Total Resistance Paperback – 21 Sep 2010
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The book is a manual for the Swiss Army and population (Switzerland doesn't have an army; Switzerland IS an army) if and when Switzerland might be "conquered" by a foreign power. Yet its principles could be used in combating a domestic tyrant.
Given the current political situation, one has the disturbing impression that one reads this book for the future.
The Table of Contents (briefly):
Part I. ORGANIZATON AND CONDUCT OF GUERRILLA WARFARE
1. Purpose of Guerilla Warefare
2. Organizaton of Guerrilla Warfare
3. Tactics of Guerrilla Units
4. How an Enemy with Modern equipment will Operate Against Your Guerrilla Detachment
Part II: ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF THE CIVILIAN RESISTANCE MOVEMENT [best part of book]
2. Enemy Organization
3. Operations of the Resistance Movement
* The concepts are easy to understand & easy to implement. I get the impression that this manual was meant to be handed from guerrilla-to-guerrilla, rather than sit on a bookshelf as a reference.
* The manual covers a broad range of scenarios for combat action. Whether you have two guerrillas or two hundred, this manual will list an operation that works at your manpower level. Typically, the safest operation for a guerrilla unit to engage are the enemy's logistics and communications network. "Total Resistance" follows this concept, and shows how to perform roadblocks, attacks on trains, and attacks on telephone lines.
* Beyond small unit tactics, "Total Resistance" explains how to grow your resistance movement (page 103-109). This is important, since insurgent movements can wither when members quit believing in the cause. As a historical example I would mention the large number of Sandinistas who became Contras after being disillusioned with the 'revolucion.'
* The manual leans on the assumption that you will get support from fellow citizens (page 20-21). Historically speaking, this is incorrect. Most citizens in occupied areas will keep their heads down and merely try to survive. Studies of the French Resistance in WWII showed that roughly 1% of the population actively took part in the resistance movement. The Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, while resisting the Soviets, were at about 3% (and they had the 'jihad' concept to help recruitment).
* As an adjunct to the above, "Total Resistance" posits that very little of the population will collaborate with the enemy (page 84). Again, history shows otherwise. In the Philippines in WWII, almost the entire pre-war power structure sided with the Japanese. The only major figure to refuse collaboration was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who was subsequently beheaded. For European examples, look at Yugoslavia and Ukraine in WWII. Both had significant segments of their population side with the Nazis.
* One complaint I noticed with other reviewers is the belief that technology has changed to such an extent that "Total Resistance" is obsolete. In this case I respectfully disagree. Guerrilla fighters typically fight with what they have available. This is the lure of guerrilla warfare--that the weak can use what they have to fight the mighty. Look at the rockets and IEDs that were used in Iraq; most were home made using parts one could find in hardware stores (we were hit by one that was made from Christmas lights left behind by GI's). The point is that, as long as there are men and women willing to fight, guerrilla war will continue.
Major Von Dach published this book in 1958, but its tactical information is invaluable even today. The good Major covers the major aspects of both passive and active resistance to an invading force, and the information he provides will be useful against oppresive tyrants everywhere.
I found this book to be well written, although there are a few mistakes in editing. The illustrations could have been drawn on a larger scale as well.
In my opinion, this book is a valuable resource for any freedom loving individual anywhere in the world.
a person who reviewed the book said that guerilla war doesn't work and eventually is defeated.....well I guess he skipped the page and a half at the beginning that listed major successful guerilla conflicts, thats not even including the successful guerilla operations waged after 1956 when this book was first published
And never forget resistance is not futile!!!!