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Review of Patrick Markus's book "Art of guerrilla war in city conditions"
Material posted: Valetskiy OlegPublication date: 12-02-2016
In guerrilla war ethnic and religious stereotypes in public judgment about these or those ethnic or religious groups based on historical experience and judgments of elite of this society are important. On the basis of these stereotypes the political theories creating base for conducting guerrilla war are also under construction.

In the USA adhere to sights that forces of a special purpose of the USA - «green berets» should support the guerrilla movement acting in interests of the USA. «Green berets» also have been created first of all for management and command of "allied" forces, leaders or guerrilla, or protivopartizanskie actions. In the work «Art of guerrilla war in city conditions» adheres to a similar view major Patrick Markus, the doctor of military sciences of university in Indiana in the USA. Guerrilla war in the USA, according to major Patrick Markusu, is qualified as «not conventional operations» (unconventional warfare-UW).

In the American military doctrine guerrilla movement - "insurgents" are «the organised movement, set as the purpose to dethrone the constitutional government« subveztsionnymi »and the armed actions».


Military operations, as are considered as guerrilla war during open fighting collisions, and operations of diversions and the sabotage, resulted "irreguljarnymi" (irregular) armed formations consisting mainly from local residents, living on the territories which are under the control of stronger opponent. Guerrilla movement under this military doctrine consists of forces the guerrilla, forces of support and an underground.

Diversions and sabotages in this doctrine are considered as the separate kind of actions which are distinct from guerrilla actions, though and closely connected with the last. Thus major Patrick Markus writes that city guerrilla war and terrorism - often interchangeable terms in the description of guerrilla actions in a city and all depends on estimations of correctness of application of force.

In the USA on Patrick Markusu the main field of an estimation of city guerrilla war are operations in Northern Ireland, war in Afghanistan (1979-1989) and confrontations in the Chechen Republic (1994-1996 and 1999-2000).

The basic documents determining forces of a special purpose, charters (Field Manual) FM-100-25 «the Army doctrine for forces of a special purpose» and FM-3-05.20 «Operations of forces of a special purpose» that main principles of actions of forces of a special purpose are specified by charter FM-100-25 are.

In charter FM-3-05.20 operations in city conditions are special theatre of operations which demand changes in operations of forces of a special purpose with expansion of their tasks in area "nekonventsialnyh" operations that as a matter of fact means actual deleting of borders between fighting operations and actions, characteristic for special services and law enforcement bodies in a peace time. The given expansion of tasks means inclusion in operation of forces of a special purpose and forces as "guerrilla" (gerily), and those who against the guerrilla can struggle.

Patrick Markus writes that there are not enough the works describing guerrilla actions in cities, but it results already available works: «the Urbanization the guerrilla» (Urbanization of insurgency) authors Jennifer Тoy (Jennifer M. Taw) and Bruce Hofman (Bruce Hoffman); «Terrorism and city gerila, tactics and documents» (Terror and Urban Guerrillas: A study of Tactic and Documents) author Dzheja of Malines (Jay Mallin); «Without shirts, without boots, without the status - forms, determinations and special operations in the international confrontations» (No shirt, no shoes, no status: uniforms, distinction and special operations in International Army conflict) the author major William Ferrel (William H.Ferrell).

Patrick Markus notices that though determinations of guerrilla war in a city shirokoizvestny, however its tactics is badly shined. The book of Markusa represents itself some kind of encyclopaedic work for in it the author widely results works of other authors on the given theme.

So on operations IRA of P.Markus results following works: «Manuals for volunteers of the Irish republican war» (The Handbook for volunteers of the Irish Republican Army: Notes on Guerrilla Warfare), left in 1956 in the edition of command NРА; «Tactics and purposes NPA» (IRA Tactic and Targets) author Dzh. Bouer-Bella (J. Bowyer-Bell), left in 1969.

As according to Markusu, operations in Ulster are described and in the work which has left in the edition of investigation of the Case of marines of the USA - «City war - examples of actions in cities» (Urban Warfare Study: City Case Studies Compilation) in which examples from war in the Chechen Republic and Southern Lebanon also are described.

The basic sources of the information on experience of city guerrilla war in Afghanistan (1979-1989) for P.Markusa is Leicester Grau (Lester Gray), published some works: “The Bear went over the Mountain”, written by it on the basis of researches of Academy of a name of Frunze in Moscow, then “The other side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan war”, written together with the colonel of the Afghani army and the commander of group of Mojaheds Ahmed Dzhalali.

Patrick Markus results as an example the book «the Russian-Soviet not conventional wars on caucasus, in Central Asia and in Afghanistan» (Russian-Soviet unconventional wars, in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan ”author Robert Bauman (Robert F. Baumann) and the book« Soviet-Afghani war », representing works of representatives of the Soviet army, translated and redaktirovannye Leicester Grau and Michael A.Gressom (Michael A. Gress).

Operations in the Chechen Republic Markus are described on the basis of works by Timoti Thomas (Timothy Thomas), which Markus were resulted in a following order: “The Caucasus Conflict and Russian security”, “The Russian Armed Forces confront Chechnya” in three parts, and also “The Battle of Grozny Deadly classroom for urban combat” in which operations in Grozny in 1994-95 and in 2000 have been described.

P.Markus refers also to corporations RAND of work published by centre "Arroyo" “The city’s many faces” and “Capital preservation”, created basically the Russian authors among which, the main place is occupied with works of general Anatoly Sergeevicha Kulikova.

One more work analyzing on Markusu operations in a city, is “Urban warfare lessons learnt” (the Learnt lessons of city war) Arthur Spejera (Arthur L. Speyer) in which examples of operations in Grozny were described.

As writes Markus of questions of operations in the Chechen Republic authors Thomas and Grau in teamwork «Various persons of cities» (City’s many faces) concerned. Corporation RANO centre "Arroyo" has published Olga Oliker's works «the Russian-Chechen wars 1994-2000"and"Lessons of city fights» (Russia’s Chechen wars 1994-2000 ”,“ Lessons from urban combat ”).

For understanding of the American sight at tactics the guerrilla in a city, according to Patrick Markusu, is important the charter of army of the USA - FM 3-06.11. “Combined Arms Operations in urban terrain” (Incorporated fighting operations in city conditions).

Guerrilla actions include "special purpose" spot-checks, dot blows and captures of persons. The given operations should conduct small divisions, and operations should consist of a series of fights of such divisions.

Thus combat material, according to the charter, it is rare where the main advantage city the guerrilla can be applied without support of infantry in areas of many-storeyed buildings, in what.

Thus the theatre of operations is trehdemenzionalnym, and operations are led on the earth, underground and over the earth. During operations city guerrillas consider consequences of destructions accompanying war, which can cause the big damage to the population supporting them, and consequently will aspire to limit operations not to cause a damage to this population.

One more important document for understanding of sights of the USA on guerrilla war in a city is the mentioned P.Markusom charter FM 3-05.201 (Special forces unconventional warfare operations). Under this charter a key to success the guerrilla in a city - unexpectedness of an attack on the opponent in the conditions of the limited visibility with the subsequent speed of a regrouping and fast deviation to avoid undesirable contact to the opponent. Application of measures on a fraud behaviour of the opponent Is meant also.

Such actions demand attraction by the opponent of great strengths for defence of the areas which have been built up with many-storeyed buildings. Guerrillas should pay constant attention to maintenance of necessary level of safety of areas of their basing, as well as safety of directions of the operations. Capability the guerrilla to "isolate" areas of the operations from superior forces of the opponent are very limited that in the conditions of city war becomes complicated owing to the big density of armies of the opponent and its possibility quickly to throw divisions.

It is obvious that a basis of success the guerrilla is support of the population which provides replenishment, data, supply, refuges and is frequent - treatment the guerrilla, provision by the prospecting data. In city conditions collection of the information from the population is disturbed by high density of forces of the opponent, together with its reprisal in relation to civilians.

The military law principle «about an attack only on the military protected purposes» is broken, as all purposes which can destroy the opponent are exposed to attacks.

Guerrillas, under the charter, should adhere to rules of conducting the operations established by the Geneva conventions specially for the guerrilla. Cases of infringement of these rules are unacceptable for army of the USA.

According to Patrick Markusu, strategy ИPA in 1969-71 consisted in involving the British army in operations in Ulster. In Ulster then groupings PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army), INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) acted, RIRA (Real Irish Republican Army) and variety of other groupings, however Markus unites them under conditional name IRA (ИPA).

The big operations in the form of attacks on posts of the British army, the centres olsterskoj-RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) seldom went right to police ИPA and have been connected with the big risk.

The main reason of defeats ИPA in such attacks of Markus sees that was connected to their preparation more, rather than usual, participants, therefore, as a rule, there was an information leakage.

The smaller risk was born by bombardments of the British forces from mortars, mainly the handicraft production, established in the closed motor vehicles or on roofs of houses.

But small arms and explosives were the main weapon IPA. Tactics ИPA was based on actions of "active divisions» (ASU - Active Services Units), is usual consisting of four persons knowing each other, but not connected among themselves in civil life. Members of these groups met during the operation carrying out, all organisations have been extremely decentralised.

The similar organisation was promoted by that did the main accent ИPA on use SVU (improvised explosive devices) against divisions of army of Great Britain and police of Ulster. Not armoured cars of British, and nebronirovannye were overall objectives NPA. At the same time sometimes errors in use SVU led to civil victims and caused a damage to political image ИPA.

For zamanivanija British in ambushes where have been established SVU, sniper actions were applied. The sniper had control over the weapon of all two ten minutes, it was required to it for task accomplishment so much, and investigation and supervision of the purposes were led by observers. Then already others among which there were also children, carried away the weapon. The sniper produced one-two shot on purpose to wound or kill one British. Quite often shots were produced and with other purpose - to cause from British searches of the sniper and it to trap them. Then the task of wound or destruction of the opponent has been solved.

In operations ИPA transport and supply had great value. For a transfer of members of divisions ASU and weapon IPA used the various companies of a taxi, such for example as “Falls Taxi Association”, which British named «a Catholic mafia». Thus fighters ASU to venues of operations were thrown separately, and also separately departed from these areas. The weapon and equipment were thrown not by them, and persons, is special for this purpose intended. Investigation of the purposes was led not by those who directly participated in operation carrying out, and is special for this purpose the allocated persons.

Cooperation with the population allowed ИPA forces to wage for years city guerrilla war, and this support was provided with the developed prospecting network on either side of border of Ulster.

The British armies and police were under constant supervision over places of a disposition and routes of movement of the British forces. Thus ИPA aspired to that those who led investigation behind armies of the opponent, were not members of divisions ASU, or occupied in ИPA auxiliary posts, or, being its supporters, were not its members. Fighters ИPA did not wear the uniform, except for funeral on which they appeared in forms of black colour.

In due course strengthening of readiness of British armies ИPA has started to place emphasis on blows on the civil purposes to cause a loss to the British economy, and also for reception of own profit, in particular, robberies of banks.

In the work “Guerrilla warfare tactics in urban environment” Patrick Markus concerns also questions of city guerrilla war in Afghanistan in 1979-89.

Mojaheds here acted with small groups, attacking the Soviet soldiers on markets or arranged ambushes, using RPG, but at the same time did not try to organise an ambush in cities against columns of the Soviet armies. At attack possibility on buildings, Mojaheds preferred to attack from top to down but though something remarkable tactics both in storms of buildings, and in their defence, did not show.

Mojaheds basically leant against the methods described in work by Grau «the Soviet-Afghani war», i.e. used the improvised explosive devices undermined distantsionno, and also manual anti-tank grenade cup discharges, attacking both the Soviet armies, and on forces of the Afghani armies and official bodies. At actions in a city Mojaheds resorted to use concerning the big divisions (company size), conducting spot-checks with fire flights, showing to the population the force.

The bases for Mojaheds were in villages, whence they and made the spot-checks in cities. After fulfilment of spot-check Mojaheds broke into small groups which left independently. Spot-checks of Mojaheds were provided with long investigation of the purposes and during spot-checks. In the actions Mojaheds practised also captures of the Soviet advisers, and made acts of terrorism by means of blasting charges not only against official bodies and communication centres, but also autostations.

Acting in city operations, Mojaheds used two-three villages for cover of back and flanks, and also for deviation. But many operations of Mojaheds differed low level of planning in city war whereas fights against the Soviet and Afghani armies at storm of last villages and the settlements supervised by Mojaheds, all the same on methods of conducting war concern a bit different area, rather than guerrilla wars, but in this case a war course were determined by tactics of the Soviet armies.

Truth it is necessary to notice that in charters of the American army two concepts - the city guerrilla war, understood Mao Tsze Donne as the first stage of guerrilla war and which is nowadays characterised as terrorism, and fights in city conditions in which the party in these charters, characterised as "guerrilla", nevertheless has own front, military divisions and command and supply system mix up.

Examples of fights resulted by Markusom in the city of Grozny in 1994-95 and in 2000 to which the great attention in centres of science of army of the USA has been given, nevertheless in primary sense city guerrilla war are not. They can be carried to «the third stage» guerrilla war when from guerrilla movement there is an army providing the control of territories and defence of positions of these territories more likely.

The main advantage of guerrilla war in a city, on Markusu, it "trehdimenzionalnyj" the theatre of operations allowing to guerrillas closely to come nearer to the opponent.

For Markusa determination of tactics of conducting city war in the conditions of "the ethnic" or alien environment was the basic problem facing forces of a special purpose of the USA. After all in days of the Second World War of force of a special purpose “Jedburgh”, submitting to the American investigation, acted then in ethnically close European environment.

Indicative examples of city guerrilla war (on Markusu) represent also movements of "Tupamaros" in Uruguay, "Monteneros" in Argentina, and also front of national exemption in Algeria.

As a whole Patrick Markusa's book represents itself valuable enough benefit on operations in a city, not lost the value of willows modern conditions.

Oleg Valetsky

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