing all secret signals and road signs. We should also advance by circuitous route, so that the enemy does not know the direction of our advance.

6. Fixed code names should be used in place of all unit designations, and the use of the real names of units should be strictly prohibited.

7. Except in case of necessity, all documents should be burned immediately after they have been read.

8. Apart from the methods already enumerated, the true plans of a guerrilla unit can also be obscured in certain cases by using the local population for the deliberate propagation of false information about the operations of the guerrilla unit, in order to deceive the enemy.

In order that our movements may be rapid, apart from doing our utmost to simplify all our organization, we should at all times maintain excellent preparations for action (investigation and intelligence regarding the front, care of sick soldiers, preparation for guides, preferably employing local peasants whose sympathies lie with the guerrillas, or other reliable persons), and we should also preferably carry three days' dry rations. If this is done, then when we want to move, we move, and when we want to stop, we stop, and there is no need for special arrangements.

1. A condition for the victory of a guerrilla unit is that the officers and soldiers have an absolutely courageous and resolute spirit. They must also be filled with a spirit of action in common, and be thoroughly alert and resolved to carry out their own tasks. Apart from this, they must have healthy bodies and be able to endure boundless hardships, be good at the use of their weapons, etc.

2. A guerrilla unit should not lose heart in difficult times, nor should it cease its activity if it encounters difficult circumstances. As regards their confidence in ultimate victory, their confidence in the success of their cause, and especially their hatred of our national enemy, such circumstances should only strengthen their purpose to advance courageously in spite of all obstacles.

If a small guerrilla unit, because its numbers are insufficient, cannot carry out a task assigned to it, it can unite temporarily with a few other guerrilla units, in order to fulfill its task.

Guerrilla operations are best carried out under cover of night.

When a guerrilla unit has finished concentrating for an attack, and when plans for scouts, courier service etc., have all been satisfactorily completed, and one is preparing a surprise attack on a certain inhabited place, the commander of the guerrilla unit must first form a clear idea about each of the following points.

1. What is the strength of the military forces defending the given inhabited place? How are they deployed? How are they armed? What is their fighting capacity? How many scouts to sound a warning have they sent out?

2. Is there any other enemy nearby? If there is, how far away is he? Can he quickly come to the aid of the defending forces? Can we imagine how he would come to aid them? From what direction he would come?

3. What sort of roads are there that could be followed by the guerrillas and by the enemy? What hidden roads are there in the vicinity of the place we intend to attack by surprise? What route will we take to get to the place we are attacking? The preceding three points are not only things we should know in view of carrying out a surprise attack; we must also not fail to consider them with reference to our withdrawal after the attack.

4. As for fixing the time of a surprise attack, it is best to carry it out at night, for, under the cover of darkness, even if the attack should fail, it can still inspire panic in the enemy. But we can attack at night only if we are thoroughly familiar with the terrain, and have clearly understood the enemy's dispositions or have extremely good guides. Otherwise, we should choose instead to carry out such surprise attacks at daybreak. If a surprise attack is to be directed against a supply depot, it should be carried out in the dead of night, for the men, horses, and military equipment in such a depot will be on the move again very early, at daybreak.

5. Can the population of the given inhabited place aid the enemy or not? How can we prevent the population from bringing trouble on itself in this way?

While we should think through our plans at length, we should avoid overly subtle plans.

1. Before setting out, a guerrilla unit should complete all its preparations for the march (see below). Moreover, it should consider taking stretchers for transporting wounded soldiers.

2. The method for a surprise attack on the enemy should be thoroughly understood beforehand not only by the commander of the unit and the commanders of each task group, but also by all the members of each independent task group. The best mode of transmitting this information is through oral explanations by the commander and his staff. Written orders of all kinds should be held to a minimum, in order to avoid having their contents divulged by loss or mistake.

3. Prior to setting out, all officers at every level should appoint a replacement, in order, on the one hand to express their resolution to sacrifice themselves and, on the other hand, to avoid the risk that, if they are wounded or killed, the action of the guerrilla unit may fail to attain its objective because of them, thus influencing the whole situation.

1. We must make the greatest efforts to conceal the movements of a guerrilla unit and to prevent discovery by the enemy. Consequently, while advancing, we must leave the highroads and avoid large villages, and choose out-of-the-way places or even places where there are no roads at all, advancing along narrow winding trails. But we should keep away from miry roads, so as to avoid excessive fatigue.

2. When advancing, we should not proceed for long time on the same road, for this makes it easy for the enemy to discover our tracks. From the standpoint of keeping our movements secret, it is also generally appropriate to move by night, even when we are advancing a long distance.

3. When we are advancing, for the sake of concealing ourselves, we should hold the number of people we send out for reconnaissance to the very lowest level. In general, it will be sufficient to send just a few scouts along the road, but we must have very good guides.

4. If we are not absolutely certain that there are no enemy spies coming to observe us, it is best to divide our forces into small groups, which advance separately in different directions and then concentrate at a point which has been secretly designated.

5. When a guerrilla unit is on the move, it should be constantly prepared for a meeting with the enemy. For this reason, the commanding officer of a guerrilla unit generally advances, accompanied by his staff, just behind the scouts, behind the elite soldiers, or ahead of the staff of the unit (the staff is entrusted to the leadership of the second in command). Thus, it is easy to obtain a clear picture of the situation, and decisions can be taken very rapidly. If the commander sees that it is possible to advance, he advances; if he becomes aware of difficulties, he withdraws. All that is required is for two or three officers to hold a discussion, and then the decision can be made. Thus, we avoid sending orders back and forth, with the consequent wasting of opportunities, and we diminish command form the rear, and its attendant evil of taking action not in keeping with the circumstances.

6. Apart from the scouts sent out along the road, the soldiers of the guerrilla unit should not load their rifles, so as to avoid accidental discharges during the march and discovery by the enemy.

1. Under no circumstances should a guerrilla unit provoke a pointless battle before it has reached its objective. Even though a guerrilla unit may encounter the enemy in the course of its march, it should devise a way for getting around him—if necessary, departing from the original plan. If there is no way of avoiding battle, we should emerge from ambush, after rapid preparations, so as to appear where the enemy does not expect us and annihilate him by a surprise attack. At the same time, when we are carrying out such a maneuver, we should pay attention to whether the enemy halts or advances, and send out scouts to reconnoiter from all directions. If the enemy army is not prepared for battle or if, although he is in some strength, he is not on the alert, we should charge him immediately. Otherwise, we should remain in hiding and quietly await an opportunity.

2. When, in the course of our march, we encounter enemy outposts or scouts, we should avoid being seen by them and circle past them in strict silence. But it we encounter a situation in which we judge there is an opportunity to be grasped, we should act rapidly and capture them without firing a shot.

When a guerrilla unit carries out a surprise attack, the disposition of its troops should be more or less as follows:

1. We should launch a fierce attack by our main force on the point in the enemy's disposition where it hurts the most — a really swift and resolute sudden blow. We should also send another force around to carry out energetic action on the enemy's flanks and in his rear, in order to confuse his judgement, and prevent him from fathoming where our main force is located.

2. We should attack one point in the enemy's disposition with all our might, but we should also carry out feigned deployments in other places and make an empty demonstration with a few scattered soldiers, so as to confuse the enemy's eyes and ears, and disperse his forces.

3. If we can determine beforehand the enemy's line of retreat, then we should, within the limits of what is possible, send a part of our forces to intercept him. Ii the enemy has his heavy artillery and logistic supply installed outside the village, then we should designate a special small group to seize them.

4. If the guerrilla unit is numerically strong, it should be divided into several columns and should carry out the attack from two, three, or several directions, attempting to cut off the enemy's retreat, But we should consider the matter thoroughly, so as to avoid causing confusion in our own ranks, which might result in erroneously taking our own troops for those of the enemy. Because of this possibility, it is necessary, in advance of the action, to agree on signals.

5. In the case of a surprise attack on the enemy, if there is reason to fear that enemy reinforcements may arrive from a certain direction, we should send a small body of troops in advance of the action to the route where the reinforcements may arrive, so as to obstruct their advance, or report this peril to the main force.

6. At the time of a surprise attack, the choice of the point on which the brunt of the attack will fall, and the geographical distribution of our forces (in general, two-thirds of our men are used for the principal direction of attack, and only one-third for the auxiliary directions of attack) must absolutely be such as to prevent the enemy forces from spreading out or receiving reinforcements and to make it possible for us to smash them one by one.

7. The various task groups making up a guerrilla unit should divide their forces within a very short distance of the point where the attack is to be made, and from there make a separate but coordinated advance. The best place for this is the point from which the charge will be made. In this way, we can avoid such misfortunes as losing our way, or the premature division of our forces, and we can also. guard against the danger of surprise attacks by the enemy. For the farther apart are the various independent columns or groups, the more likely they are to be separated by the terrain, and the more difficult it will be to expect them all to strike at the same moment.

In general, we charge the enemy when he is not prepared, in circumstances where he is frightened and flustered. If we really want to strike when the enemy is not expecting us and attain success, the following points should be attended to:

1. We must act rapidly and secretly and not allow our plans to be revealed prematurely.

2. We must strike at a time when the enemy's warning system is not very alert.

3. We must make an empty display, and attack in several places at once, so that the enemy's reaction is confused, his forces are frightened and hamper one another, and he cannot use all his strength to resist us stubbornly.

4. In carrying out the surprise attack, we must attack at the appointed hours; there must be no noise; no shots must be fired; there must be no battle cries. We must make every soldier understand the use of the arms employed in a surprise attack, which are the bayonet and the hand grenade. We must not return fire simply because we hear the gunfire of the enemy. It is only when we have an opportunity to take advantage of the situation to attack the enemy that we should launch our attack, with our vanguard well supported by our rear guard, choosing frontal, flanking, or direct blows.

1. As soon as the tasks of a surprise attack have been carried out, a guerrilla unit should rapidly withdraw. Before withdrawing, it is best to go a few li in a false direction, and then afterward turn and go in our true direction, so that the enemy will be unable to discover our tracks, and will not be able to follow us.

2. It is not appropriate for a guerrilla unit to take along prisoners, or to acquire large amounts of booty, which hinder our movement. It is best to require the prisoners first to hand over their weapons, and then to disperse them or to execute them. As for booty, it should be dispatched by the local government, or by the population.

3. During the battle, three officers and men out of every company should be given the exclusive task of picking up and gathering together abandoned rifles and ammunition. After a victorious battle, we should devote all our efforts to collecting everything on the battlefield, and we can also call upon the population of nearby areas to gather such things together, so that not the smallest trifle is left behind.

If a surprise attack is defeated, we should rapidly withdraw to the place of assembly designated in advance. The usual assembly point is in the place where we encamped the previous night. If our forces are sufficient, we can leave a reserve unit along the designated withdrawal route, to look out for prisoners and wounded men.


1. All reports on the situation should be transmitted without loss of time to one's superiors or to friendly armies.

2. The reports which we collect absolutely must be in full detail. All sloppy and negligent reporting must be severely prohibited.

3. The scope of espionage is not limited merely to the situation of the enemy; spies should also pay attention to the terrain. We should be informed of all aspects of the terrain that are disadvantageous to us, especially those aspects favourable to the enemy, such as narrow roads, river crossings, circuitous routes for avoiding these river crossings and narrow roads, etc.

4. We should bend every effort to obtain complete and detailed information regarding all matters having any relation to our guerrilla unit; our efforts should never cease until we understand the situation thoroughly.

5. We should pay attention to the sentiments of the people toward ourselves and the enemy. Are the people actively aiding us? How is their positive attitude manifested?

Apart from sending out courageous and intelligent individuals (i.e., spies) to carry out espionage on every hand, a guerrilla unit must unite closely with the popular masses of the place in question. Moreover, in strategically important places, we use reliable local inhabitants or those among the people who sympathize with the guerrilla unit (for example, we can make use of feudal relationships and find a relative, or someone belonging to the family of person who has been executed by the enemy; we can also employ those among the people who hate the enemy, etc. ). We give these people a relatively good salary, establish a secret espionage network, as well as a system of sentries, so that we can transmit information with facility.

1. Where are so and so many enemy infantrymen, cavalrymen, artillery-men, and other units to be found? How many armored cars and trains, tanks and air planes does the enemy have? And where are they?

2. What kind of defensive works does the enemy have in his front, in his rear, and around his cities and other places? What kind of forces are defending?

3. Where are the enemy's encampments and arsenals?

4. What about the enemy's reserves and flanking troops? Where are they?

5. How is the morale of the enemy soldiers? Are they prepared to fight or not? What are their relations with the people and with their own officers?

6. What about the enemy army's supplies of military equipment, bedding and clothes, food, and other items?

1. First of all, we must pay attention to the important roads within this area, as well as their direction, their width, their type of surface, whether or not they are muddy, etc., and whether or not they are suitable for use by all types of forces.

2. Are there any forests or not? If there are, we must pay attention to the kinds of trees, and to their area.

3. We must consider rivers, their width and depth, their rate of flow, the slope and type of soil of the banks. Are there bridges, ferries, or other means for crossing the river? If there are bridges, will they bear up under artillery, the baggage train, and other types of unit?

4. Are there any marshes? Where? What is their area? Can they be crossed or not? If so, we must note what kinds of troops can get through them.

When we emerge suddenly from hiding, and strike a sudden blow at the enemy who is just passing by, this is called an ambush. The sole habitual tactic of a guerrilla unit is the ambush. By means of an ambush it is extremely easy to obtain a good result, and as a general rule they are always advantageous. Such action is divided into the following types:

1. Ambush by luring the enemy. This occurs when our troops, so to speak, prostrate themselves and hold out both arms, enticing the enemy to penetrate deeply. It is carried out by first placing our main force in ambush along the two sides of the road, or in a hiding place on one side, and then attacking the enemy with a small force. This force then feigns defeat and withdraws, luring the enemy deep into our lines, after which the main force rushes out from one side or both sides and carries out a surprise attack.

2. Waiting ambushes. These are very similar to ambushes by luring the enemy, but it is not necessary for a part of our forces to feign defeat. Instead, we establish an observation post on some height, to observe the movements of the enemy army, and when his main force has reached the appropriate point, we rush out and attack him by surprise.

Ambushes can be carried out against a variety of ob
Kamran Heiss
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Soviet cogitations: 832
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 02 Apr 2008, 16:58
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Post 03 Apr 2008, 04:14
It's all pre-RMA. Useless in a modern conflict, these writings only have historical value.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 03 Apr 2008, 05:32
It's all pre-RMA. Useless in a modern conflict, these writings only have historical value.

==Not really, very few nations have underwent the latest RMA, in fact, the US is probably the only country that is going through it, for the rest of the world, especially the large number of third world countries, their military thinking has progresses little from Mao's time.

Of course, the detailed procedures will always go out of date, but basic principles, such aw popular support, deception, conservation of strength, situation awareness etc will never go out of date.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Post 03 Apr 2008, 08:44
Yes and no. Most of Europe has also undergone RMA. China and Russia are currently in the middle of modernizing, and once those modernization programs are complete it will also apply.

Though yes you are right that in conflicts between third world nations the basic principles listed are still valid. The main point that I was making was that this is primarily a historical document rather then something modern war should be fought by.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Jun 2009, 04:00
Post 04 Jun 2009, 16:21
To people who do not have states (read: revolutionaries), the RMA is a mute point. Every revolutionary armed struggle that has taken place since WWII has been waged according to the basic principles laid out by Mao Zedong, adapted to local conditions. Take for example the revolutions in Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, and Korea. Look at the FARC-EP in Colombia, ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, the NPA in the Philippines, the PLA in Nepal, the CPP in Peru, the PFLP in Palestine... the list goes on and on.

It is absolutely absurd to say that the RMA makes People's War outmoded. In fact, it makes it all the more important.

Of course, in the imperialist countries, Mao's theories of protracted people's war will not be effective, and a more classicly Bolshevik model of revolution will be the way forward.
Study Marxism through the concrete analysis of past and contemporary national liberation struggles and class struggles:
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Post 04 Jun 2009, 22:33
Let me, then, just dissect a few key points and show where this document errs.

The principal function of an army's weapons is simply to kill the enemy, and an army's final aim is simply to reduce or destroy the enemy's fighting strength.

Wrong. The principal function of an army is to achieve certain political objectives. If we are talking about the outcome of a war as a whole, then the victory conditions are not the killing of enemy troops, but the achievement of state objectives. On the strategic level of planning these objectives are set politically.

Such actions as cutting electric lines, destroying bridges, starting rumors, spreading poison, or cutting off supplies can everywhere inconvenience the enemy or reduce his fighting strength.

Can also provoke reprisals against the local population, and if the enemy if a first world or second world power then the people involved in the struggle will be subject to incredible hardships, their country will be destroyed, and unless the occupier politically chooses to leave, they will still not achieve victory. The Soviet war in Afghan provides a perfect example.

We must not, because we are undergoing the suffering of a war more cruel than any seen in the past, immediately capitulate; nor must we, under the influence of a long war, suddenly lose our endurance and give way to lassitude.

Sure. But what is the objective? And is this a total war or a limited war? If it's a total war then there really is no choice. And if it's a limited war then this doesn't apply. A limited war in principle should be stopped if the price to be paid outweighs the benefits from victory.

We must know that, although the circumstances and the duration of the war are cruel and protracted, this is nothing compared to what would happen if the war were lost; if our country were destroyed and the whole of our people reduced to a position of irretrievable ruin, the suffering would be even more cruel and would never come to an end.

Again the political context of the time period undermines notions of universality. Not all defeats result in genocide.

When it is not advantageous for our main land army to meet the enemy in large-scale engagements and we, therefore, 'send' out commando units or guerrilla units, which employ the tactics of avoiding strength and striking at weakness, of flitting about and having no fixed position, and of subduing the enemy according to circumstances, and when we do not oppose the enemy according to the ordinary rules of tactics, this is called employing guerrilla tactics.

Except that post RMA what is said applies to any regular army. There are no more fixed positions, not since the early 50s-60s, when modern war has become something of fluid mobility facilitated by tac-air, motorized and mechanized units, and mobility battles. Any army will tried to avoid the enemies strength and strike against his center of gravity where he is weakest.

In short, this document deals withoutmoded guerilla warfare between third world rebellions, and equally antiquated third world militaries.
Soviet cogitations: 102
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Oct 2009, 14:21
Post 10 Nov 2009, 15:41
Dear Comrade heiss93

Thank you for your post.

Mao's thinking seems to be a reworking of the 6th century text from the Zhou Dynasty, entitled 'Bingfa', written by master Sun. This is better known in the West as The Art of War, but actually means 'Soldier's Method', or 'Soldier's law'.

Mao is making use of his greatest military asset; namely the masses. He is inspiring them to use Chinese martial arts on the 20th century battlefield. In a very real sense, Mao is encouraging them to use the only real thing they own, and that is their labour. The people will always be at a disadvantage with the bourgeois. The bourgeois will always strive to make ever greater weapons and weapons systems to protect their class priviledges and social elitism. But their greatest weapon is their beleif in their own superiority, and that they think that this makes the working class afraid.

Mao is saying that the working masses should not be afraid when they confront bourgeois, superior technology. This is correct. Revolutionary Warfare begins in the mind. The bourgeois are morally corrupt, and we should not fear them, or their supporters. I remember a case in the Korean War, when Chinese soldiers, many of them armed only with bamboo sticks, attacked a number of British tanks. The tanks had to take it in turns to machine gun one another, to keep the soldiers off. This action prevented the tanks supporting an isolated British unit that had to surrender to Chinese troops.
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