Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency

Author(s): Roger Trinquier

Second Hand & Rare Books

This volume in the Praeger Security International (PSI) series Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era reveals how French officers who served in Indochina, like the author, Roger Trinquier, fought fierce rear-guard actions against ideologically motivated insurgents in the 1940s and 1950s to a far greater extent than their American counterparts later faced in Vietnam. The lack of coherent strategic direction from Paris in the chaotic years of the Fourth Republic left the military with the task of making political decisions in the field. With the original introduction by Bernard B. Fall and a new foreword prepared by Eliot A. Cohen.


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This book examines how the French military spent decades fighting rear-guard actions in Indochina against ideologically motivated insurgents in the 1940s and 1950s.

Roger Trinquier (1908-1986) was born into a peasant family and was graduated from the military academy at Saint-Maixent. He was posted in the Far East for much of his career. Following World War II, he campaigned in Vietnam before returning to organize and train a colonial parachute battalion in France. Then he was reassigned to Indochina as an expert on counterguerrilla warfare. This tour was followed by his active role in the revolt of May 1958 by the French army in Algeria, for which he was labeled a political colonel. Afterward Colonel Trinquier led a group of fellow officers-recruited from elite units and officially retired, but with the approval of the Ministry of Defense- to serve as mercenaries in Katanga Province, Zaire, under the secessionist leader Moise Tshombe. He published La Guerre Moderne, which was translated into English, and a number of other books dealing with the Indochina war and the exploits of French airborne forces.

Forward Introduction: A Portrait of the "Centurion" by Bernard B. Fall PART I. PREPARATION FOR WAR The need to Adapt Our Military Apparatus to Modern Warfare Modern Warfare Defined An Example of a Clandestine Warfare Organization Terrorism-The Principal Weapon of Modern Warfare Identifying the Adversary Defense of the Territory PART II. THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY CONDUCT OF THE WAR Direct Action on the Populations of Cities Errors in Fighting the Guerrilla The Problem of Resources Conducting Counterguerrilla Operations PART III. CARRYING THE WAR TO THE ENEMY The Inadequacies of Traditional Warfare Modern Warfare in Enemy Territory Conclusion Index

General Fields

  • : 9780275992682
  • : ABC-CLIO
  • : Praeger Publishers Inc
  • : 0.172
  • : August 2006
  • : 234mm X 156mm X 6mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Roger Trinquier
  • : Paperback
  • : annotated edition
  • : 355.02
  • : 120
  • : 1, black & white illustrations