American Partisan has posted a review of thirteen 4GW books, a sort of self-study using lessons learned by guerilla fighters in enemy occupied countries. There are many worthwhile takeaways, from both winning and losing campaigns. 4GW has always been nasty stuff, often repulsive, by intent. Much of what’s said of it by would-be partisan fighters is to talk themselves off the Robin Hood ledge by a nod to its medieval realities.
I’m interested in understanding what both sides are up to, the how and why, to better avoid even accidental entanglement. Why? Guerilla outfits have a near perfect record of serial betrayal from within, of losing battles and being cut to pieces, or of winning battles and being cut to pieces later along with the whole zip code they operate in, of getting sidetracked with back and forth revenge atrocities, of internal power struggles that sap strength and resources, or of devolving into just another criminal gang.
If they do depose the occupiers, the new government understandably sees them as a danger to the state and persecutes the principles for whatever crime most offends the citizenry. A decade later they’ll make mostly fake documentaries about their heroic struggle on behalf of the regime and trot out the better behaved survivors for drinks and speeches. In other words, the payoff for partisans is survival. The payoff for survivalists is also survival, without all the noise and drama.
Militias are different from partisans. Militias act to defend their community from an enemy incursion. Their motive is plainly stated in the movie Red Dawn: “We live here”. There’s no legitimate counter argument. Partisan guerillas define “here” as the whole country and concern themselves with conquering territory. By definition they’re the military arms of political parties, and there’s no natural limit to the ambition of either.
Insurgencies are a whole ‘nuther catagory, for another time.
Anyway, two things stood out in American Partisan’s critiques. First, it confirms cities are death traps for would-be urban guerilla fighters. Here’s a quote in support of the Monkey Wrench Gang’s thermite-at-night approach:
“Generally, urban operations are a bad idea and Lind’s Victoria says that siege is the way to take a city which has been true forever”.
Siege, as in Stalingrad and Leningrad. As in Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia—the world of Selco Begovic. As in blow the bridges, cut the power lines, wreck the railroads, shut off the water and shoot the place up from outside. No need to go house to house kicking in doors and clearing neighborhoods, the inmates will do it for you. Here diversity actually is a strength, combined with scarcity the cities will defeat themselves. Wait ’em out, then walk in with sandwiches and smokes, the place is yours.
Second, it confirms piling up steampunk carbines is not decisive in the long run. As always, the boring stuff is make or break.
“Ammunition, he writes, is the scarcest supply”.
You’ll have enough ammo if you use it as if every round were your next to the last. Sometimes I come close to believing the anti-gun crowd is doing militias and prospective partisan fighters a favor by restricting magazine capacity. Relying on their field maneuver videos, “area denial” seems to be the default tactic. But the top end outfits don’t publish their best videos, so we can’t really know.
In field operations the point man needs a compact, rapid fire carbine with large capacity magazines and quick targeting gizmos, granted. But after contact, I’d put my money on the guy with a Mauser and a grudge, or the calm soul who sneaks around and shoots ’em in the back, not the guy knee deep in brass turning ammo into noise and divots.
To me, my directive is my community, it is what I am prepared to defend and if I’m honest, my nation is now my neighbors, tribe and family.
Also, once the initial firing were done, my 22 would do the bulk of work, from a good distance and from places where egress would be assured.
Don’t be shy, comments are open.