General Alberto Bayo’s classic should be considered a must-read by anyone interested in small unit warfare and is the first post in a series on perspectives covering the last century into the present. A basic read on guerrilla warfare, “One Hundred and Fifty Questions To A Guerrilla” is a well thought out and realistic plan on training those who are not soldiers on asymmetric warfare. Cuban by birth, Bayo was a commander of fifth column forces during the Spanish Civil War and upon defeat relocated to Mexico where he was paid to train the brothers Castro as well as Che Guevara. You can say what you want, but the results were real.
Originally published for the American market by Robert K. Brown’s Paladin Press, the work is just as important today as it was in the era it was used- 1958. The two principles to understand before reading is that despite your level of training and equipment, others with you likely will not have the same and second, the organized Left in the US will be following this exact model. Certain sections have been omitted due to the nature of the topics they covered. Seek it on your own time and consider it for academic purposes only.
1. In order for a guerrilla to succeed, exactly what preconditions should exist?
To be right in your struggle against the injustices which a people suffer, whether from foreign invasion, the imposition of a dictatorship, the existence of a government which is an enemy to the people, an oligarchic regime, etc. If these conditions do not exist, the guerrilla war will always be defeated. Whoever revolts unrighteously reaps nothing but a crushing defeat.
2. Who should take part in a guerrilla unit?
Primarily only young men and women who are firm in their convictions, cautious in their dealings, have proven their spirit of self-sacrifice, personal courage, patriotism, and great dedication to the cause of the people should take part in a guerrilla war.
3. In addition to these moral qualifications what else must one who intends to join our guerrilla organization do?
He must truthfully and in detail answer questions on a questionnaire which includes such information as the applicant’s full name; place and date of birth; marital status; names of parents; names of spouse, children, etc.; places of work since the age of eighteen; names of friends in the Revolutionary Movement; whether he has ever been arrested; and many other questions which our Movement has worked out. The applicant must give a history of his political position. After completion of the questionnaire and our obtaining a favorable impression from the investigation of the data supplied, he will be admitted to the appropriate guerrilla unit.
4. If the results of the investigation of his questionnaire reveal the applicant to be an informer or spy who intends to enter our ranks to betray zips, what shall we do with him?
He will be judged by the Summary Court Martial as a traitor to the revolution.
5. If in spite of all steps we take, a despicable spy infiltrates the organization, what shall we do with him?
Once his status has been verified as such, he will be judged by Court Martial and without pity sentenced to death. We can pardon a political enemy who fights for an ideal which in our estimation is wrong. but never a spy. Such a man deserves no consideration even though to the enemy he may be a hero or martyr. The accused should be given every right which his situation warrants, especially since he may really be an agent working for us who was ordered by his supervisors to engage in counterespionage.
6. How many guerrillas work in a guerrilla unit?
The ideal number is between ten and twenty. The fewer the men, the greater the mobility.
7. How fast does a guerrilla unit make an amphibious landing and how is it achieved?
The unit is only as fast as the slowest of its members. To effect a landing everything must be planned and rehearsed in advance so that as soon as the unit hits the beach every member moves quickly, silently, well disciplined and well briefed in his particular task. Those who are assigned to take the hills commanding the beach move off to the left flank; those who are to take and hold the center run forward and assume their positions, then rapidly unload the material from the boat as quickly as possible, maintaining discipline and absolute silence as though they were a group of deaf mutes, not even being able to signal to one another.
8. What is done with guerrillas who cannot withstand long marches?
They are brought together to form slower units within which, however, everyone has to keep up.
9. Who should captain a guerrilla unit?
The captain should be the one who because of his special qualifications of command ability, character, intelligence, caution, zest for combat, etc. is nominated for the position.
10. Should a guerrilla be informed of the higher command organization?
Yes, he should know it and abide by it so that when there are casualties there will be no disagreement as to who is to command a unit. Vacated positions are taken over by the person with the next highest authority and who will be respected and obeyed by all subordinates.
11. What weapons should a guerrilla unit carry?
The unit should be equipped with the same type of rifles to facilitate the supply of ammunition, and in addition, it is good to have a light machine gun which is always useful in our operations. Each guerrilla should always carry his own first-aid kit, canteen, a watch synchronized with the unit leader’s, and many need field glasses. A guerrilla should also wear as a belt a rope some six feet long which can be used at night by a companion who holds on to one end thus not losing contact with his unit. This “tail” is worn wound around the waist. The part left over is what his companion, following behind, holds on to. No one is ever lost this way, no matter how dark the night is. It can be used in scaling peaks, crossing rivers, and for tying up bundles of firewood.
12. How should the guerrilla unit be equipped?
Its men should have good heavy shoes with thick soles and count on one good compass per unit. These are indispensable. Maps of the sector should always be available in order not to have to ask directions of any peasant. But if necessary he should only be used to confirm data already on the map.
13. How should a guerrilla unit be organized?
Exactly like an army corps, with its staff, its different positions and responsibilities filled by guerrillas so all the work does not fall on one man. Therefore the guerrilla unit is composed of the following sections: intelligence, operations, sabotage, recruiting, training, armament, munitions, quartermaster, sanitation, and propaganda.
14. What are the duties of each of these sections?
Intelligence should compile all the information it can on all members of the guerrilla unit, all enemies, those indifferent to the movement; on the location of water, springs and rivers; on roads, highways, trails, bridges; on the conduct of the guerrilla members; on sympathizers who wish to join the unit; on soldiers, informers, spies, etc. At the same time it will obtain or make maps of the terrain and the principal targets in the sector assigned to the unit. It will conduct espionage and counterespionage activities, keep records on unit personnel regarding all combat performance whether outstanding or unimpressive; and carry on cryptographic work (coding and deciphering messages, documents of courts martial, etc.).
The Intelligence Section should be under the direction of the second in command of the guerrilla unit, who should himself possess a high degree of intelligence, wisdom, and caution.
The Operations Section will supervise all attacks and other missions the unit undertakes and will evaluate the results of these endeavors. It consults with the comrades responsible for carrying out the missions, keeps the commander posted on the development of projects so he can make the final decision as to whether the operation will be put into effect. When the captain is unable to command a unit because of wounds, severe illness, or necessary absence, the head of Operations takes over his command, filing all data required for operations, both proposed and ready for accomplishment, along with different scale maps of the sector.
Leadership of the Sabotage Section, the main one of the ten composing our staff, falls to an active officer, extraordinarily dynamic, extremely intelligent and clever, having a creative imagination, adaptability, and a real vocation for his assignment. He must conduct his missions so that all types of sabotage are exploited to the fullest; if possible hitting new objectives daily.
The Recruiting Section obtains personnel to fill out our ranks or replace our losses. It will list names of young volunteers separating them into three groups. In the first group will be those who are to replace our casualties; in the second, those who can serve as machete men or demolition agents; and the third group, used only for the construction of fortifications and other such tasks.
The officer in charge of training will supervise the training in handling firearms and close order drill, literacy courses for peasants, and all educational and cultural programs of the guerrilla unit.
The Armament Section is concerned with the maintenance of the unit’s weapons; with the shotguns of the shotgunners serving with our forces as well as with our hand guns.
It will keep lists of instructors and armorers and their assistants, providing for the acquisition of replacement parts needed to maintain our arms in good repair.
The Munitions Section is in charge of everything pertaining to the guerrilla unit’s ammunition. It trains civilians who are to pass cartridges on to the guerrillas, and furthermore maintains small caches of cartridges and spare parts so that in no encounter will the guerrilla be without munitions.
The Quartermaster Section, because of its vital importance, will be the province of one of the most responsible men in the unit. This section sees to it that food is never lacking for the troop, rationing intelligently whatever it has, and assuring by its negotiations, orders, and purchases the feeding of the unit.
The Sanitation chief doesn’t have to be a doctor or nurse, although it would be helpful if he were. This section has the responsibility for keeping a complete stock of medicine, and whatever else is needed to bring our comrades back to health. This includes the addresses of doctors and nurses in our sector who will either voluntarily treat our men or who will be forced to do so when called upon.
The man in charge of Propaganda will make known all our successful exploits in newspapers and magazines throughout the country; and if that is not possible, then by means of letters, mimeographed bulletins, etc. This publicizing of our military accomplishments will raise the morale of our people and wear down the morale of our enemies.In Combat15. What physical training should a guerrilla hare before going on missions?
He will engage in even longer marches until reaching a total of fifteen hours duration with only a short rest of ten minutes every four hours; besides, he will practice night marches of seven hours, at least.
16. How should one move about in the field at night?
One should walk as though riding a bicycle, lifting the feet high each step in order not to trip over stones, tree trunks, or other objects in your way. Use your compass at least every hour to check your directions. If you have no compass you can orient yourself by the polar star whose location you will learn in our manuals. On starless nights you can get your bearings from the trees. In our countries, the north side of live trees has either no bark or the bark is thin and worn.
17. How should guerrillas treat one another?
Everyone should be friendly or at least cooperative. Practical jokes and tricks are considered bad taste. They cause enmity among the men, weaken the unit’s strength, and therefore are forbidden in our organization.
18. How can one orient himself during the day?
By means of the sun. Stand pointing your right arm and side toward the place the sun has risen. This arm points toward the east; the opposite side is the west; in front of you, north; and at your back, south.
19. When in the field we come upon a house or peasant’s hut, how should we proceed before entering f or the first time?
Only two of our number will go in; the others will let the occupants of the building know they are surrounded in case they are enemies or intend to betray us. When a careful search of the house has been made and the possibilities of betrayal or the hiding of enemies in the house have been ruled out, the rest of the guerrilla unit can enter after lookouts have been placed on the hills overlooking the road along which enemies might come. While we are inside, we will not let anyone leave, for he might warn an enemy. The recruiting officer will be in charge of interrogating the owner and discerning his true feeling toward us. Afterwards he will be asked to help as an informal agent, or as a farm guerrilla. If he refuses, showing open sympathy for the enemy cause, he will be made to leave the area; for it is impossible in an area where the guerrilla unit is operating to allow freedom of movement to individuals who might be working against US. Once he has been told to leave his house or farm we will attach all of his property without any compensation. All his belongings will become the property of the armed forces of popular liberation.
20. What shall we do with the young men who wish to join our unit?
he recruiting section will process them one by one, investigating their merits and deciding whether w c can accept them as fellow-soldiers in our revolutionary struggle. In case we can, they are trained to be farm guerrillas; if we have the weapons and the need for more people, they can be taken in as regular guerrillas after receiving the proper training. I personally trained Calixto Sánchez’s guerrilla leaders who later landed in Oriente, and in Cabonico, and whose initial operation was a complete success. Not a cartridge was lost; only one boat, which got stuck on the beach. Many times in my classes I emphasized that those who did not voluntarily offer to join up might be accepted one at a time, searched, and given a rigorous interrogation by the recruiting officer to decide who should be assigned to our elite, to the regulars (the less inspired) or to the third section–the unreliables. But we never accept people merely because they claim to be on our side. Calixto Sánchez’s leaders did not follow this warning, one which I learned well in a hundred encounters with the enemy. When a group of soldiers dressed as peasants came up shouting, “Viva Fidel Castro!”, our people received them with open arms. The soldiers then drew their pistols from hiding and arrested our men saying they were surrounded by many others in the mountains. Our guerrillas, new at the tricks of war, were stricken by fear, the disease that all unseasoned troops are subject to. The rest is well known. They were taken prisoners and that butcher Colonel Cowley assassinated all that were with Calixto Sánchez. Cowley, in turn, was later brought down by a heroic shotgunner of the 26th of July Movement. Only the seven men in Calixto Sánchez’ advanced guard, commanded by Héctor Cornillot, survived this encounter and later most of them joined the Sierra Maestra units.
21. What should the guerrilla unit do after an amphibious landing?
Once on the beach, we march toward the highest ridge offering concealment. Of course this is after hiding in the most appropriate places all the heavy materiel we have unloaded. If we succeed in moving inland in secrecy, we carry along our materiel to hide in even safer places in the highlands.
22. Can you tell me some of the assignments in which volunteers of both sexes can assist?
Here are some of the missions they can undertake:
1. To form a small platoon of attendants for each guerrilla unit.
2. To provide pairs of people to serve as scouts in front and on the flanks.
3. T o provide liaison pairs to give proper personnel status reports to the command post.
4. To act as runners to maintain contact with the flanks.
5. To provide large platoons to comb (clean) the enemies from our zone of control. This job must be done frequently.
6. Other platoons can ask the loan of hammers, nails, saws, picks, shovels, hoes, barbed wire, food, canteens, empty bottles and tin cans, and typewriters that the commander requires.
7. Others may compile a list of volunteers, both men and women, of the proper age to give service.
8. To form political groups to inquire of the political leanings of the people in our zone.
9. To select individuals who are ready and able to make our status reports, plans, selected scale maps, detailed operational information, to keep guerrilla service records, speeches to the people, etc.
10. Printers, typists, mimeographists, and others may work in the propaganda section.
11. To form brigades of propagandists of our revolutionary ideas to carry out meetings in plazas and other places.
12. To form police platoons, in which women should participate, to impose order and to prevent robbery, pillage, violations, and abuses.
13. To provide and guard storage for our material.
14. Women will also be used to bring complete information from cities not yet dominated by us. By sending many of them to the same place without their knowing that they have the same mission, more complete and cross-checked information will be gained.
15. To form water carriers and quartermaster personnel and distributers of provisions from the women.
16. Women can be used to form a corps of nurses and helpers.
17. To form the sections of carrier pigeons.
18. To establish a report-carrying section using trained dogs.
20. Cook’s helpers.
21. Wood carriers for the kitchen.
22. Kitchen dishwashers.
23. Water carriers for the kitchen.
25. Clothes ironers.
27. Registerers of home residents (preferably women).
29. Typists, for consignment to sections that ask for them.
30. Separation, storage, and control of captured enemy clothing.
31. Hospital personnel.
32. To form units of saboteurs of trains, highways, bridges, wire communications, etc.
33. To make groups of slingers and throwers of incendiary bombs.
34. Teams of sling instructors.
35. To provide picked groups designated to prepare incendiary bottles, filling them with gasoline and capping them, so that they will be ready at the proper time.
36. From the most intelligent and brave women, to form sowers of fear.
38. To form a group of carpenters to make sawhorses, barbs, fence stakes, trench floors when the ground is wet, grenade boxes, frames to mount rails in trenches, etc.
39. As groups to collect rails for fortification works.
40. To carry the rails to the place of their use.
41. To form recruiting parties to bring people from villages not yet controlled.
42. To form espionage and counterespionage sections.
43. To make up flag and signal communication sections.
44. For fortification works, using whatever workshops that are available.
45. To provide day and night relief teams.
46. To form cavalry with whatever animals are available among the people.
47. Enemy aircraft spotters.
48. Basket carriers to carry dirt from the trenches.
49. Arms cleaners.
50. Cold steel weapons (cutting weapons) storage.
51. Providers of horse rations.
52. Investigation of traitors.
53. Food storage.
54. Throwers of incendiaries against vehicles on the roads.
55. Personnel to set up and improve airfields.
56. Tree cutters.
57. Keeper of the “operations diary.”
59. Letter carriers.
60. Tool keepers.
23. What is the first offensive action that a recently formed guerrilla unit should take?
Our first action, as soon as we reach our sector, is to cut in as many places we can, all roads and railroads so that our enemies will only be able to travel on foot. We must force them into infantry roles. Because of their inferior training, lack of morale, because they are armed forces at the service of the oligarchic enemies of the people, and because of their lack of fighting spirit they should be very inferior to our forces who, with greater nobility and efficiency of personnel, are in better condition than the enemy. We should not become panic-stricken finder any circumstances, even though the enemy might throw thousands of men at us. We will have a better chance to inflict casualties on him. It would be more dangerous to our guerrilla team of fifteen men if they assigned twenty-five soldiers to hunt us down. This is worse than having a thousand after us. Always remember that Sandino fought against the Americans for seven years without once being cornered in spite of his pursuers’ many thousands of perfectly trained men with motorized units and dozens of radios beaming concentric rings around the Sierra de Segovia where our hero was fighting. After seven years of fruitless pursuit they had to grant him a truce on his own terms. Augusto César Sandino, the Nicaraguan patriot, was assassinated a short time after leaving the Segovia highlands.
24. What should we do with the peasants who wish to join us?
The recruiting officer will organize them into two different divisions. Into the first one will be put fighting men whom we trust completely, and into the second will go those who can be utilized on secondary combat tasks such as water carriers, wood cutters for the mess units, and porters for long marches. To those individuals who display an avid desire for combat and have unquestionable backgrounds will be issued machetes and incendiary bombs. They will march along with our unit as members of machete and bomb squads.
25. When should we do battle with the enemy?
This is the prime question for a guerrilla unit. The answer should be learned by heart and always put into practice. The perfect guerrilla, that is the one who best serves the daily interests of the peoples revolutionary cause, is one who never invites the enemy to do battle. Nor does he accept challenge to fight the enemy who hopes to meet us where he would hold the advantage. Every good guerrilla should attack by surprise, in skirmishes and ambushes, and when the enemy least suspects any action. When the soldiers load and prepare to repel our attack, we should all fade out of sight and redeploy in safer places. Obviously, in all actions we try to inflict the heaviest possible casualties. We will never lose visual contact with our enemies; that is, we will accompany them from afar keeping within field glass range so that we are constantly aware of their position. If we do not fire into their quarters every night we are not performing our duty as guerrillas. A good guerrilla is one who looks after his men not exposing them to enemy fire; he makes sure they cannot see his troops with camouflage and skillful tactics. He hounds the enemy day and night, carrying on “minuet” tactics. That is, he advances when the enemy falls back; retreating to our right when the enemy plans to encircle us on that flank. We always keep the same distance from the enemy forces: some 800 to a thousand yards by day, sending two or three of our sharpshooters up as close as possible during the night to pester them, and thus bringing about the highest number of casualties.
26. How should a police headquarters be attacked?
If the headquarters is built in the center of a lot one hundred yards wide by fifty in length, there will be fifty yards between the building and the fence surrounding it.
First, we have to take the adjacent buildings with our fire force the garrison to take cover, waiting for reinforcements and outside help. Once in possession of a neighboring building and setting our riflemen around the headquarters so that no one can escape, we will begin our plan of attack as follows: In the building we have taken, we will dig a tunnel toward the center of the headquarters. Once we have the first shaft and the tunnel begun, we put two men with pick axes shoulder to shoulder digging a six-foot-high tunnel. Each one digs out a cubic yard of earth. They then withdraw while the dirt is quickly removed by others with shovels and baskets. When one side of the tunnel is clear of loose dirt, the shovel and basket men withdraw and the pick men begin again. All the workers thus have a break and can perform their tasks with greater efficiency. The tunnel bores away underground, just wide enough to allow two to work without interference. All work as fast as possible; the supervisor relieves the men when they seem to be slowing down.
It is next to impossible for reinforcements to reach the garrison by day so it will probably surrender. If it does not do so soon, it should be blown up–first with the object of taking it over; secondly, as a lesson for other police headquarters to surrender quickly. To hasten the job, not only one tunnel will be dug, but many leading under the headquarters. We do not know what kind of earth we will encounter in any one tunnel, nor whether the first mining attempt will be successful. A second or third bombing may be needed.
If on igniting the charge we discover that the blast is not underneath the building, our soldiers, ready and waiting, should be sent into the tunnel to reach the garrison from the crater or at least to occupy the crater. It has to be somewhere near the building and as such serve as a good place to attack the building from.
For these operations we need the following teams: strong men for the picks, shovelmen, and basketmen; those to handle the lanterns and other tunnel lights; those who will shore up the tunnel after it is dug; and finally those who will set the charge, as well as soldiers to race down the tunnel after the explosion.
Before setting off one tunnel explosion under the headquarters, all other tunnel activities from other buildings must be halted so as to safeguard our comrades.
We have to be prepared at all times for a counterattack from the garrison itself as well as by the army, keeping a 24-hour guard posted. We also will make beforehand the necessary preparations for accommodating the wounded, prisoners, and the dead resulting from the attack. One man will be assigned to take care of all equipment we might capture. All enemy survivors w ill be given a thorough interrogation to learn what should be done with them.
If, after the first explosion the garrison still does nor surrender, we keep up work intensively on the other tunnels as well as in the first one. After an unsuccessful first attempt we should be able to correct the angle for the next try. Up to the time of the second bomb, the first crater can be used to pin down the occupants of the building from close by.
After the headquarters has been taken, the teams we have utilized in the tunnel operations will be sent on to other targets to do similar work.
When all garrisons in our zone have fallen, these specialists will be given jobs in our corps of engineers. The leaders of tunneling operations will at all times inform the general staff of their progress.
As a closing note to this section keep in mind that from all of the world’s famous prisons, men have escaped by digging their way under walls and past sentinels.
27. What should be done before attacking from a tunnel?
If it is not possible to achieve a surprise attack, an intense psychological campaign should be carried out making use of emissaries, wives of the besieged, local bigwigs, and enemy prisoners taken in previous attacks.
28. How is a guerrilla column on the march made up?
The guerrillas cover their flanks (right and left sides), an advance party (those preceding the main body) and rear guard (protecting from behind) utilizing peasants who volunteer (as they all should) to help us, as well as troops from the guerrilla unit itself.
29. What should appear on service records?
The dates and places where each guerrilla has fought in addition to his rating as a soldier in each action, and whether he received any distinction for his performance. It is important to be precise in keeping service records so that promotions can be given to the most valuable men.
Questions 30-37 Omitted Due To Editorial Discretion.
38. How can communication be organized between various guerrilla sectors?
Portable walkie talkie radios are used by wireless experts these days for communication among groups in the field.
It is understandable that for guerrillas who have to scale high mountains and engage in long marches heavy communication equipment is out! We cannot count on vehicles to carry the equipment, nor even on hand generators which are also heavy. For our operations we are limited to only the lightest of apparatus, working off dry cells. Even these need to be replaced. The 114 mc. (two-meter) band is the best. On the air, keep your messages clear and to the point to guarantee speed and security in communication.
Groups in the field should communicate with each other directly and privately. Each group should carry a small transmitter-receiver and maintain contact on a previously determined wave length adjusted on their sets by means of a crystal oscillator. Other groups intercommunicate with one another in the same way. If various groups gather in one place they can contact a shelter or supply depot over the same system to acquire more and better equipment and aid.
When making preliminary incursions in unfricodly territory it is not advisable to complicate this basic system of communications. Radio sets can be acquired or even built, and tested before their being put to use. Sets measuring 2 ½ x 3 ½ x 10 inches powered by a 3-volt A battery and a 90-volt B battery have a 15-mile range and, in favorable conditions, twice as far.
The sets are delicate, precision-made instruments, and should be handled with care.
39. How should guerrillas report current developments to their superiors?
Each guerrilla leader should report such happenings on three different sheets. One of them furnishes valuable personnel information; another lists the materiel on hand at the moment of its signature; and the third concerns political military information from the sector. This last report might include the latest rumors, enemy troop movements, new men who have joined us, data on informers and spies, etc. These three parts are sent to the chiefs of the personnel section, the materiel and armament section, and the intelligence section, respectively.
40. How should guerrillas in neighboring sectors communicate with one another?
They should report their strength and the state of their supplies. These reports should be delivered verbally and in person by liaison officers of the utmost confidence. The officers should also have the authority from their superiors to set the day and hour for combined operations, including their own and another or possibly two other units.
41. Should reports be made in code?
It is advisable to code messages which might be captured by the enemy. Usually duplicate messages are sent, cast in special language. Two men, or better yet, two boys start out at different times with the same message. These runners should be natives of the region, clever fellows and fleet of foot.
42. What is the complement of a guerrilla company?
The tactical unit designated as the company contains one hundred men including the commander, a captain. A company has four lieutenants, each commanding a section. Including their lieutenants in command, the first three sections each contain twenty-five men, except for the last. The captain is the twenty-fifth member of the fourth company.
Each section has two sergeants who in turn command a platoon apiece of eleven men. Each platoon has two corporals who command squads of five men each. In the squads a second corporal assists the corporals.
43. What is the complement of a battalion?
A battalion has five companies. In the fifth company are the cooks, helpers, mechanics, barbers, tailors, cobblers, office personnel, and all those who because of the nature of their work are relieved of instruction and daily activities. Of course even this company reports for duty when the guerrilla war has attained the magnitude approaching a civil war. In other respects, the fifth company is like any other.
44. Is it necessary for all guerrilla companies to keep this same complement?
In order to have complete and precise control over all units it is indispensable. If all the units are the same size you can at all times know your total strength. The quartermaster, for example, must know that three companies contain exactly 300 men, etc., without having to make any calculations. All units can then contribute equally in whatever they are called on to perform. An undermanned company could not be expected to obtain the same results as one fully staffed. Also important: no guerrilla w ants to be held back in his career for having been associated with an ineffectual outfit.
45. When your complement is full and yore still have extra men, what do you do with then?
Report the fact at once to your immediate superior so that he can order the men sent to other units as yet undermanned. If, after all units have been brought up to full strength you still have extras, then new units can be made up with the additional men.
46. If we have said previously that the ideal guerrilla unit in the interest of nobility is composed of fifteen men, why are we now talking of companies of one hundred?
Because this organization has nothing to do with combat operational necessities. A captain can command a hundred men, hut does not have to use all of them together. On certain occasions, for example, in the siege of an army or police garrison defended by a small detachment, it is a good idea to use the whole guerrilla company for the assault. The captain who operates in certain sectors assigned to him by the Guerrilla Staff has his platoons of twelve men trebled to be perfect guerrillas; he will sometimes utilize groups of twenty-five men commanded by lieutenants.
47. What is the best procedure for replacing battle casualties?
The captain should have in some strategic site, out of the enemy’s range, if possible, a training base where new guerrillas spend all their time undergoing intensive training, including the memorization of this manual and other necessary information. After having tested these trainees, a ranking will be made according to each man’s knowledge, aptitudes, and intelligence section report. As necessary, to fill vacancies, the new men are then sent to active units. After reporting to the captain in charge they are given their permanent assignments.
48. What are close order and extended order drill?
Close order drill is a type of exercise designed to instill habits of discipline in the troops. The guerrilla must surrender his own will completely to the one in command, no matter who it may be. While close order drill is part of the training of armies all over the world, it is no longer employed in combat. It is merely a preliminary form of exercise and does produce good results. Extended order drill is used in the field to deploy troops in the various positions of combat formations.
49. If while on the march, in camp, or at any other time you are fired upon by the enemy, what is your first move?
The first thing to do is to hit the ground and as best you can lie facing the direction the shots are coming from. Then space yourself as far as possible from your comrades who will be doing the same. Thus if the enemy fire misses the one aimed at, there is no possibility of a lucky hit on another man.
After this choose the best protection within reach and take cover. If you are a captain or in command of a smaller unit, order your men to take cover as well. Do not counterattack, but try to find some way out of the ambush as quickly as possible. If the fire is too heavy and the enemy is not cutting down our men, because of lack of morale, or in fear of our return fire (which will probably be the case), you might sit tight and wait for nightfall. A daylight retreat would probably cost you too many casualties. After dark, slip out of the trap.
50. What shall we do with our dead and wounded in the field?
If we have time, we will bury our dead, first seeing to it that our wounded are removed from the scene of combat; and when possible, taken to where our comrades can administer medical treatment. If there is no time nor possibility for burial of the dead, we must face the necessity of leaving them. When absolutely imperative, we leave a dead companion; but never one who is wounded.
51. What should we do so as not to lose visual contact with the enemy?
When you withdraw, leave one or two men (better one than two) to keep an eye on the enemy. These observers should never open fire on the enemy, but rather do nothing to let him know he is being watched. When the enemy makes camp for the night one of the observers should report the enemy position so that some of our men can be sent to harass them during the night.
52. If the enemy continues marching during the night, what should we do?
In that case we will follow him, keeping him in sight. The party we send out to follow him should stick as close as possible to him, maintaining harassing tactics as he marches. If the enemy later makes camp or stops to rest or eat, we continue annoying him.
53. How many men should the harassing party contain?
Very few–perhaps two or three. The rest of our men should get their sleep. Our snipers, taking care not to be surrounded, will spend the night firing into the enemy. We will cover both of our flanks while they are resting, so that the snipers can do their job without unexpected risks. This harassment should be carried out every night without fail. You would not he doing your duty if you overlook it.
54. What is the difference between a spy and a counterspy?
Espionage and counterespionage are arts which all guerrillas should become proficient in, since wars are not won only by using one’s head, but also by using one’s foot in tripping up the enemy as often as possible. A spy is a peasant working for us who accompanies the enemy troop pretending to be their friends and selling them anything they need. The type of article sold or his profits or losses are of no consequence. The important thing is that he become friendly with as many of the enemy, of all ranks as possible. He should never ask them for any information whatsoever, but rather report everything, every movement, he sees; shout the equipment the enemy has; information on their delays, etc. Women are invaluable in this role. That is after they have had the proper training. Their reports should be brought in by intermediaries, and in code. If the information is of extreme urgency, by oral message. A counterspy is one who works with the enemy forces, or is a volunteer in the ranks of the oppressors. Once in their confidence, he goes to work for us, keeping us up to date with firsthand intelligence information.
In wartime, counterespionage is of greater service than simple espionage.
55. How is a secret society formed?
A secret society is always formed with a maximum of three members. A fourth member is never admitted, but one can operate with two members. Experience has shown that anything can be done with three agents; any more get in each other’s way. Besides if we have the misfortune (and it is to a certain extent inevitable) to have one of our cells infiltrated by a spy, the most that are lost to us are two agents. This does not represent too great a risk nor expense. We must abolish those cells containing eight to ten where each member is in turn the leader of another cell with ten or twelve members, and so on.
56. How does the sabotage section operate?
A secret society will never be given more than one mission. Giving the cells many of them has always produced poor results. Each society should choose a special name for identification purposes, such as José Antonio Galán, Antonio Nariño, or names of other martyrs to our cause. The sabotage section will assign but one mission to each such cell. This way they will have ample opportunity to do a good job.
57. Does only the sabotage section have secret societies?
No. The Intelligence Section can and should have their information gathering suborganizations, but these never engage in sabotage.
58. How many types of guerrillas are there?
Two types: Field troops and farm troops.
59. What are farm troops?
Farm troops are those who work as farm hands, apparently neutrals politically, who operate periodically, perhaps two or three times a month. They get their arms from the cache, carry out a night mission, then return to the farm and go to work the next day as though nothing had happened. If questioned, they know nothing of the operation, but all say they have seen a few armed men at a distance whom they thought to be guerrillas.
60. How can you blow up sizable buildings, barracks, etc?
The easiest, surest, and least dangerous way to blow up big barracks or buildings like the Presidential Palace is by digging a tunnel ending just below the center of the building.
61. How do you dig the tunnel?
First one must select a house in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter if the house is not too close to the objective. It might be more dangerous if the house is not close since the larger the distance to the objective the bigger the risk, but distance might help in order to ensure the operation without arousing suspicions. Once the house is obtained the tunnel can be started from it, but before anything else is done canned food should be acquired and kept in the house. Food should be enough for the four or five men who are to dig the tunnel, however these men should not give the impression of being the tenants of the house.
On the first day a shaft has to be made in one of the rooms of the house reaching farther down if the building to blow is very big, and less if the building is not as heavy. Introduce in the shaft a log shaped like an E without the middle line, the one in between, the log looks then like a C with the top and the bottom straightened. The top arm of the log must be oriented toward the objective and consequently the parallel bottom arm will equally point toward the objective. The tunnel must be started in this direction and only one man will work in the shaft since it has to be narrow in order to avoid earth slides. When this man has dug out enough earth, a second man will remove it with a shovel and a third man will take it out of the tunnel with a basket. This operation will go on until the tunnel has become long enough.
62. What do you do with the earth removed?
When the blasting takes place within a city it is hard to take the earth out of the house without being noticed since in these cases you have to handle a great deal of earth. The best way to handle it is by simulating in the house a business~that requires loading and unloading operations. This way sandbags can be taken to an unnoticeable place or preferably cast into the river, the sea, etc.
63. How long does it take to dig a tunnel?
When the earth is of average hardness a man can remove a cubic meter of earth per hour. It is easy to determine how long it will take to cover the distance between the house and the objective.
64. How do you estimate the distance to the objective?
An exact calculation requires a comrade with some knowledge of trigonometry and of how to resolve triangles. Otherwise you will have to use your eyes and discuss repeated measurements with other comrades until the estimate is as accurate as desired.
Questions 65-73 Omitted Due To Editorial Discretion.
74. What is to he done with used cartridges?
We better keep them, we can always find an officer or a sergeant among the enemy who will exchange them for new ones to make friends with us. He can very well say that then were used by his own troops in order to turn them in and get a resupply; besides, we must not keep the enemy informed about the state of our supply by letting them know how many shots were made.
75. If our fighters could take advantage of a plain to build an airfield, how would they go about it?
The terrain must be cleared of stones, holes straightened, and hills made even. The field selected must be 1000 meters long and some 400 meters wide. Close obstacles like trees, telegraph poles, etc., must be removed.
76. How can the field lee made available for the use of our planes?
First it will be convenient to send our side information about the existence of the field, and a chart of it indicating its exact dimensions and location in a chart at a scale of 1/10,000; if possible send also a photograph. When we get news of the day and hour in which our planes will land on the field, right on that day logs and branches of trees will be placed around the perimeter of the field. As the plane appears on the horizon at the fixed hour, signals will be made with a whistle or a flag and the logs set on fire so that the plane may find the field, determine its limits as pointed out by the fires and find out the direction of the wind, since landing must be made always against the wind.
As soon as the plane has landed all the fires will be put out, things transported by the plane unloaded and the plane itself pushed by hand to the extreme end of the field where it will be again facing the wind. Only then, if the pilot requests it, which he shouldn’t, a single fire will be set to indicate the direction of the wind in case the pilot cannot determine it himself by using a handkerchief. The pilot will see to it that the plane does not remain longer than necessary in order to prevent identification.
If there were any mountains around the field we will place a machine gun on the top to harass enemy airplanes that might appear on the horizon.
77. What is to be done if the plane must land during the night for security reasons?
At the day and the hour which the plane will be directly over the field we will light the fires and keep somebody minding the fires so that they are burning constantly to let the pilot know where to land. Night landing is usually very dangerous for the pilot, since even with a good compass precise positioning over the field is always hard to achieve due to the winds which might deviate the plane without allowing the pilot to find the field. To prevent this from happening, landing may be fixed at an hour that will allow the pilot some visibility. Landings will be accordingly fixed for one hour before dawn, unless repeated utilization of the field by the same pilot makes disorientation improbable, in which case landing may be fixed for an earlier time.
After a night landing, whistles or a shot will indicate that it is time to put the fires out. If it is still dark after unloading and the plane must leave, fires will be started again all along the runway for good orientation and put out when the plane has been for fifteen minutes in the air
78. How does a plane take off and land?
Always facing the wind.
79. How will our men be busy when there is no immediate task?
They will relax during the day, wash their feet daily and take care of their toenails since feet and legs are the engines of the guerrilla. They will study the maps of the region, memorizing the names of all nearby villages, and their population and some of the names of the people, they will identify on a blank chart all rivers, tributary rivers, springs, reservoirs, and wells. They will learn the distances between different points within that sector and the location of bridges and sewers that might be used for train sabotage. In other words they must learn by heart whatever piece of information might be helpful to carry on the war or to facilitate the tasks of other sections of the militia.
80. How are they given such training?
They are first enlisted as bomb and machete men and will go with us on the marches. Beginning as scouts and carriers of water and ammunition for the guerrilla, then they will take over the watching as sentinels while the fighters rest and will be given rifles for the moment in the capacity of fighters for the first time. Then they will be employed in assaults on the police headquarters or refuges of counterrevolutionary forces, etc.
Finally when new rifles captured from the enemy are available, they will be given the rifles and promoted to guerrilla fighters.
81. What is the standard procedure to administer capital punishment to traitors?
They must be given an opportunity to defend themselves, and as in the army, the regular procedures of a court martial will be followed.
82. What are we supposed to do with sick comrades?
When a comrade is sick we will leave him with a family that can be trusted if they make themselves responsible for his cure and protection. They w ill be better off hiding in some place other than peasant huts even though attended by the peasants.
83. What is understood by the term resupply storage?
Weapon and ammunition officers will keep their supplies hidden in secret places or buried close to peasants’ huts.
Since it is better not to keep all the eggs in the same basket lest they be broken, resupply storages will be dispersed in strategic sectors so that we may have recourse to the supplies regardless of our position at any moment.
84. What is the attitude of the fighters with regard to peasants?
All food taken from them must be paid for at a good price, thanks must be repeatedly expressed and peasants made aware that they are helping their own cause. Our men will try to repair things in the house such as beds, closets, tables that might be ruined. They will help the peasant in fencing his lot or in sowing or clearing the fields, and in so doing they will clearly show our sympathy and attract the peasants to our cause so that we may eventually request their help any time.
85. How is the defense of a town taken from the enemy organized?
In order to organize this defense, the town must be rearranged to take the configuration of a complex of fortifications by opening connecting passages between adjacent houses. These passages must be small, letting only one man crouching go through, so that if it is an enemy he can be easily disposed of and if it is a friend he may go through with only the relative discomfort of bending his knees. Once all the houses are connected, those facing the street where the enemy will attack first will have in the front several holes like small vents from which to shoot. These openings will be made at a level higher than the regular stature of a man so that even bullets that occasionally go through them will not hit our men. Of course, in order to shoot from these openings one must be standing on a chair.
86. What will be our attitude toward the population of the town?
We will try to convince them gently that they must evacuate their houses, that it is an imperative of the war to fortify them. If this can’t be achieved peacefully then they will be evacuated by force as an imperative of war.
87. What will be done with the furniture?
All the furniture, good or bad, will be used to connect houses of separate blocks. Blocks must be connected by barricades made of furniture, stones, bricks, etc.
88. What about military defensive organization?
The chief of highest seniority or rank will appoint his deputies for different sectors of the captured town that is to be defended. Every chief responsible for a sector will see to it that houses and blocks are prepared to conform to the specified defense configuration.
89. What will be the role of the groups operating in the vicinity of the town during the course of the enemy attack?
They will be in constant activity, striking at the rear guard of the besiegers and most of all their supply sources.
90. How can we slow down the capture of entire blocks by the enemy?
We will have parapets in the corners of all the roofs and firing from them will deny the enemy access to the houses. We will also have in the houses dry husk and rags impregnated with cheap oil. If a house is taken, the husk set on fire will have the effect of a smoke grenade stopping enemy advance.
91. How long can we keep defending a town in this manner?
It may last for years. This was the type of defense put into practice during the defense of the University district of Madrid; Franco’s troops never went through it.
92. What if the enemy completely cuts the water supply to the town?
It was presupposed that the activity of the outside guerrillas would make it frightful and unacceptable for the enemy to maintain a protracted assault; however, if after all there is no other alternative the best way to escape is to break through the enemy lines in the middle of the dark and flee to the hills.
93. Which mist be the main concern of the fighter while in the hills?
His main concern must be the care of his gun, since the weapon is his friend and protector, his means of survival. The rifle must be kept clean and oiled, especially when you are out in the country, marching by dusty paths where guns easily get dirty.
94. Who can be properly called a hill fighter?
He who is in open and declared rebellion against the oligarchy, against bourgeois dictatorship, against the people’s enemies; in other words, all regular soldiers in the guerrilla who wage war against oppression and exploitation.
95. Which is the maximum time for a guerrilla to remain in the same place?
Three days is the longest they can stay in one particular place. On the third day they must start toward a position far away from their previous one.
96. What qualifications make a perfect guerrilla fighter?
To correctly handle a gun, a rifle, a machine gun, and a revolver. To be able to fight with a knife and fence with a stick.
To be able to throw a knife well and hit a distant target. Horseback riding, bicycle driving, automobile driving.
Making and using bombs.
Know how to take and develop pictures. Know how to use the phone.
An elementary knowledge of topography.
Know how to read a chart and interpret contour data. Know how to whistle loudly.
Practice in climbing ramparts and walls using ropes or human towers. Practice in twelve-hour marches through rugged hills with slight descents.
Swimming, rowing, motor boat driving.
Practice in climbing trees and telegraph poles rapidly.
Familiarization with piston-engine parts.
Know how to start a car with a crank, how to reach the fuel tank, how to fill the tires of a car or a bicycle, how to change the tires fast.
Know the Morse Code.
Know how to start the propeller of a light plane.
Extreme tolerance to all religions.
Finally to be courageous, daring, cunning, to anticipate needs and dangers, to avoid ties with things or persons; to love danger.
97. Are all those conditions indispensable to become a guerrilla fighter?
Those are qualities of the perfect fighter only and are only achieved at the peak of the fighter’s performance. Take Pancho Villa for instance. He was an outstanding fighter and nevertheless he was an illiterate. However, all those qualifications must be required as an ideal, as they arc required by military academies to graduate officers who can defend the fatherland in case of aggression.
98. What items should be on hand for the guerrilla?
The perfect guerrilla must have:
Combat boots for the men.
Pants reenforced with inside and back patches.
Thick and resistant belts that eventually can be joined together as the links of a chain and be used in crossing rivers, climbing walls and obstacles . . . They are called “tails” by the fighters.
Coats according to the weather ( jackets).
Knives and folding knives. Scissors to cut hair.
Scissors to cut nails (especially toenails).
Soap for clothes washing.
Guns, submachine guns.
Medicaments proper for the guerrilla in the first aid kit.
Pliers with oilskin handle (you can also use a thin pipe to cover the handle).
Hatchets to cut wood. Razors and blades.
Forehead lights (of the kind that can be attached to the head, as the miners do).
Batteries for all these lights.
Threads and fishhooks for fishing.
99. Isn’t that too much to be carried by the fighters?
For sure, but it can be taken by the irregulars who always accompany the guerrilla. The list is just a catalog of things that we should have on hand at one time or another and that eventually will all be needed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them should be taken in every raid.
100. What precautions must we have before attacking a village?
In order to attack a village we must know first all the details about it. Some of the most important details will be:
Whether or not it has telegraph or telephone communications. Whether or not there are troops guarding communication centers.
If there are no troops to guard them, where (how far) is the closest communication center.
How many civilians have rifles.
Whether there is in the village an amateur radio transmitter.
Tames of traitors and executioners, domiciles of the best known oppressors of patriotic and revolutionary agents.
Location of the railway or road bridges closest to the village and size of the guard.
Distance to the closest airfield.
Timetable of trains passing through the village and of trucks or buses of lines regularly serving the town.
Analysis of the topography of the local area and all other useful data that could possibly be collected.
Once the information has been gathered, the data should go into the Staff Section (Operations), which will prepare plans for the assault based on the information received. Assaults are possible without all these requirements, hut this is the technical approach that will give us the highest probability of success.
101. Once plans have been prepared how does the operation develop?
The precise time must be fixed. Each special task is assigned to a special team. These teams must operate fast and with decision, without being concerned with the development of the operations of the other teams, or with the failure of these operations. A team will cut telegraph and telephone communications at the entrance of the village, another team will cut them at the exit. Since individuals possessing weapons are known, a team guided by friendly villagers will break into the houses of these individuals and take their weapons along. The addresses of these individuals and the order h1 which these searches will take place will be specified in the lists that the chief of the team will be given. Other teams will pick up squealers, spies, or traitors.
All these things must be done “electrically,” that is, in the least possible time, and the faster we do it the greater the success will be, even in terms of convincing the enemy about our great discipline and morals. This way hopeful revolutionaries will see with their own eyes that our organization can do the job. After the operation is finished we will leave the village by car, meeting the vehicles in predetermined places where they will be waiting with their engines running.
102. What will be the mission of a guerrilla chief in an area under control?
He will organize, under the guidance of the recruiting officer, several groups with the following purposes:
A. One unit will “comb” the area, that is, it will inspect all the houses and sectors where there are enemies of the people’s cause. This same unit will carry out the requisition of all the combat elements that we may need by searching wherever they may be.
B. Another unit will intensify propaganda for our cause in that area. Both units will be integrated by honest personnel who are notoriously incapable of stealing or of abusing those whom they dislike or their personal enemies.
103. What will be the punishment for those who commit abuses?
Those who would dare to steal in these circumstances, or perpetrate abuses or infractions, must immediately undergo a drum-head court martial and after conviction sent to the firing squad without wasting any time.
104. How will the execution take place?
It will take place at an hour that will permit attendance of a large audience. It will be publicly announced and dramatically set. An officer will address the crowd explaining that the man to be shot is guilty of rape, murder, theft, or of any other shameful and anti-revolutionary action that he may have accomplished. He will use this occasion to emphasize the honesty of the People’s Army and praise it in the most laudatory terms insisting upon the fact that shameful acts against the dignity of the people will never be left without their rigorous and well deserved punishment.
105. What is the most important advice that should never be overlooked in the marches?
Combat marches will mainly be accomplished during the night, especially when our purpose is to be seen again far away from our previous position and let the enemy think that there are two different units in operation. During the day we will be sleeping, studying, or occupied in activities proper of the guerrilla, such as care of the weapons, distribution of ammunition, care of the feet, study of the map of the region, attention to the business of the sections of the guerrilla, memorizing names of nearby villages or individuals living within the sector, etc. Don’t forget the names of the ranches that we visit, etc. But in marching during the night it is a must that we walk in the most absolute silence and without smoking; otherwise, the entire unit might be destroyed.
106. How must we proceed in a surprise enemy attack after taking shelter?
First we will try not to answer enemy fire, and then, even if they seem to be fewer than we are, wait until the day is over to retreat. If we were superior in number, we engage them for a short time and cause them some casualties. If the situation is not clear it is better to disappear because it might be a decoy or a stratagem to surround us with superior forces.
The course of action must be resolved by the chief of the guerrilla who knows by heart that our tactic is not to engage the enemy but to hit and run.
107. Is the purpose of such skirmishes to cause casualties or to cause psychological effects?
Our aim is to destroy enemy morale, keeping their mercenaries from relaxing. If a troop does not sleep during the night they are worthless during the day and slow in the marches. Therefore, the enemy will not be left in peace for a single night.
108. Shall we take turns in this mission?
Of course. This is a mission that should be shared by all members of the guerrilla for several reasons:
They must all share the honor of harassing the enemy, our fighters must acquire more experience in this type of actions to improve their morale, and finally it is known that when a soldier does not shoot he gets more and more paralyzed, rusty, useless.
109. Which is the most vulnerable part of a camp?
Kitchens, stables, dispensary, etc. These are points that cants be defended and where the combat morale would be lower.
110. How will we keep weapons in a peasant hut?
It would be a big mistake to keep it in boxes in the hut itself. They must be buried in boxes with an inner cover of zinc, in other words the box will be patched up inside with straightened oil or gasoline cans that will be nailed to the box. The weapons should be wrapped in rags if time permits. Then the box must be closed tight and well hidden in the hole. There you have your hideaway.
111. How deep should the boxes be buried?
Always rather deep to prevent any soldiers from digging around the field close to the house and finding the boxes there (although even this is improbable).
112. How far from the house should the boxes be buried?
Rather far, between 30 and 60 meters from the house, and the place will be known only by the man who buried them and two other fighters; one of whom must always be from the weapons section and the other will, in each case, be from a different one.
113. What should be done from time to time in order to prevent rifles from getting rusty when in use?
They should be examined by the weapons expert that always goes along with the guerrilla and in all cases the fighter must take care of his own weapon with love and dedication, for it is an insurance policy for his life and for those who are in his company.
114. How many times a week do the chiefs of the sections report to the commander of the guerrilla?
Twice a week, during the stops in the marches, the commander will call his chiefs of sections away from the rest of the comrades in a spot called the “office,” close to a rock or a tree; the commander will talk with each one of his chiefs separately, starting with the Information chief. The commander will ask as many questions as he thinks fit. One after the other all the chiefs will be examined by the commander about the status of every branch in his section and about the efficiency of their activities.
115. What basic knowledge should the guerrilla fighter possess?
They all should have an idea of plotting, plot reading, contour interpretation and be able to reproduce at a different scale a map of installations or facilities such as schools, court buildings, police stations, barracks, etc.
116. If we have on hand a map of Colombia, for instance, and we want to change it from a scale of 1:300,000 to a scale of 1:5000, what is the best way to do it?
Since the quotient of 300,000 divided by 5,000 is 60 it would be very hard and bothersome to enlarge the map on a paper 60 times larger than the original, and besides, many parts of the map would not be of interest for guerrilla operations. Therefore, it is better to design first a map four times larger covering only the part in which we are interested. The new scale would be 1:75,000 (300,000 divided by 4). After this we place within a square the zone of operations and enlarge it to 1:15,000; finally by a similar operation we enlarge only a concrete part of the zone of operations making it three times larger or to a scale 1:5,000. Instead of a direct 60 times enlargement, we enlarged a part of the original 4 times, a part of that 5 times and then a portion of the latter 3 times. The scale is: 4x 5 x 3 = 60 times larger.
117. What shall we do with the maps 1:75,000 and 1:15,000 that were made and will not be used?
Give them to the Operations Section which can certainly use them.
118. What does the fraction 1:100,000 mean in a map scale?
It means that every meter on the map will represent 100 kilometers in reality, that is, 100,000 meters on the ground.
119. What is the best scale for maps used in guerrilla operations?
The best scale is 1:10,000 or 1:5,000.
120. What acts of sabotage can be accomplished by isolated patriots?
Those who don’t feel that they have the courage to get together and form secret societies and those who don’t trust anybody around but still would like to cooperate by means of individual action may carry out the following tasks:
a. If they are working at a post office they could slow down service or send official communiques to the wrong place or in the wrong direction, always avoiding the possibility of being suspected.
b. If they work on a phone board they can boycott the service and slow it down.
c. Mailmen may pick out letters addressed to important personalities in the regime and open them by steam, learning about their contents. If they contain intelligence data they will pass these data to the Intelligence Service.
d. Phone operators will try not to miss a word of interesting conversations and will communicate all useful information to our movement. The operator should do this by telephone without disclosing her name.
e. Those who work in garages will put emery powder in the oil of automobiles used by mercenaries or by officials who are against the people. If emery were not available they may use sand or pulverized rocks, etc.
f. If they work in garages belonging to the armed forces or in official maintenance depots, they will ruin the supplies, hide the tools, misuse gas either in engine tests or by washing their hands often, always trying to throw away some.
g. If they are government chauffeurs they will try to ruin the tires with nails if they can do it in the garage or by driving close to the sidewalk to scratch their sides or by driving over rocks.
h. Schoolteachers will talk to their pupils about the greatness of progress, of beautiful ideals, about love among human beings and solidarity among nations, looking after each other even within the moral slavery in which they find themselves.
i. Everybody will pass on gossip about the exploitation that the people suffer, the increasing prices of essential goods, and complain about the miserable life they are leading.
j. Workers will ask for leave affecting sickness, and request increases in salaries or try to manufacture defective articles especially if the factories are managed by a few enemies of the working class.
k. Wherever there are no water or light meters people will leave faucets open and the lights on.
1. Government employees will not brief or correct their subordinates, instead they will criticize all orders from above and emphasize the defects of their superiors. They will use their time as much as possible in telephone conversations, coffee breaks, reading newspapers, will change the sense of documents, cause disorder, break the furniture, break machines, etc.
m. When opportune, they will change personnel, reprimand those who are friendly with the regime, and at the same time they will appear to be the most fanatic supporters of the government and of the people’s enemies. They will ruin the urinaries, bathrooms, water, light, and gas installations, not only in the public offices but in cafes, casinos, theaters, etc. The best way to destroy a urinary is by throwing cotton packages and newspapers mixed with nails and wire into it.
n. In larger offices they will let loose rats and feed them with cheese until they adapt to the place and can operate by themselves. They will also try to blow the light bulbs in the offices and try to cause a short-circuit.
o. While traveling on the train or other public means of transportation they will cut the seats with razors or scissors, etc. In the stadiums or other games they will protest and disturb the peace by yelling against the authorities, the police, etc.
p. In the streets they will try to stop the traffic by going against the traffic regulations.
q. On the anniversaries of traditional commemorations that are not celebrated by the bourgeois government they will be in the streets marching past military, government, and police offices, in a silent protest against the arbitrary government of the oligarchy. They must also go to the plazas where there are statues of freedom heroes and circle around until their presence is noticed, and attract other demonstrators provoking police intervention. Then they will all start booing the police, manifesting indignation. They will convene crowds large enough to break police ranks and to expand and shrink like an accordion, rushing like gigantic waves toward the enemy only to disperse in the collision and to reorganize, forming other waves to clash with police trucks or armored cars or army tanks or “steel helmets.” If there is opportunity and impunity they must boo the most prominent figures of the bourgeois landowners and the dictatorship, yelling “down with them,” and encouraging revolt so as to form a massive clamor, howling and wild. The idea is to cause methodically the greatest disorder possible. If political debates with mercenaries take place try to keep the opponent surrounded by comrades, especially if he is a police official, and try to out-yell him and out-act him.
121. What is to be done if the police or the troops open fire on the people?
If in a street fight either the police, the armed forces, or the “steel helmets” open fire against the crowd, the next day all our friends and comrades in the work must be induced not to go to work so that a protest may be transformed into a revolutionary general strike. If this end is achieved all efforts will be directed toward generalization of the strike so that business will stop and nobody will dare to work in the factories. To this end we must recruit the help of all our friends and use coercion and energetic measures upon shy and cowardly people.
122. How do we use rumors?
We echo all sorts of rumors and fibs to discredit the most prominent figures of the oligarchy, including presidents elected in a referendum, and we “improve” these rumors. They may also discredit chiefs of police, army, or secret police.
123. How should we react in the event of a vehicle collision?
When we are present at the scene of a collision and one of the drivers is a government driver we must direct the indignation of the people against him.
124. What shall we do if a fire starts?
If a fire starts we will attempt to interfere with the work of the firemen. We will make a call from a distant place from which escape is easy and give the firemen a wrong address. (This refers to fires due to sabotage of government facilities or of offices of prominent figures in the regime.)
125. How can we use vacant apartments?
If we can get vacant apartments for rent belonging to persons in favor of the regime we will throw gasoline, or any other inflammable on hand, into them and set them on fire, escaping only after the fire starts.
126. How do you spoil gasoline?
To sabotage gasoline it is sufficient to put some water or sugar in it.
127. How do we sabotage a machine or a car?
To sabotage a car it is enough to take a small part essential to make it run; it is better to pick out parts that cannot be easily found in the store and must be ordered. Summing up, all efforts must be directed to paralyze regular work, whether in government offices or in private factories, especially wherever it may affect influential figures. We must never give a peaceful moment to the representatives of the criminal bourgeois dictatorship. We will never stop until we see the ultra-reactionary dictatorship collapse violently and lose the power that it held for so long at the expense of the people, while the peasant and working majorities and the middle classes suffered misery and hunger and strains and worries.
128. How do we distribute the troops in order to defend a village?
The village itself must be divided into four zones, each one under a responsible chief who will operate independently from the other but keeping them posted as to the steps that he takes so that they can all depend on each other although they are all subordinate to the commander of the village.
129. How will the troop itself be divided by its commander?
The troop will be classified in three categories: roof shooters, balcony shooters, and window shooters.
130. How will the sentries on the roofs react in case of an air attack?
They will get out of reach of the planes’ machine guns, but if a plane is flying low they will open fire against it trying to be always under the cover of walls or old ramparts and aiming at the bushing of the propeller.
131. How do we keep the doors of the houses?
The front doors will be all locked and if possible blocked so that the only way to get in the house is by destroying them.
132. Should we remove all doors within the house?
All the doors within the house must be removed or pulled away except those of the rooms where food and ammunition are kept.
133. How do we arrange the houses that make one block?
They must all be connected by passages made in the separation walls; these passages should not be higher than one meter or wider than sixty centimeters so that people can go through one by one only and stooping. This prevents the enemy from entering a house ready to attack the defenders.
134. What shall we do about women and children living in these houses?
Women, children, and elderly people will be evacuated. Some women, useful old men, and children over sixteen will be allowed to stay if they want to fight for the revolutionary cause. These women and old men will be used in the many jobs and arrangements that defense requires, such as preparation of the blocks, recruiting, encouraging those who don’t dare to fight, and especially distributing the ammunition, because at fighting time all men should be shooting and it should be these women who take care of providing men with ammunition.
135. What will people evacuated from the houses be allowed to take with them?
All their private things, except weapons, ammunition, even if it is only shot cartridges, knives, hatchets, picks, bottles, gasoline, alcohol, or anything that might be helpful in the battle.
136. What shall we do with requisitioned food and ammunition.
They will be kept in a room of the house especially adapted for this purpose, the food in one room and the ammunition in another together with everything useful in battle. Those who guard the food will be made aware that they will be responsible for every crust of bread, and will not take anything for themselves unless they want to be accused of disobedience, irresponsibility, cheating their comrades, and of faults against the ethics of revolutionary war.
137. Who will guard the rooms where food and ammunition are kept?
Both rooms will preferably be guarded by women who can be trusted with this task, since men will be dedicated to missions requiring more strength or to missions of more responsibility and risk.
138. What kinds of communications will be maintained?
Communications from house to house and between the zones and the headquarters of the defense. Communications may be verbal, but it is better if it is done by writing. Other communications will be conducted by means of flags or other signals previously agreed upon, such as cloth hanging from the balconies, etc. We will also have to manage to establish communications with the guerrillas in the hills.
139. What kind of discipline will be maintained in the confusion originated by our occupation of private quarters?
We will be more severe with our own men than with the population. We will shoot right away those who trespass or steal for their own pocket, and severely punish those who beat, insult, or humiliate civilians who refuse to give up their houses or goods or who don’t understand our explanations for breaking into their houses. Our troops will take whatever is necessary without cruelty or insults and will evacuate people from their homes only as a necessary imposition due to the war.
140. How do we attend to the care of the wounded?
The wounded from all houses will be gathered in a house well adapted to their care that will be as far as possible from enemy fire. Since all the houses will be connected, as we said before, it will be possible to transfer the wounded from house to house and from block to block to the point where they will be attended.
141. What shall we do if the enemy takes one house in the village?
We will defend the next house room by room.
142. What if they take several blocks?
We will defend the village block by block until there is none left. It should be clear that this is only done in the phase of open war with the enemy and not in the phase of guerrilla warfare in which this type of combat is never admissible.
143. What is our answer to those who argue against this phase of combat saying that we are destroying the fatherland?
We will contend that the best way to destroy the country is by allowing the enemies of the people from all the parties of the oligarchy to eat it up and give it up to Yankee imperialism. We will tell them that the shame of living under oppression, under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, is worse than to fight for the fatherland and for true freedom, even if we have to start reconstruction from scratch. Finally we will tell them that we prefer to build the new walls at the expense of the blood of our brothers rather than leave the old walls to serve as prisons for the eternal seclusion of the workers, the peasants, the students, the employees, etc.
144. Is it convenient to have in our cause people working in counterespionage?
Undoubtedly. Persons in the villages who do this job will render a better service than anybody who would give us fifty machine guns.
145. Should the counterspy take part in the battles against our own men?
A counterspy should take part in such battles, but his role should be to show off as much as possible without causing great damage to the guerrilla, without really hurting anybody.
146. What services can be rendered by a counterspy who serves as an officer in the enemy ranks?
He may give us details about the strength of each one of the units that follow us, names of their officers, material at their disposal, maps of the places where they are assigned, information about the morale of these troops, ammunition supply, and movements planned, etc. etc. One of the best services that he may render is to assign pickets to engage a guerrilla in places previously agreed upon among us or to leave a small garrison in a particular place, impeding their defense by leaving them short of ammunition or by leaving in command a cowardly sergeant or corporal who would waste the ammunition, or by moving their soldiers some place so that we may attack them in this way at a determined place and time, etc. An officer of the enemy forces that collaborates with us is more useful than ten of our own officers fighting the enemy. For this reason those who work in counterespionage must always volunteer to participate in actions against us or in outfits set for repression of guerrillas, such as the so-called “peace guerrillas” organized by the dictators Laureano Gómez and Rojas Pinilla, among others, in Colombia, etc.In the Occupied Zones147. What precautionary steps must we take after occupation of enemy territory?
Small units will be formed with men that don’t move as fast as the other fighters because of injuries, wounds, physical defects, or exhaustion. These units will “comb” the area. In these circumstances all the sections will be able to work efficiently, without rush or fears.
The Information Section will gather information as necessary, Operations will interrogate the peasantry about bridges and sewers and will mark them in their maps, Sabotage will increase its manpower with as many men as they please, instructing and training the men to form new secret societies. Recruitment will take care of the necessary propaganda to add new men to the guerrilla, checking with Information before making the selection. Training will carry out its mission by establishing camps, selecting and stimulating the instructors who will produce good hill fighters and refined technicians in the specialty of demolition, etc. Armament will make an inventory of the material at the disposal of the different sections, requesting and accepting from the General Staff orders to the effect that all units report to our rearguard facilities for armament inspection and repairs. Ammunition will be able to select good places for their secret storage and make a status report on their supply and will also from time to time dig out their stocks and expose them to the sun. Supply can take care of the purchases of food and will catalogue requisitioned items in their storage. All of which will be done more accurately now that the pressure of the fight is overcome. Finally, Health and Propaganda will carry out their own missions.In Victory148. What will be done by the chief when he sees that victory is coming?
He will carefully attempt to separate those who will volunteer to fight at the last moment from those who are truly our own men. He will attempt to keep a good record of his own men and of those who in the last minute jumped onto the bandwagon of revolution. These new volunteers will be registered in a card with complete information and two pictures, and will be requested to sign their service record which will be passed to purging committees for verification.
149. What will be the attitude of the chief toward the indignation of the masses and their intentions of revenge against the agents and spies of the people’s enemies and the mercenaries of the dictatorship?
He will strongly and effectively oppose those attitudes, because it is prescribed that all persons suspected of being war criminals will have the right of self defense, and especially because there were many among the enemy who were secretly doing counterespionage, and risked their lives for the victory of our cause.
150. What is the greatest danger that eve face after victory over the bourgeois dictatorship and over the oppression and exploitation of the various oligarchical regimes?
The greatest danger is dissipation of our victory. The forces of evil and oppression, the historical legions of the reactionary classes never give up. They are like snakes that always fight back even after we step on their poisonous throats; they crawl and crouch, only to get ready to jump over the people. They never give up, they always resist, they are always trying to stifle us.
Some of these snakes are the politicians in the clergy who hardly deserve the name of Christian or Catholic. They are the ones who want to do in Latin America as they did in Spain where they achieved complete domination of the Spanish people after a horrible mass murder. And thus they preach in the Dominican Republic the slogan of God and Trujillo and have the shamelessness of repeating in our countries, exhausted by exploitation, misery, oppression, injustice, and by bourgeois reactionary dictatorships that call themselves democratic, that heaven is for the poor in spirit.
This clergy, by nature reactionary and always meddling in politics, should not call itself Christian or Catholic since their only ambition is to use religion as a cover to justify the oppression of the minorities and to deceive the peasants and workers by forming the so-called “Christian” and “Christian Democratic” or “Social Christian” parties, or others with equal pretensions, and to them they preach that there should not be hatred nor aversions, that God will judge humanity, that the conquerors should be lenient with the defeated. It must be noted well that these individuals, who don’t believe in God or in anything of the kind, mean “the God Capitalism,” “the God Exploitation” when they mention God.
They never preach these things when it is the enemy who have their feet on our neck, but no sooner is the war over when they will tell you this and more. They will go around shrieking to stop our fight against reaction if it ever makes a show; and so they will carry out their “missions” for the benefit of the enslavers. But you, revolutionary son of the people, beware of “the incense of the sacristy.”
Watch over and mind your own victory, never let clerical winds impress or hypnotize you, beware of those who in all nations dominated by capitalism or imperialism adulate and support exploiters and oppressors: beware lest those hypocrites of the “kyrieleison” undermine your heroic and well-deserved victory.