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Guerrilla Warfare: Authorized Edition

Guerrilla Warfare: Authorized Edition

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Guerrilla Warfare: Authorized Edition

2.5/5 (3 valutazioni)
185 pagine
2 ore
Dec 18, 2012


· First authorized edition to be published, with revised translation. . The title suggests it is a manual for would-be guerrillas. In fact, it is more of a political analysis, and marks the first time Che argues for the primacy of the subjective factor in the building of a revolutionary movement – a theme he constantly returned to. · Incongruously, Che’s book has been reprinted and studied by the CIA and US military for counterinsurgency training! (Wimberly Scott’s “Special Forces Guerrilla Warfare Manual” Paladin Press) · Ocean’s new edition has been revised and authorized by Che’s widow Aleida March. · Features a new preface by Che’s long-time guerrilla compañero Harry “Pombo” Villegas.
Dec 18, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

ERNESTO CHE GUEVARA was born in Rosario, Argentina, on 14 June 1928. Both before and after graduating from medical school in 1953, he travelled extensively throughout Latin America. In Mexico, in the summer of 1955, he was introduced to Fidel Castro. He and Raúl Castro became the first two members selected by Fidel for the expeditionary force being organised by the Cuban 26 July Revolutionary Movement to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. In late November 1956 eighty-two combatants set sail from Tuxpan, Mexico, aboard the yacht 'Granma'. The rebel forces landed on Cuba’s south-eastern coast in Oriente province on 2 December to begin the revolutionary war from the Sierra Maestra mountains. Following Batista’s fall on 1 January 1959, Guevara carried a number of responsibilities in the new revolutionary government, including head of the Department of Industrialisation of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) and president of the National Bank, while continuing his duties as an officer in the Rebel Army and then the Revolutionary Armed Forces. He frequently represented Cuba internationally, and in other world forums. As a leader of the 26 July Movement, he helped bring about the unification of the 26 July Movement, Popular Socialist Party, and 13 March Revolutionary Directorate in a single political organisation, a process that culminated in the founding of the Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965. After nine years of outstanding service in the leadership of the revolution – and consistent with a long-standing agreement with Fidel Castro – in March 1965 Guevara resigned his government and party posts, including his military commission and responsibilities, and left Cuba to continue fighting imperialism “in other lands”. Along with a number of Cuban internationalist volunteers, Guevara went first to the Congo to aid the movement founded by Patrice Lumumba. From November 1966 to October 1967 he led a guerrilla campaign in Bolivia against that country’s military dictatorship, seeking to link up with rising revolutionary struggles by workers and peasants throughout the region. Wounded and captured in the Yuro Ravine on 8 October 1967, by the Bolivian army in an operation organised together with the CIA, he was murdered the following day in the town of La Higuera.

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Anteprima del libro

Guerrilla Warfare - Che Guevara




1The Essence of Guerrilla Warfare

2Guerrilla Strategy

3Guerrilla Tactics

4Warfare on Favorable Terrain

5Warfare on Unfavorable Terrain

6Urban Warfare


The armed victory of the Cuban people over the Batista dictatorship has not only been the triumph of heroism reported by the world’s newspapers; it has also forced a change in the old dogmas concerning the conduct of the popular masses of Latin America and clearly demonstrated the capacity of the people to free themselves through guerrilla warfare from an oppressive government.

We consider that the Cuban revolution contributed three fundamental lessons to the revolutionary movements in America.* They are:

1) Popular forces can win a war against the army.

2) It is not always necessary to wait until all the revolutionary conditions exist; the insurrectional foco** can develop subjective conditions based on existing objective conditions.¹

3) In underdeveloped America the countryside is the fundamental arena for armed struggle.

Of these three propositions, the first two challenge the defeatist attitude of revolutionaries or inactive pseudo-revolutionaries who take refuge in the argument that against a professional army nothing can be done, and who sit down to wait until all necessary objective and subjective conditions are attained somehow mechanically, without trying to accelerate them. Although now clear to everyone, these two undeniable truths were previously a matter for discussion in Cuba, and are probably still debated today in America.

Naturally, when speaking of the necessary conditions for a revolution, it should not be assumed they can be created solely through the stimulus of a guerrilla foco. It must always be understood that there are minimum conditions without which the establishment and consolidation of the foco is not practicable. Moreover, it is necessary to demonstrate clearly to people the futility of maintaining the fight for social gains within the framework of civil debate. When the oppressive forces maintain themselves in power against the laws they themselves established, peace must be considered already broken.²

Under these conditions popular discontent expresses itself in more and more active forms, and resistance finally crystallizes, at a given moment, in an outbreak of the struggle.

Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla movement will experience great difficulties, as the possibilities for civil struggle have not yet been exhausted.

The third proposition is of a fundamental strategic nature and must be noted by those who dogmatically argue that the mass struggle is based in cities, entirely ignoring the immense weight of the people from the countryside in the life of all the underdeveloped countries of America. This is not to underrate the struggles of the mass of organized workers; but simply to analyze the real possibilities for engaging in armed struggle where the guarantees that usually adorn our constitutions are suspended or ignored. In these conditions the workers’ movement must function clandestinely without arms and face enormous dangers. The situation is less difficult in the open countryside, where the armed guerrillas can support the local people, and where there are places beyond the reach of the repressive

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    An interesting if somewhat dated viewpoint of the ideas and theories behind gorilla warfare and revolution. Historically it was a good read.
  • (4/5)
    Mostly practical advice, on organization, equipment, discipline, sabotage, and other things. Measured in tone and clear on things like decency towards the civilian population, etc. Also focus on learning and the need for indoctrination. No exaggerated portaits of the other side. It would be good if the tone of ideological discourse was more often like this.
  • (4/5)
    The definitive "how-to" guide for revolution.
  • (3/5)
    A classic work from the early 1960's, by an Argentine Doctor in the service of Cuba and freedom? Never needed to read it, although I do need it as a reference book just in case I do. This edition has drawings in the text.
  • (3/5)
    As out of date as this book is, it is still of use for a historical and psychological look at the tactics of the guerrilla warrior.

    Che's basic principles are simple - any guerrilla force, if properly trained and motivated and with popular support, can overthrow an unpopular repressive government and replace it with one which represents the popular will. Che's record was 1 for 3. Cuba being an unequivocal success, with the Congo less so, and Bolivia ending in his own death.

    Some of his principles on tactics are long since out of date. The US Army no longer uses M1 Garands. Any practitioner of night warfare must note its difficulty ever since the invention of night-vision goggles, IR vision, and satellite imagery. However, some were out of date even on publication. I doubt that napalm and air strikes are an 'inconvenience'.

    Nevertheless, many broad principles remain true. Become popular with the people through propaganda and good behavior. Move constantly. Out-endure the enemy, fire up the grievances against them. Attack supply lines and convoys with explosives.

    What, then, is a counter-insurgent to do against such an army? I, a mere student of humanity, offer these few scattered suggestions.

    -Maintain positive relations with the population at ALL COSTS
    -Establish areas where the population feels secure, and systematically expand them
    -Substantively address any economic/social grievances through investment in infrastructure, education, etc.
    -Have a means for the population to voice grievances peacefully (democracy)
    -Have competent governance
    -Have a solid and reliable means of gathering intelligence, whether HUMINT, SIGINT, or alternates
    -Have total control of the air
    -Establish basic economic services, make the people feel more secure with the counterinsurgency present

    All easier said than done. And what should the counterinsurgency avoid?

    -Do NOT have an external occupier as the main force for counterinsurgency (See the average Libyan's view of the United States versus the average Afghan's)
    -Do NOT coerce or intimidate the people
    -Do NOT cause excess collateral damage
    -Do NOT loot/steal/pillage supplies from the local population (Ex: See the 'Three-Alls' policy of the Imperial Japanese Army for what not to do)
    -Do NOT forcibly move/resettle the civilian population. This will stir up resentment
    -Failure in adapting to changes in tactics, communication, propaganda
    -Above all, do NOT make your force appear to be the greater threat than the insurgents are.

    For all of the book's flaws, it is still an interesting read - the psychology and the mind of the resistance fighter is similar, although the tactics are long since changed.
  • (1/5)
    Neither useful as a historical document of the Cuban Revolution, nor as a blue print for rural revolution (Che was unable to replicate his Cuban success in South America or Africa), Guerrilla Warfare is a book that would have long ago been relegated to the dustbin of history, if the face of the most marketable communist in history didn't adorn the dust-jacket. Skip it.