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

3
General Organization of the Insurgent Movement in El Salvador

THE WAR FRONTS OF THE FMLN
From the foundation of the FMLN, the high command found it administratively essential to divide the country into different regions for purposes of command and control. Each front was divided along recognized political and geographical lines. In this case, by department or departments. In El Salvador, a department is the equivalent of a U.S. state, although, as El Salvador is much smaller, departments are about the size of some U.S. counties. The five fronts, as generally conceived by the FMLN (see Figure 1), were the following:
1. The Feliciano Ama Western Front. This front included the departments of Ahuachapan, Sonsonate, and Santa Ana, the richest agricultural area of the nation. While some of the heaviest fighting took place on this front during the early part of the war, from 1982 on it was relatively quiet. The guerrillas used it as, an area to rest and retrain units; however, it was too far away from the main routes of supply.
2. The Modesto Ramirez Central Front. This included the departments of La Libertad, La Paz, San Salvador, Cabañas, and Chalatenango. This was a very important region for the RN and the FPL, but contained far fewer guerrillas than the remainder of the organizations. It was also the zone that contained the highest concentration of armed forces troops clustered around the capital. Guerrilla units were clustered around a corridor of hills, volcanoes, and mountains from the north to the south. This included the mountains of northern Chalatenango, Guazapa Mountain, and finally the San Salvador volcano. This range of hills gave the guerrillas a corridor right into the heart of the capital and was one of the most highly contested areas of the war.

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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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