When I was watching Red Dawn when it came out in 1984 I was thinking to myself whether this type of partisan resistance to an invasion of the United States would take place. I concluded that almost certainly it would. In the Revolution, after the Continental Army in South Carolina surrendered at Charleston, partisan bands under Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens, and many lesser know figures, sprang up, and made life hell for the occupying British. When Washington sent troops to take back South Carolina, the partisans gave valuable intelligence and acted as force multipliers for the Continental troops and state militias. During the Civil War, similar partisan bands fought for the Confederacy and forced the Union to tie down huge amounts of troops guarding supply lines. After the Japanese invaded the Philippines, American and Filipino guerillas made certain that the Japanese had little control out in the countryside. The strategic situation set forth in the movie was fanciful, but the partisan war it depicted would have been a likely consequence of such an invasion.
Doubtless the occupying enemy would have tried an extensive propaganda effort:
And doubtless it would have had nil impact on the American partisans and little impact on Americans who, while not taking up arms, would have supplied and sheltered Americans who did.
At any rate an interesting exercise in alternate history in time for next weekend’s Memorial Day holiday.