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

they did not have any tear gas. The United States had never provided them with this item.

Combined with the failure of the other guerrilla efforts throughout San Salvador, the guerrillas had only one way out and took it, starting a headlong withdrawal toward the Guazapa volcano. The armed forces pursued by maintaining pressure on the ground and by airlifting forces in behind the withdrawing guerrillas to act as stop groups. The pressure was such that the guerrillas were not able to reorganize their forces, or even to evacuate their wounded. For the Parachute Group, the Belloso Battalion, and the Special Operations Forces Group, this pursuit lasted for 40 kilometers and eleven straight days of uninterrupted combat.

The main failure of the FMLN was its evaluation that the civilian population in El Salvador was ready for insurrection. The people did not accept the weapons from the FMLN and did not support the offensive. When they had the chance, they fled from the guerrilla-occupied neighborhoods over to government lines. The bulk of civilian support was for the government troops, and without it the FMLN would probably have been victorious.

A second serious failure of the FMLN was to underestimate the ability of the armed forces to adjust to combat in urban terrain. The armed forces did suffer heavy initial casualties, but they learned quickly. The FMLN particularly underestimated the ability of the cavalry's armored cars and the air force's helicopters and gunships to operate against guerrilla positions in fortified urban centers.

Finally, the FMLN's failure to maintain serious reserve forces that could be used to change or modify the battle's center of gravity meant that, except for during the first day or two of the offensive, the military initiative was almost entirely in the hands of the armed forces.


NOTES
1.
Marco Antonio Grande, "Frente de Masas," Análisis ( January 1989).
2.
FMLN, Proyección de Trabajo del Equipo de Artillería Sin Cañon ( El Salvador, December 1980), captured from guerrillas in 1981.
3.
Artillery without cannon is an explosive charge on a wooden ramp, launched by another explosive. Throughout the conflict, this type of artillery has not been too successful.
4.
FPL, Del Jefe y 20. Jefe del E.M.F. José Roberto Sibrián A La Comandancia General ( El Salvador, January 28, 1981). Report from the Zacatecoluca area on the guerrilla actions of the 1981 Final Offensive. Document captured from guerrillas at unknown date.
5.
FMLN, Tácticas de Combate Urbano ( El Salvador, 1989), captured from guerrillas in November 1989.
6.
FMLN, Tácticas de Combate Urbano.

-137-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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 *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 197

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.