Battle of San Fernando

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Battle of San Fernando
Part of United States occupation of Nicaragua, Banana Wars
Date July 25, 1927
Location San Fernando, Nicaragua
Result American-Nicaraguan victory
 United States
Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua
Flag of Nicaragua.svg Sandinistas
Commanders and leaders
United States Oliver Floyd Flag of Nicaragua.svg Augusto César Sandino
78 American Marines and 37 Nicaraguan Provisional Guardsmen[1] ~40[1]
Casualties and losses
One fatally wounded[1] At least 11 killed[1]
One female civilian wounded[2]

The Battle of San Fernando took place on July 25, 1927 during the American occupation of Nicaragua of 1926–1933. Shortly after the Battle of Ocotal, an expedition of seventy-eight American Marines and thirty-seven Nicaraguan Provisional Guardsmen led by Major Oliver Floyd were sent hunting for rebel leader Augusto César Sandino. One of their destinations was the town of San Fernando, where Sandino had about forty men waiting for the Marines and their Nicaraguan allies. He placed a sentry outside the village to alert his men of the Marines and Provisional Guard's arrival, but the watchman abandoned his post to be alone with an Indian girl in a nearby shack.[3]:315–316 The Marines and Nicaraguan government troops marched into San Fernando at 3:00, finding it largely deserted. While galloping across the town's "open, grassy plaza" in order to question an old man, Captain Victor F. Bleasdale and Marine Private Rafael Toro received fire from the waiting Sandinistas, with Toro being mortally wounded. Eventually, the Sandinistas were driven back, leaving eleven of their dead behind.[1] Fighting was over by 3:45. In addition to Marine and Sandinista losses, one woman was wounded in the legs by fire from an automatic weapon.[2]

The battle convinced Major Floyd that he would “have to wage a real blood and thunder campaign” and be involved “in a real small war.”[2]

Major Floyd's Marine and Provisional Guard expedition would continue their advance into northern Nicarauga and be ambushed again by Sandinistas at the Battle of Santa Clara on July 27, 1927.

American casualties

Fatally wounded:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Macaulay, Neill (February 1998). The Sandino Affair. Chicago: Quadrangle Books. p. 85.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Nueva Segovia Expedition & the Invasion of the Northeastern Segovias". The Sandino Rebellion, 1927–1934. Retrieved 17 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Musicant, I, The Banana Wars, 1990, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., ISBN 0025882104