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Thread: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

  1. #21
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Nationalism was a non-factor for guerillas, who were largely led by and composed of illiterate peasants.
    In Spain, probably.Illiterate doesn't necessarily equate with a lack of defensive patriotism. Well,not here in 1383 or in the year 1808. Read this book,


    It's about the genuine, desperate and generalized national popular revolt against the French, and against Loison.

    A very short summary, here. you know Portuguese. «Ir pró maneta» é o novo livro de Pulido Valente - Lux - IOL

    Wellington's troops were safely disembarked in Mondego, because 9/10 of the country had already revolted.
    Wellington, in The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, page 129
    .. it appeared.. that would be more advisable to disembark the troops in the Mondego river...I received accounts that gen. Loison had been detached across the Tagus from Lisbon into alentejo, to subdue the insurrection in that province..the insurrection had made considerable progress and was become formidable in Alentejo.. I therefore considered that I might commence the disembarkation immediately"
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  2. #22

    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    The terrain is atrocious for conquering.

    Like have you ever tried fighting Spain in M2TW? Their javelins always spawn on top of a ****ing mountain that's inaccessible. My god. Bonaparte should've spammed autoresolve.
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  3. #23
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Guerrilla warfare was most certainly practiced among the Lusitanians in the west and Cantabrians in the north...

    * Francisco Queiroga. War and Castros: New Approaches to the Northwestern Portuguese Iron Age. Archaeopress, University of Michigan, 2003.
    I'm impressed. Absolutely, you know what you are talking about
    ---
    Geography and..human resilience. For those who understand French,

    Letter written by Laure Junot, duchesse d’Abrantès (Junot's wife).

    Je transcris ici une lettre de Junot écrite immédiatement après son arrivée à Lisbonne; elle donnera une idée de ce que l’armée a eut à souffrir, et ce qu’il a souffert comme elle...
    Il existe même une difficulté plus difficile à combattre, c’est le peu d’habitants qui se laissent apercevoir : ils sont féroces, nous détestent, et je devais les redouter d’autant plus que dans une profonde misère, ils devaient être à la fois inhospitaliers et bandits. Je ne me trompais pas.

    La nature a donné au Portugal de telles positions dans cette partie de ses frontières, que mille hommes armés de simples fusils défendraient le Portugal dans ces défilés terribles contre une armée du double de la mienne.
    General Pául Thiébault his life and his Legacy, excerpt,

    Thiébault’s sixth bulletin, eight pages long and issued 2 August, began:.. "the People of Portugal... continue their illegal insurrection.”
    It must disabuse men of standing and convince the Portuguese people that we are their friends; that when they take arms against us, they arm themselves on behalf of their most cruel enemies"
    Edit,
    A seminal book/PDF full essay, 211 pages
    The French Invasions of Portugal 1807-1811 - rebellion, reaction and resistance Anthony Gray

    Some excerpts,
    The third defining moment came with the proper appreciation of the rebellion of the Portuguese people in 1808, the reaction of the French and Portuguese élites and popular resistance in 1808 and 1809 and the need to explore these in terms of causes, lived experiences and effects. There is, still, no modern investigation of the Portuguese insurrections in English (personal note, see post 21)
    That the Portuguese insurrections and popular resistance during the French invasions need to be identified, described and explored then is undisputed.

    There are numerous examples in these French diaries and journals of individuals, families and the population of small settlements, fighting to the death to protect their farms and homes (on both sides of the border) and of cooperation between Spanish and Portuguese irregular forces. Men and women alike opposed the invader.

    ... But what of popular resistance from the summer of 1809 to the eviction of the French from Portuguese soil in April 1811? Wholesale military mobilisation and the almost total commitment of the Portuguese economy and her people to the defence of the realm, and the subjugation of the Portuguese military to British discipline , whether this is accepted in whole or in part, or rejected outright, would appear to have precluded the development of independent guerrilla forces and warfare.

    ...Whilst nationalism and patriotism were in no short supply during the Peninsular War they were not necessarily the only cause of opposition to the French invasions: alienation, disaffection and marginalisation were also very tangible drivers of popular and populist resistance.
    Last edited by Ludicus; August 08, 2019 at 02:28 PM.
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  4. #24
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    I'm impressed. Absolutely, you know what you are talking about
    Thank you for the validation! I needed that. As for additional authors who describe Viriathus and his Lusitanian forces utilizing guerrilla tactics, you could also see these ones below:

    * Walter Laqueur's Guerrilla: A Historical And Critical Study, Routledge, 2018 [1976], who relays Theodor Mommson's opinion that Viriathus was "chief of the guerrillas" and that Quintus Sertorus led "a revival of guerrilla warfare in the peninsula" about fifty years after the death of Viriathus. Laqueur explains how Roman historians occasionally used phrases like street robbers and highwaymen ("latro-listes") to describe Iberian insurgents, even though most Iberian groups were obviously capable of raising armies and fighting in normal pitched battles in the field.

    * Max Boot, Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, Liveright Publishing (W.W. Norton & Company), 2013, who states the following on p. 22: "...Viriathus, a shepherd who became the leader of a guerrilla army, had inflicted one setback after another on the legions during the preceding eight years. Operating from mountain strongholds, he perfected a tactic beloved of primitive warriors everywhere: he would pretend to flee before Roman forces in order to draw them into an ambush. This stratagem paid off in 146 BC when his Lusitanian tribesmen, armed with spears and curved swords, managed to kill four thousand Romans out of an army of ten thousand...Catching the rebel leader proved impossible. He and his men traveled light on 'very agile horses', the Greek historian Appian wrote, 'while the Romans were unable to pursue him in the same way because of the weight of their armor, their ignorance of the routes and the inferiority of their horses'."

    * Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley, Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America: A Comparative Study of Insurgents and Regimes Since 1956, Princeton University Press, 1992, says on p. 3 that Viriathus among others "employed guerrilla warfare against the Roman imperial forces in ancient Europe."

    I could find more, of course, but I think these in addition to the four sources on the previous page are more than sufficient to hammer home the point. The guy is putting up a stiff resistance in trying to argue against this, but as far as I can tell he's only using a couple contrarian works by Quesada Sanz instead of absorbing what the entire scholarly community has to say about the matter. Sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong, but the scholarly consensus on this matter clearly exists and it does not accept the alleged opinion of Quesada, who seems to be in the minority on this issue.

    ---
    Geography and..human resilience. For those who understand French,

    Letter written by Laure Junot, duchesse d’Abrantès (Junot's wife).



    General Pául Thiébault his life and his Legacy, excerpt,



    Edit,
    A seminal book/PDF full essay, 211 pages
    The French Invasions of Portugal 1807-1811 - rebellion, reaction and resistance Anthony Gray

    Some excerpts,
    Thanks for sharing! That's rather interesting but also sad about the limitations of scholarship in English on using Portuguese primary sources and explaining the full situation in Portugal at the time. This is very useful indeed, especially when you think about the French armies laying waste and scavenging the countryside, and the disaffected rural Spanish and Portuguese farmers and their families who must developed a lot of resentment as a result. Fuel for the fires and guerrilla recruitment, I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surgeon View Post
    The terrain is atrocious for conquering.

    Like have you ever tried fighting Spain in M2TW? Their javelins always spawn on top of a ****ing mountain that's inaccessible. My god. Bonaparte should've spammed autoresolve.
    Nice. Napoleon Bonaparte would have considered M2TW style autoresolve to be quite the luxury after being forced back to France from Spain and then onto Austria to face what he perceived to be bigger concerns.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surgeon View Post
    The terrain is atrocious for conquering.

    Like have you ever tried fighting Spain in M2TW? Their javelins always spawn on top of a ****ing mountain that's inaccessible. My god. Bonaparte should've spammed autoresolve.
    Thats nothing compared to the Pain of conquering Spain in Roma Surrectum III.... damn Iberians with their endless supply of Javelins.

    @topic: Did the Romans make a difference between regular Warfare and Guerilla? Describing them as robbers and Highwaymen shows at least what the roman historians thought about them

  6. #26

    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Whoops, I had no idea that Goya had named that painting 3rd of May 1808. Pfft, what should I expect from an afrancesado? They always put honest, patriotic gentlemen into trouble. The mentioning of the guerilla tactics of the Republicans during the late phase of the conflict is absolutely correct and I agree that the activities of the Maquis serve as a nice and appropriately heroic epilogue for the Spanish tradition in guerilla warfare.

    Nationalism was a non-factor for guerillas, who were largely led by and composed of illiterate peasants. Guerillas were almost exlusively preoccupied with protecting their own interests and installing an autonomous rule over the isolated communities they temporarily controlled. Their actions often openly harmed the interests of the British and their allies in Cadiz, by looting their supply trains, murdering their stragglers and welcoming the deserters who had abandoned the regular army. When Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne, almost every guerilla chieftain who was not integrated to the newly formed bureaucratic, military and administrative elites actively conspired to undermine the new regime, with his methods varying from scheming to outright revolting.

    The financial crisis was the result the structural contradictions of the Spanish economy existing since before the establishment of the Bourbon dynasty, whose causes Charles III never managed to eradicate, as he wasted his budget constructing an unnecessarily huge fleet. The situation was exacerbated not by Napoleon's continental system, which was never truly implemented in Spain, but by the British blockade and the complete inability of the Spanish Navy to secure the trade routes with the colonies. Spain willingly joined the war and it's not the fault of the French Republic or Empire that the Spanish ships were not capable of reversing the maritime superiority of the British. Perhaps Godoy could have handled foreign policy more professionally, but a military conflict with Great Britain was essentially inevitable, as Madrid simply lacked any other alternative option to protect its interests and influence in Latin America from the threat posed by the growing British competition. The Spanish Empire had reached the breaking point with or without French intervention. The misfortune of Napoleon was that his badly-thought invasion served as the perfect scapegoat for the populace to vent its frustrations stemming from collapse of the economy and the subsequent mismanagement during the reign of Charles IV.

    The poor economic situation as a result of the British blocking trade with Spanish colonies was a direct result of Spain allaying itself with France in its war with Britain, the war being primarily a conflict between France and Britain. As for the Spanish "willing" joining the French, it is questionable how "voluntary" it was. The French invaded Portugal when Portugal refused to join with the French in their Continental System, and Spain had real reasons to feel that the same would have happened to them if Spain had rejected a French alliance. The fact that revolts occurred when Napoleon put his brother on the Spanish throne as a puppet government demonstrates there was nationalist element to the rebellion. The disaster economic conditions which resulted from Spain's alliance with France were percieved by the Commons population as a result of the corrupted French court being in the pocket of French interest. The very people who rejected the French inspired changes nd innovations, tradesmen and the like, were the ones most adversely affect by the economic situation, and it would be natural to blame the French for both, with some justification. The war really wasn't Spain's affair until Spain, under French pressure and in influence, chose to Ally itself with France. The alliance didn't benefit Spain, but aided France, giving France s large navy added to their own with which to challenge the British. Spain's interest would have been better served to remain neutral. There were long term trends and economic decline that did not have anything to do with the French, that is true, but the economic suffering due to the English blockade resulting from Spanish allying with the French were directly the result of Spain allying itself with France when it could have continued it's neutral stance.

    Certainly, when the Spanish government allowed the French to invade Spain so the French could attack Portugal the Spanish government would have been perceived by.mzny as acting in the interest of France. The French leanings by many St the Spanish court would have confirmed those views.

    Neither Spain nor Vietnsm not especially hard to conquer, no more so that other areas that had rugged terrain or dense vegatation. Both have been conquered more than Scotland or Sweden for that matter. Afghanistan I would say has had a history of being as difficult, send both Spain and Vietnam had been conquered by outsiders, the RomNs, Visogoths, and Arabs in Spain, the Chinese and French in Vietnam. Note, until the 19th century, Vietnam as such did not exist. The areas of southern Vietnam under the Champas was neither linguistically or culturally Vietnamese, speaking a different language and having a culture that looked to the west (India) rather than China for inspiration. Southern Vietnam really only became culturally and linguistically part of Vietnam only after the Vietnamesr kingdom expanded in the south in the early 19th century. The Chinese did not conquer the Champa of southern Vietnam, true, but the Chinese did not conquer much of the rest of Indo China eithet, the French conquered far more of the area of Southeast Asia than the Chinese did.


    The comparison beteeen the Pennisula War and the US Vietnam War is rather superficial, and only has vague similarities. In the Pennisular War, France was involved in fighting in several other areas, and Spain was only a secondary front. In the Vietnam War, the US inhereted s civil war that was already in progress before they became invovled. Unlike the Pennisular camapign, the US never tried to conquer all of Vietnam, it never launched a major invasion of North Vietnam. France did try to control both Spain and Portugal. And while France left after suffering major military defeats in Spain, the US did not leave after suffering major military defeats, the Tet Offense was actually a military defeat for the Birthday Congress, but a political victory.

    The US left because it was tired of fighting in Vietnam. By 1968 the US was looking g to leave Vietnam, just 5 years after it became actively involved in the fighting, and withing 10 years it had left Vietnam. In contrast, rhe US has been in Afghanistan for almost 18 years. Also, when South Vietnam fell. It was to a direct invasion by North Vietnam, not to insurgent activities, which suggest the insurgents had been largely eliminated as a factor by the time the US left. And while the French had to face British troops as well as Spanish insurgents, the US only faced Vietnamese forces
    Last edited by Common Soldier; August 09, 2019 at 03:03 AM.

  7. #27
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morifea View Post
    Thats nothing compared to the Pain of conquering Spain in Roma Surrectum III.... damn Iberians with their endless supply of Javelins.

    @topic: Did the Romans make a difference between regular Warfare and Guerilla? Describing them as robbers and Highwaymen shows at least what the roman historians thought about them
    The term "guerrilla" from Spanish "guerra" ("war") is a modern one that developed during the Peninsular War against the Napoleonic occupation in the early 19th century. The Romans did not have a similar term. However, modern scholars have interpreted Roman primary sources like the histories by Cassius Dio and Appian as describing tactics that are now widely viewed as guerrilla ones. The push back against this is represented in part by scholars like Quesada Sanz, although again, he appears to be in the minority and going against academic consensus on the matter that Iberian peoples like the Lusitanians, Cantabrians, and Asturians practiced guerrilla warfare. They did so in addition to regular mainline infantry tactics in pitched battles, along with proper urban sieges of towns and cities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    The poor economic situation as a result of the British blocking trade with Spanish colonies was a direct result of Spain allaying itself with France in it's war with Britain, the war being primarily a conflict between France and Britain. d for the Spanish "willing" joining the French, it is questionable how "voluntary" it was. The French invade Portugal when Portugal refused to join with the French in their Continental System, and Spain had real reasons to feel that the same would have happened to them if Spain had rejected a French alliance. The fact that revolts occurred when Napoleon put his brother on the Spanish throne as a puppet government demonstrates there was nationalist element to the rebellion. The disaster economic conditions which resulted from Spain's alliance with France were percieved by the Commons population as a result of the corrupted French court being in the pocket of French interest. The very people who rejected the French inspired changes nd innovations, tradesmen and the like, were the ones most adversely affect by the economic situation, and it would be natural to blame the French for both, with some justification. The war really wasn't Spain's affair until Spain, under French pressure and in influence, chose to Ally itself with France. The alliance rdidnt benefit Spain, but aided France, giving France s large navy added to their own with which to challenge the British. Spain's interest would have been better served to remain neutral. There were long term trends and economic decline that did not have anything to do with the French, that is true, but the economic suffering due to the English blockade resulting from Spanish allying with the French were directly the result of Spain allying itself with France when it could have continued it's neutral stance.

    Certainly, when the Spanish government allowed the French to invade Spain so the French could attack Portugal the Spanish government would have been perceived by.mzny as acting in the interest of France. The French h leanings by many St the Spanish court would have confirmed those views.

    Neither Spain nor Vietnsm not especially hard to conquer, no more so that other areas that had rugged terrain or dense vegatation. Both have been conquered more than Scotland or Sweden for that matter. Afghanistan I would say has had a history of being as difficult, send both Spain and Vietnam had been conquered by outsiders, the RomNs, Visogoths, and Arabs in Spain, the Chinese and French in Vietnam. Note, until the 19th century, Vietnam as such did not exist. The areas of southern Vietnam under the Champas was neither linguistically or culturally Vietnamese, speaking a different language and having a culture that looked to the west (India) rather than China for inspiration. Southern Vietnam really only became culturally and linguistically part of Vietnam only after the Vietnamesr kingdom expanded in the south in the early 19th century. The Chinese did not conquer the Champa of southern Vietnam, true, but the Chinese did not conquer much of the rest of Indo China eithet, the French conquered far more of the area of Southeast Asia than the Chinese did.


    The comparison beteeen the Pennisula War and the US Vietnam War is rather superficial, and only has vague similarities. In the Pennisular War, France was involved in fighting in several other areas, and Spain was only a secondary front. In the Vietnam War, the US inhereted s civil war that was already in progress before they became invovled. Unlike the Pennisular camapign, the US never tried to conquer all of Vietnam, it never launched a major invasion of North Vietnam. France did try to control both Spain and Portugal. And while France left after suffering major military defeats in Spain, the US did not leave after suffering major military defeats, the Tet Offense was actually a military defeat for the Birthday Congress, but a political victory.

    The US left because it was tired of fighting in Vietnam. By 1968 the US was looking g to leave Vietnam, just 5 years after it became actively involved in the fighting, and withing 10 years it had left Vietnam. In contrast, rhe US has been in Afghanistan for almost 18 years. Also, when South Vietnam fell. It was to a direct invasion by North Vietnam, not to insurgent activities, which suggest the insurgents had been largely eliminated as a factor by the time the US left. And while the French had to face British troops as well as Spanish insurgents, the US only faced Vietnamese forces
    Hey pal, quit trying to poke holes in my argument!

    This is a really good counterargument, I must say, despite all the frequent typos that are hard to read through.

    I'm aware that my comparison is tenuous and the whole OP is basically tongue-in-cheek, and that my strongest suit here is comparing the Pyrenees Mountains to the jungles of Vietnam, but that's not going to stop me from making the comparison anyway, because I'm just that guy. I mean, just look at all the wonderful posts it has produced here in the meantime!

    As for the cultural and political histories of Vietnam and Spain, obviously the two are extremely different, so the parameters I used for comparison were more or less focused on use of terrain by the locals to resist outsiders, much like Afghanistan. Again, Afghanistan has a cultural and political history that is incredibly different from either Spain or Portugal. There are, however, methods in their chosen forms of resistance against occupiers that one could easily compare to Spain and Vietnam in different periods.

    So, when it comes to political and cultural history, my argument crumbles apart, but when it comes to just focusing on the history of guerrillas and ability of these countries to resist outsiders, my argument has legs. As for your choice of Scotland, I suppose I could have easily made that comparison instead, given how the Romans attempted but chose not to commit to a full conquest of Scotland after the military victories of Agricola there in the 1st century AD. The Romans obviously settling for the building of the Antonine Wall in the Scottish Lowlands instead and didn't garrison it for very long before retreating back to the old faithful Hadrian's Wall as a line of defense against raiding parties of Caledonians. Edward I of England, the Hammer of Scots, came fairly close to conquering and unifying Scotland with England (and recently Wales) under one throne, but obviously Scotland was up in arms and rebelling against him with a new king Robert the Bruce by the time Edward I died in 1307.

    So yeah, I guess you could say Vietnam was unified and conquered more often than Scotland, seeing how the Nguyen dynasty finally conquered Champa to the south in 1832 and the colonial French followed suit by the end of the 19th century by establishing French Indochina. The third occasion was obviously North Vietnam conquering South Vietnam in 1975. That's not really a lot of instances, though, despite northern Vietnam getting overrun by Imperial China's dynasties on four separate occasions from the 2nd century BC to the 15th century AD. One could say that the Romans overran the Scottish Lowlands nearly as many times even if they failed to fully capture the Scottish Highlands.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Great article, Roma!
    Also, not many people know this, but the Basques are actually from Vietnam
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surgeon View Post
    The terrain is atrocious for conquering.

    Like have you ever tried fighting Spain in M2TW? Their javelins always spawn on top of a ****ing mountain that's inaccessible. My god. Bonaparte should've spammed autoresolve.
    Why bother autoresolving, when you can just pepper them with arrows from English longbows in Gibraltar.

    On a more serious note, I do find it quite interesting how the terrain of Northern Spain allowed local cultures there to resist assimilation for far longer than groups in other areas of Iberia, the best example of this would be of course the Basques who were largely still pagan until the 7th-8th centuries[1][2] and about 20%[3] of them still speak their native Pre-Indo-European language as their first language, a higher percentage than many minority ethnic groups in Western Europe such as the Occitans and the Bretons. Other examples would include the Astures and the Cantabrians whose tribal identities survived until the Visigoths conquered them in the 6th century.

    It probably also played a part in letting Latin to diversify into multiple languages within that relatively small area, with most of them surviving today such as Galician, Aragonese, Mirandese, Asturleonese etc.

    Sources
    [1] The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718-1050 by Archibald R. Lewis
    [2] Amerikanuak: Basques In The New World by William A. Douglass
    [3] Article on Ethnologue about the Basque language

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriakos View Post
    Great article, Roma!
    Also, not many people know this, but the Basques are actually from Vietnam
    Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin of Police Squad voice: "I knew it." Now I understand why they don't speak Indo-European languages, just like the barbaric nomadic Finno-Ugric Hungarian Magyars, who are clearly Huns, Mongolians, and Koreans.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPerson2000 View Post
    Why bother autoresolving, when you can just pepper them with arrows from English longbows in Gibraltar.

    On a more serious note, I do find it quite interesting how the terrain of Northern Spain allowed local cultures there to resist assimilation for far longer than groups in other areas of Iberia, the best example of this would be of course the Basques who were largely still pagan until the 7th-8th centuries[1][2] and about 20%[3] of them still speak their native Pre-Indo-European language as their first language, a higher percentage than many minority ethnic groups in Western Europe such as the Occitans and the Bretons. Other examples would include the Astures and the Cantabrians whose tribal identities survived until the Visigoths conquered them in the 6th century.

    It probably also played a part in letting Latin to diversify into multiple languages within that relatively small area, with most of them surviving today such as Galician, Aragonese, Mirandese, Asturleonese etc.

    Sources
    [1] The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718-1050 by Archibald R. Lewis
    [2] Amerikanuak: Basques In The New World by William A. Douglass
    [3] Article on Ethnologue about the Basque language
    These are such fantastic points! Totally agreed; that's +1 rep to you.

    The northeastern mountainous regions of Spain not only allowed the preservation of various unique local/regional cultures, but also a history of political autonomy and indeed some semi-autonomous political arrangements that exist to this day. Modern Spain is essentially a decentralized unitary state and topography played a huge part in this cultural and political development since the landscape often allowed such peoples from places like Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, and the Basque country to defend themselves militarily from larger powers. As we have also seen, this didn't just involve pitched battles and sieges of walled towns, but also guerrilla tactics employed in steep narrow valleys that can be traced back in some forms to ancient Iberia, both the Early and High Middle Ages, and certainly by the time of Napoleon.

    The comparison to be made with Vietnam is far from a perfect match. However, you could compare it to Chinese dynasties and later independent dynasties of Nam Viet in the north being unable to conquer the southern half of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Champa, until the Nguyen dynasty in the early 19th century. You could certainly ascribe that to the country's unforgiving terrain, jungle landscape, and tropical climate, since the Chinese Sui dynasty had to retreat from their invasion of Champa in 605 AD after being struck by an outbreak of malaria. They did manage to reconquer northern Vietnam for the Chinese empire in 602 AD, though. This and later rebuffs of northern Vietnamese attempts at conquest allowed Champa to retain its distinct culture, including use of the Chamic languages and even Sanskrit, since they were influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism from India.

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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin of Police Squad voice: "I knew it." Now I understand why they don't speak Indo-European languages, just like the barbaric nomadic Finno-Ugric Hungarian Magyars, who are clearly Huns, Mongolians, and Koreans.



    These are such fantastic points! Totally agreed; that's +1 rep to you.

    The northeastern mountainous regions of Spain not only allowed the preservation of various unique local/regional cultures, but also a history of political autonomy and indeed some semi-autonomous political arrangements that exist to this day. Modern Spain is essentially a decentralized unitary state and topography played a huge part in this cultural and political development since the landscape often allowed such peoples from places like Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, and the Basque country to defend themselves militarily from larger powers. As we have also seen, this didn't just involve pitched battles and sieges of walled towns, but also guerrilla tactics employed in steep narrow valleys that can be traced back in some forms to ancient Iberia, both the Early and High Middle Ages, and certainly by the time of Napoleon.

    The comparison to be made with Vietnam is far from a perfect match. However, you could compare it to Chinese dynasties and later independent dynasties of Nam Viet in the north being unable to conquer the southern half of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Champa, until the Nguyen dynasty in the early 19th century. You could certainly ascribe that to the country's unforgiving terrain, jungle landscape, and tropical climate, since the Chinese Sui dynasty had to retreat from their invasion of Champa in 605 AD after being struck by an outbreak of malaria. They did manage to reconquer northern Vietnam for the Chinese empire in 602 AD, though. This and later rebuffs of northern Vietnamese attempts at conquest allowed Champa to retain its distinct culture, including use of the Chamic languages and even Sanskrit, since they were influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism from India.
    I think the comparison can even go further than that, what is often forgotten about Vietnam is the ethnic groups of the highlands such as the Hmong, Mnong, Tay, Nung etc.[1] Unlike the Chams who have long since lost their majority in what is now the southern part of Vietnam, many of these ethnic groups still retain a majority in the Western and Northern edges of Vietnam largely in thanks to its mountainous terrain despite Nguyen, French Colonial, South Vietnamese and Communist rule of these areas. They did play a rather interesting role during the Vietnam War the Degar in the central highlands provided tens of thousands of troops to help the South Vietnamese war effort, particularly in the ARVN Rangers[2] and were often trained by the US in unconventional warfare[3], some groups in the North such as the Tay and Nung provided many politicians and military leaders for North Vietnam such as Hoàng Văn Thụ[4] and Chu Van Tan[5] while others decided to form separatist groups like FULRO[6] which at one time was attacking South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese and American forces. There was even a dozen Tay principalities/chiefdoms that lasted until 1954, despite French colonisation of the area in 1889, to the point of the French and local leaders declaring its independence in 1948[7]. Although they were abolished by the North Vietnamese government, there were still two autonomous regions for ethnic minorities, Viet-Bac and Khu tu ri Tay Bac until 1975.[8]




    Another example of difficult terrain providing an excellent barrier to cultural and religious assimilation is Afghanistan which is home to about 14 ethnic groups and despite it being widely seen today as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, the region was rather slow to convert to Islam. It wasn't until 1896 that the Nuristanis, the last Pagan ethnic group[9] that survived both the Ghaznavids and Mongols[10] was finally converted to Islam after invaded by forces of Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, though they did not lose their reputation as stubborn fighters considering that Nuristan remained a hotbed of insurgent activity during the Soviet and later the American wars in Afghanistan[11]. Despite this a closely related ethnic group in Pakistan called the Kalash still practice what can be described as Animism or a local variety of Hinduism.[12]

    However I would argue in order for difficult terrain to become a great defensive barrier, the defending force would have be technological sufficient enough and have a proper strategy in order to at least inflict significant casualties on the enemy. Take for example the 1903-1904 British expedition to Tibet, despite having a large amount of mountainous terrain particularly at the Southern part of the region, the Tibetan Army was illequipped to deal with the British expeditionary force as it was extremely outdated, still mainly relying on matchlock muskets, swords and spears resulting in battles that were more lopsided than Omdurman.[13]

    [1] Encyclopedia Britannica article on the ethnic groups of Vietnam
    [2] Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-1975 by George J. Veith
    [3] Big Picture: Operation Montagnard by National Archives and Records Administration
    [4] Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present by Ben Kiernan
    [5] Encyclopedia Britannica article on Chu Van Tan
    [6] Lowland Participation in the Irredentist ‘Highlands Liberation Movement’ in Vietnam, 1955-1975 by William B. Noseworthy
    [7] Turbulent Times and Enduring Peoples: Mountain Minorities in the South-East Massid by Jean Michaud and Jan Ovesen
    [8] Tribal Soldiers of Vietnam: The Effects of Unconventional Warfare on Tribal Populations by David K. Moore
    [9] A Political and Economic History of the Jews of Afghanistan by Sara Koplik
    [10] A Passage to Nuristan: Exploring the Mysterious Afghan Hinterland by Nicholas Barrington, Joseph T. Kendrick and Reinhard Schlagintweit
    [11] Terrorism Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 10 by Daan Van Der Schriek
    [12] Extract from: The Ṛgvedic Religious System and its Central Asian and Hindukush Antecedents. A. Griffiths & J.E.M. Houben
    [13] The Victorians at War, 1815-1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History by Harold E. Raugh and Harold E.. Raugh
    Last edited by RandomPerson2000; August 09, 2019 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Added Sources

  12. #32
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    I had no idea the Nuristanis remained pagans in Afghanistan until the 19th century, so I would rep you again just for teaching me that, but unfortunately I cannot.

    Another great post! Thanks for sharing. You make an excellent point about the ethnic and linguistic diversity in Vietnam. It is a relatively small country but its difficult terrain and tropical landscape has allowed for various local cultures to thrive instead of being outright and completely assimilated into the mainstream cultures of the Confucian Chinese conquerors or the Vietnamese dynasties that came afterwards. You could definitely draw comparisons between that and how northeastern Spain is a host of various unique cultures and politics that reflect its autonomy from more central Spanish authorities. This is a political arrangement that still exists to this day in the way the Spanish constitution has been formed and how people in those regions (Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, the Basque country) still enjoy a large degree of autonomy.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, though, but today's Vietnam under one-party communist rule has basically been able to curb local autonomy of ethnic minority groups, hasn't it? Since you mentioned Viet-Bac and Khu tu ri Tay Bac lasting until 1975 as autonomous regions for ethnic minorities. I suppose communist dictatorships and/or one party rule is basically one of the authoritarian government models able to crush such minority aspirations for retaining local autonomy, but even Franco's nationalists weren't able to curb the autonomy of the northern regions of Spain. I suppose Madrid has at least been able to quell Catalonia's independence movement by deeming any such referendum as unlawful under the current constitution.

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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I had no idea the Nuristanis remained pagans in Afghanistan until the 19th century, so I would rep you again just for teaching me that, but unfortunately I cannot.

    Another great post! Thanks for sharing. You make an excellent point about the ethnic and linguistic diversity in Vietnam. It is a relatively small country but its difficult terrain and tropical landscape has allowed for various local cultures to thrive instead of being outright and completely assimilated into the mainstream cultures of the Confucian Chinese conquerors or the Vietnamese dynasties that came afterwards. You could definitely draw comparisons between that and how northeastern Spain is a host of various unique cultures and politics that reflect its autonomy from more central Spanish authorities. This is a political arrangement that still exists to this day in the way the Spanish constitution has been formed and how people in those regions (Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, the Basque country) still enjoy a large degree of autonomy.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, though, but today's Vietnam under one-party communist rule has basically been able to curb local autonomy of ethnic minority groups, hasn't it? Since you mentioned Viet-Bac and Khu tu ri Tay Bac lasting until 1975 as autonomous regions for ethnic minorities. I suppose communist dictatorships and/or one party rule is basically one of the authoritarian government models able to crush such minority aspirations for retaining local autonomy, but even Franco's nationalists weren't able to curb the autonomy of the northern regions of Spain. I suppose Madrid has at least been able to quell Catalonia's independence movement by deeming any such referendum as unlawful under the current constitution.
    I think a big reason why the Vietnamese government has been able to curb separatist groups much more successfully than Franco's Spain is because of the sheer ferocity of the Indochina Wars which ran almost uninterrupted for over 45 years from 1946 to 1992, resulting in a death toll that ranges from about 3.8 million to about as high as almost 8 million, comparable to the Second Congo War and the Thirty Years War. Cambodia alone lost 21-25% of its 1975 population during the rule of the Khmer Rouge with its ethnic minorities being hit particularly hard such as the Cham Muslims where as much as 40% of them died during that period. During the Vietnam War, around 250,000 Montagnards mostly civilians were killed during the conflict a very high death toll for a group of peoples that just number between 1-2 million today.

    Although the death toll of the Spanish Civil War was very high, anywhere between 500,000 to 1 million, I don't think the percentage of ethnic minorities in Spain such as the Catalans, Basques and Galicians killed was as high as other minority groups in Vietnam and the former benefited from a longer tradition of nationalism that allowed these nationalist movements to survive the Francoist repression. In contrast, nationalism was introduced as a concept much more recently to the ethnic minorities of Vietnam, only picking up during the mid-20th century. I think this, their high death tolls and the complete collapse of the entire South Vietnamese military in 1975 along with the wars involving Cambodia,Laos and China allowed North Vietnam to effectively become the undisputed regional hegemon of the former French Indochina by the early 1980s.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Thank you for the validation! I needed that. As for additional authors who describe Viriathus and his Lusitanian forces utilizing guerrilla tactics, you could also see these ones below:

    * Walter Laqueur's Guerrilla: A Historical And Critical Study,
    * Max Boot, Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present,
    * Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley, Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America: A Comparative Study of Insurgents and Regimes Since 1956,

    I could find more, of course, but I think these in addition to the four sources on the previous page are more than sufficient to hammer home the point.
    Indeed. Thanks for sharing.

    --
    In fact, Viriatus relied on run and hit guerrilla tactics. In English,
    Viriathus: And the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome: 155-139 BC.



    ----
    (PDF) The Archaeology of Roman Surveillance in the Central Alentejo ...

    ...Yet, like Viriatus, Sertorius was finally brought down not by Roman might but by perfidy, corruption, and plotting. Thus the narrative of the nascent Lusitanian republic's destruction becomes an allegory for the destruction of the Roman Republic itself. Invulnerable to foreign enemies, the Roman Republic instead falls victim to conspiracy, coup, and civil war.
    --------
    How accurate is the History Channel? Anyway,

    Barbarians Rising: Viriatus: Guerilla Warrior (Episode 1) |History


    Minute 3,
    ..The roman experience in Hispania has some parallels to the modern example of the US army in Vietnam
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

  15. #35

    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Another great post! Thanks for sharing. You make an excellent point about the ethnic and linguistic diversity in Vietnam. It is a relatively small country but its difficult terrain and tropical landscape has allowed for various local cultures to thrive instead of being outright and completely assimilated into the mainstream cultures of the Confucian Chinese conquerors or the Vietnamese dynasties that came afterwards.
    I would say Vietnam is a mid-sized country, it's just that people like the Americans and the Chinese have a distorted sense of scale when it comes to such things.

    Also, any supposed or actual parallels notwithstanding, it should be noted that Spain has a very different climate and geography, which resembles California or Turkey much more than Vietnam. It has no tropical rainforests and few notable swamps (and IIRC the latter don't play much of a role in its military history, they're mainly there to add biodiversity), but a crapton of mountains all over the place, and a pretty dry climate except for the north and some places in Andalusia.

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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    I would say Vietnam is a mid-sized country, it's just that people like the Americans and the Chinese have a distorted sense of scale when it comes to such things.

    Also, any supposed or actual parallels notwithstanding, it should be noted that Spain has a very different climate and geography, which resembles California or Turkey much more than Vietnam. It has no tropical rainforests and few notable swamps (and IIRC the latter don't play much of a role in its military history, they're mainly there to add biodiversity), but a crapton of mountains all over the place, and a pretty dry climate except for the north and some places in Andalusia.
    Good points, especially about the swamps. I think the marshy ground and estuaries around Cadiz maybe played a small part in stalling the furthest French thrusts in 1808, thats literally the only one i can think of. Was there a swamp on one flank at Baecula?

    Mountains (passes and ridges), hilltops and river crossing are the dominating factors in battles like Ilipa, Salamanca or the battle at Tolosa during the Reconquista (where all the Christian kingdoms united to topple the Almohads). i mean the place is so rocky as you say that its had not to fight on a hillside or ridge.

    We should add naval actions as a minor category to Iberian military operations, not just the Peninsula War British landing here and there, but the siege of Cartagena by Scipio, the Carthaginian presence beginning as a naval power, and the development of a strong naval tradition in both Aragon and above all in Portugal (a truly superb one, perhaps exceeding even the Polynesian, Dutch and English as sailors and explorers).

    Iberia has an extensive coastline but the sea has not been as dominant a strategic feature as say in the Baltic or Eastern Med. Nevertheless it has played apart, especially as a vehicle for Iberian expansion beyond the homeland.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    I wonder if one would throw Afghanistan into this mix.

  18. #38
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    Indeed. Thanks for sharing.

    --
    In fact, Viriatus relied on run and hit guerrilla tactics. In English,
    Viriathus: And the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome: 155-139 BC.



    ----
    (PDF) The Archaeology of Roman Surveillance in the Central Alentejo ...


    --------
    How accurate is the History Channel? Anyway,

    Barbarians Rising: Viriatus: Guerilla Warrior (Episode 1) |History


    Minute 3,
    Thanks for sharing all of these sources, +1 rep! I enjoyed that video too, even though it's the dreaded "History" Channel with anachronistic outfits for soldiers. Still, their video documentary contains the input of scholars and archaeologists like Professor Valerio Massimo Manfredi weighing in here, so that's a big bonus in my eyes. It would appear that Quesada Sanz is really in the minority then when it comes to scholarly opinion on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    I would say Vietnam is a mid-sized country, it's just that people like the Americans and the Chinese have a distorted sense of scale when it comes to such things.
    Fair enough, a mid-sized country it is then.

    Also, any supposed or actual parallels notwithstanding, it should be noted that Spain has a very different climate and geography, which resembles California or Turkey much more than Vietnam. It has no tropical rainforests and few notable swamps (and IIRC the latter don't play much of a role in its military history, they're mainly there to add biodiversity), but a crapton of mountains all over the place, and a pretty dry climate except for the north and some places in Andalusia.
    Yes, but my argument doesn't really hinge on climate at all, and in terms of topography I only compare the hilly jungles of Vietnam to the Pyrenees Mountains of northern Spain as a way to demonstrate that such terrains are well suited for guerrilla warfare and hence the history of some people using those tactics in these particular countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Good points, especially about the swamps. I think the marshy ground and estuaries around Cadiz maybe played a small part in stalling the furthest French thrusts in 1808, thats literally the only one i can think of. Was there a swamp on one flank at Baecula?

    Mountains (passes and ridges), hilltops and river crossing are the dominating factors in battles like Ilipa, Salamanca or the battle at Tolosa during the Reconquista (where all the Christian kingdoms united to topple the Almohads). i mean the place is so rocky as you say that its had not to fight on a hillside or ridge.

    We should add naval actions as a minor category to Iberian military operations, not just the Peninsula War British landing here and there, but the siege of Cartagena by Scipio, the Carthaginian presence beginning as a naval power, and the development of a strong naval tradition in both Aragon and above all in Portugal (a truly superb one, perhaps exceeding even the Polynesian, Dutch and English as sailors and explorers).

    Iberia has an extensive coastline but the sea has not been as dominant a strategic feature as say in the Baltic or Eastern Med. Nevertheless it has played apart, especially as a vehicle for Iberian expansion beyond the homeland.
    Great post! I didn't bother to mention anything about the coasts of Spain because it was tangential at best to my argument about guerrillas, but it's a conversation worth having in another thread at the very least. If anything it could be used to compare Spain to other countries using a different topic or theme, the effects of having such extensive coasts on the dominant cultures and military histories of certain nations. Great Britain being surrounded by water, for instance, has shaped not only the cultures of the isles but how the country has viewed itself within the wider world and its emphasis on achieving naval dominance. I know it's an obvious point to make, but it would be fun to then compare it to another country in a similar situation like Japan, which had somewhat fleeting (but nevertheless consequential) moments of overseas expansionism in comparison.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Been reading about ETA in preparation for a class on terrorism. Hadn't known about them before and wasn't sure if they were mentioned yet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETA_(separatist_group)
    "It's not the size of the dog in a fight that counts, but your willingness to murder that dog's family if it loses." - VP Dick Cheney
    For record: I did not vote for Trump/Hillary.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Is Spain basically Vietnam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Cheney. View Post
    Been reading about ETA in preparation for a class on terrorism. Hadn't known about them before and wasn't sure if they were mentioned yet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETA_(separatist_group)
    I suppose the ETA conflict is just one in the long line of rebellions that either originated from or have strong support from the Basque country. A good example of this would be the First and Third Carlist Wars where much of its battles were fought in the region and the Carlist movement enjoyed much support from rural Basques who were largely upset over the abolishment of the fueros, losing their autonomy by the Liberal government in an attempt to centralise the Spanish state. As I said previously, the rugged terrain of Northern Spain, has helped the local cultures to resist being assimilated by other peoples and in some cases to retain their self governance for very long periods of time , it would explain why the Basque country has been very hard to pacify politically for thousands of years, allowing local insurgences like the ETA conflict to persist for many decades.

    An interesting contrast to this situation would be Spain's northern neighbour, France where the terrain is mostly flat aside from the Massif Central and a few edges of the Alpsand the Pyrenees, which would have allowed the French government to very easily project its cultural and military influence all throughout the country at the expense of other local cultures. An excellent example of this would be what happened to the Occitan language where it suffered a massive decline from the mid 19th century onwards due to French assimilationist policies such as the Jules Ferry laws. In 1860 around 39% of the Metropolitan French population spoke Occitan, today that number has dropped to less than 5%. Other languages such as Breton, Picard, Arpitan have suffered a similar fate. Perhaps partially in thanks to its flat terrain, France was much more successful in becoming a very centralised state than Spain which in contrast is now more or less a federation.

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