FMLN Special Forces Techniques
The sappers were the most important and common specialty within the FMLN special forces. Sappers were considered strategic forces that used special irregular tactics independently or in conjunction with the regular units. Their mission was to attack and destroy objectives, deep in the enemy rear, where they would attempt to eliminate the army's strategic and tactical advantages by penetrating at the weakest points. In other words, their role was to act as equalizers. They were the guerrillas' substitute for heavy artillery and aviation. 1 Sapper personnel were selected from among the best of the regular guerrilla units.
The sappers were assigned the task of breaking the enemy's defenses of the cities or economic centers by the destruction of fixed, fortified positions and the enemy's support weapons, planes, armor, and artillery. This included attacking the very center of the armed forces and the government zones of control. Highly destructive attacks in the "safe areas" of the enemy would cause both physical and psychological damage. If the enemy had nowhere to rest, he would begin to lose confidence in himself and his leaders. Loss of morale would lead to loss of the war.
All the objectives of the sappers were assigned by the high command of the FMLN. The FMLN high command based its orders on those objectives which would produce the greatest political and psychological repercussions and economic damage, and that would inflict the greatest military defeat on the enemy. The political impact of the operation was usually the first consideration. The FMLN was struggling for political power, and as such the political effects of its military operations were usually the most impor-