Guerrilla warfare

Spanish guerrilla resistance to the Napoleonic French invasion of Spain in 1808, where the term "guerrilla" was first used in warfare.

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Guerrilla groups are a type of violent non-state actor.


The Spanish word "guerrilla" is the diminutive form of "guerra" ("war"). The term became popular during the early-19th century Peninsular War, when the Spanish and Portuguese people rose against the Napoleonic troops and fought against a highly superior army using the guerrilla strategy. In correct Spanish usage, a person who is a member of a "guerrilla" unit is a "guerrillero" ([ɣeriˈʎeɾo]) if male, or a "guerrillera" ([ɣeriˈʎeɾa]) if female.

The term "guerrilla" was used in English as early as 1809 to refer to the fighters (e.g., "The town was taken by the guerrillas"), and also (as in Spanish) to denote a group or band of such fighters. However, in most languages guerrilla still denotes the specific style of warfare. The use of the diminutive evokes the differences in number, scale, and scope between the guerrilla army and the formal, professional army of the state.[original research?]

Other Languages
العربية: حرب عصابات
azərbaycanca: Partizan müharibəsi
Boarisch: Guerillakriag
brezhoneg: Gouvrezel
català: Guerrilla
Deutsch: Guerilla
Esperanto: Gerilo
euskara: Gerrilla
فارسی: جنگ چریکی
français: Guérilla
한국어: 유격전
հայերեն: Գերիլիա
Bahasa Indonesia: Gerilya
íslenska: Skæruhernaður
italiano: Guerriglia
עברית: גרילה
latviešu: Partizānu karš
مازِرونی: چریک
Bahasa Melayu: Gerila
Nederlands: Guerrilla
日本語: ゲリラ
norsk nynorsk: Gerilja
Nouormand: Dgèrrilleux
polski: Partyzantka
português: Guerrilha
Simple English: Guerrilla warfare
slovenčina: Partizánska vojna
slovenščina: Gverilsko bojevanje
српски / srpski: Мали рат
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Gerilski rat
suomi: Sissisota
Tiếng Việt: Chiến tranh du kích
中文: 游击战