Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(742 words)

1. Origin of the term

In the 18th century, the leader of a small-scale body of troops, a “party” (French parti), was called a partisan. The term referred to military leaders of both regular troops and irregulars. The appearance of partisans was associated primarily with petty warfare. This covered a broad spectrum of activities apart from the closed formations of the standing army, including the employment of troops apart from the bulk of the army for surprise attacks, ambushes, an…

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Rink, Martin, “Partisan”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025295>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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