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Who are or were the best guerrilla fighters?

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posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 02:55 PM
reply to post by Warfax

1854: Two companies of the 1st Dragoons attacked a small Jicarilla encampment near Cieneguilla. Of 60 troopers, 22 were killed, 23 wounded, 2 later died of wounds. Although the officer leading claimed he was defeated by a superior force of 250 Apaches, modern archeological reasearch at the battle site confirmed that at most there might have been 20 warriors.

1859: Following the massacre of an Apache trading party near Kaskiyeh by Mexican soldiers, three Apache bands attacked the town of Arispe in vengeance for their lost wives, children and other relatives. They were the Bedonkohe under mangas Coloradas, the Chokonen under Cohise, and the Nednhi under Juh. after skirmishing for two days, the main force of Mexicans came out to fight, two companies of cavalry and two companies of infantry. A few hours later, they were all dead, and Kaskiiyeh was avenged. It was in this battle that a new name of terror was born: he who was known as Goyathlay (He who yawns), acquired the name he would be known by to the Pinda-lick-o-ye and Nakai-ye: Geronimo.

1860: Geronimo leads 26 warriors in an ambush of a company of Mexican cavalry, again defeating them, leaving no survivors.

1862: 30 Apache warriors turned back a Mexican punitive expedition, chasing them all the way back into Mexico.

1863: Geronimo and 3 companions attacked the Mexican town of Crassanas, near Casa Grande, causing the villagers to flee and capturing enormous booty, enough to last his tribe a year.

1864: Geronimo and 20 warriors raid into Mexico, attacking several settlements and acquiring enough supplies to last another year.

1865: Geronimo and four warriors raid deep into Mexico, eventually reaching the Gulf of California.

During the Civil War, the US actually had to pull troops from the east to try to defend Arizona, without much success.

These are a small sample of the campaigns of one minor leader. When you look at what Juh, Victorio, Lozenn, Mangas Coloradas, Mangas, Cochise, Delshay, Nana and others did you will understand the reason why the name Apache induced terror in both Americans and Mexicans.

I think people are forgetting what a guerrilla does. A guerrilla doesn't seek engagements with superior forces, especially not Apaches. We were never into "military honors", our struggle was too deadly desperate for such fripperies. Our women and children were systematically hunted and scalped for profit, when they weren't killed outright, they were taken as slaves. The Confederacy had a literal genocide order out during the time they attempted to control Arizona: all Apache males were to be killed on sight, females were allowed to taken as slaves, but no captured Apache was to be allowed within miles of another. What Apaches did was to raid to support their families, as the Anglos and Mexicans stripped all the resources wherever they went, causing starvation whenever they could. In that they were successful for centuries.

We successfully fought the Spanish and blocked their advance northwards, they never penetrated beyond our territories. We routed the Mexicans constantly, the only way they ever won a battle was through treachery, usually by falsely offering peace. We finally lost to the Americans, but only because they enlisted other Apaches to fight us (but then they betrayed those who fought for them and deported them to prison camps in Florida, too...served them right for betraying their own people and believing the lies of the Americans); one on one, the Americans never could beat us. Remember that Geronimo wsn't defeated in battle, he agreed to a negotiated peace that was betrayed as soon as he laid down arms.

As for SAS, SEALS, and other special forces, they don't count as guerrillas as they are backed by huge resources that true guerrilas lack, no guerrillas I've ever known or heard of could call in air strikes; they are more counter-guerrillas than guerrillas themselves.

The Basque I give credit to, but they never suffered from a technology disparity: their weapons were always contemporary with their adversaries' and they had their own supply bases and manufactories, plus they could play their neighbors off against each other, they never faced a combined genocidal campaign in the same way as the Apache. The Boers were tough and inventive, but they actually were technologically superior to the British troops facing them, their rifles and communications were better. The Montangards were excellent fighters: very tough cookies, but again, they also had the bennies of equal armaments and strong outside support. The Seminole actually achieved something the Apache never did: they held out until the 1970's when they finally signed a peace treaty with the US, so I have to give them credit for that.

If you're interested in the history of my people a few good books are:

Apache Wars by E. Lisle Reedstrom
Apache Chronicle by John Upton Terrell
The Medecine Men of the Apache by John Gregory Bourke
Once They Moved Like the Wind by David Roberts
Life Among The Apache by John C. Cremony
The People Called Apache by Thomas E. Mails
Great Apache Chiefs Cochise and Geronimo by Edwin R. Sweeney and Angie Debo

These are some of the better books in my private library, you'll find all the things I've cited in them, and vastly more.

Oh, why hasn't anyone mentioned the Maquis? They surely deserve a spot on the list, too, they fought a very tough campaign against the Nazis in France, and the Yugoslav Partisans gave the Nazis fits, too.

Another good set of books on the subject in War in the Shadows, Vols 1&2. I forget the author, I loaned my copies to someone for research and never got them back. But they are an excellent overview of guerrillas in history.

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 04:24 PM
Actually if you want a funny story, look into the guy the Spaniards brought in to fight the Commanche and Apache. De Anza and his son.

You'll disprove a few of your statements from above. In fact the Apache asked the Mexican government for aid vs the Commanche and Utes who were driving them from their lands. At one point the Apache spread as far East as Arkansas.

Also reference Visigothic and Frankish campaigns against the Basque from the 5th to 8th centuries. You're also right about them playing their opponents off against one another. Genious. Innovative. Tough. And STILL fighting hehe. I'm telling you, they just won't quit.

The Basque and Apache do have one thing in common i'll grant you
. If you're going to beat them, you best hire some on your side! (also a failing of both groups hehe)

I guess my main point about the Basques and the one that initially brought them to my attention, is that if you look at the great guerilla wars of the past, over and over and over again you stumble over them. Che Guevarra, Simon Bolivar, Tomas Z etc etc. They are just pasted all over history if you care to look. Our own history books here were woefully short of them since good king Georgy for instance ordered the history books wiped after a particularly embarrassing loss to them. In fact I believe the last Spanish vessels to successfully pillage the English coast lines were commanded by one of these ne'er do wells!

My point about the Basques being they have carved themselves into history across the globe in one guerilla war after another. In my mind that puts them above the rest. It's almost as if they're professional Guerilla fighters just lurking around waiting for an opportunity to pop up. I no of no other group like this. For sheer tenacity, staying power and number of involvements I have to give it to these guys.

PS topic but, if you're a fan of history you need to read about Blas de Lezo. A guy Geronimo would have definately have loved to have had a beer with!

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

[edit on 16-2-2010 by Warfax]

posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 05:40 PM
When the conquistadors when to Mexico they easily fooled the natives and won any of their fights. When they went to the Philippines they're swords where no match for the stick fighters.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:13 PM
hey you aint kiddin bro and the afghans, all proven vets of that dog war bro :-)) those are the guys you need when shtf lola reply to: DeadFlagBlues

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 10:58 AM
"To win a hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To win a war without ever meeting on the field of battle is the acme of skill." -The Art of War

First, how do you measure success? American style--by body count? Or the eventual success of your cause? Or by the righteousness of your cause? Or by exhibiting the best of your people's valor and manly courage?

If you go by body count, then the Finns in the Winter War against the behemoth Soviet Union would top the list. They killed 41 Russians for every Finnish fatality. By contrast, the Americans were killing Japanese 29:1 in 1945, including the A-bombs.

If you go by eventual success, then maybe you'd have to say the Continental Irregulars in the American Revolution. George Washington fought nearly 100 actions, and lost every single pitched battle he ever fought, except Yorktown. But the regular Continental Army was merely the anvil for the irregulars, who were definitely the hammer. The American success gave hope to anti-colonial movements worldwide including the Mau-mau and Viet Cong.

The European measure of succes is primarily economic. But not all cultures "win" by ruining the economy of their enemies. The US slaughter of bison on the high plains was instrumental to victory over the plains tribes, as was the killing of women and children prisoners. The native cultures saw victory in terms of personal conduct: bravery in single combat against an adversary who was himself honorable. Shooting a rifle from behind cover was an admission of cowardice. On the other hand, "counting coup", i.e., physically laying a hand on the enemy, but letting him live afterward, was the ultimate moral triumph.

So it's pretty arbitrary to designate one group as "the best," when they all fought under different circumstances, and measured victory on different scales.

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 11:00 AM
a reply to: reluctantpawn

The most accurate ones.. nothing else matters.

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