The U.S. has a long and bloody history on both sides of resistance movements. The country began with resistance to English rule, but even then President George Washington put down an armed rebellion in his first term as president. More recently, U.S. troops have fought against vicious insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
1. The Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa
The heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa was an organized militia movement to defend the Jews of Warsaw from deportation. On Apr. 19, 1943 the Nazis attempted to kidnap the remaining 55,000 Jews living there and send them to labor and killing camps, but resistance members held out for nearly a month and killed dozens of Germans.
2. The Norwegian Resistance movement stopped the Nazi atomic program.
The Norwegian resistance spied, made propaganda, and attacked wartime infrastructure in World War II but was most famous for twice foiling German attempts to create nuclear weapons with heavy water. The first mission was to blow up equipment at a factory and the second was the sinking of a barge filled with heavy water on its way to Germany.
3. “Vigilante Brigades” and Kurdish guerrillas are murdering ISIS militants.
ISIS resisters have not released photos of themselves for understandable reasons. So, here’s a photo of an ISIS member photoshopped as a rubber duckie.
Iraqi resistance has hampered the Islamic State, particularly in Mosul. There, resistance members have taken to killing ISIS patrollers and bombing ISIS vehicles at night while saboteurs have poisoned ISIS food and water supplies, killing dozens.
4. The Spanish resistance to Napoleon was the original guerrilla warfare.
In 1808, Napoleon invaded Spain and installed his brother as king there. He had thought he would be greeted as a liberator but was woefully mistaken. On May 2, 1808, an uprising began and 150 French soldiers were killed. The fighting would continue for five years and thousands were gruesomely killed on both sides.
The small unit tactics of the Spanish resistance groups gave rise to the term “guerrilla.”
5. The “Cursed Soldiers” resisted Stalinism and Communism in Poland.
Poland was liberated from Nazi Germany in 1945 by the Soviet Union, which quickly sank its own claws into the country. For the next 18 years, armed resistance groups fought against Soviet forces and later, the Communist government that was put in place in Poland. Members fought under a number of organizations and are collectively memorialized every Mar. 1 on the National Day of Memory of Cursed Soldiers.