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Colin Gubbins

Colin Gubbins

Colin Gubbins was born in Scotland in 1896. He joined the British Army and as a member of the Royal Artillery won the Military Cross while serving on the Western Front during the First World War.

In 1919 Gubbins went to Russia where he served under General Edmund Ironside and General Anton Denikin in the White Army. After the victory of the Red Army in the Civil War Gubbins returned to England. Gubbins also served on the losing side in the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-21.

Gubbins experiences in Russia and Ireland gave him considerable insights into the nature of guerrilla warfare. He joined Military Intelligence and wrote a series of pamphlets on the subject including The Art of Guerrilla Warfare, Partisan Leader's Handbook and How to Use High Explosives.

Gubbins argued that for guerrilla warfare to succeed it needed daring leadership and a sympathetic population. In his pamphlets he provided practical information on how to organize a road ambush, how to immobilize a railway engine and how to kill the enemy.

By the outbreak of the Second World War Gubbins had reached the rank of brigadier. He joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and in November 1940 was appointed director of operations and training.

After the war Gubbins published Resistance Movements in the War (1948). Colin Gubbins died in 1976.