Partisan Movement

Partisan Movement

 

a type of struggle waged in enemy-occupied territory by the popular masses for the freedom and independence of their homeland or for social transformations. In the struggle the armed nucleus of the working people relies on support from the local population. Units of regular troops operating in the enemy rear may participate in a partisan movement.

A partisan movement may take many forms: armed struggle, sabotage, subversive operations, undermining of the authority of the agencies of power, and propaganda and agitation intended to unmask the enemy’s reactionary goals and mobilize the people for a struggle against the enemy. Foreign or domestic oppressors may be the target of a partisan movement. Civil wars of the oppressed masses against the ruling classes often take the form of partisan movements. However, the methods of the partisan struggle are sometimes used by reactionary forces, which succeed in temporarily winning over the politically backward part of the population. (This happened in the Vendée and Brittany during the French Revolution and in the anti-Soviet revolts during the Civil War in Russia.)

The tasks of the partisan movement depend on the specific historical conditions associated with the struggle of the popular masses for national liberation or social transformations. Usually, they involve inflicting maximum losses on the enemy and creating the preconditions for victory. The major forms of the armed partisan struggle are sudden, rapid attacks (ambushes and raids), as well as various methods of causing losses and material damage to the enemy without engaging in combat.

Partisan operations are known to have taken place in early antiquity (for example, the struggle of the peoples of Middle Asia against the armies of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C., and the struggle of various peoples against the expansion of ancient Rome). Many peoples, including the Russians, have engaged in partisan operations. In the 13th through 15th centuries the Russian people struggled against the Mongol-Tatars, and in the early 17th century, against the Polish and Swedish intervention. During the peasant wars of the 16th through 18th centuries partisan struggles were waged by the insurgents in Russia, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. The American people carried on a partisan struggle in the War of Independence in North America (1775–83), and the Spanish people engaged in a partisan struggle against Napoleonic rule in the early 19th century. In the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) the French people took part in a partisan movement.

During the Patriotic War of 1812 the partisan movement played a significant role in routing Napoleon’s army. The Great October Socialist Revolution imparted a new class content to the partisan movement. During the Civil War in Russia, the partisan movement (1918–22) grew to vast proportions. The mass partisan movement rose to an even higher level in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), owing to organization, centralized leadership, and closely coordinated action with the Soviet armed forces.

During World War II (1939–45) resistance movements developed in countries occupied by fascist Germany and its allies. In a number of countries the resistance took the form of a partisan movement, and in some countries it assumed the scale of a national liberation war (for example, in Yugoslavia, Poland, France, Greece, Italy, China, Indochina, Burma, and the Philippines). After World War II, partisan movements took shape in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, during the struggle of the peoples of these countries for national independence and against colonialism and imperialism. The partisan movement assumed a particularly broad scope in the 1940’s and 1950’s during the struggles against the rule of the colonialists and the reactionary regime in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Algeria, Malaya, and Cuba. In the 1960’s and 1970’s the partisan movement grew to vast proportions in South Vietnam, where it was directed against American aggression (1964–73). Large-scale partisan movements also developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Laos, Cambodia, South Arabia, and the Portuguese colonies in Africa (Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique).

V. N. ANDRIANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
A military guard fired honorary shots as Broz was a decorated member of the Yugoslav anti-fascist partisan movement in World War II.
The Wehrmacht faced not only resistance from the Chetniks, an organization looking to carve out a Greater Serbia, but also from what became the greatest threat to its power: a Communist partisan movement that appealed to broad sections of the civilian population.
It's a monument to the partisan movement, those who resisted Bulgaria's fascist regime in the period 1941-44.
Vasili Tsariuk, representative of the Partisan Movement Central Headquarters, explained the death of a group of Jewish women killed on the bank of the Nieman River: "We were warned from reliable sources that the Gestapo had sent a group of women to poison food in our cauldrons.
The model of transformation of the civic into a partisan movement is the most depressing message for all Albanian idealists who wanted to cultivate their non-partisan room far from the bad political influences.
Because of the political divisions within this partisan movement its effectiveness in harassing the German army of occupation has since been seriously questioned.
Landis' vivid sketches of the rebel leader Aleksandr Antonov and his lieutenants prove that while several had had been associated with the Party of Socialist Revolutionaries--the populist socialist party that posed the most serious threat to the Bolsheviks from the Left during the Civil War--and while their proclamations often echoed PSR rhetoric and programs, the Partisan movement was neither led by nor closely tied to the PSR.
Jan notes that for the first ten years or so, plays tended to deal "with themes relating to the war and the partisan movement," but that later writers "decided to drop the ideology and pursue contemporary literary and philosophical concerns.
John Whitehead, founder and president of the Rutherford Institute, has been warning evangelicals about the dangers of aligning too closely with a partisan movement.
For standards of any kind to be accepted by real-life political combatants--as opposed to editorial writers and TV pontificators who have never-set foot in a sweaty campaign headquarters--they must be practical as well as reasonable; they must also not tilt toward any partisan movement or class of candidates.
In the surrounding areas, the partisan movement became a growing problem, but Allied military officials were reluctant to assist the White commanders who had been implicated in committing atrocities.