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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Guerrilla Forces

Christian Schaller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 06 July 2020

Armed forces — National liberation movements — Armed conflict, non-international — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Combatants, unlawful — Prisoners of war

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The term ‘guerrilla’ is mainly used in military science to describe certain strategies, tactics, and methods of irregular or asymmetric warfare. In this context, guerrilla forces can be characterized as groups of fighters who avail themselves of such strategies, tactics, and methods during an armed conflict in order to gain a military advantage against superior opponents. Guerrilla forces typically aim at creating a specific momentum of surprise. Therefore, they operate in small and highly mobile units, hide in a civilian environment, and carry out their attacks...
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