top of page

Parenthood Support Group

Public·2 members

Making Strategy Work Epub Bud

In the War of Resistance Against Japan, regular warfare is primary andguerrilla warfare supplementary. This point has already been correctly settled.Thus, it seems there are only tactical problems in guerrilla warfare. Whythen raise the question of strategy?If China were a small country in which the role of guerrilla warfare wasonly to render direct support over short distances to the campaigns of theregular army, there would, of course, be only tactical problems but no strategicones. On the other hand, if China were a country as strong as the SovietUnion and the invading enemy could either be quickly expelled, or, even thoughhis expulsion were to take some time, he could not occupy extensive areas,then again guerrilla warfare would simply play a supporting role in campaigns,and would naturally involve only tactical but not strategic problems.The question of strategy in guerrilla war does arise, however, in the caseof China, which is neither small nor like the Soviet Union, but which isboth a large and a weak country. This large and weak country is being attackedby a small and strong country, but the large and weak country is in an eraof progress; this is the source of the whole problem. It is in thesecircumstances that vast areas have come under enemy occupation and that thewar has become a protracted one. The enemy is occupying vast areas of thislarge country of ours, but Japan is a small country, she does not have sufficientsoldiers and has to leave many gaps in the occupied areas, so that ouranti-Japanese guerrilla warfare consists primarily not in interior-lineoperations in support of the campaigns of the regular troops but in independentoperations on exterior lines; furthermore, China is progressive, that isto say, she has a staunch army and broad masses of people, both led by theCommunist Party, so that, far from being small-scale, our anti-Japanese guerrillawarfare is in fact large-scale warfare. Hence the emergence of a whole seriesof problems, such as the strategic defensive, the strategic offensive, etc.The protracted nature of the war and its attendant ruthlessness have madeit imperative for guerrilla warfare to undertake many unusual tasks; hencesuch problems as those of the base areas, the development of guerrilla warfareinto mobile warfare, and so on. For all these reasons, China's guerrillawarfare against Japan has broken out of the bounds of tactics to knock atthe gates of strategy, and it demands examination from the viewpoint of strategy.The point that merits our particular attention is that such extensive aswell as protracted guerrilla warfare is quite new in the entire history ofwar. This is bound up with the fact that we are now in the Nineteen Thirtiesand Nineteen Forties and that we now have the Communist Party and the RedArmy. Herein lies the heart of the matter. Our enemy is probably still cherishingfond dreams of emulating the Mongol conquest of the Sung Dynasty, the Manchuconquest of the Ming Dynasty, the British occupation of North America andIndia, the Latin occupation of Central and South America, etc. But such dreamshave no practical value in present-day China because there are certain factorspresent in the China of today which were absent in those historical instances,and one of them is guerrilla warfare, which is quite a new phenomenon. Ifour enemy overlooks this fact, he will certainly come to grief.These are the reasons why our anti-Japanese guerrilla warfare, though occupyingonly a supplementary place in the War of Resistance as a whole, must neverthelessbe examined from the viewpoint of strategy.Why not, then, apply to guerrilla warfare the general strategic principlesof the War of Resistance?The question of strategy in our anti-Japanese guerrilla warfare is indeedclosely linked with the question of strategy in the War of Resistance asa whole, because they have much in common. On the other hand, guerrilla warfareis different from regular warfare and has its own peculiarities, and consequentlymany peculiar elements are involved in the question of strategy in guerrillawarfare. Without modification it is impossible to apply the strategic principlesof the War of Resistance in general to guerrilla warfare with its ownpeculiarities. CHAPTER II THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF WAR IS TO PRESERVE ONESELF AND DESTROY THE ENEMY Before discussing the question of strategy in guerrilla warfare in concreteterms, a few words are needed on the fundamental problem of war.All the guiding principles of military operations grow out of the one basicprinciple: to strive to the utmost to preserve one's own strength and destroythat of the enemy. In a revolutionary war, this principle is directly linkedwith basic political principles. For instance, the basic political principleof China's War of Resistance Against Japan, i.e., its politicalaim, is to drive out Japanese imperialism and build an independent, freeand happy new China. In terms of military action this principle means theuse of armed force to defend our motherland and to drive out the Japaneseinvaders. To attain this end, the operations of the armed units take theform of doing their utmost to preserve their own strength on the one handand destroy the enemies on the other. How then do we justify the encouragementof heroic sacrifice in war? Every war exacts a price, sometimes an extremelyhigh one. Is this not in contradiction with "preserving oneself"? In fact,these is no contradiction at all; to put it more exactly; sacrifice andself-preservation are both opposite and complementary to each other. Forsuch sacrifice is essential not only for destroying the enemy but also forpreserving oneself--partial and temporary "non-preservation" (sacrifice,or paying the price) is necessary for the sake of general and permanentpreservation. From this basic principle stems the series of principles guidingmilitary operations, all of which--from the principles of shooting (takingcover to preserve oneself, and making full use of fire-power to destroy theenemy) to the principles of strategy--are permeated with the spirit of thisbasic principle. All technical, tactical and strategic principles representapplications of this basic principle. The principle of preserving oneselfand destroying the enemy is the basis of all military principles. CHAPTER III SIX SPECIFIC PROBLEMS OF STRATEGY IN GUERRILLA WAR AGAINST JAPANNow let us see what policies or principles have to be adopted in guerrillaoperations against Japan before we can attain the object of preserving ourselvesand destroying the enemy. Since the guerrilla units in the War of Resistance(and in all other revolutionary wars) generally grow out of nothing and expandfrom a small to a large force, they must preserve themselves and, moreover,they must expand. Hence the question is, what policies or principles haveto be adopted before we can attain the object of preserving and expandingourselves and destroying the enemy?Generally speaking, the main principles are as follows: (1) the use ofinitiative, flexibility and planning in conducting offensives within thedefensive, battles of quick decision within protracted war, and exterior-lineoperations within interior-line operations; (2) co-ordination with regularwarfare; (3) establishment of base areas; (4) the strategic defensive andthe strategic offensive; (5) the development of guerrilla warfare into mobilewarfare; and (6) correct relationship of command. These six items constitutethe whole of the strategic programme for guerrilla war against Japan andare the means necessary for the preservation and expansion of our forces,for the destruction and expulsion of the enemy, for co-ordination with regularwarfare and the winning of final victory. CHAPTER IV INITIATIVE, FLEXIBILITY AND PLANNING IN CONDUCTING OFFENSIVES WITHIN THE DEFENSIVE, BATTLES OF QUICK DECISION WITHIN PROTRACTED WAR, AND EXTERIOR-LINE OPERATIONS WITHIN INTERIOR-LINE OPERATIONSHere the subject may be dealt with under four headings: (1) the relationshipbetween the defensive and the offensive, between protractedness and quickdecision, and between the interior and exterior lines; (2) the initiativein all operations; (3) flexible employment of forces; and (4) planning inall operations.To start with the first.If we take the War of Resistance as a whole, the fact that Japan is a strongcountry and is attacking while China is a weak country and is defending herselfmakes our war strategically a defensive and protracted war. As far as theoperational lines are concerned, the Japanese are operating on exterior andwe on interior lines. This is one aspect of the situation. But there is anotheraspect which is just the reverse. The enemy forces, though strong (in arms,in certain qualities of their men, and certain other factors), are numericallysmall, whereas our forces, though weak (likewise, in arms, in certain qualitiesof our men, and certain other factors), are numerically very large. Addedto the fact that the enemy is an alien nation invading our country whilewe are resisting his invasion on our own soil, this determines the followingstrategy. It is possible and necessary to use tactical offensives withinthe strategic defensive, to fight campaigns and battles of quick decisionwithin a strategically protracted war and to fight campaigns and battleson exterior lines within strategically interior lines. Such is the strategyto be adopted in the War of Resistance as a whole. It holds true both forregular and for guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare is different only indegree and form. Offensives in guerrilla warfare generally take the formof surprise attacks. Although surprise attacks can and should be employedin regular warfare too, the degree of surprise is less. In guerrilla warfare,the need to bring operations to a quick decision is very great, and ourexterior-line ring of encirclement of the enemy in campaigns and battlesis very small. All these distinguish it from regular warfare.Thus it can be seen that in their operations guerrilla units have to concentratethe maximum forces, act secretly and swiftly, attack the enemy by surpriseand bring battles to a quick decision, and that they must strictly avoidpassive defence, procrastination and the dispersal of forces before engagements.Of course, guerrilla warfare includes not only the strategic but also thetactical defensive. The latter embraces, among other things, containing andoutpost actions during battles; the disposition of forces for resistanceat narrow passes, strategic points, rivers or villages in order to depleteand exhaust the enemy; and action to cover withdrawal. But the basic principleof guerrilla warfare must be the offensive, and guerrilla warfare is moreoffensive in its character than regular warfare. The offensive, moreover,must take the form of surprise attacks, and to expose ourselves by ostentatiouslyparading our forces is even less permissible in guerrilla warfare than inregular warfare. From the fact that the enemy is strong and we are weak itnecessarily follows that, in guerrilla operations in general even more thanin regular warfare, battles must be decided quickly, though on some occasionsguerrilla fighting may be kept up for several days, as in an assault on asmall and isolated enemy force cut off from help. Because of its dispersedcharacter, guerrilla warfare can spread everywhere, and in many of its tasks,as in harassing, containing and disrupting the enemy and in mass work, itsprinciple is dispersal of forces; but a guerrilla unit, or a guerrilla formation,must concentrate its main forces when it is engaged in destroying the enemy,and especially when it is striving to smash an enemy attack. "Concentratea big force to strike at a small section of the enemy force" remains a principleof field operations in guerrilla warfare.Thus it can also be seen that, if we take the War of Resistance as a whole,we can attain the aim of our strategic defensive and finally defeat Japaneseimperialism only through the cumulative effect of many offensive campaignsand battles in both regular and guerrilla warfare, namely, through the cumulativeeffect of many victories in offensive actions. Only through the cumulativeeffect of many campaigns and battles of quick decision, namely, the cumulativeeffect of many victories achieved through quick decision in offensive campaignsand battles, can we attain our goal of strategic protractedness, which meansgaining time to increase our capacity to resist while hastening or awaitingchanges in the international situation and the internal collapse of the enemy,in order to be able to launch a strategic counter-offensive and drive theJapanese invaders out of China. We must concentrate superior forces and fightexterior-line operations in every campaign or battle, whether in the stageof strategic defensive or in that of strategic counter-offensive, in orderto encircle and destroy the enemy forces, encircling part if not all of them,destroying part if not all of the forces we have encircled, and inflictingheavy casualties on the encircled forces if we cannot capture them in largenumbers. Only through the cumulative effect of many such battles of annihilationcan we change the relative position as between the enemy and ourselves,thoroughly smash his strategic encirclement--that is, his scheme of exterior-lineoperations--and finally, in co-ordination, with international forces andthe revolutionary struggles of the Japanese people, surround the Japaneseimperialists and deal them the coup de grace. These results areto be achieved mainly through regular warfare, with guerrilla warfare makinga secondary contribution. What is common to both, however, is the accumulationof many minor victories to make a major victory. Herein lies the great strategicrole of guerrilla warfare in the War of Resistance.Now let us discuss initiative, flexibility and planning in guerrilla warfare.What is initiative in guerrilla warfare?In any war, the opponents contend for the initiative, whether on a battlefield,in a battle area, in a war zone or in the whole war, for the initiative meansfreedom of action for an army. Any army which, losing the initiative, isforced into a passive position and ceases to have freedom of action, facesthe danger of defeat or extermination. Naturally, gaining the initiativeis harder in strategic defensive and interior-line operations and easierin offensive exterior-line operations. However, Japanese imperialism hastwo basic weaknesses, namely, its shortage of troops and the fact that itis fighting on foreign soil. Moreover, its underestimation of China's strengthand the internal contradictions among the Japanese militarists have givenrise to many mistakes in command, such as piecemeal reinforcement, lack ofstrategic coordination, occasional absence of a main direction for attack,failure to grasp opportunities in some operations and failure to wipe outencircled forces, all of which may be considered the third weakness of Japaneseimperialism. Thus, despite the advantage of being on the offensive and operatingon exterior lines, the Japanese militarists are gradually losing the initiative,because of their shortage of troops (their small territory, small population,inadequate resources, feudalistic imperialism, etc.), because of the factthat they are fighting on foreign soil (their war is imperialist and barbarous)and because of their stupidities in command. Japan is neither willing norable to conclude the war at present, nor has her strategic offensive yetcome to an end, but, as the general trend shows, her offensive is confinedwithin certain limits, which is the inevitable consequence of her threeweaknesses; she cannot go on indefinitely till she swallows the whole ofChina. Already there are signs that Japan will one day find herself in anutterly passive position. China, on the other hand, was in a rather passiveposition at the beginning of the war, but, having gained experience, sheis now turning to the new policy of mobile warfare, the policy of takingthe offensive, seeking quick decisions and operating on exterior lines incampaigns and battles, which, together with the policy of developingwidespread guerrilla warfare, is helping China to build up a position ofinitiative day by day.The question of the initiative is even more vital in guerrilla warfare. Formost guerrilla units operate in very difficult circumstances, fighting withouta rear, with their own weak forces facing the enemy's strong forces, lackingexperience (when the units are newly organized), being separated, etc.Nevertheless, it is possible to build up the initiative in guerrilla warfare,the essential condition being to seize on the enemy's three weaknesses. Takingadvantage of the enemy's shortage of troops (from the viewpoint of the waras a whole), the guerrilla units can boldly use vast areas as their fieldsof operation; taking advantage of the fact that the enemy is an alien invaderand is pursuing a most barbarous policy, the guerrilla units can boldly enlistthe support of millions upon millions of people; and taking advantage ofthe stupidities in the enemy's command, the guerrilla units can give fullscope to their resourcefulness. While the regular army must seize on allthese weaknesses of the enemy and turn them to good account in order to defeathim, it is even more important for the guerrilla units to do so. As for theguerrilla units' own weaknesses, they can be gradually reduced in the courseof the struggle. Moreover, these weaknesses sometimes constitute the verycondition for gaining the initiative. For example, it is precisely becausethe guerrilla units are small that they can mysteriously appear and disappearin their operations behind enemy lines, without the enemy's being able todo anything about them, and thus enjoy a freedom of action such as massiveregular armies never can.When the enemy is making a converging attack from several directions' a guerrillaunit can exercise initiative only with difficulty and can lose it all tooeasily. In such a case, if its appraisals and dispositions are wrong, itis liable to get into a passive position and consequently fail to smash theconverging enemy attack. This may occur even when the enemy is on the defensiveand we are on the offensive. For the initiative results from making a correctappraisal of the situation (both our own and that of the enemy) and frommaking the correct military and political dispositions. A pessimistic appraisalout of accord with the objective conditions and the passive dispositionsensuing from it will undoubtedly result in the loss of the initiative andthrow one into a passive position. On the other hand, an over-optimisticappraisal out of accord with the objective conditions and the risky(unjustifiably risky) dispositions ensuing from it will also result in theloss of the initiative and eventually land one in a position similar to thatof the pessimists. The initiative is not an innate attribute of genius, butis something an intelligent leader attains through open-minded study andcorrect appraisal of the objective conditions and through correct militaryand political dispositions. It follows that the initiative is not ready-madebut is something that requires conscious effort.When forced into a passive position through some incorrect appraisal anddisposition or through overwhelming pressure, a guerrilla unit must striveto extricate itself. How this can be done depends on the circumstances. Inmany cases it is necessary to "move away". The ability to move is the distinctivefeature of a guerrilla unit. To move away is the principal method for gettingout of a passive position and regaining the initiative. But it is not thesole method. The moment when the enemy is most energetic and we are in thegreatest difficulties is often the very moment when things begin to turnagainst him and in our favour. Frequently a favourable situation recurs andthe initiative is regained as a result of "ho


Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...

Group Page: Groups_SingleGroup
bottom of page