The German Army Guerrilla Warfare Pocket Manual 1939-45

A long overdue study that draws on previous German writing to analyze how the West can or should (or should not) cope with the problem of small wars in lesser countries in which we nevertheless hold a stake.
Date Published :
November 2019
Publisher :
Editor :
Charles Melson
Series :
The Pocket Manual Series
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612007977
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 7.8 X 5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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While small wars are not new, how they should be fought by a modern industrial nation is still very much a matter for debate. It is thus worth paying heed now, to the experiences of another power which once encountered the same problems. This pocket manual examines German analysis of the problem, covering experiences from the Napoleonic era to the Third Reich, based upon the historical analysis, Kleinkrieg, provided to the German High Command by Arthur Ehrhardt in 1935 (republished in 1942 and 1944), and the Bandenbekampfung (Fighting the Guerrilla Bands) document provided to Germany's OKW in 1944. In both, conditions that were specific to broader military operations were separated from circumstances in occupation campaigns, and the new background in the German experience in suppressing rebellion in World War II is presented.

Avoiding ideological biases, this manual examines the purely military problem as seen by professionals. Rediscovered and presented in English, these German thoughts on how best to fight small wars have been edited and annotated by Charles D. Melson, former Chief Historian for the US Marine Corps.

About The Author

Charles D. “Chuck” Melson served as the Chief Historian for the U.S. Marine Corps, at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC, and the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. His military service included 25 years as a U.S. Marine. For some 23 years he wrote, co-authored, or edited official publications and series. Chuck was also a joint historian with the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. He received the General Edwin Simmons-Henry Shaw Award for public historians, the General Leonard Chapman Medal for professional military educators, and the commemorative Rhodesian Independence Medal.


“The German attitude to guerrilla war was far more complex than stereotypical brutality for the sake of brutality.”

- Stephen G. Fritz, PhD, author of "Ostkrieg"

“a highly accessible introduction to an important, but frequently neglected, aspect of German military history as well for those interested in guerrilla warfare.”

- Bruce I. Gudmundsson, PhD, U.S. Marine Corps University, author of "On Artillery"

“contains a wealth of informative detail in a readable form and the fact that it pulls together several core strands and assessments of the German approach to COIN operations within one relatively succinct book is admirable.”

- David Stone, author of "Fighting for the Fatherland: Hitler’s Army 1939–1945"

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