25 Mao - Mao Zedong, On Guerilla Warfare (1937),

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Mao Zedong, On Guerilla Warfare (1937), http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/1937/guerrilla-warfare/index.htm Mao was born in 1893 in Shaoshan, Hunan province, China. His father was a prosperous peasant, and Mao was educated at the village school and later in Changsha. When he was 18 the Qing dynasty collapsed and Mao joined a revolutionary army, but he went back to college in 1912 and in 1920 became an assistant librarian at Peking University. In the 1920s he joined the Communist Party, and in the 1930s became a ruthless revolutionary leader in Jiangxi. He excelled as a general, and emerged as the Party’s leading military thinker during the two-front war against the Guomindang (Nationalist Party) and Japan. His On Guerilla Warfare remains a classic of insurgency . In a war of revolutionary character, guerrilla operations are a necessary part. This is particularly true in war waged for the emancipation of a people who inhabit a vast nation. China is such a nation, a nation whose techniques are undeveloped and whose communications are poor. She finds herself confronted with a strong and victorious Japanese imperialism. Under these circumstances, the development of the type of guerrilla warfare characterized by the quality of mass is both necessary and natural. This warfare must be developed to an unprecedented degree and it must co-ordinate with the operations of our regular armies. If we fail to do this, we will find it difficult to defeat the enemy. These guerrilla operations must not be considered as an independent form of warfare. They are but one step in the total war, one aspect of the revolutionary struggle. They are the inevitable result of the clash between oppressor and oppressed when the latter reach the limits of their endurance. In our case, these hostilities began at a time when the people were unable to endure any more from the Japanese imperialists. Lenin, in People and Revolution , [A] said: 'A people's insurrection and a people's revolution are not only natural but inevitable.' We consider guerrilla operations as but one aspect of our total or mass war because they, lacking the quality of independence, are of themselves incapable of providing a solution to the struggle. Guerrilla warfare has qualities and objectives peculiar to itself. It is a weapon that a nation inferior in arms and military equipment may employ against a more powerful aggressor nation. When the invader pierces deep into the heart of the weaker country and occupies her territory in a cruel and oppressive manner, there is no doubt that conditions of terrain, climate, and society in general offer obstacles to his progress and may be used to advantage by those who oppose him. In guerrilla warfare we turn these advantages to the purpose of resisting and defeating the enemy. During the progress of hostilities, guerrillas gradually develop into orthodox forces that
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2010 for the course IHUM 69 taught by Professor Morris during the Spring '10 term at Stanford.

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25 Mao - Mao Zedong, On Guerilla Warfare (1937),

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