In the long history of warfare, a recurring theme is the combined use of regular and irregular forces to pursue victory. The American colonists relied upon regular Continental Army troops and local militia in their war for independence. British troops commanded by Wellington fought alongside Spanish peasant guerrillas against Napoleon in Spain. The Chinese Communists under Mao Zedong organized local militia units, regional forces, and a regular army for use in their struggle to topple the Nationalist government. In these and many other cases, the practice of employing regular and irregular forces together was not only applied, but also instrumental in bringing victory to the side that at the beginning of the conflict seemed clearly inferior to its opponent.