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Posted on Jul 11, 2005 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 08] – Guerrillas in the Midst

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno



Doctor Sinister

Doctor Sinister. An evil Supervillain with an insane lust for power. From his secret island base, the Doctor plans to become future Emperor and Warlord of the planet Earth. Enjoys the company of cats and cloned genetically modified Dinosaurs.

And featuring:

General Menace. Graduated from West Point Military Academy with honours, served for twenty-five years in the US Army, reaching level of 2-star General in command of training facilities before being recruited by Doctor Sinister to command his New Model Army of World Domination. Has a penchant for cigars.


EPISODE 8 – “Guerrillas in the Midst”

General Menace wipes the sweat from his brow as he exits his custom stretched Humvee into the sweltering heat of Sinister Island. Hardly noticing the salutes thrown by his Chauffeur and personal guardsmen, General Menace’s eyes are instead drawn to the line of dumper trucks depositing enormous green sacks into gigantic hoppers which are in turn wheeled into the Command Complex by bored looking functionaries.

The General shrugs to himself and heads into the complex, pausing briefly to note the garlands of bananas hanging around the necks of the Guards on the main entrance.

Shaking his head in bemusement, General Menace enters the base, sliding on something slippery left carelessly lying on the floor.

Five slippery minutes later, in the War Room…

Doctor Sinister: About time you got here General – I’ve been waiting all morning to tell you the exciting news of my new plan!!

General: I had a feeling it must be…erm…important my Lord, especially since you sent that helicopter for me…

(Heads to large purple curtain covering an alcove in one corner of the War Room) I was just so excited. You will be too when you see what’s going on.

(Oblivious and actually rather annoyed) ….of course, the noisy arrival of said helicopter in the middle of the night immediately spelled the end of the top secret Special Op you had instructed me to undertake in Colorado…

Well, needs must General…needs must…

(Determined to continue) …Because of course the hitherto hidden presence of my entire team was immediately blown wide open when the chopper landed right in the middle of my team, just at the moment we were conducting our infiltration mission into the enemy base

Well, these things happen…

…In fact, I expect what’s left of my team are already being interrogated by the CIA….

No worries there General…

No worries?

None at all. I had their explosive implants triggered, they won’t be telling anyone anything.

(Uneasy silence)


Take a seat General. I know it’s been a hard day.

You have no idea.

In fact, I have news of a special delivery heading your way!


They’ll be here tomorrow! Without fail!

That’s great! The entire selection I asked for?!

Yes, all of them. A whole shipping container of them. I knew you’d be pleased.

Your Excellence, all is forgiven. With a suitable supply of cigars, I promise never to complain again.

Good show old chap! So then…onto my new plan!

Yes! Lay it on me Sir. I’m eager to hear what it might be. I’m also intrigued about the vast numbers of bananas the base appears to be housing. I think it’ll take me some time to clean the gunk off of my boots.

(Hand hovers near the curtain) It’s food for my new army.

Erm…OK. I can see how that might work – valuable source of potassium. But…

General, I took your advice and read up on some military history. Well, I say read up, I rented a few videos and left them playing whilst I slept – it’s amazing how much your brain learns whilst you’re asleep you know.

I’ll take your word for it my Lord.

(Doctor Sinister sweeps the curtain aside to reveal a cage containing several large and enraged Gorillas forcibly and untidily dressed in Army fatigues and combat boots)

General – I present to you, my Gorilla Army!

Oh. My. God.

I knew it! You’re lost for words aren’t you? Go on, admit it!


(Shouts over the sound of an angry male Gorilla who begins to beat his chest and rattle the cage) You see I was listening to this thing all about the Vietnam war and some other stuff in Africa somewhere and this recurring theme of Gorilla warfare kept coming up.

Yes but…

…and apparently it’s possible to actually win a war with these things! Incredible eh? I sent men to target zoos all around the world to bring these guys here – we’ll soon have a Gorilla force to be reckoned with.

Your Supremacy…

I’m surprised no-one’s thought about it before. When we start to breed these things, we’ll become all powerful!!

Master, I really must…

Sydney Zoo had twenty of the beasts – that’s almost an entire Platoon!! Didn’t even think of using them like this – that’s why I’m the genius. Oh yes.

Sir, please…

Keep your hands away from the cage though – I lost three guards this morning, those Gorillas really love their bananas.

(Having to shout as the trapped Gorillas start to beat and kill each other very loudly) My Lord, above and beyond the greatest of all due respect, I fear you’ve made a terrible mistake.

How so?

Those videos weren’t talking about big hairy Gorillas, they were taking about Guerrillas – irregular troops, partisans, small units of men living in mountains or forests or in the bush striking at larger formations of enemy troops. It’s not the same thing at all. It’s a different word entirely.

What? You’re joking – it took me weeks to get enough of these animals together.

I’m deadly serious your Excellence. The term Guerrilla comes from the Spanish word "guerra" meaning war. It’s used to describe small combat units. Guerrillas operate in small cells, often behind enemy lines within occupied territory. It’s a classic example of asymmetric warfare.

Can we get some of these asymmetric things then?

It’s not a thing, it’s a type of war – where one side is much larger than the other or where one side has a particular disadvantage that they must overcome.

Not apes then?

No Your Superiousness, definitely not. Don’t let the likes of Che Guevara or General Giap hear you say things like that.

Good were they?

They were masters of the art my Lord, you’d do well to learn from them. In the winter of 1812, Cossack peasants and cavalry used guerrilla tactics to very nearly annihilate Napoleon’s cold and starving army as they retreated from Russia. Look at the Taiping War, the Central American Contras, the Boer commandos, Chechnya. Of course, there’s perhaps the most memorable account in history involving American forces in Vietnam, who were often trounced by Vietnamese Guerrillas. Despite technological and numerical superiority, the Guerrillas had many advantages. Speed, knowledge of the terrain, friendly natives to hide their men and equipment – it was a classic Guerrilla campaign.

You’re going to tell me to ditch the apes aren’t you?

You’ve read my mind my Lord.

I’ll make the call. (‘Phone rings) Let me just get this. (Heads to the main console and picks up an ornate ivory handset)

No problem.

(Doctor Sinister listens intently to the call before slowly hanging up) I’m afraid I’ve got a bit of bad news General. It looks like we just lost one of our merchant ships. Bit of an accident in the harbour minefield.

I did tell them to leave a wider channel. Still, we’ve got pretty good at stealing supplies lately, I’m sure we’ll manage my Lord.

Actually, it’s worse than you might think General.

(The penny drops) Not…my cigars…?

I’m sorry General.

(Sigh) Yes my Lord. Please pass me a banana, would you?


A J Summersgill and Jim H. Moreno


Complete Guide to Bananas

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