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Partisan and anti-partisan warfare in german-occupied europe, 1939-1945: views from above and lessons for the present

Shepherd, B. and Pattinson, J.S. (2008) Partisan and anti-partisan warfare in german-occupied europe, 1939-1945: views from above and lessons for the present. Journal of Strategic Studies, 31 (5). pp. 675-693. ISSN 0140-2390

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Abstract

This introductory article begins by sketching the general historical background of partisan and anti-partisan warfare in German-occupied Europe. It then briefly outlines the state of available primary sources, and the often heated, controversial character of the historiographical debates which are taking place within this area. It then considers, at some length, the lessons which the five articles presented, offer for the present-day conduct of counter-insurgency warfare-lessons relating to the effects of higher-level strategic perceptions; to the potential, then as now, for directing a policy of 'disaggregation' against insurgents; to the importance of situating counter-insurgency warfare within the context of wider policies which are receptive to the needs of the occupied population and its social and cultural characteristics; and to the necessity of fielding counter-insurgency forces which not only are well-resourced, but which also, in stark contrast to the anti-partisan formations which the Germans so often deployed, conduct themselves in ways that cultivate the population rather than alienate it.