WHEN we soldiers speak of war, or warfare, the term implies combat conducted by a regular army, with all its rules and ramifications, its orthodox precepts for the handling of larger and lesser units of strength, its intricate over-all pattern of communications and supply. It is this kind of warfare which has been the object of analysis and study by generations of military experts and writers and which is taught in our military schools and academies; it is to the requirements and objectives of this kind of warfare that our entire unit organization and training are geared. And the outstanding characteristic of this kind of warfare may well be said to be that its theater of operations is clearly and discernibly divided into two distinct and separate zones--enemy and friendly--by the line of the front.
In the course of past centuries, however, there have been cases --one is tempted to qualify them as heretical--wherein irregular armed forces have conducted military operations on their own or have participated in the campaigns of regular armies. Although such activity has almost always had unfavorable effects on the opponent--and sometimes done him critical injury--it has never, so far as I am aware, been treated by high commands and general staffs as a serious subject of study. Though it is mentioned in some classical military textbooks, military investigators have given it scanty attention. It seldom has been considered worthy of advance planning or of premeditated use.
During the past decade, Greece has been a theater of war in which irregular forces formed one of the opposing sides. I will endeavor to sketch here briefly the circumstances in which their activity arose and how they conducted it, and to reach certain conclusions as to the practical extent to which one may generalize the Greek experience and apply its lessons to other countries. It seems necessary to describe the setting of the operations in question because without this the reader cannot evaluate them. Since it is somewhat audacious,
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