Defensive fighting position
A defensive fighting position is a type of earthwork constructed in a military context large enough to accommodate anything from one soldier to a fire team. Tobruk type positions are named after the system of defensive positions constructed by the Italian Army at Tobruk, Libya. After Tobruk fell to the Allies in January 1941, the existing positions were modified and expanded by the Australian Army which, along with other Allied forces, reused them in the Siege of Tobruk. A foxhole is one type of defensive strategic position, it is a "small pit used for cover for one or two personnel, so constructed that the occupants can fire from it". It is known more within United States Army slang as a "fighting position" or as a "ranger grave", it is known as a "fighting hole" in the United States Marine Corps, a "gun-pit" in Australian Army terminology, a "fighting pit" in the New Zealand Army. In British and Canadian military argot it equates to a range of terms including slit trench, or fire trench, a sangar or shell scrape, or simply—but less accurately—as a "trench".
During the American Civil War the term "rifle pit" was recognized by both U. S. Army and Confederate Army forces. A protected emplacement or concealed post in which one or several machine guns are set up is known in U. S. English as a machine gun nest. During the fighting in North Africa, U. S. forces employed the shell scrape. This was a shallow excavation allowing one soldier to lie horizontally while shielding his body from nearby shell bursts and small arms fire; the slit trench soon proved inadequate in this role, as the few inches of dirt above the soldier's body could be penetrated by bullets or shell fragments. It exposed the user to assault by enemy tanks, which could crush a soldier inside a shallow slit trench by driving into it making a simple half-turn. After the Battle of Kasserine Pass, U. S. troops adopted the modern foxhole, a vertical, bottle-shaped hole that allowed a soldier to stand and fight with head and shoulders exposed. The foxhole widened near the bottom to allow a soldier to crouch down while under intense artillery fire or tank attack.
Foxholes could be enlarged to two-soldier fighting positions, as well as excavated with firing steps for crew-served weapons or sumps for water drainage or live enemy grenade disposal. The Germans used hardened fortifications in North Africa and in other fortifications, such as the Atlantic Wall, that were in essence foxholes made from concrete; the Germans knew them as Ringstände. The Germans put a turret from an obsolete French or German tank on the foxhole; this gave the gunner protection from shrapnel and small arms. Modern militaries publish and distribute elaborate field manuals for the proper construction of DFPs in stages. A shallow "shell scrape" is dug, much like a shallow grave, which provides limited protection; each stage develops the fighting position increasing its effectiveness, while always maintaining functionality. In this way, a soldier can improve the position over time, while being able to stop at any time and use the position in a fight. A DFP is a pit or trench dug deep enough to stand in, with only the head exposed, a small step at the bottom, called a fire step, that allows the soldier to crouch into to avoid fire and tank treads.
The fire step slopes down into a deeper narrow slit called a grenade sump at the bottom to allow for live grenades to be kicked in to minimize damage from grenade fragments. When possible, DFPs are revetted with star pickets and wire or local substitutes. Ideally, the revetting will be dug in below ground level so as to minimise damage from fire and tank tracks; the revetting helps the DFP resist cave-in from near misses from artillery or mortars and tank tracks. Time permitting, DFPs can be enlarged to allow a machine gun crew and ammunition to be protected, as well as additional overhead cover via timbers. In training, DFPs are dug by hand or in some cases by mechanical trench diggers. On operations, explosives shaped charges, may be used to increase the speed of development. Developing and maintaining DFPs is a constant and ongoing task for soldiers deployed in combat areas. For this reason, in some armies, infantry soldiers are referred to as "gravel technicians", as they spend so much time digging.
Because of the large expenditure in effort and materials required to build a DFP, it is important to ensure that the DFP is sited. In order to site the DFP, the officer in charge should view the ground from the same level that the intended user's weapons will be sighted from; the OIC will need to lie on his belly to obtain the required perspective. This ensures. Pillbox Sangar Spider hole Shell scrape Tett turret Trench warfare All-around defense/Perimeter defense Entrenching tool Westrate, Edwin V.. Forward Observer. New York City: Stratford Press. U. S. WWII Newsmap, "Foxholes are Life Savers", hosted by the UNT Libraries Digital Collections
A battle is a combat in warfare between two or more armed forces. A war consists of multiple battles. Battles are well defined in duration and force commitment. A battle with only limited engagement between the forces and without decisive results is sometimes called a skirmish. Wars and military campaigns are guided by strategy, whereas battles take place on a level of planning and execution known as operational mobility. German strategist Carl von Clausewitz stated that "the employment of battles... to achieve the object of war" was the essence of strategy. Battle is a loanword from the Old French bataille, first attested in 1297, from Late Latin battualia, meaning "exercise of soldiers and gladiators in fighting and fencing", from Late Latin battuere "beat", from which the English word battery is derived via Middle English batri; the defining characteristic of the fight as a concept in Military science has been a dynamic one through the course of military history, changing with the changes in the organisation and technology of military forces.
While the English military historian Sir John Keegan suggested an ideal definition of battle as "something which happens between two armies leading to the moral physical disintegration of one or the other of them", the origins and outcomes of battles can be summarized so neatly. In general a battle during the 20th century was, continues to be, defined by the combat between opposing forces representing major components of total forces committed to a military campaign, used to achieve specific military objectives. Where the duration of the battle is longer than a week, it is for reasons of staff operational planning called an operation. Battles can be planned, encountered, or forced by one force on the other when the latter is unable to withdraw from combat. A battle always has as its purpose the reaching of a mission goal by use of military force. A victory in the battle is achieved when one of the opposing sides forces the other to abandon its mission and surrender its forces, routs the other, or completely annihilates the latter resulting in their deaths or capture.
However, a battle may end in a Pyrrhic victory, which favors the defeated party. If no resolution is reached in a battle, it can result in a stalemate. A conflict in which one side is unwilling to reach a decision by a direct battle using conventional warfare becomes an insurgency; until the 19th century the majority of battles were of short duration. This was due to the difficulty of supplying armies in the field, or conducting night operations; the means of prolonging a battle was by employment of siege warfare. Improvements in transportation and the sudden evolving of trench warfare, with its siege-like nature during World War I in the 20th century, lengthened the duration of battles to days and weeks; this created the requirement for unit rotation to prevent combat fatigue, with troops preferably not remaining in a combat area of operations for more than a month. Trench warfare had become obsolete in conflicts between advanced armies by the start of the Second World War; the use of the term "battle" in military history has led to its misuse when referring to any scale of combat, notably by strategic forces involving hundreds of thousands of troops that may be engaged in either a single battle at one time or multiple operations.
The space a battle occupies depends on the range of the weapons of the combatants. A "battle" in this broader sense may be of long duration and take place over a large area, as in the case of the Battle of Britain or the Battle of the Atlantic; until the advent of artillery and aircraft, battles were fought with the two sides within sight, if not reach, of each other. The depth of the battlefield has increased in modern warfare with inclusion of the supporting units in the rear areas. Battles are, on the whole, made up of a multitude of individual combats and small engagements within the context of which the combatants will only experience a small part of the events of the battle's entirety. To the infantryman, there may be little to distinguish between combat as part of a minor raid or as a major offensive, nor is it that he anticipates the future course of the battle. Conversely, some of the Allied infantry who had just dealt a crushing defeat to the French at the Battle of Waterloo expected to have to fight again the next day.
Battlespace is a unified strategy to integrate and combine armed forces for the military theatre of operations, including air, land and space. It includes the environment and conditions that must be understood to apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission; this includes friendly armed forces. Battles are decided by various factors; the number and quality of combatants and equipment, the skill of the commanders of each army, the terrain advantages are among the most prominent factors. A unit may charge with high morale but less discipline and still emerge victorious; this tactic wa
Artillery is a class of heavy military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls, fortifications during sieges, led to heavy immobile siege engines; as technology improved, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today. In its earliest sense, the word artillery referred to any group of soldiers armed with some form of manufactured weapon or armour. Since the introduction of gunpowder and cannon, the word "artillery" has meant cannon, in contemporary usage, it refers to shell-firing guns, howitzers and rocket artillery. In common speech, the word artillery is used to refer to individual devices, along with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly called "equipments". However, there is no recognised generic term for a gun, mortar, so forth: the United States uses "artillery piece", but most English-speaking armies use "gun" and "mortar".
The projectiles fired are either "shot" or "shell". "Shell" is a used generic term for a projectile, a component of munitions. By association, artillery may refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines. In some armies one arm has operated field, anti-aircraft artillery and anti-tank artillery, in others these have been separate arms and in some nations coastal has been a naval or marine responsibility. In the 20th century technology based target acquisition devices, such as radar, systems, such as sound ranging and flash spotting, emerged to acquire targets for artillery; these are operated by one or more of the artillery arms. The widespread adoption of indirect fire in the early 20th century introduced the need for specialist data for field artillery, notably survey and meteorological, in some armies provision of these are the responsibility of the artillery arm. Artillery originated for use against ground targets—against infantry and other artillery. An early specialist development was coastal artillery for use against enemy ships.
The early 20th century saw the development of a new class of artillery for use against aircraft: anti-aircraft guns. Artillery is arguably the most lethal form of land-based armament employed, has been since at least the early Industrial Revolution; the majority of combat deaths in the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, World War II were caused by artillery. In 1944, Joseph Stalin said in a speech that artillery was "the God of War". Although not called as such, machines performing the role recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity. Historical references show artillery was first employed by the Roman legions at Syracuse in 399 BC; until the introduction of gunpowder into western warfare, artillery was dependent upon mechanical energy which not only limited the kinetic energy of the projectiles, it required the construction of large engines to store sufficient energy. A 1st-century BC Roman catapult launching 6.55 kg stones achieved a kinetic energy of 16,000 joules, compared to a mid-19th-century 12-pounder gun, which fired a 4.1 kg round, with a kinetic energy of 240,000 joules, or a late 20th century US battleship that fired a 1,225 kg projectile from its main battery with an energy level surpassing 350,000,000 joules.
From the Middle Ages through most of the modern era, artillery pieces on land were moved by horse-drawn gun carriages. In the contemporary era, artillery pieces and their crew relied on wheeled or tracked vehicles as transportation; these land versions of artillery were dwarfed by railway guns, which includes the largest super-gun conceived, theoretically capable of putting a satellite into orbit. Artillery used by naval forces has changed with missiles replacing guns in surface warfare. Over the course of military history, projectiles were manufactured from a wide variety of materials, into a wide variety of shapes, using many different methods in which to target structural/defensive works and inflict enemy casualties; the engineering applications for ordnance delivery have changed over time, encompassing some of the most complex and advanced technologies in use today. In some armies, the weapon of artillery is the projectile, not the equipment; the process of delivering fire onto the target is called gunnery.
The actions involved in operating an artillery piece are collectively called "serving the gun" by the "detachment" or gun crew, constituting either direct or indirect artillery fire. The manner in which gunnery crews are employed is called artillery support. At different periods in history this may refer to weapons designed to be fired from ground-, sea-, air-based weapons platforms; the term "gunner" is used in some armed forces for the soldiers and sailors with the primary function of using artillery. The gunners and their guns are grouped in teams called either "crews" or "detachments". Several such crews and teams with other functions are combined into a unit of artillery called a battery, although sometimes called a company. In gun detachments, each role is numbered, starting with "1" the Detachment Commander, the highest number being the Coverer, the second-in-command. "Gunner" is the lowest rank and junior non-commissioned officers are "Bombardiers" in some artillery arms. Batteries are equivalent to a company in the infantry
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e
A charge is a maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in close combat. The charge is the dominant shock attack and has been the key tactic and decisive moment of many battles throughout history. Modern charges involve small groups against individual positions instead of large groups of combatants charging another group or a fortified line, it may be assumed that the charge was practiced in prehistoric warfare, but clear evidence only comes with literate societies. The tactics of the classical Greek phalanx included an ordered approach march, with a final charge to contact. In response to the introduction of firearms and Scottish troops at the end of the 16th century developed a tactic that combined a volley of musketry with a rapid close to close combat using swords. Successful, it was countered by effective discipline and the development of defensive bayonet tactics; the development of the bayonet in the late 17th century led to the bayonet charge becoming the main infantry charge tactic through the 19th century and into the 20th.
As early as the 19th century, tactical scholars were noting that most bayonet charges did not result in close combat. Instead, one side fled before actual bayonet fighting ensued; the act of fixing bayonets has been held to be connected to morale, the making of a clear signal to friend and foe of a willingness to kill at close quarters. The shock value of a charge attack has been exploited in cavalry tactics, both of armored knights and lighter mounted troops of both earlier and eras. Historians such as John Keegan have shown that when prepared against and by standing firm in face of the onslaught, cavalry charges failed against infantry, with horses refusing to gallop into the dense mass of enemies, or the charging unit itself breaking up. However, when cavalry charges succeeded, it was due to the defending formation breaking up and scattering, to be hunted down by the enemy, it must be noted, that while it was not recommended for a cavalry charge to continue against unbroken infantry, charges were still a viable danger to heavy infantry.
Parthian lancers were noted to require dense formations of Roman legionaries to stop, Frankish knights were reported to be harder to stop, if the writing of Anna Komnene is to be believed. However, only trained horses would voluntarily charge dense, unbroken enemy formations directly, in order to be effective, a strong formation would have to be kept – such strong formations being the result of efficient training. Heavy cavalry lacking a single part of this combination – composed of high morale, excellent training, quality equipment, individual prowess, collective discipline of both the warrior and the mount – would suffer in a charge against unbroken heavy infantry, only the best heavy cavalrymen throughout history would own these in regards to their era and terrain; the cavalry charge was a significant tactic in the Middle Ages. Although cavalry had charged before, a combination of the adoption of a frame saddle secured in place by a breast-band and the technique of couching the lance under the arm delivered a hitherto unachievable ability to utilise the momentum of the horse and rider.
These developments began in the 7th century but were not combined to full effect until the 11th century. The Battle of Dyrrhachium was an early instance of the familiar medieval cavalry charge. By the time of the First Crusade in the 1090s, the cavalry charge was being employed by European armies. However, from the dawn of the Hundred Years' War onward, the use of professional pikemen and longbowmen with high morale and functional tactics meant that a knight would have to be cautious in a cavalry charge. Men wielding either pike or halberd in formation, with high morale, could stave off all but the best cavalry charges, whilst English longbowmen could unleash a torrent of arrows capable of wreaking havoc, though not a massacre, upon the heads of heavy infantry and cavalry in unsuitable terrain, it became common for knights to dismount and fight as elite heavy infantry, although some continued to stay mounted throughout combat. The use of cavalry for flanking manoeuvres became more useful, although some interpretations of the knightly ideal led to reckless, undisciplined charges.
Cavalry could still charge dense heavy infantry formations head-on if the cavalrymen had a combination of certain traits. They had a high chance of success if they were in a formation, collectively disciplined skilled, equipped with the best arms and armour, as well as mounted upon horses trained to endure the physical and mental stresses of such charges. However, the majority of cavalry personnel lacked at least one of these traits discipline and horses trained for head-on charges. Thus, the use of the head-on cavalry charge declined, although Polish hussars, French Cuirassiers, Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores were still capable of succeeding in such charges due to their possession of the mentioned combination of the traits required for success in such endeavours. In the twentieth century, the cavalry charge was used, though it enjoyed sporadic and occasional success. In what was called the "last true cavalry charge", elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States attacked Villista forces in the Battle of Guerrero on 29 March 1916.
The battle was a victory for the Americans, occurring in desert terrain
Cold-weather warfare known as Arctic warfare or winter warfare, encompasses military operations affected by snow, thawing conditions or cold, both on land and at sea. Cold-weather conditions occur year-round at high elevation or at high latitudes, elsewhere materialise seasonally during the winter period. Mountain warfare takes place in cold weather or on terrain, affected by ice and snow, such as the Alps and the Himalayas. Most such operations have been during winter in the Northern Hemisphere; some have occurred above the Arctic Circle where snow and cold may occur throughout the year. At times, cold or its aftermath—thaw—has been a decisive factor in the failure of a campaign, as with Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and the German invasion of Russia during World War II. Northern and Eastern Europe were the venues for some well-documented winter campaigns. During World War II several actions took place above the Arctic Circle. Recent cold-weather conflicts have occurred in the Himalayas.
In 1242, the Teutonic Order lost the Battle on the Ice on Lake Peipus to Novgorod. In 1520, the decisive Battle of Bogesund between Sweden and Denmark occurred on the ice of lake Åsunden. Sweden and Denmark fought several wars during the 17th centuries; as a great deal of Denmark consists of islands, it was safe from invasion, but in January 1658, most of the Danish waters froze. Charles X Gustav of Sweden led his army across the ice of the Belts to besiege Copenhagen; the war ended with the treaty of Roskilde, a treaty favorable to the Swedish. During the Great Northern War, Swedish king Charles XII set off to invade Moscow, but was defeated at the Battle of Poltava after being weakened by cold weather and scorched earth tactics. Sweden suffered more casualties during the same war as Carl Gustaf Armfeldt with 6,000 men tried to invade Trondheim. Three thousand of them died of exposure in the snow during the Carolean Death March. During the Finnish War, the Russian army unexpectedly crossed the frozen Gulf of Bothnia from Finland to the Åland Islands and, by 19 March 1809, reached the Swedish shore within 70 km from the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
This daring maneuvre decided the outcome of the war. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 resulted in retreat in the face of winter with the majority of the French army succumbing to frostbite and starvation, rather than combat injuries; the Finnish Army used ski troops during the Winter War and the Second World War, where the numerically dominant Soviet forces had a hard time fighting mobile, white-clad ski soldiers. In Operation Barbarossa in 1941, both Russian and German soldiers had to endure terrible conditions during the Russian winter; the German-Finnish joint offensive against Murmansk in 1941 saw heavy fighting in the Arctic environment. Subsequently, the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation conducted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway drove the Germans out of there. In late 1944, Finland turned against their former cobelligerents, Nazi Germany, under the Soviet Union's pressure and pressured the Germans to withdraw in the ensuing Lapland War. While use of ski infantry was common in the Red Army, Germany formed only one division for movement on skis.
From June 1942 to August 1943, the United States and Canada fought the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands Campaign in the Alaska Territory. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a stark example of cold affecting military operations in the Korean War. There were many cold malfunctions of materiel, both vehicles and weapons; the Siachen conflict is a military conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. The conflict began in 1984 with India's successful Operation Meghdoot during which it gained control over all of the Siachen Glacier. A cease-fire went into effect in 2003; the following actions were fought in the Arctic by land and naval forces between 1941 and 1945 in the following theaters of operations: The raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo took place on 30 July 1941 when the British Fleet Air Arm launched an unsuccessful raid from the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious and Furious to inflict damage on merchant vessels owned by Germany and Finland and to show support for Britain's new ally, the Soviet Union.
Operation Rösselsprung was a plan by the German Kriegsmarine to intercept an Arctic convoy in mid-1942, resulting in the near destruction of Convoy PQ 17. Operation Wunderland was a large-scale operation undertaken in summer 1942 by the Kriegsmarine to enter the Kara Sea during the summer thaw and destroy as many Russian vessels as possible; the Winter War was a military conflict between Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, ended three and a half months with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940; the Lapland War was fought between Finland and Germany from September 1944 to April 1945 in Finland's northernmost Lapland Province. It included: Operation Birke was a German operation late in World War II in Finnish Lapland to protect access to nickel. Operation Nordlicht was a German scorched-earth retreat operation in Finland during the end of World War II; the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive was a major military offensive during World War II, mounted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway.
The liberation of Finnmark was a military operation, lasting from 23 October 1944 until 26 April 1945, in which Soviet and Norwegian forces wrestled away control of Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway, from Germany. It started with a major Soviet offensive. Operation Silver Fox was
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars. Guerrilla groups are a type of violent non-state actor; the Spanish word "guerrilla" is the diminutive form of "guerra". The term became popular during the early-19th century Peninsular War, when the Spanish and Portuguese people rose against the Napoleonic troops and fought against a superior army using the guerrilla strategy. In correct Spanish usage, a person, a member of a "guerrilla" unit is a "guerrillero" if male, or a "guerrillera" if female; the term "guerrilla" was used in English as early as 1809 to refer to the fighters, to denote a group or band of such fighters. However, in most languages guerrilla still denotes the specific style of warfare; the use of the diminutive evokes the differences in number and scope between the guerrilla army and the formal, professional army of the state. Guerrilla warfare is a type of asymmetric warfare: competition between opponents of unequal strength.
It is a type of irregular warfare: that is, it aims not to defeat an enemy, but to win popular support and political influence, to the enemy's cost. Accordingly, guerrilla strategy aims to magnify the impact of a small, mobile force on a larger, more-cumbersome one. If successful, guerrillas weaken their enemy by attrition forcing them to withdraw. Tactically, guerrillas avoid confrontation with large units and formations of enemy troops, but seek and attack small groups of enemy personnel and resources to deplete the opposing force while minimizing their own losses; the guerrilla prizes mobility and surprise, organizing in small units and taking advantage of terrain, difficult for larger units to use. For example, Mao Zedong summarized basic guerrilla tactics at the beginning of the Chinese "Second Revolutionary Civil War" as:"The enemy advances, we retreat. At least one author credits the ancient Chinese work The Art of War with inspiring Mao's tactics. In the 20th century, other communist leaders, including North Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh used and developed guerrilla warfare tactics, which provided a model for their use elsewhere, leading to the Cuban "foco" theory and the anti-Soviet Mujahadeen in Afghanistan.
In addition to traditional military methods, guerrilla groups may rely on destroying infrastructure, using improvised explosive devices, for example. They also rely on logistical and political support from the local population and foreign backers, are embedded within it, many guerrilla groups are adept at public persuasion through propaganda. Many guerrilla movements today rely on children as combatants, porters, informants, in other roles, which has drawn international condemnation. There is no accepted definition of "terrorism", the term is used as a political tactic by belligerents to denounce opponents whose status as terrorists is disputed. Contrary to some terrorist groups, guerrillas work in open positions as armed units, try to hold and seize land, do not refrain from fighting enemy military force in battle and apply pressure to control or dominate territory and population. While the primary concern of guerrillas is the enemy's active military units, terrorists are concerned with non-military agents and target civilians.
Guerrilla forces principally fight in accordance with the law of war. In this sense, they respect the rights of innocent civilians by refraining from targeting them. According to the Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies, terrorists do not limit their actions and terrorise civilians by putting fear in people's hearts and kill innocent foreigners in the country. Irregular warfare, based on elements characteristic of modern guerrilla warfare, has existed throughout the battles of many ancient civilizations; the growth of guerrilla warfare in the 20th century was inspired in part by theoretical works on guerrilla warfare, starting with the Manual de Guerra de Guerrillas by Matías Ramón Mella written in the 19th century and, more Mao Zedong's On Guerrilla Warfare, Che Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare, Lenin's text of the same name, all written after the successful revolutions carried by them in China and Russia, respectively. Those texts characterized the tactic of guerrilla warfare as, according to Che Guevara's text, being"used by the side, supported by a majority but which possesses a much smaller number of arms for use in defense against oppression".
The Chinese general and strategist Sun Tzu, in his The Art of War or 600 BC to 501 BC, was the earliest to propose the use of guerrilla warfare. This directly inspired the development of modern guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla tactics were employed by prehistoric tribal warriors against enemy tribes. Evidence of conventional warfare, on the other hand, did not emerge until 3100 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Since the Enlightenment, ideologies such as nationalism, liberalism and religious fundamentalism have played an important role in shaping insurgencies and guerrilla warfare; the Moroccan national hero Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el-Khattabi, along with his father, unified the Moroccan