From Vietnam to El Salvador: The Saga of the FMLN Sappers and Other Guerrilla Special Forces in Latin America

By David E. Spencer | Go to book overview

mostly the men in these barracks. In addition, the Cuscatlan battalion and Arce battalion installations suffered some damage. The FES lost approximately five men inside the base. Most of these men were killed by remaining too close to their own explosives after they had been thrown. It is unknown how many killed and wounded were suffered by the support force.

The army claimed that it won the battle because it had prevented the guerrillas from overrunning the base, as had occurred at the 4th Brigade base at El Paraiso. However, this was not the FMLN objective. The guerrillas considered the attack a total success because, after this attack, the army pulled back its troops from Morazan to rebuild and reorganize in San Miguel. 15 The pressure was off the guerrillas in Morazan, and they could now rest and recover. This objective had been achieved at a very low cost to the attacking guerrilla force, and had inflicted a considerable amount of damage on the enemy.


NOTES
1.
Alfredo Semprun and Mauricio Hernandez, "Sandinismo: La otra cara de ETA," Blanco y Negro ( January 5, 1992), pp. 14-18.
2.
ERP, Informe a Alcatraz, 1981.
3.
Interrogation Transcript of Alejandro Montenegro, who defected from the FMLN in 1983. Montenegro's name can be revealed because he made several public statements concerning his activity in the ERP after his capture.
4.
This account is based largely on: Capitan Francisco Emilio Mena Sandoval, Del Ejercito Nacional al Ejercito Guerrillero ( San Salvador: Ediciones Arcoiris, 1992), pp. 307-319; Carlos Henriquez Consalvi ( Santiago), La Terquedad del Izote ( Mexico: Editorial Diana, 1992), pp. 187-191; and Jose Ignacio Lopez Vigil, Las Mil y Una Historias de Radio Venceremos ( San Salvador: UCA Editores, 1992), pp. 248-255.
5.
Max G. Manwaring and Court Prisk, El Salvador at War: An Oral History ( Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1988), p. 148.
6.
Semprun and Hernandez, "Sandinismo," pp. 14-18.
7.
Account based on the Interrogation Transcript of JFR, August 24, 1986; Interrogation Transcript of RAC, May 12, 1987; and on the technical drawings and instructions of the bridge and how the explosives were to be placed, which were later captured by the armed forces.
8.
FPL-FMLN, Experiences of the Conduct of Anti-Aircraft Defense.
9.
Greg Walker, "Sapper Attack!", Behind the Lines ( July/August 1993), p. 9. See also Greg Walker, "Blue Badges of Honor," Soldier of Fortune ( February 1992), p. 36.
10.
Armed Forces of El Salvador, Activities in Which Terrorist Special Forces Have Participated, March 1990.
11.
The reporting of explosives strapped to bodies, and the interpretation of this as being for suicide missions may just be a bit of government propaganda or a sign of prejudiced interpretation.
12.
ERP, Mission for Team 2 of Platoon 2, handwritten order on lined notebook paper, captured by the armed forces in Morazan on March 31, 1986.

-106-

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From Vietnam to El Salvador: The Saga of the FMLN Sappers and Other Guerrilla Special Forces in Latin America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acronyms vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter 1 Guerrilla Special Forces of El Salvador: the Fpl, Vietnam, and Cuba 1
  • Chapter 2 Fmln Special Forces Techniques 17
  • Notes 46
  • Chapter 3 Fpl Special Forces Operations 47
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter 4 Erp Operations 77
  • Notes 106
  • Chapter 5 Special Forces of the Fal 109
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter 6 Guerrilla Special Forces in Latin America 127
  • Notes 144
  • Chapter 7 Conclusions and Analysis 147
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 167
  • About the Author 171
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