INSURGENT MAY II TURN
Stalled at least temporarily in their drive on Lerida, the Nationalists now seem to be attempting an end run in the high Pyrenees along the French border. Mountain units assisted by strafing He-51 fighters stormed Republican positions at the Pico de Aneto, inflicting losses and seizing the summit. At the other end of the Aragon front, a new thrust was launched toward Teruel that broke the Loyalist front, inflicted losses, and penetrated to within sight of that city so well remembered from earlier fighting. This attack was the first in which the Nationalists made effective use of their small force of light tanks.
In central Aragon, troops were pulled out of the line in preparation for re-equipping.
At the Murcia coast, the Nationalists consolidated their hold on their newly gained positions east of Lorca, but made no attempts to continue their attacks into the range of the guns of Cartagena and the Republican Fleet.
All other fronts remained quiet.
The airforce undertook another major effort, again with very disappointing results. A motley assortment of Nationalist, Italian volunteer, and Legion Kondor aircraft targeted Valencia’s armament factories, port, and airfields. In air combat both sides took some losses, and Republican anti-aircraft guns brought down several SM-81 (snake eyes on the dice roll!). Meanwhile He-51 fighter bombers of the Legion Kondor attacked naval vessels at Cartagena, but also failed to inflict damage.
LOYALIST MAY II TURN
The Insurgent advances on Teruel prompted the Loyalists to conduct a limited retreat (1 hex row) in the …. between that city and Cuenca. At Teruel itself the front has been beefed up with reinforcements to stop seal off the penetration. Cuenca has been abandoned.
No activities at the other fronts.
The lackadaisical Loyalist airforce chief, General Lopez was sacked and replaced with a hotshot, General Sanchez de Vega. The new commander immediately ordered construction of five forward temporary airfields (four in Aragon, the fifth near Lorca) and a massive air strike against the Nationalist Zaragoza airbase in retaliation for the attacks on Valencia. Ratas gave Nationalists Heinkels a bloody nose, but the strike itself ran into heavy flak that brought down several lumbering Po-540s and drove off some of the attack bombers. Damage to the base remained negligible.
With their ample reinforcements the Loyalists have been able to beef up their front in central Aragon almost to parity with the Nationalists. Nevertheless, the latter still hold the upper hand because their methodically built-up rail capacity allows them to shift their hitting power of elite infantry and heavy artillery to concentrate on weak spots. Also, they finally succeeded in causing losses (two HX results, the best they can wish for because they have ample replacement points and can use rebuilt units to ferry attack supply forward).
At Teruel, though, Franco seems to have come a little late and missed the chance of breaking through the front before it was backed up by reserves.
In the air, the war seems to have heated up. However, neither side has much to show for their massive efforts.