Strategy and Tactics of the Salvadoran FMLN Guerrillas: Last Battle of the Cold War, Blueprint for Future Conflicts

By José Angel Moroni Bracamonte; David E. Spencer | Go to book overview

called upon to support guerrilla operations, and who waited their turn for weapons to become available so they could become regular guerrillas. With the massive flow of weapons from Nicaragua and Cuba, the empha. sis was placed on regular units, and the proportion and importance of militias was ignored. At the war's peak there were around fourteen thousand regular guerrillas and perhaps six thousand militia members. However, after the armed forces forced the guerrillas to split up into smaller units, the importance of the militias rose dramatically. By 1989, the proportion of militias and regular guerrillas was almost entirely reversed, with six thousand regular guerrillas and a far greater number of militia members. 6 This reflected the increasingly important role that attrition warfare played in wearing down army units before they came in contact with regular guerrilla units.


NOTES
1.
Batallón de Infantería Anti-Terrorista, or Anti-Terrorist Infantry Battalion.
2.
FPL, Principales Experiencias Operativas de la D.A #2 del Año 1985 (San. Vicente, El Salvador: Ediciones Chinchontepec Heroico, 1986).
3.
FMLN, Cartilla de Milicias y Guerrillas ( El Salvador: Publicaciones FMLN, n.d.), captured from guerrillas at unknown date.
4.
The term fogueo comes from the word "fuego," which means fire. It is a word made up by the revolutionaries that means to have experienced fire. In general terms, it means experience one gains by real experience versus theoretical understanding. Training by "fogueo" involved a process of submitting a new recruit to a series of experiences, each one more complex and more dangerous than the previous one.
5.
FMLN, Manual de Instrucción Para Los Comandos Urbanos No. 4. La Organización y Fogueo de las Guerrillas Clandestinas ( El Salvador: Publicaciones FMLN, 1987), captured from guerrillas at unknown date.
6.
Salvadoran intelligence estimates obtained from armed forces in 1992.

-71-

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Strategy and Tactics of the Salvadoran FMLN Guerrillas: Last Battle of the Cold War, Blueprint for Future Conflicts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acronyms ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - Background to the Insurgent Movement in El Salvador 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2 - FMLN Strategy 13
  • Notes 39
  • 3 - General Organization of the Insurgent Movement in El Salvador 43
  • 4 - Force Categories of the FMLN 53
  • Notes 71
  • 5 - Special Select Forces (FES) 73
  • Notes 92
  • 6 - FMLN Battle Tactics 93
  • Notes 113
  • 7 - Urban Combat Tactics 115
  • Notes 137
  • 8 - Defensive Guerrilla Tactics 139
  • Notes 172
  • 9 - Guerrilla Logistics/Support/ Sanctuary 175
  • Notes 186
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 193
  • About the Authors *
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