Resistance movement

freedom fighterresistanceresistance fighterundergroundfreedom fightersresistance groupresistance movementsunderground resistanceindependence activistpolitical organisation
A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to withstand the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability.wikipedia
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Resistance during World War II

resistanceundergroundresistance movement
Resistance during World War II was mainly dedicated to fighting the Axis occupiers.
Among the most notable resistance movements were the Polish Resistance, including the Polish Home Army, Leśni, and the whole Polish Underground State; Yugoslav Partisans, the Soviet partisans, the Italian Resistenza led mainly by the Italian CLN; the French Resistance, the Belgian Resistance, the Norwegian Resistance, the Danish Resistance, the Greek Resistance, the Czech resistance, the Albanian resistance, the Dutch Resistance especially the "LO" (national hiding organisation) and the politically persecuted opposition in Germany itself (there were 16 main resistance groups and at least 27 failed attempts to assassinate Hitler with many more planned): in short, across German-occupied Europe.

Irregular military

irregularirregularsirregular forces
Resistance movements can include any irregular armed force that rises up against an enforced or established authority, government, or administration.

Reagan Doctrine

ReaganAmerica's supportCold War policies
Ronald Reagan picked up the term to explain America's support of rebels in countries controlled by communist states or otherwise perceived to be under the influence of the Soviet Union, including the Contras in Nicaragua, UNITA in Angola and the multi-factional mujahideen in Afghanistan.
Under the Reagan Doctrine, the United States provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist guerrillas and resistance movements in an effort to "roll back" Soviet-backed pro-communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


terroristterroriststerrorist attack
Hence depending on the perspective of a state's government, a resistance movement may or may not be labelled a terrorist group based on whether the members of a resistance movement are considered lawful or unlawful combatants and whether they are recognized as having a right to resist occupation. People described as freedom fighters are often also called assassins, rebels, insurgents or terrorists.
Those labeled "terrorists" by their opponents rarely identify themselves as such, and typically use other terms or terms specific to their situation, such as separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary, vigilante, militant, paramilitary, guerrilla, rebel, patriot, or any similar-meaning word in other languages and cultures.


armed forcesdefensedefence
Though the literal meaning of the words could include "anyone who fights for the cause of freedom", in common use it may be restricted to those who are actively involved in an armed rebellion, rather than those who campaign for freedom by peaceful means, or those who fight violently for the freedom of others outside the context of an uprising (though this title may be applied in its literal sense)
Although some groups engaged in combat, such as militants or resistance movements, refer to themselves using military terminology, notably 'Army' or 'Front', none have had the structure of a national military to justify the reference, and usually have had to rely on support of outside national militaries.


People described as freedom fighters are often also called assassins, rebels, insurgents or terrorists.

Belgian Resistance

resistanceBelgian resistance movementBelgian
The Belgian Resistance (Résistance belge, Belgisch verzet) collectively refers to the resistance movements opposed to the German occupation of Belgium during World War II.

Axis powers

AxisAxis forcesAxis power
Resistance during World War II was mainly dedicated to fighting the Axis occupiers.
The Bulgarian forces in these areas spent the following years fighting various nationalist groups and resistance movements.

Black Lions

The Black Lions were an anti-fascist resistance movement formed to fight against Italy during the occupation of the Ethiopian Empire in the Second World War.

Anti-Fascist Organisation

Burmese resistance forcesBurmese resistance movement
The Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO) was a resistance movement against the Japanese occupation of Burma during World War II.

Danish resistance movement

Danish resistanceresistance movementresistance
The Danish resistance movements (Danske Modstandsbevægelse) were an underground insurgency to resist the German occupation of Denmark during World War II.

Italian resistance movement

Italian ResistancepartisansItalian partisans
The Italian resistance movement (Resistenza italiana or just la Resistenza) is an umbrella term for Italian resistance groups during World War II.

German resistance to Nazism

German Resistanceresistanceresistance fighter
Germany itself also had an anti-Nazi German resistance movement in this period.
The term German resistance should not be understood as meaning that there was a united resistance movement in Germany at any time during the Nazi period, analogous to the more coordinated Polish Underground State, Greek Resistance, Yugoslav Partisans, French Resistance, Dutch resistance, Norwegian resistance movement and Italian Resistance.

Forest Guerrillas

Forest Guerrillas (Metsäsissit) was a Finnic resistance movement formed by some of the inhabitants of the parishes of Repola and Porajärvi in addition to several White Guard volunteers after their territory was ceded to Bolshevist Russia in the Treaty of Tartu of 1920.

Jewish resistance in German-occupied Europe

Jewish resistanceJewish resistance movementJewish resistance under Nazi rule
Jewish resistance under the Nazi rule took various forms of organized underground activities conducted against German occupation regimes in Europe by Jews during World War II.

Resistance in Lithuania during World War II

Lithuanian resistanceLithuanian resistance during World War IILithuanian government-in-exile
Resistance during this period took many forms.


In the Preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention II on Land War, the Martens Clause was introduced as a compromise wording for the dispute between the Great Powers who considered francs-tireurs to be unlawful combatants subject to execution on capture and smaller states who maintained that they should be considered lawful combatants.
FTP became the first resistance group in France to deliberately kill a German.

Soviet partisans

Soviet partisanpartisanpartisans
The Soviet partisans were members of resistance movements that fought a guerrilla war against the Axis forces in the Soviet Union, the previously Soviet-occupied territories of interwar Poland in 1941–45 and eastern Finland.

Philippine resistance against Japan

Filipino guerrillasFilipino resistancePhilippine guerrillas
Select units of the resistance would go on to be reorganized and equipped as units of the Philippine Army and Constabulary.

Jewish Military Union

ŻZWŻydowski Związek WojskowyZydowski Zwiazek Walki
Żydowski Związek Wojskowy (ŻZW, Polish for Jewish Military Union) was an underground resistance organization operating during World War II in the area of the Warsaw Ghetto, which fought during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

Jewish Combat Organization

Żydowska Organizacja BojowaJewish Fighting OrganizationŻOB
The Jewish Combat Organization (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB; undefined Yidishe Kamf Organizatsie ; often translated to English as the Jewish Fighting Organization) was a World War II resistance movement in occupied Poland, which was instrumental in organizing and launching the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Korean independence movement

Korean independence activistanti-Japanese struggleKorean independence
The Japanese rule that ensued was oppressive to a far-reaching degree, giving rise to many Korean resistance movements.

Home Army

Armia KrajowaPolish Home ArmyAK
This last number would make the Home Army not only the largest Polish underground resistance movement but one of the three largest in Europe during World War II.

Free Thai Movement

Seri ThaiFree ThaiFree Thai resistance
The Free Thai Movement was a Thai underground resistance movement against Imperial Japan during World War II.


Operation WerwolfGerman Freedom FrontOperation Werewolf
Werwolf (, German for "werewolf") was a Nazi plan, which began development in 1944, to create a resistance force which would operate behind enemy lines as the Allies advanced through Germany.