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W.H. Kautt

PhD Candidate


Bill Kautt is a USA-based post-graduate research student focusing on the causes behind the shift from rural to urban insurgency that occurred starting in the late-1960s. He holds a doctorate in modern Irish history from Ulster University (under the late Keith Jeffery); an MA (with thesis) in Military History from Ohio State; and his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Bill is a Professor of Military History at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and previously served as a USAF officer.

Research Interests

Political violence, insurgency, urban guerrilla warfare, terrorism

Thesis Title

Revolutionary Graveyard? Urban Guerrilla Warfare and the Choice of Urban Terrain


Starting in the late-1960s, revolutionary movements began to shift their foci from rural guerrilla warfare to urban guerrilla warfare and terrorism. This shift caught many researchers and governments by surprise since the 'revolutionary doctrine' then prevailing stressed the necessity of rural guerrilla warfare as the standard for the previous twenty-five years. Why did the would-be revolutionaries move away from a supposedly-proven model of rebellion? Moreover, why did these rebels shift to the cities, which were, according to Fidel Castro, the 'graveyard' of revolutionaries? Why undertake the more dangerous route of fighting in the urban terrain? Certainly, classic Marxist-Leninist theory called for the mass urban uprising of the industrial proletariat, but this new form of revolution called for guerrilla-type actions in the city; this was considerably different from the old model. This thesis examines the reasons for their choosing to fight as 'guerrillas' in the cities.


Dr Warren Chin and Dr Kenneth Payne