Guerrilla Warfare

Kings of Revolution

Peter Polack

A concise history of guerilla warfare through the lens of several guerilla leaders, also covering strategy and tactics.
Date Published :
January 2019
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
b/w photos
No associated books available.


The concept of guerrilla warfare is not decades, but many centuries old, with earliest writing on the subject by Sun Tzu dating back to the 6th Century BC. Some guerrilla tactics are probably as old as the first armed groups of cavemen, being a natural evolution of conflict between groups of disproportionate sizes. One of the earliest examples of guerrilla tactics deployed by a consummate institutional military leader was the Roman general Fabius Maximus who took a course of evade and harassment against Hannibal’s columns.

This is a compendium of prominent worldwide guerrilla leaders beginning with William Wallace in the thirteenth century to modern day Sri Lanka. It profiles each leader to analyze their personal history, military tactics, and political strategy. All are home grown leaders in extended guerrilla campaigns many of whom ended up as the first leaders of their countries or liberators of entire regions such as Simon Bolivar. It includes victories and defeats in an effort to tease out not only effective guerrilla tactics but counterinsurgency strategies with some likelihood of success.

The advice expounded by Mao Zedong that “the guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea” with his experiences of long marches over distant countryside regions of China has evolved into a more urbanized context. The name insurgent, freedom fighter, or jihadi is fast replacing guerrilla. The old guerrilla associated with fights for independence and the end of colonialization has dimmed with modern and far-reaching religious insurgencies taking their place.

This concise history gives a fascinating overview of a once history-altering form of warfare.

About The Author

Peter Polack was born in Jamaica in 1958 where he attended various schools including Jamaica College until 1972 when he went to Denstone College boarding school in England. He is a proud graduate of the University of the West Indies and Norman Manley Law School. Whilst at UWI he was co-founder of the Amnesty International campus group and a member of the Union of Democratic Students. A lawyer in the Cayman Islands since 1983,he resides there with his wife and two daughters. He was a former rapporteur of the International Bar Association, Co-Founder and first Treasurer Caymanian Bar Association. His only hobby but not a current interest is combat pistol shooting. In July 2005 he organized a Cuba relief shipment after Hurricane Dennis from generous donors of the Cayman Islands. He is a contributing editor for Encyclopaedia of Warfare to be published by Amber Books.His research led to first international release of a list of Cuban casualties of the Angola War published in the Miami Herald 20 February 2010.Inspired by the book he is to exhibit his first work as an artist entitled The Confinement Assemblage at the Cayman Islands National Gallery in May 2013.


"This is an important account of the approaches of leading practitioners of guerrilla warfare – a warfare tactic that has been employed throughout ancient and modern history."

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