Battle of Telpaneca
|Battle of Telpaneca|
|Part of the Occupation of Nicaragua, Banana Wars|
Men of the 5th Marines garrisoning a Nicaraguan village.
| United States
|Commanders and leaders|
|Herbert S. Keimling||General Salgado|
|Casualties and losses|
At about 1:00 am on September 19, a force of around 200 rebel troops, loyal to Augusto César Sandino, attacked the small garrison of Telpaneca under the command of Marine First Lieutenant Herbert S. Keimling. Keimling's garrison included twenty men of the 5th Marines and a force of twenty-five Nicaraguan National Guardsmen. The first sound of the fight occurred when a rebel soldier tossed an improvised explosive at the marine barracks but it exploded without hurting anyone and only served to alert the sleeping garrison. Not long after the bombing the rebels opened up with rifle fire while the garrison was still dressing themselves. The rebels then charged the barracks under cover of fog but were beaten back by accurate fire. At that point the battle was a skirmish in which both sides engaged at a further range until about 2:30 am when the fog began to lift. The rebels then began collecting their dead and wounded and within another half-hour the fighting had ceased. Keimling estimated the loss of the enemy to be twenty-five killed and twice as many wounded while sustaining one marine killed in action, a second who died of wounds and one Nicaraguan guard who was seriously wounded.
Sandino lost one of his "generals" with the death of Salgado, and this latest defeat in a string of defeats, forced Sandino to adopt a guerrilla war.:319–320
- Nalty, Bernard C. (1968). The United States Marines in Nicaragua. Washington D. C.: US Marines Historical Branch.
- Musicant, I, The Banana Wars, 1990, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., ISBN 0025882104