Previous, Next, Numerical Index, Chronological Index.
For All Nails (FAN) #157: Out ta Get Me 

Excerpt from Chapter 19 of "Total War - The History and Battles of the
Global War, 1939-1948" 

Chapter 19: 
Guerrilla Warfare during the Global War

...That said, the role of guerrillas during the Global War has been 
consistently overstated. In part, this is because a small group of
rag-tag 
warriors fighting off a mighty army makes for great vitavision (take for 
example the recent Alvarez-winning film 'Red Dawn'), and in part because 
so-called guerrilla and forces played a key role in ending the Global
War.

Why "so-called" guerrilla forces?  Simply put, because many of the most 
effective "guerrilla" forces, especially in India, were in fact 
well-trained, well-armed and in at least some cases, well-supplied 
professional armies.  The reason behind the phenominally rapid advance
of 
the German offensive across South and Southeast Asia was that the
Germans 
rarely bothered to stop and defeat enemy armies!  The Germans reached
Delhi 
in record time, but they left astraddle their supply lines two intact
United 
Empire armies.  The logistical aspect of the German advance across India
is 
addressed in Chapter 15.   This chapter concentrates on the style of war 
waged by the "guerrillas" left behind the crest of the German advance.

... The so-called Garden Offensive of 1943, led by the United Empire 2nd 
Army, was an utter and complete shock to the German 16th Terramobile
Army 
under General Oscar Meyer.  The 16th Terramobile had come under what the 
German general staff assumed were semi-organised attacks from partisan 
guerrillas in western India.   In response, General Meyer planned a 
counter-insurgency campaign to crush the small bands they imagined were 
scattered through the western part of the sub-continent.  Instead of 
scattered partisans, however, the German Army found it-self face-to-face 
with an entire United Empire army supported by full artillery and
running 
terramobiles.  The resulting defeat shattered the morale of the Germans
in 
India.

It required great patience for the 2nd Army to wait 18 months before 
launching a counteroffensive.  Virtually all of the praise for this
patience 
is due to General Bernard J. Montgomery. [1]  While the Germans in
western 
India rapidly depleted their supplies of vulcazine chasing what they
thought 
were light-armed guerrilla bands, Monty not only hoarded his own fuel 
reserves, but managed to expand them through capturing of German
supplies 
using the mark-edly primitive technique of train robbery...

... As the Germans mounted four poorly-planned invasion attempts against
the 
British Isles, United Empire forces (and surviving French units attached
to 
the U.E. command) in India, North Africa, and continental Europe adopted
the 
strategy of essentially trying to annoy the Germans to death. Rather
than 
engage them in open battles, they resorted to hitting and retreating, 
attacking supply lines and supply depots, and killing German soldiers
every 
time they ventured outside heavily-fortified posts.  Indeed, the most 
conservative estimate (from the German high command) was that fully 18 
percent of all casualties suffered by the German army were caused by 
"irregular" activities.  These tactics caused the German leaders such 
frustration that Chancellor von Bruning wrote in his private diary in 
frustration: "When the enemy will not meet you in actual battle, one
must 
wonder, war, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing?"

[1] Yep, it's Monty in Sobel-esque form. His ego is actually slightly
bigger 
in this ATL.

All mistakes and confusing sentences are mine, in spite of editing
assistance from Noel Maurer.