Guerrilla warfare, also known as guerrilla tactics, is a form of irregular warfare where a small group fights off a larger force via unconventional tactics. Strategies falling under guerrilla warfare include ambushes, sabotage, raids, and hit-and-run tactics. In extreme cases, guerrilla warfare can even utilize borderline terroristic measures such as holding hostages. Largely because of the fact that guerrilla warfare was technically not part of the standards of warfare, it was generally used by terrorist groups, revolutionaries, outlaws, or people who have been pushed to their limit. There are some downsides to guerrilla warfare, however: in some cases, the army's manpower and defenses are significantly large and expansive enough that guerrilla warfare is useless in dislodging them. In addition, if guerrilla warfare lasts long enough, the larger force will eventually become privy to their efforts and rout the guerrillas out. In some cases, guerrillas are also aided in their endeavors by a larger force opposite that of the force the guerrillas are fighting against, either directly or indirectly. Those who practiced such tactics were generally called guerrillas or guerillas.
Another example of guerrilla warfare was demonstrated during the Battle of Bomodon during the Great Galactic War, conducted by the platoon of Lieutenant Elin Garza of the Republic's 45th Infantry Division, to drive off Sith influence from Bomodon. It was later practiced to great effect by the Balmorran resistance during the Battle of Balmorra during the Cold War, with the Republic giving indirect help to the resistance due to the statues of the Treaty of Coruscant barring them from officially participating in the battle. In the Chommell system, pirates utilized guerrilla warfare on a Republic convoy, which eventually resulted in the pirates doom when the Republic traced their bases from the repeated raids. In addition, more radical Evocii tried to wage guerrilla warfare against the Hutts and whoever happened to be in their way. Alderaan, specifically House of Organa during this time also had a research camp dedicated to guerrilla techniques located in the Kaamos Territory atop Resistance Ridge.
Another notable example of guerrilla warfare being utilized was during the Tarasin Revolt from 161 BBY to 154 BBY, as well as The Uprisings, a case of spontaneous guerrilla warfare on the planet Ord Cestus instigated by the terrorist group Desert Wind that lasted from 121 BBY to 26 BBY.
The Palarians also utilized guerrilla warfare against the Corporate Sector Authority on Pal Goral.
Even though Naboo was a peaceful planet, the head of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, Captain Quarsh Panaka, had some knowledge of guerrilla warfare, and taught Pars Varqom the concept prior to the Trade Federation's invasion of the planet in 32 BBY. This ultimately allowed Varqom to form a resistance against the Trade Federation and fight them off until Queen Amidala returned to the planet.
During the Separatist Crisis, five guerrilla members of a radical splinter group of the Gotal Assembly for Separation, the Roshu Sune, after fleeing the Battle of Antar 4, proceeded to take over a commuter hopper on Atzerri and took hostages. The Jedi ultimately quelled the terrorist action, although the deaths caused by their attempt, combined with the earlier disaster during the Battle of Antar 4, resulted in anti-Jedi sentiment as well as anti-Republic sentiment to further increase.
During the Clone Wars, the Republic proceeded to aid and train various guerrilla groups via the Jedi, including the rebels on Onderon and Haruun Kal. However, the Jedi's involvement has a high risk of the Jedi turning to the dark side, as evidenced by what occurred to Mace Windu's former apprentice, Depa Billaba, during the latter event. In the former event, Obi-Wan Kenobi agreed to help train the Onderon rebels in their fight against Sanjay Rash, but made clear that they won't fight their war for them. The Onderon rebels being trained by the Republic would later come back to haunt their successors, the Galactic Empire, later on when they became vital members of the Rebel Alliance.
After the Republic was reorganized into the Empire, Separatist holdouts during the Noolian Crisis attempted to use guerrilla warfare against the Empire. In addition, Rahm Kota (who survived Order 66 due to distrusting clones) and his militia frequently staged guerrilla tactics against the Empire, eventually culminating in their capturing a TIE Fighter construction facility.
Guerrilla warfare would play a large role in the Galactic Civil War by the Rebel Alliance, with their Sector Force division of the Alliance Special Forces frequently engaging in guerrilla conflicts, having specific variants of guerrilla fighters for various battlefields (such as Urban Guerrillas), and their also inspiring several other groups fighting against the Empire to utilize guerrilla warfare against them. Their use of guerrilla warfare was largely because they can't actually defeat the Empire in a straight up fight, as unlike the Empire, their total forces cannot organize on the regiment level. However, General Carlist Rieekan admitted that even their guerrilla efforts are useless against systems that have a systems army present. The most notable use of guerrilla warfare was the Ewoks during the Battle of Endor, although the Empire eventually coordinated their efforts to routing the Ewoks out until Chewbacca hijacked an AT-ST. Aside from the Rebels, other groups such as the Nagai during the Nagai–Tof War at the Firefist companion galaxy as well as the Taloron Hunters against various invading pirate groups during the Taloron Pirate Conflict. Later in the war, even the Imperials utilized guerrilla warfare, including Admiral Daala during the Daala campaign, Imperial forces on Brolsam, and Ivan Cronus.
The New Republic, the Rebels successor government, proceeded to utilize guerrilla tactics to a lesser extent. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Rodians utilized guerrilla warfare against Tsavong Lah. In addition, the New Republic's usage of guerrilla warfare during its time and especially during its time as the Rebel Alliance was referenced in the naming and planning of Operation Emperor's Hammer during the second siege of Borleias.
Admiral Gar Stazi, after escaping the Battle of Caamas during the Sith–Imperial War, frequently utilized guerrilla warfare during the Second Imperial Civil War. Similarly, after the Fel Empire became the Empire in Exile during the same time, Roan Fel also utilized guerrilla warfare against Darth Krayt's Imperial forces.
Behind the scenesEdit
Guerrilla warfare played a major role in the Star Wars franchise, in particular the Original Trilogy and The Phantom Menace. This was largely because of the overall franchise being influenced by the Vietnam War, and in particular the exploits of the South Vietnamese Nationalistic/Communist group the Viet Cong.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Mentioned only)
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- "The Quality of Mercy"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1
- "The Way of the Yrashu"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 2 (First appearance)
- Jedi Search
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- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
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- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- (First mentioned)
- Classic Adventures: Volume Two
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- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies
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- The Essential Chronology
- Enemy of the Order: The record of Parlan Spinner, vandal and would-be revolutionary
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
- Cracken's Rebel Field Guide
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- Jungle Warfare
- Planets of the Galaxy, Volume Two
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- The Essential Atlas