NWORA Remembrance Vol.4 - NE99


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Page 74 of 97

Forget-me-not Remembrance Vol.4 70 W ithout a political goal, guerrilla warfare must fail, as it must if its political objectives do not coincide with the aspirations of the people and their sympathy, co-operation, and assistance cannot be gained. The essence of guerrilla warfare is thus revolutionary in character. On the other hand, in a war of counterrevolutionary nature, there is no place for guerrilla hostilities. Because guerrilla warfare basically derives from the masses and is supported by them, it can neither exist nor flourish if it separates itself from their sympathies and co-operation. There are those who do not comprehend guerrilla action, and who therefore do not understand the distinguishing qualities of a people's guerrilla war, who say: "Only regular troops can carry out guerrilla operations." There are others who, because they do not believe in the ultimate success of guerrilla action, mistakenly say: "Guerrilla warfare is an insignificant and highly specialized type of operation in which there is no place for the masses of the people." There are those who ridicule the masses and undermine resistance by wildly asserting that the people have no understanding of the war of resistance. The political goal must be clearly and precisely indicated to inhab- itants of guerrilla zones, and their national consciousness awakened. There are some militarists who say: "We are not interested in politics but only in the profession of arms." It is vital that these sim- ple-minded militarists be made to realize the relationship between politics and military affairs. Military action is a method used to attain a political goal. In all armies, obedience of the subordinates to their superiors must be exacted. This is true in the case of guerrilla discipline, but the basis for guerrilla discipline must be the individual conscience. With guerrillas a discipline of compulsion is ineffective. In any system where discipline is externally imposed, the rela- tionship that exists between officer and man is characterized by indifference of the one to the other. A self-imposed discipline is the primary characteristic of a democratic system in the army. Further, in such an army the mode of living of the officers and the soldiers must not differ too much. This is particularly true in the case of guerrilla troops. Officers should live under the same conditions as their men, for that is the only way in which they can gain from their men the admiration and confidence so vital in war. It is incorrect to hold to a theory of equality in all things, but there must be equality of existence in accepting the hardships and dangers of war. There is also a unity of spirit that should exist between troops and local inhabitants. The Eighth Route Army put into practice a code known as "Three Rules and Eight Remarks." Rules: All actions are subject to command; do not steal from the people; be neither selfish nor unjust. Remarks: Replace the door [used as a bed in summer] when you leave the house; roll up the bedding in which you have slept; be courteous; be honest in your transactions; return what you borrow; replace what you break; do not bathe in the presence of women; do not without authority search the pocketbooks of those you arrest. Many people think it impossible for guerrillas to exist for long in the enemy's rear. Such a belief reveals lack of comprehension of the relationship that should exist between the people and the troops. The former may be likened to water and the latter to the fish who inhabit it. How may it be said that these two cannot exist together? It is only undisciplined troops who make the people their enemies. And who, like the fish out of its native element, cannot live. We further our mission of destroying the enemy by propagandiz- ing his troops, by treating his captured soldiers with consideration, and by caring for those of his wounded who fall into our hands. If we fail in these respects, we strengthen the solidarity of the enemy. The primary functions of guerrillas are three: first, to conduct a war on exterior lines, that is, in the rear of the enemy; second, to establish bases; and last to extend the war areas. Thus guerrilla war is not merely a matter of purely local participation, but involves strategic considerations. What is basic guerrilla strategy? Guerrilla strategy must primarily be based on alertness, mobility, and attack. It must be adjusted to the enemy situation, the terrain, the existing lines of communication, the relative strengths, the weather, and the situation of the people. In guerrilla warfare select the tactic of seeming to come from the east while attacking from the west; avoid the solid, attack the hollow; attack; and withdraw; deliver a lightning blow, seek a lightning decision. When guerrillas engage a stronger enemy, they withdraw when he advances; harass him when he stops; strike him when he is weary; pursue him when he withdraws. In guerrilla strategy the enemy's rear, flanks, and other vulnerable spots are his vital points, and there he must be harassed, attacked, dispersed, exhausted and annihilated. If we cannot surround whole armies, we can at least partially destroy them.; if we cannot kill the enemy troops, we can capture Remembrance Vol.4 Mao's Primer on GUERRILLA WAR Translated by BRIGADIER GENERAL SAMUEL B. GRIFFITH 11

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