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Who are or were the best guerrilla fighters?

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posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 11:41 PM
My vote would have to be for specific members the WW2 Japanese Armed forces and who eventually became known as the Japanese Holdout. Last two known to have given up only did so in 1974. Out of those two one only gave up after being found by an search patrol and the other only gave up after his superior officer of WW2 ordered him to.

Most of them where hiding out in Guam and places like the Philippines while the places where under heavy occupation by Allied forces still.

Another reason I chose them, is because while they didn't cause absolute anarchy and attract un-needed attention they still had no backing or sponsorship from Japan for however long they held out meaning the last few had to be creative and patient otherwise they would run out of the ammo they had been issued decades earlier Onoda still had almost all of his issued gear in working order amazingly all the way in 74.

posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

I would agree. The American Apache was the greatest guerilla fighter who ever walked the earth. They were unparalleled, mounted or on foot.

A subset of the group would include other American Indians, and one I fought alongside was Yacqui, and we took some scalps against the Cong.

The Apache didn't just live off the land, they were part of it.

Honorable mention to VC, Afghani's.

A close second to be sure.

posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 11:37 AM
In my opinion, the following were all great geurilla warriors:
1. The Afghans against Russia and NATRO and the US;
2. The Boers against Britain;
3. The Viet Cong against the French and the US;
4. Native American Tribes;
5. The US during the Revolution;
6. The Mau Mau;
7. Tito's Partisans against the Nazi's;
8. The Maquis against the Nazi's;
9 Soviet Partisans against the Nazi's; and,
10. Mao's Communists against the Japanese and the Chinese Nationalists
There are also other groups that could have honorable mentions, but the ones I've listed would seem to be the best of the best, imho.

posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by Wally Conley

Pretty good list there. I have to disagree with the US revolution however as a whole.

There were certain elements In it that represented guerrilla type units and you could make a case for say Daniel Morgan and the Virgina Riflemen used guerilla tactics and there was pockets of resistance all over im not sure it fits in the historical context.

But we are talking apples and oranges.


What does this show? Like the Neocons who thought Iraq and Afganistan would be a cakewalk, like the US leaders that committed troops to Vietnam, or like the IDF in Gaza now, you cannot defeat a insurgent force that is willing to die. History is rife with this classic mistake. The more brutal you are, the more the ranks swell of the insurgents.

posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 11:50 AM

Originally posted by citizen smith
There have been many guerilla-fighters that could be commended for taking on a far stronger opponent and winning despite the odds against them, usually by a foriegn invading force against a smaller opponent with intimate knowlege of their own back yard and support from the community.

The Viet-Cong would stand out as one of the premier guerilla forces, having sent both the French and American armies running.

Definate candidates for the 'Sun-Tzu' award!

Cubans I would add to that list as well....

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 12:08 AM
reply to post by citizen smith

Citizen, the Viet Cong never sent American forces running. They never won a single damned battle. Were they dedicated? Yes. Were they tough? Yes.

Were they beaten? Yes.

They were certainly dedicated, but not all that. Just a lot of them, and they shot their bolt in 1968. After Tet, they were never a force of any consequence.

The NVA were much tougher, much better trained, and much better armed. Even then, Special Forces racked up a 100:1 to 150:1 kill ratio against them.

The same Special Forces that combined with Company Branch Operatives and TACP's, totaling less than 300 men, overthrew the Taliban government in weeks, when Alexander required three long, hard years.

Special Forces are like the SAS and many other fine special operations forces. They're called special, because they are.

The best guerilla fighter? The American Apache.

And there's a reason that in SF we were issued tomahawks for combat, and our insignia includes crossed arrows. Think about it.

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 09:39 AM
dooper, Thanks for the respect of my ancestors. I don't believe many here are completely aware of how the Apache scout was raised and trained. It starts when you learn to walk and continues throughout ones life. You never stop learning. The modern people of today just cannot fathom the knowledge of the land that these people had.[have for those very few that still exist]. The only other groups out there with close to this much knowledge of the land might be the Inuits, the native Somalis, and maybe some of the African and South American tribes.

As to the Viet- Cong they did not win at had an incredible loss of life, but their way of fighting garnered much respect from those that fought against them. It was fast ,vicious, and unconventional. Some of my friends that were there, still have nightmares of it all.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 11:42 AM
The original guerilla fighters were the RIFFIS of Morocco, led by Abdelkrim El Khattabi!

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 11:44 AM
Only one person even came close to the #1 imo.

The Basques.

Che Guevarra
Simon Bolivar

Those are a couple you're familiar with of Basque descent. But...for a right nasty SOB you need to look up Tomas de Zumalacarregui and the 1st Carlist War. The fighting against Napoleon and back and back and back.











ad nauseum.

The Apache had huge tracts of land to run around and hide in. These guys' enemies don't have to look for them. They know right where they are. That's a massive difference in my book. They are restricted to a very small area which extremely limits their run oft n hide options enjoyed by others listed here.

Guerilla warfare is in these guy's DNA. There is a reason special forces wear Berets today. Look into it.

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 03:24 PM
Hands down, the Apache.

When you look at force ratios, length of defense, technolgy differentials, logistics, no one else even comes close.

The Apache numbered around 10K total at their peak. That means that at most, there were only ~3K effectives, the remainder being too young, too old, or too infirm to fight. The greatest number who fought together at one time was seldom more than 500. In the final campaign 35 warriors burdened with 85 women, children and elderly fought 5,000 US soldiers (1/4 of the entire US army at the time) and 500 Indian scouts, several thousand Arizona volunteers, and some 4,000 Mexican soldiers to a standstil, winning every battle.

Apaches fought for their homelands for over 250 years against the Spanish, the Mexicans, and the Americans, in the end fighting a two-front war for some 50 years.

Apaches fought guns and cannon with bows and lances until they could acquire enough arms by stripping the dead of weapons and ammunition. Some Apache were still fighting with ancient flintlocks while facing modern (1850 modern) rifles.

Logistically, you need to remember that the Apache had no manufacturing capacity, no friendly nation to support them, and were constantly harrassed. Both Mexico and the US had laws forbidding the sale of guns and ammuntion to the Apache. Every bit of modern weaponry and ammuntion was supplied by their enemies after they were defeated in battle by stripping the dead of their weapons and ammunition.

Apache campaigns and tactics are still studied at West Point and the Staff War College, so the techniques they developoed and lessons they taught are enduring and still relevant.

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 04:58 PM
It took 5,000 soldiers to pin down Geronimo's band of 24 that's true.

The only fighting though was Apache's killing farmers and ranchers they ran across in the area.

In fact I could find very few battles where the Apache actually won, even when outnumbering local militia (their main enemy) by 5 - 10:1.

The Apache were stubborn, fierce and knew their turf and were undoubtedly some of the fiercest warriors this ball of mud ever saw. But, in the end I think they're overrated as an inevitable consequence of being the 'boogey man' that the Americans needed to have in order to soothe a national conscience bent on the conquest of a continent.

The argument about weapons also doesn't work in their favor. The best Guerilla fighters adapt quickly and will arm themselves from their foe. The fact that the Apache were still using bows and arrows after 22 years of contact doesn't score a lot of points. The Commanche were a lot meaner in my opinion.

And none of them ever scored a substantial victory over a large field force unless you count one wiped out company under Custar. They had no Khyber passes, no Dien Bien Phu's, Roncesvalles or Oriamendi's.

I'd say:

#1 Basque
#2 Lusitani under Sertorius especially
#3 Afghans (had to give #2 to the Lus but these boys just keep ticking)
#3 Boer
#4 Montengards
#5 Hungarians (some tough sobs)
#6 Phillipino's (hugely underestimated but these dudes are muy scrappy)
#7 VC (scoring lower due to their huge support from other states)
#8 Irish (high scores for longevity if nothing else stubborn sods!)
#9 Scots (was tough between the celtic twins....had to give props to the Irish for continuing to produce outstanding beer in trying times!)
#10 Native Americans (As a whole these folk fought well and bravely and I think it impossible to give any one tribe pride of place as so many of them fought so well.)

[edit on 15-2-2010 by Warfax]

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 05:42 PM
The US Navy Seals in Vietnam.

They used guerrilla fighter techniques against the VC and later against the NVA.

the proof can be seen in the large reward the NVA offered for dead Navy Seals.

Combat with the Viet Cong was direct. Unlike the conventional warfare methods of firing artillery into a coordinate location, the SEALs operated within inches of their targets. Into the late 1960s, the SEALs were successful in a new style of warfare, effective in anti-guerrilla and guerrilla actions. SEALs brought a personal war to the enemy in a previously safe area. In Vietnam, Navy SEAL kill ratio was extraordinary, with over 200 enemy dead for every SEAL casualty.The Viet Cong referred to them as "the men with green faces," due to the camouflage face paint the SEALs wore during combat missions.

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by Warfax

Actually there were a large number of small engagements, all of which were won by Apache. To lose any of them always meant annihilation or imprisonment. A competent guerrilla picks the fights he can win and abandons ground he knows he can't hold.

The mark of a successful guerrilla is not how many european-style set-piece battles you win, it is how much damage you inflict upon the enemy vs. the cost to you. On that scale, did you know that up until the Mideast wars, the Apache warrior was the single most expensive enemy the US ever fought, as measured by dollar cost to kill a single fighter? Adjusted for inflation of course.

And remember that most of the battles you read about were written by whites, who tended to forget and not record lost battles, or to record them as "massacres", rather than the defeats they actually were. The Sioux and Cheyenne fought a successful war that drove the Americans from the Black Hills for nearly a generation, but the history books don't mention much of that.

The reason that we fought with bows for so long was logistics: ammunition was extremely hard to come by. Even when you equip yourself with the dead enemy's guns, chances are there is very little ammunition left. Few other groups have fought under such stringent supply difficulties: every single one of those you list as better didn't have as much of a technology gap vs their enemies, plus had either self-manufacturing capability or the support of a friendly nation.

Name any other group who had to fight two advanced nations with zero outside support and lasted for as long as the Apache.

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 06:46 PM

Originally posted by reluctantpawn
What is the publics opinion on the worlds best guerrilla fighters?

I'd vote for the arms lobby or the oil lobby.

Both have managed to kill their enemies discreetly, sometimes without publicity, while they get more and more powerful and nobody considers them guerillas because the cocksuckers wear expensive suits.

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 09:33 AM
"Name any other group who had to fight two advanced nations with zero outside support and lasted for as long as the Apache."

The Carlists under Zumalacarregui. I know you're hell bent on the Apache but you seriously need to look at these guys. They weren't up against two advanced nations that true....they were up against 4. Spain, Portugal, France and England. Their area of operation was tiny compared with the vast space the Apache had to run around in.

They started out with 800 largely unarmed militia and one old cannon that they unburied from somewhere and would haul around by main force and setup from time to time before reburying it to hide it from the enemy. Their troops were armed completely off the dead enemy soldiers except for the Shako's which they distained in favor of their own native Berets and boots in favor of their own rope sandals.

At the end of two years the Uncle's forces had grown from 800 shabby farmers and herders to nearly 30,000 men putting out fire by platoon in staggered volleys.

These are the same freaking people that mauled Napoleon in savage guerilla warfare thirty years prior. Same people that would fight THREE more nasty savage wars in the next 100 years. And that's just lately. Prior to that you see not decades, but millenia of fighting by these guys. Same with the Afghans.

And again I believe you are mistaking fierceness for effectiveness. In their long fight against the whites I see ONE little town that had to be abandoned due to Apache raids (i am sure there were more but i can't find them). The Commanche on the other hand forced the europeans back 100 miles along their entire range during the civil war when troops couldn't be spared to engage them. Now THAT is effect.

Actually if you want to argue effectiveness as guerilla fighters you can add the American Frontiersman to the list. Small bands of hunters and trappers that relentlessly wore away at the Native American populations. The Apaches greatest foe wasn't the US cavalry, it was the Kit Carsons and Tom Horns that hounded them down.

Or, actually if you want to see true nasty guerilla fighters in action in the America's, take a look at Quantrills raiders.

If you had it though i'd love to see a link or book title of the dollar per dollar cost. I'm fascinated by the stats you yanks keep around

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 09:43 AM
Am I the first person to suggest the Seminoles of Florida, led be Osceola are at the very top of this list? They are the only Native American tribe that actually HELD all their land in their fighting, and still reside there today. Fighting with only around 2000 braves they fought back the American occupation in the early 1800's , doesnt that count? Yes, I thought so. lol

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 10:04 AM
reply to post by WyrdeOne

Ugh, they way they fought during the rev. war was remarkably idiotic.

hey guys, let's stand in a line and fire at each other until all of us are dead!

Basically, Weather you liked it or not, you were probably gunna get some lead in you.


Anyway, I'll probably go with the VC.

But during WWII, the U.S had some pretty successful Guerrilla groups.
(Pretty much pertaining to the Pacific Theater)
For example, during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 10:55 AM
If you love rooting for the underdog do yourself a favour, go read about the anglo-boer war.

A bunch of farmers (boers) take on the might of the British empire at the time when they were the biggest superpower and what happens, they kick their asses to such an extent that the only way the British can stop them is by burning their farms and and putting their women and children in concentration camps to starve and die from disease.

Here`s a true story. My father collects coins and there is one which is very prized. After the war broke out the Boers didnt have a money press to mint coins, what did the boertjies do? They go and steal a money press from the British.

I cant remember the quote exactly but Winston Churchill is quoted as saying something along the lines of: Give me 100 battalions of allieds and ill beach Normandy, Give me fifty more and ill advance to Berlin, but just give me twenty battalios of those hardy boer soldiers and Ill wipe Hitler off the map." Im pretty sure I got it wrong but thats the gist of it.


posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 11:13 AM
The Boers were some tough bastards. That's why they came in high on my list. I believe it took Kitchener and an army of nearly 200k to finally put them down using pretty distasteful tactics yes. Then again, in a guerilla war distasteful tactics are hardly uncommon hehe.

PS Yes Seminoles fought superbly. They do not however still inhabit their traditional grounds in Florida as they were defeated by bribes in one form or another and relocated to Oklahoma for the most part. Unlike the Apache however the Seminoles engaged and won several fair sized battles. One thing all the Native Americans had working for them is the vast terrain of the America's. Same with the Boers. The greatest difficulty the Brits had was crossing the immense distances necessary to engage their enemy.

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 11:36 AM
Personally I go for a group in Lewes (England) so secretive we don't even know their name.. but we know the enemy, public technology.. battlions of cameras in all shapes and sizes, parking meters, pay and display machines, the list goes on and on.

I mean, this stuff is literally taking over the whole world, THE WHOLE WORLD.. It is relentless, destroy a few and millions more appear in bomb proof designs and steel jackets..

What human can stand against a bomb proof parking meter in a steel jacket...

I am sure they are not from this planet.. We're being invaded I tell ya..

Anyway my vote goes on this 5 year ongoing battle against that dreaded space invader.

Tho currently the score stands at over 300+ bits of Tech blown up to no captures by the human servants of the evil public tech..

Edit Spelling and what not

[edit on 16/2/10 by thoughtsfull]

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