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

low ground amidst a guerrilla attack. The guerrillas struck from the path leading out of the area, cutting off their escape. The guerrillas began inflicting casualties from the high ground. Over a dozen soldiers were wounded after several minutes of fighting. When the company commander called for air support and medical evacuation, multiple rockets were fired at the aircraft making attempts to reach the beleaguered company. The only route of escape, short of destruction, was to flee across the river into Honduras. Faced with the alternatives, the company commander opted for sanctuary in Honduras. Some in the international press speculated that this incident was an example of low army morale and outright cowardice. It was not a matter of cowardice; it was a matter of being completely outclassed and stuck in a hole. The officer's mistake was blundering into the guerrilla trap in the first place. However, once this mistake was made, the company commander made the right decision, and saved his men to fight another day on more equal footing.


NOTES
1.
Interrogation Transcript of RAR, April 27, 1987.
2.
Ibid.
3.
David Spencer, FMLN FES: Fight Much With Little ( Provo, Utah, 1990), unpublished manuscript.
4.
Interrogation Transcript of AIA, May 25, 1985.
5.
Interrogation Transcript of RAR, April 27, 1987.
6.
Interrogation Transcript of SAJR, June 18, 1986.
7.
Interrogation Transcript of RAR, April 27, 1987.
8.
Ibid.
9.
Interrogation Transcript of JFFC, January 24, 1990.
10.
Interview with paratrooper officers, March 1990.
11.
Ibid.
12.
Roger Miranda and William Ratliff, The Civil War in Nicaragua: Inside the Sandinistas ( New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1993), pp. 40-41.
13.
Interrogation Transcript of JAFA, April 19, 1990.

-125-

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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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