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FM-31-21 1961 Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations · PDF file This manual provides guidance in Special Forces and unconventional warfare operations for commanders and staffs

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  • DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FIELD MANUAL

    GUERILLA WARFARE

    AND

    SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIONS

    H E A D Q U A R T E R S , D E P A R T M E N T O F T H E A R M Y

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  • *FM 31-21

    FIELD MANUAL HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

    NO. 31-21 WASHINGTON 25, D.C., 29 September 1961

    GUERRILLA WARFARE AND SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIONS

    Paragraphs Page

    PART ONE. INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1. FUNDAMENTALS---------------------------------- 1-3 3

    2. RESISTANCE AND GUERRILLA WAR- FARE ------------------------------------------------- 4-8 5

    PART TWO. ORGANIZATION FOR THE SPECIAL FORCES EFFORT

    CHAPTER 3. JOINT UNCONVENTIONAL WAR- FARE TASK FORCE (JUWTF) ------------- 9-12 14

    4. AIRBORNE SPECIAL FORCES GROUP Section I. General ----------------------------------------------13-18 18

    II. The Special Forces operational base -------19-21 26 III. Control of operations-----------------------------22-27 29 IV. Control of administrative and training

    Activities -----------------------------------------28-32 39 CHAPTER 5. THEATER SUPPORT

    Section I. Logistics ---------------------------------------------33-43 46 II. Intelligence -----------------------------------------44-46 54

    III. Communications ----------------------------------47-52 58 IV. Initial contact --------------------------------------53-54 63 PART THREE. OPERATIONS

    CHAPTER 6. INFILTRATION ----------------------------------55-60 64 7. ORGANIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT

    OF THE AREA COMMAND. Section I. Organizational concepts ------------------------61-66 69

    II. Resistance elements -----------------------------67-72 79 III. Security ----------------------------------------------73-80 86

    IV. Intelligence in guerrilla warfare operational area ------------------------------------------------81-83 93

    V. Communications in guerrilla warfare opera­ tional areas--------------------------------------84-87 93

    VI. Logistics in guerrilla warfare operational areas-----------------------------------------------88-94 95

    * This manual supersedes FM 31-21, 8 May 1958.

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  • Paragraphs Page

    CHAPTER 8. COMBAT EMPLOYMENT

    Section I. Introduction -------------------------------------- 95-100 103

    II. Offensive combat operations ---------------101-116 107

    III. Interdiction--------------------------------------117-126 130

    IV. Defensive operations -------------------------127-131 137

    V. Employment of unconventional warfare

    forces to assist conventional forces' com-

    bat operations -------------------------------132-139 145

    VI. Employment of UW forces after link-up 140-147 164

    CHAPTER 9. PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS IN

    SUPPORT OF UNCONVENTIONAL

    WARFARE -----------------------------------148-152 169

    10. DEMOBILIZATION --------------------------153-166 177

    APPENDIX I. REFERENCES------------------------------------------- 183

    II. CATALOGUE SUPPLY SYSTEM------------------ 188 III. AREA STUDY GUIDE--------------------------------- 234 IV. AREA ASSESSMENT---------------------------------- 244 V. GLOSSARY OF TERMS ------------------------------ 249

    INDEX---------------------------------------------------------------------------­ 252

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  • PART ONE

    INTRODUCTION

    CHAPTER 1

    FUNDAMENTALS

    1. Purpose and Scope

    a. This manual provides guidance in Special Forces and unconventional warfare operations for commanders and staffs at all levels. The basic concepts of unconventional warfare are presented in a manner designed to acquaint the reader with Special Forces organization, concepts, and methods of operations to fulfill the Army's responsibility for the conduct of unconventional warfare.

    b. Thorough understanding of the ideas established within this manual will prepare the commander and staff officers for subsequent decisions and staff actions which affect special forces planning and operations.

    c. Detailed methods and techniques of Special Forces operations are discussed below. Classified information pertaining to all levels of Special Forces operations is found in FM 31-21A.

    2. Definition of Unconventional Warfare

    Unconventional warfare consists of the interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, and subversion against hostile states (resistance). Unconventional warfare operations are conducted in enemy or enemy controlled territory by predominately indigenous personnel usually supported and directed in varying degrees by an external source.

    3. Delineation of Responsibilities for Unconventional Warfare

    a. The responsibility for certain of these activities has been delegated to the service having primary concern. Guerrilla warfare is the responsibility of the United States Army.

    b. Within certain designated geographic areas—called guerrilla warfare operational areas—the United States Army is responsible for the conduct of all three interrelated fields of activity as they affect guerrilla warfare operations.

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  • c. The military operations of resistance movements are customarily supported and accompanied by political and economic activities—both overt and clandestine—of individuals and groups integrated, or acting in conjunction with guerrillas. The several types of activities are interlocking. The term unconventional warfare is used in this manual to denote all of the United States Army's associated responsibilities in the conduct of guerrilla warfare. The term guerrilla warfare is used to denote the primary overt military activities of the guerrilla forces.

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  • CHAPTER 2

    RESISTANCE AND GUERRILLA WARFARE

    4. Resistance

    a. General. Resistance is the cornerstone of guerrilla warfare. Underground and guerrilla warfare stem from a resistance movement.

    b. Definition. Resistance is defined as the act of opposition of one individual or group to another. A resistance movement is the organized element of a disaffected population which resists a government or occupying power with means, varying from passive to violently active. Resistance movements begin to form when dissatisfaction occurs among strongly motivated individuals who cannot further their cause by peaceful and legal means.

    c. The Nature of Resistance. (1) Resistance, rebellion or civil war begins in a nation where

    political, sociological, economic or religious division has occurred. Divisions of this nature are usually caused by a violation of rights or privileges, the oppression of one group by the dominant or occupying force, or the threat to the life and freedom of the populace. Resistance also may develop in a nation where the once welcomed liberators have failed to improve an intolerable social or economic situation. Resistance can also be deliberately inspired from external sources against an assumed grievance. Resistance can be active or passive. Passive resistance may be in the form of smoldering resentment which needs only leadership or a means of expression to mature to active resistance.

    (2) Some people join a resistance movement because of an innate desire to survive. Others may join the resistance forces because of deep ideological convictions. But all, regardless of initial motivation, are bound together to fight against a common enemy. Part of the population assists the resistance movement as fighters in the guerrilla force; some assist as part-time guerrillas or in civilian support agencies know as auxiliary units; while others are members of the underground.

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  • d. Influencing Factors. (1) Environment.

    (a) Terrain. The physical location of the resistance movement has a great influence upon its organization and tactics. Because they provide suitable areas for the security of operations, mountains, swamps, large forests or jungles nurture overt or guerrilla type resistance. Flat plains areas and large towns or cities are more apt to lead to underground resistance activities although the possibility of organizing a guerrilla force in these areas should not be overlooked.

    (b) Cultural. A peoples' cultural environment also has its effects on resistance movements. The urge to bear arms, escape, and fight the enemy is dependent on the cultural background of the people. Men from rural or peasant environment, not subjected to tight governmental control, have more opportunity to show their hatred of the enemy occupation by overt and violent means such as guerrilla warfare. People from an industrialized and highly urbanized culture will resist with such activities as sabotage, propaganda, passive acts and espionage.

    (c) Control of population. When an occupying power is able to exercise close and stringent control over the population, the resistance movement is conducted primarily in secrecy. When the police and military forces of the occupying power are diverted or otherwise ineffectual, the resistance movement may be conducted with primarily overt guerrilla actions.

    (2) Motivation. Besides the geographical and cultural environment influencing guerrilla warfare, the sociological climate produces ma

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