The first real use of guerillas occured during the Penisluar war 0f 1809-1814 in Spain during the Naploneic wars. After Naploeaon installed his brother as KIng the peasants rose and harassed French troops and supplies
"Gorrilla" warfare dates back to before the Roman empire- it was already a old, and established tactic by the time of the Punic* wars between Carthage and Rome put it to good use using it to wage a war of attrition when carthages cavalry proved just to good for the un marian reformed legions of the day.
Guerilla warfare has been around since the start of wars. I think that the Peninsula War was just the first time it had been used well enough to defeat superior organised armies without insanely high numbers of casualties amongst the guerillas.
what do you mean? the entire point of gurilla warfare is to minamize your casulaties while maximizing the enimies... if it wasnt successful it wouldnt have been used by anyone- therfore, this type of warfare must have been successful immediatley in its goal, otherwise it would not still be around...
Not sure about the first use of it, that's probably hard to pinpoint, and I'm not sure who used it most effectively, but in spite of my ignorance I do have a comment.
During the American Civil War, I believe that the South would have had a great chance to win the war if they had chosen to fight via guerilla warfare as opposed to what they chose to do, conventional warfare, lining up and killing each other. I mean, what were they thinking? Sure, was more dignified to fight like that I guess, but they lost the war because they didn't see the great opporunity to fight guerilla style.
So my point is, had the South decided to use guerilla warfare, that would have been the most effective use of it to date...Err, maybe after Viet Nam.
Every time I have seen reference to Guerilla Warfare being used prior to the Peninsula War, the invading conventional army always ended up winning in the end and massacreing or demanding huge reparations from the losers. Guerilla Warfare was more or less used by those peoples who did not have the equipment, technology, skill or logistics needed for conventional warfare and was often organised by petty chieftains / local leaders or the commonfolk. Guerilla Warfare was also sometimes (although often with little result) used to slow down an opposing superior army.
As mongoloid cow said guerilla warfare is nothing that has been "invented" at some point in history, but it's as old as war itself. You can't really point out when and where it was first used. There are certain examples from ancient sumeria where fighting warriors would use hit-and-run-tactics in the mountains. But the art of guerilla warfare is much older than that, stretching back in history to the first hunter-and gatherer-societies. Actually the first wars ever were probably fought with guerilla tactics, as bands of rivalling hunters would harass each other with hit-and-runs.
Perhaps in the Peninsular War (Guerra de Independencia here in Spain) was the first time it was used in a big scale and in an "organised" and successful way (the guerrillas in this war were not just small groups of people resiting the invasor, in some cases they were several thousand people well organised and moving around and fighting). I think the name comes from there, as guerrilla is a spanish word (it means little war).
It was from 1808 to 1814. Napoleon invaded Spain but didn't manage to control the country. During this period the french were forced to keep around 300,000 troops permanently fighting in Spain. Considering that the army that Napoleon sent to conquer Russia was about 500,000 men, it can be said that the Peninsular War was a pain for Napoleon.
The best guerrila fighters the world has ever seen IMO, were the Apache and Seminole Indians.
They fought agains incredible odds and almost always won.
These were the only two tribes that were never defeated. The Apaches finally agreed to go on reservations, but they were allowed to keep their guns, to show that they were not a conquered people.
The Seminoles never even came onto the reservations. After three bloody wars, in which not only the U.S army, but also the navy and marines were involved, millions of dollars were spent, and thousands of soldiers died, the Secretary of War basically issued a statement saying they had lost the war.
Boers were pretty good guerilla fighter too. If you capture an enemy guerilla in the field, are you allowed to execute him? I thought one of the rules of war was if you capture the enemy in civilian clothes or impersonating one of you soldiers you are allowed to kill them. Did the Americans apply it to the VC in Vietnam?
I think you all are forgetting that the Revolutionary war of America also was won by using guerilla tactics in the South anyway. They would run around the swamps, zigzagging, tire the British troops and take back the cities that were left poorly defended.