The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: January 2017

NOV I 1936

Narrative

Miguel stood on the Northern coast of Spain and looked out over the Bay of Biscay. They had attacked at first light. The Asturian infantry regiments had perished in the first assault and the artillery and support troops with their backs to the sea had quickly surrendered. It was encouraging to see the appearance of German aircraft overhead and this in itself had steadied the shaky morale of the Requite comrades who had fought alongside him.

“Disaster in the Ebro Valley”, Thousands dead”, The flower of a generation of Catalan youth cut down like wheat”, These were a collection of headlines strewn across the desk of Catalan minister for war Diaz Sandino, in the Barcelona hotel acting as his HQ.

An absolute disaster had befallen the Army of Catalan. A large scale attack involving 6 regiments plus supporting arms had dissolved into panic and confusion. Half the troops had refused to fight or marched in the wrong direction. Those remaining had met the guns and fixed bayonets of the well trained 30th Nationalist infantry regiment and perished against that steadfast wall. None had returned. The attack on which the Republic had put so much hope had failed and a huge gap had opened up on the right flank.

FWtBT No 4 - NOV I 36: Tactical view: The Nationalist push eastwards from Jaen.

The Nationalist push eastwards from Jaen.

News from elsewhere was also bad.  Valdepenas had had to be evacuated by the International Brigade following a complete collapse and retreat of the anarchist flanks guarding the town. The ACC unit was not so lucky and exposed and abandoned by the anarchist’s collapse they faced the Nationalist alone and unsupported by infantry were complexly swamped and eliminated.  In the North Aviles had fallen and Asturas was cut in half with a number of regiments isolated in the barren North Western section. If all this was not bad enough Jamie 1 the flagship Republican battleship in dry dock at Bilbao for routine maintenance suffers a fire which ignites the mine store.  The resulting explosion causes extensive damage which will need months of work to repair.  Reports were also being received that food shortages in Seville had caused at least one Anarchist formation to dissolve and go home.

FWtBT No 4 - NOV I 36: Tactical view

The Republicans reach the outskirts of Zaragoza

Insurgent Turn

Intention: To clear the flanks and invest Gijon preparatory to taking the city in the spring. To continue to push East to Alcazar de San Juan and isolate Madrid from the rest of Republican territory. To hold at Zaragoza. To continue to isolate Seville.

Weather:  Mud in the north and Rough in the Atlantic.

Supply; Right flank of Army of Aragon still unsupplied. Seville uses GSPs from previous turn.

Reinforcements/Replacements; 1-6 sec 23GC, 1-6 inf 26 and 1-6 art 9L rebuilt and form 3-6* inf XX 2Sor @ Zaragoza

1Mad, 2Mad, 3Mad Equipped and received as 2-3-5* inf XX.   All supplies, RPs, Air etc received at various ports unimpeded.

Attack1 ; 3513   Unsupplied 2-3-5* XX inf Ov and 1-6 inf 22, 1-8 art Ter (CTV) 1-6 Sec 12GC attack 1-5 RIM (An), Militia check Retreat.  Advance; Ov

Attack 2; 3314   Supplied 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-8 art 4L, and Unsupplied 1-6 sec 18GC,, 1-6 sec 22, Attack; 1-2-5 inf Jou (An), 1-0-8 AAC. Militia Check Jou retreats. Attack AAC automatically eliminated. Advance; 1LE, 4L

Attack3; 3214  (Ciaudad Real) Unsupplied 1-8 lt4, 2-3-5* XX inf 3Mad attacks ?   @ 2:1. =  DH Advance 3 Med

Attack 4; 0907 (Aviles) Supplied 3-2-6 2LE, 2-3-5* XX inf 1Med, 2-1-8 art E, 2-6 art 1P, 1-6 art 16L, 3-6* XX inf 1 Cas, 2-5 inf 5 (Req) with JU52g4e  attacks 1-4 inf 4 & 6(Ast)   , 0-1-4 Con 2(Ast) , 1-6 art AO.(Ast)  Militia Check Failed by defenders  @ 8:1  (–2)  = DH. No retreat path so all eliminated.  2LE, 1P. 2-5 inf 5 (Req)

Republican Turn

Intention: To hold at Zaragoza until losses can be replaced and then resume offensive north to relieve the Gobernitos.  To press West into southern Andalucía and if conditions permit launch an amphibious assault at Huelva to relieve Seville.

Supply Seville checks for U4 status and 1-5 Met (AN) is eliminated. Seville ASP expended for 12 GSPs

BBTF–1 suffers 2 hits from mine damage.

French Border Open.  Po.540 needs 1 month to repair

Reinforcements/Replacements; 0.5 art RPs to Gijon and Bilbao. Rest of RPs and Supplies to General Pool via Barcelona, Valencia etc.

Inf 12 Gar (Int), and infs 16 to 23 (PA) placed equipped as 2-6*

Rebuilt from pool 2-1-8 tank 1, 1-6 art AO (Ast)

Gijon Fort completed.

Moves: 2-6*inf (Int), 1-6 eng 2 , moves out of Valedepas Incomplete fort abandoned

Attack 1; 4117  Supplied 1-5 inf AmL (An), and 1-5 inf LM (An) and 1-5 inf Cast (An) and  1-5 inf Lar (An) and 1-5 inf PI (An) (An), 1-2-5 inf TL (An)  and unsupplied 0-1-6 art (CNT) attack (Isolated U2 in mtn) 1-6 inf 5 @ 7:2 (– 2) = DR  Advance 1-5 inf Cast (An) and  1-5 inf Lar (An) and 1-5 inf PI

Attack 2 3234 (Ebro Valley) Unsupplied 2-6* infs  ch5 and ch6, 1-6 MG 4, 1-6 bdr 2Car attack (Unsupplied U2) 1-5 inf 1Zar (Fal) 10:1 -3 = DE Advance; 5 car, 4MG

Attack 3 Supplied 2-5 inf Le (P) 2-6 art 2P, 1-2-6 Sec 10GA, 1-8 mtn 3 attack 1-6 inf 28  (Militia check failed so ½) @ 6:1 -3  = EX (Lose 1-8 mtn 3). Advance Le, 2P

Attack 4, 2730  Unsupplied 1-2-5 ins 3 & 4, (Cat) 1-6 art 11 (Cat), 1-2-6 art 10(Cat),  1-8 cav Buxo (Cat) Militia check Failed so ½) 5:1 -3  = AE !!!.

OCT II 1936

Narrative

Miguel looks out of the box car. They have been moving north by train now for hours but as he sees the mountains and feels breeze he realises he is approaching the northern coast of Spain. His regiment is hurried off the train and lined up on the platform. He sees the smoking chimney pots of the industrial complex and he is advised they have reached their destination; Oviedo a lone Nationalist outpost within the semi-autonomous Northern republic of Asturas. Their task is to protect the town and factory.  Loyalist sympathisers have been encroaching upon and surrounding the garrison and he is to restore order and push them back to safe distance. In particular scouts have reported the Asturians are digging in on hills overlooking the town from where they can interfere with any movements in or out along the rail/road line to the South.  His regiment is tasked with taking the fortified redoubt, securing the flank and establishing a foothold to the east of the town. This will enable a major push on the industrial port of Gijon to proceed.  Supported by the ever present 1P artillery regiment and stiffened by Nationalist regulars they take the position with ease, destroy the fortifications and push the Asturian rabble back towards the coast. Another victorious engagement!!

FWtBT No 4 - OCT II 36: Tactical view. Pressure continues on the Elbro Valley front.

Pressure continues on the Elbro Valley front.

The march of Lt Col Yague’s column across Spain was indeed well organized, professional and effective.

In the Republican Zone however the ineffectiveness of untrained militia in regular combat might have been expected but the uselessness and sloth of regular officers was extraordinary. One observer at the front during heavy fighting noted that “The staff were sitting down to a good lunch. chatting, telling dirty stories and not caring a bit about their duty, not even trying to establish contact with the fighting lines for many hours” Nevertheless the Catalonians were expectant of victory. The events in South West Spain being as a distant war in a foreign land compared to their dreams of an independent Catalan State. The capture of Zaragoza, now within 15 miles of their lead elements, was within their grasp and with its fall, they believed, Catalan would be freed and the war as good as won.

Insurgent turn

Weather remains Mud in the North and rough seas in the Atlantic.

Supply Extreme right flank of Army of Aragon out of supply. Seville feeds off GSPs

Rebuilds; 1-6 inf 17 at Zaragoza, 1-6 art 15L at Oviedo.

Attack 1; 1107.(adj Oviedo) Supplied 2-6 art 1P. 2-1-8 art E, 3-2-6 2LE, 3-6* inf XX 1Cas, Unsupplied 1-6 art 16L, 1-6 inf 30, 1-6 art 15L and 1-6 inf 31 and 1-6 bdr 9Car attack  1-2-4 inf 1 (Ast), 1-4 infs 6 & 10 (Ast) in Fort @

6:1 (-5) = DR advance; 1cas, fort destroyed.

Attack2;  3613  Supplied 1-8 lt tnk Bab (CTV), 1-8 art ter (CTV), 1-6 Mg o, 1-6 Sec 12GC attack 1-6 inf 12 @ 8:1 = DE  advance Ter, Bab, 12 GC

Attack 3; 3513 Supplied 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-6 sec 18GC, 1-6 art 4L,  and Unsupplied 2-3-5* inf XX Ov with Mixed B and Mixd T GS attack ( 1-6 mg 1, 1-6 inf 11)  @ 8:1  = DE.  Advance OV

Mech Move 1-8 lt tnk Bab resists temptation to exploit into Loyalist rear and falls back to 3415.

Republican Turn

Reinforcement/Replacements; All scheduled units upgraded/converted.

Fortifications started 3413 Ciudad Real, and Valdepenas.

Asturias Garrison Released.

Attack 1 3134 Supplied 2-6*inf s  5CH, 6CH and 2-6 art 2P, 1-6 inf 13, 14 and 1-6 art 7L and unsupplied 1-2-6 Sec 10GA, 2-5 inf LE (Poum) attack (1-6 inf 26, 1-6 art 9L) @ 5:1(-3) = EX (1-6 inf 13,14). Advance: 10GA 6CH

Attack 2; 2933 Supplied 1-8 mtns 1,3, 1-8 Cav 4, 1-6 sec 3GC, 1-8 ntn art 1, attack (1-5 Mech 2 and 1-6 inf 17) @ 5:1 (-2) =  DR. Advance Mtns 1,3 and Mtn art 1.

Attack 3; 2931   1-2-5 inf 4 (Cat), 1-6 art 11 (Cat), 1-5 inf 6 (cat) and 1-8 cav Buxo (Cat)- (Cat), 1-2-5 inf 3 (Cat), 1-2-6 art 10 (Cat) AND 1-6 engs 4,8, 1-6 art 8L (Militia check failed so halved) attack 1-5 inf (Fal) @6:1 (-2) = EX (1-5 inf 6 (Cat)) Advance 1-6 eng 5,6 and 1-6 art 8L

OCT I 1936

Narrative

The rainy season has struck early in the North so instead of the usual narrative I thought it would be a good time to carry out a recap of the game to date. The Nationalists outlook looked bad in the first couple of turns due to Seville declaring for the Republic. The moto-mech force from Madrid took Toledo and drove up the Tajo valley threatening to cut the Nationalists in two which together with a penetration East could have fragmented the Nationalists and their precarious supply network. However the timely arrival of the first Nationalist division stopped the drive up the Tajo dead and the very weak eastern drive was easily blocked.

Basically the Republicans are just too weak to take advantage of the situation. I wonder if the strong presence in Catalonia would have been better railed and used elsewhere.

I think perhaps the Nationalists have been played a little tighter and better than normally in the critical opening stages. There are as well perhaps some mitigating factors; a few of the cities which declared for the Nationalists were helpful for example Jaen, Huelva and some smaller towns which allowed quicker capture of rail lines and allowed some naval transports.

The front line now runs from Almeria north to about 4 hexes North West of Toledo, along the mountain range north of Madrid to a few hexes west of Calatayud then South to Terual and then East to the Ebro valley where the Nationalists are falling back on Zaragoza. (Most mountains are unmanned by either side). Gobernetos garrisoned.

I had thought the variable start might produce a radically different game but the front lines would appear to be forming up very much as in the historical game at this point with the exception of the Seville outpost .

FWtBT No 04 - OCT I 36 Tactical view of republican push up the Ebro valley

The Republicans push up the Ebro valley

Insurgent Turn

Weather Zone D Mud!. All sea Zones Rough! (6, 6 and 5 rolled!).

Supply Teruel out of supply. Seville draws on GSPs.

Reinforcements; Cadiz; AA pt Supply pt, Res pt / Huelva Supply pt / La Coruna, 2 Sup pts 3 art pts / Vigo Supply pt. / Malaga. 1-8 lt arm Bab (CTV) , 0-1-8 AA (CTV), 1-8 art Ter (CTV), Mxd Bomber,sup pt.

2x 3-6* XX infs –Hue and 1 Sor equipped and placed at Zaragoza and Cordoba

2-5 inf 5 & 6 (Req) placed at Pamplona and Vitoria

Replacements. 1-6 inf 17, 1-6 sec 2GC, 1-6 art 15L Formed as 3-6* inf XX 1cas at Valladolid

1-8 mtn 4 at Logrono, 1-6 inf 1MT (Col) at Ceuta

3 Res pts expended to build permanent rail capacity. Now at 6 Res.

Attack1 2033 (Euzkadi) Unsupplied 1-8 mtn 4, 1-6 sec 13GC, 2-5 infs 3 &6 (Req), and 2-5 inf 5 (Req)

Attack the 1-4 inf 3 (Bas) @ 4:1 -3 = AR

Attack 2 3414 (East Andalucía) 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-6 art 4L, 1-6 sec 18GC and 2-3-5 inf XX OV, plus Mxd T and Mxd B attack 1-6 eng 2, 1-6 sec 23GC  @ 5:1 = DH . Loose 26GC eng retreats, 18GC and 4L advance.

Republican Turn

Amphib operation cancelled due to rough seas.

Supply: Seville Expends Supply point.

Reinforcements: 2-6* inf 1V (equipped) to Madrid. 1-5 inf Met (An)  to Seville, 1-5 inf PI Almeria. (An). 2-6* (equipped) 11Th (Int) at Albacete (Designated the Int Rep City), 1-6 eng 1 (Bas) to San Sebastian.

Pos AA to Valencia.  Art and Arm RPs, Supplies Res pt to various ports up to capacity then to General Pool as appropriate. Arm to Bilbao.

Rebuilds: All arriving built except 1-6 aa AM. Recovered from pool; 1-8 bike 1, 1-6 inf 16, 1-5 LM & RM (An) 1-5 inf 5 (Cat)

Attack 1 4016 (Guadix area) Supplied 1-6 Sec 9GC, 1-8 bike 1, 1-6 inf 25, 1-6 art 6L and 1-6 sec 15GC, 1-2-6 art 2. Attacks 1-6 sec GC, in mtn @ 6:1 -2 = DH.  9GC and art 6L advance. (This advance surrounds & isolates 1-6 inf 5 in 4117).

Attack 2: 3233 (Catalonia front) Supplied 1-6 mg 4, 1-6 infs 13, 14 & 15 art 7L, AND 1-8 Cav3, 1-6 Sec 19GC, 2-6 art 2P  attack 1-6 inf 26, 1-6 art 9l @ 4:1 (-2) = DR 7L , 13 and 14 advance. (This advance cuts off 1-8 cav3, 1-6 inf 16 in 3334 and 1-5inf 12ar (fal) in 3434 which is already U1)

Attack 3; 3031 Supplied 1-8 Cav 4, 1-6 sec 3GC, 1-8 mtn art 1, and supplied 1-8cav Buxo (cat), unsupplied 1-8 mtns 1 & 3 and  unsupplied 1-5 inf 6 (Cat), 1-2-5 inf 3 (Cat) and 1-2-6 art 10 (Cat) attack 1-6 inf 20  (Militia check failed so halved)  @ 6:1 (– 3) DR.  Advance All (Cat) units.

SEP II 1936

Narrative

Malaga Falls!   After a very brief campaign the Mediterranean city with its famous windmills and cathedral is in Nationalist hands. It would have fallen earlier had Franco willed it. He had wanted to give the prize to Il Duce a potential ally he was courting but the Republican outpost was becoming a nuisance. Villages and towns in the area, sympathetic to the Republic together with patrols of civil guardsmen and regulars were continuing to block the only effective rail link to the south coast. The decision was made therefore to take the city. Newly arrived steady Colonial troops in the van cleared away the Anarchists guarding the approaches and a co-ordinated assault with naval support forced the surrender of the garrison.

FWtBT No 04- SEP II 36: Tactical View of Ebro Valley operations

View of Ebro Valley operations

Following Jose Giral’s government’s collapse on 4th September, one of a series in these troubled times, the latest administration viewed with dismay the situation they had contrived to inherit.  Seville had stood firm and it had appeared as if the uprising would fail but due a combination of vacillation, ineptitude and infighting the advantage had slipped away and the Nationalist seemed stronger than ever. Only from Catalonia was there good news as a major offensive had breached the Ebro on a 40 mile wide front and with the Catalonians leading the assault had trapped and destroyed an entire regiment of Nationalists and pushed the front some 15 miles back beyond the Ebro.

Insurgent Turn

Supply: Republicans convert attack supplies in Seville and Malaga to GSPs. Republicans in Badajoz region U3.

Replacements: 3-6 sup XX inf van formed from 1-6 infs 28 & 29 and 1-6 art 15L.

1-6 infs 28 and 29 rebuilt.

Naval moves: NTs move Res Pts from Spanish Morocco and 0-1-5 cons can and 1-6 Sec 24GC from Canaries to Cadiz.  BBTF-1 and CATF move to 4039 and prepare NGS for attack on Malaga.

Moves/Overruns 1: 2718 (Merida) 3-2-6 2LE, 2-6 art 1P, 1-8lt 4 overrun PA 1-6 inf 3 (U3) and continue north.

Moves/Overruns 2: 2422 (Badjoz) 2-1-8 art E, 1-6 inf 33 overrun garrison (0.5) the inf 33 remains to pacify. 2-1-8 art continue north. 1-6 inf 29 completes the Badjoz pacification force.

Moves/Overruns 3: (3823) Malaga area; -2-1-8 art o, 2-6 inf 1Tet (col), 2-6 inf 5alh (Col), 2-6 inf mel (col), 1-6 inf 5mr (Col) overrun 1-5 LM (An).

Attack1:  (3822) Malaga Supplied 2-6 inf 1Tet (col), 2-6 inf 5alh (Col), 2-6 inf mel (col), 1-6 inf 5mr (Col) plus 4 pts NGS  to 1-5 RM (An), 1pt Garrison (Isolated). @ 9:1  DH. Eliminated/Dispersed. Advance All.

Attack 2: (3723) Supplied 2-1-8 art o, 1-6 inf 7, and Unsupplied 1-6 mg E attack 1-6 bdr 5Car; @  7:1(-1) = DE Advance ; All

Attack 3; 3622 Unsupplied 1-6 mg O, 1-6 inf 22 and  1-6 inf 24 and 1-6 eng ZMO attacks @ 4:1 (-1)  DR eliminated. Advance; 1-6 inf22 , 1-6 mgO

Attack 4: 2415 (Tajo Valley) Unsupplied  3-6 Inf XX van, 2-3-5 inf XX Cas, 1-6 bdr 8car attacks  1-8 GP @ 5:1 (-1) . Advance ; 3-6 inf XX van

Republican Turn

Purification of Catalonia complete. Rebuilds; 1-6 infs 3,8, 1-6 bdr 5car.

Amphib Opp planned for 1-6 bdr car8, 1-6 inf 34 at Cartagena to invade Huelva next turn..

Vild on Naval patrol.

Attack 1: 4015 (Andalucía) Unsupplied 1-6 sec 9GC, 1-6 art 6L and 1-6 inf 25, 1-2-6 art 2 and 1-6 15GC  attack 1-6 inf 1MT (Col)  at 5:1 (-1)  – DH. Advance 1-6 sec 15GC, 1-6 inf 25 and 1-2-6 art 2.

Attack 2 3333 (Ebro) Unsupplied 1-6 infs 13, 14 & 15, 1-8 cav4, 1-6 art 7L attack 1-6 inf 8 at 5:1 = DR Advance Inf 13 &14, art 7L

Attack3 3231 (Ebro) Unsupplied over river 1-6 mg4, 1-8 mtns 1 & 3, 1-6 bdr 19car , 2-6 art 2P attack 1-6 Sec 7GC. At 4:1 – DE. Advance; Mtn  1 & 3,2-6 art 2P

Attack 4 3131 (Ebro)Unsupplied over river 1-6 engs 4 & 8, 1-6 sec 3GC, 1-6 inf 16, 1-6 art 8L at 3:1 = EX (1-6 inf 16) Advance; 3GC , 8L

Attack 5 3230 (outside Lerida) First pure Catalan attack. Unsupplied over river 1-8 cav Buxo, 1-2-6 art 10, 1-5 infs 5 & 6, 1-2-5 inf 3 attack 1-6 inf 17.. 3:1 = EX. (1-5 inf 5) Advance cav Buxo inf 6 and art 10

SEP I 1936

Narrative

Miguel scans the single sheet newspaper from one of the many presses now in the service of the cause.  His unit with others under Lt Col Yague is being described as “The Column of Death” on its march north to Badajoz. It is true they have swept all beside them and certain reprisals were “necessary”.  Also, he secretly admitted, he did not mind too much if the women of the republic were threatened by exaggerated stories of his and his comrades’ sexual prowess!

The republican government has still not recovered from the earlier turmoil although reports from Barcelona indicate that the purges have petered out in the city and some sense of normality has returned. But there is little to rejoice over. Seville is surrounded and isolated, Valladolid has fallen, Malaga is out of communication and marine patrol craft out of Cartagena have reported enemy battle groups and submarines establishing a blockade off the coast.

FWtBT No 4 - SEP I 37

FWtBT No 4 – SEP I 37

Insurgent Turn

Supply; Seville and Badajoz go U2 although Seville draws supply from GSPs from last turn’s attack supply. Nationalist army of Aragon goes U1

Reinforcements/Replacements; 2 new Divisions are brought on supported by expending the 1 art RP arriving at Cordoba. Placed as 2-3-5 Divs at Jaen (ov) and Caceres (cac). 2-5 inf 3 (Req) at Vitoria and 2-5 inf 4 (Req) at Burgos.  SS3 (CVT), CR32bis and 2 Sup at Cadiz. RP and 2 Sup at Cordoba.

BBTF-1 and CATF gain one NRP each. 1 inf RP from losses plus those received to general pool. (7.5)

Rebuilds 3 x 1-6 Inf 22,24,26,  1-6 Sec 2 GC, 12-6 Bdr 7car

Moves. NTs shuttle 3 X 2-6 (col) to mainland. NT2 then to Canaries. NT1 with BBTF-1 to Melilla. CATF to 4022 blockading Malaga. Subs form a picket line anchored on Almeria across to Eastern tip of Spanish Morocco. SS3 off shore at Almeria spots Vild on patrol but the aircraft fails to make contact.

CR32bis transfers to Salamanca.

2-3-5 Div (cac) moves to 2416 to block PA Army of Madrid moving North West up Tajo valley.

Attack 1;  3724 (Malaga area) Supplied 2-1-8 art o, 2-6 inf 1Tet (col), 2-6 inf 5alh (Col), 2-6 inf mel (col), 1-6 inf 5mr (Col), attack PA 16GC in Mtn at 9-1( -2) = DE. Advance; All

Attack 2; 2722 (Almendralejo)  Unsupplied 2-1-8 art E, 1-6 inf 33, 1-8 lt 4, 3-2-6 inf 2LE, 2-6 art 1P attack PA 11GC at 9:1 = DE.  Advance; All

Attack 3;  2403 (Soria) .2-5 inf Req 4  (half strength after Militia check), 1-6 mg2 (not supplied), 1-8 cav 1, 1-6 art 11L, 1-8 cav 5 (supplied) attack PA 1-8 bike 9:1 (-1), =  DE.   Advance; All except Cav 1.

Attack 4 ; 2604,  1-8 cav2, 1-6 art 13L (supplied) and  1-8 cav 9, 1-6 art 10L (unsupplied) attack 1-8 cav 9, 1-6 sec GC. (Militia check failed so halved). 6:1 -1 DH (both eliminated as no retreat path) Cav 2 and art 13L advance

Attack 5: 3515 East of Jean. Unsupplied 2-3-5 inf div Ov and 1-6 sec 12GC and 1-6 sec18GC attack 1-8 cav 8. (Militia check failed so halved). 6:1 (-1) =  DE.  Advance: 2-3-5 Inf XX Ov.

Republican Turn

Supply: Restored to Army of Aragon.  Purification Complete except for Lerida and Tarragona.  Malaga U1

Reinforcement/Replacements;  1-5 inf Lar (an) to Seville. Pos AA, 2 steps supply and Art Rep  at Valencia; 0-1-5 cons 1 at Madrid and 0-1-5 cons 2 at Lorca.   Mechanics estimate D.371 will take takes two months till combat ready. Rebuilds;: 1-2-6 art 1 (Cat), 2 x 1-2-6 Art 1 and 2,, 1-8 mtn 6 , 1-8 cav 8, 1-6 sec 9, 1-6 bdr 6 CAR,

1-6 eng2, 1-5Aml (An).

Moves; N52 Transfers to Madrid

Attack 1; 4015; Unsupplied 1-6 Sec 9Gc, 1-6 sec 15Gc, 1-6 inf 25, 1-2-6 art 2, 1-6 art 6L attack 1-6 art 4L. (Failed Militia check so halved) at 2:1 (-1) = AS.

Attack2; 4216; Presaged by the first Air-Air Combat of the war as BRe19 GS is intercepted by CR32bis which fails to engage.  Supplied 1-5mech 2, 1-0-8 AAC, 1-8 cav 8, 1-6 inf 1, 1-6 inf 4, 1-6 art iL attack 2-3-5 inf Div Cac at 2:1 = AS.

Attack 3; 3332 ; Supplied 1-6 art 7L, 1-8 Cav 4, 1-6 inf 13, and 1-8 mtn 3, 1-8 mtn 1, 2-6 art 2P, and unsupplied 1-8 cav 3, 1-8 mtn art 1 attack Nat Art 9L, 1-6 Inf 13. At 4:1  = DR.  Advance; 1-8 cav 3 and 2-6 art 2P.

AUG II 1936

Narrative

Miguel was glad of the rest. His regiment of Legionnaires had received orders to move out of Carmona following the defeat of the anarchist thugs and to march at haste accompanied by the 1P artillery to the rolling hills North West of Seville. Here they had encountered and pursued the enemy 7th cavalry. Their comrades of the 35th inf marching from Huelva had blocked any escape and the 7th had surrendered after a short barrage by the 1stP.  They did not pursue the few remnants dispersing into the countryside as the enemy was spent as an effective fighting force. So Miguel was grabbing some quiet time. Rumour had it they were to move north towards Almendralejo and to push north east to link up with an equally victorious force moving south from Valladolid. They were told this would be another easy victory…..but Miguel had his doubts and feared the worst.

Barcelona was being described as “The strangest city in Europe” by reporters – “A city of anarcho-syndicalism supporting democracy, of anarchists keeping order and anti-political philosophers wielding power”. Despite this and the ongoing “purification” the Republic launched a major attack over the Ebro/Cinca river. However the use of raw recruits, poor leadership and the late arrival of many units meant that the attack was uncoordinated and fragmented. Other than the retreat of the Nationalist 2nd Mech the attack proved ineffective and used up precious supplies.

FWtBT No 4 - AUG II 37

FWtBT No 4 – AUG II 37

Game Report

Insurgent Turn

Moves/Attacks: Seville Area;3-2-6 inf LE with 2-6 art 1P moves to 3123;  1-6 inf 33, 2-1-8 art E move into Carmona and with 1-6 35 inf on 3125 all attack unsupplied the PA 1-8 cav 7 in 3124

Militia test passed so 4:1 (-1) for DR. Cav eliminated.  No advance

Moves/Attacks Valladolid Area Attack 1 :1-8 cav 2, 1-6 inf 26,1-6 art 13L unsupplied attack PA 1-8 Cav 10 at 2110 . 3:1 Militia check passed. Result HX. Lose 1-6 inf 26. No Advance.

Moves/Attacks Valladolid Area attack 2.  (2-5 inf 2 (Req) moves to rail junction 1909)

1-8 cav 1, 1-6 inf 22, 1-6 mg 2, 1-6 sec 12GC, 2x 1-6 art 11L and  15L on 2009 Supplied from Burgos. Plus 1-6 Bdr 8car, 1-6 inf 26 and 2-6 art 4P on 2010 unsupplied attack 1-6 art 14L ,1-6 Bdr 9GC and Garrison at Valladolid at 2:1:.  Militia check passed. Result EX. Lose 1-6 inf 22 and 1-6 sec 12GC.  All from 2009 advance into Valladolid

Moves/Attacks, in San Sebastian area, 1-6 inf 23, 1-8 mtn 7, 1-6 art 12L attack PA 1-8 mtn 6.. No supply. 4:1 -1 MC passed EX. Lose 1-6 inf 24. Advance by 1-6 inf 23 ,1-6 art 12L

Elsewhere Troops move to secure Gobernetos border.

(N.B The P.A rolled all 6’s to pass Militia checks.!!). (In future only failed Militia checks will be reported)

Loyalist Turn

1-8 cav 7, 1-6 art 14L rebuilt @ Madrid and moves East. 1-8 Bike infiltrates to cut rail line at 2503 severing Nationalist supply to Catalonian force.

Asturians and Basques begin fort constructions along their borders.

Attack at Talavera de la Reina . 1-8 inf GP at 2614, 1-6 10GC on 2615, 2x 1-6 inf 1 and 4

1-5 mech 2, 1-0-8 AAC, 1-6 art 1L, on 2514 plus BR19 attack all supplied NAT 1-6 21GC and  1-6 bdr 7CAR  at Talavera. 6:1 for DE  All advance.

Army of Elbro Attack 1;  2 x 1-8 Mtn 1 and 3, 1-8 Mtn art 1 and 2-6 art 2P at 3229 supplied attack Nat 1-5 mech 1 at 3331  (Militia Halved 7:1 – 2 DR  Mech retreats to 3332 and all except 1-8 mtn 1 advance

Attack 2 ; 1-6  mg 4 on 3230 plus 1-6 eng 4, 1-6 sec 3GC at Lerida and  1-8 mtn 2, 1-6 inf 16 ,1-6 art 8L at 3130 attacks Nat 1-8 mtn 4 on 3230.  Militia halved for 3:1 Result AS.

AUG I 1936

Narrative

Miguel shielded his eyes from the mid-day sun and looked out from his rough dug out towards Carmona.  Activity was increasing across the river as armed Anarchist mobs rounded up the sympathetic Nationalist populace in what they euphemistically termed “Pacification”.

He was roused from his reverie by the cry “Viva La Muerte” (long live death). The 1P Artillery regiment they has passed on the march from Cordoba had arrived and the attack had begun!  They expected the Anarchists to break easily but they stood and fought. Still they were no match for the professionally trained Legion and half were slaughtered in the opening barrage with the rest following shortly thereafter in the fight for the town.

In Madrid the UGT intelligence network reported that Colonel Moscardo in Toledo had declared for the Nationalists and that an “army” of taxis, lorries and confiscated private automobiles  were rushing south to bolster the defence.  Air raids from Madrid’s air squadron softened the defence and the AAC Armoured Car regiment already en route from the south was ordered to attack supported by 2nd Mech other regulars and an anarchist artillery regiment.  The fortress barracks of Alcazar was stormed and the hastily improvised defence was no match for the 75mm howitzers and twin Hotchkiss MGs of the Schneider armoured cars. The city fell with little loss to the attackers and the first co-ordinated attack by the Republic was an overwhelming success!

Game Report

Insurgents

Reinforcements (any port): art rep 0.5 to El Ferrol and then general pool. Res pt and Atk Sup to Cadiz. SS1 to Ceuta, SS2 to Villa Sanjurjo

Moves/Attacks: In Seville Area 3-2-6 2LE, 2-6 Art 1P. to 3222  attack 1-5 inf AmL (An) in Carmona supplied from AS at 3421. AmL full strength after militia roll so attack is 7:1 (-1) for DH. Both Nationalist advance to Camona

1-6 inf 33, 1-8 Lt2, 2-1-8 Art E at 3324 and 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col), 2-1-8 Art A at 3325 attack PA 1-6 Bdr 6Car and 1-6 Eng 2 at 3325 all except Lt 2 supplied from 3421.

P A pass Militia checks and attack is 7:1 for DR. Trapped PA surrender. (1-6 inf 33 has marched from Huelva to block escape north) 3Ceu and art O advance to 3325.

Moves/Attacks Valladolid Area: 1-6 art 11L, 2-5 inf 2 (Req), 1-6 Sec 12GC, 1-6 inf 22 and 1-6 mg 2 attack (unsupplied) PA 1-8 Cav 10 from the east  All militia stand firm. Result  DR. Cav 10 retreats. Req 2 Advances.

1-6 Bdr 8Car, 2-6 Art 4P, 1-6 infs 26&28, 2-5 Inf 1 (Req), and 1-6 inf 13, 1-6 art 13L attack unsupplied PA 1-6 inf 25 from the west at 6:1(-1) for DE.

(Per 37C all units are un-isolated so all losses go to replacement pool).

Elsewhere Nationalist forces at Zaragoza move SE to try and reach the Ebro before Loyalists. 1-5 Mech 2 as the vanguard at 3332

Subs take up defensive perimeter around Melilla, All Transports devoted to moving troops from SM to mainland and finish in port at Ceuta

Loyalists

Reinforcements. 2 art RP,s to general pool via /Alicante. Art 0.5 RP at Bilbao builds 0-1-6 mtr AD in Town

Art 0.5 in general pool builds 0-1-6 Art CNT (An) in Madrid.

Gerona, Sabadell, Tarrasa Ideologically Purified.

Moves NT3 (accompanied by BTF2) from Santander to Bilbao picks up 1-8 mtn 8 and transports to San Sebastian then 8th mtn moves to 2811. Fleet return trip to San Sebastian with Res Pt from Bilbao. Catalonian force moves to meet Nationalists at Ebro. Central force fans out from Murcia/Valencia along rail lines, 1-8 bike 1, 1-6 eng 7 and 1-6 Sec 14GC move east toward Calatayud.  Seville and Valladolid forces stay awaiting relief.

Toledo Attack. 1-6 Eng 1, 1-6 art 1L in 2811; 1-0-8 AAC, 1-5 Mech 2, 1-6 inf 1, 0-1-6 art ONT (An) in 2912; 1-6 sec 4GC in 2913 plus Bre19 from Madrid. All attack supplied (except art (An)) from SP in Madrid attack 1-6 Sec 4GC and 0.5 Garrison in Toledo.

8:1 +1 AECD ( all militia stand firm except 0-1-6 art ONT (An) which  is halved (a moot point) ) Result is DE.

4GC eliminated and garrison dispersed. All on 2912 and 2913 advance.

Mech movemt. Fleet joins LTF1 at Bilbao

July II 36

Narrative

On the morning of the 18th at the barracks of the 2nd Regiment of the Legion Extranjera Miguel Abarca was roused from his sleep around 5 a.m by cries of “Revolution!”. Soon he was lined up on the tarmac at Ceuta airport with his comrades and a rag tag collection of transport planes awaiting the hour flight to Cordoba. Before they had cleared the terminal there the planes were taxying for return to the colony and a further cargo of troops to bolster the revolution.

Alejandro Gonzalez did not like the sea or boats and was glad to climb onto the wharf after his 700 mile voyage from El Ferrol. The previously undisclosed destination was apparent to him as soon as the transport rounded the headland into the river mouth and he saw the long distinctive double tier Muelle del Tinto thrusting into the channel; Huelva. His comrades of the 35rd Regiment were soon formed up on the quayside. Nationalist sympathisers greeted them with news that the Civil Guard had remained loyal to the government and he prepared for a fight. It soon became clear as they marched to the town square however that the mere sight of the 35th was enough to persuade the townsfolk of the rightness of the Nationalist cause and the garrison joined them without a fight.

In Madrid chaos followed premier Caseres Queiroga’s resignation and indecision reigned.  Reports of nearby Toledo supporting the revolution caused orders for the Self Propelled Armoured Cannon regiment to move against the city while elsewhere the army was paralysed by cautious probes away from their barracks in all directions. Reports from Barcelona were even more disturbing with armed mobs scouring the streets for dissenters rather than taking any sort of co-ordinated moves to confront the rebels at Zaragoza.  Furthermore the Basques were arming, no doubt in the hope of creating a separate state in the north.

Game Report

Insurgents

Intention: To move against Valladolid in force from Salamanca and Burgos. To secure link to Ovideo. To gain as much territory east of Granada. To contain Seville and Cartagenan forces.

Reinforcements: (any city); 2-5 inf 1 (Req) at Salamanca; 2-5 inf 2 ( Req) at Burgos

Moves: Mxd Air flies 3-2-6 inf 2LE via one way transport from Ceuta to Cordoba. NT2 from the Canaries travels (without cargo per 37C) to Larache, ferries 1-6 mg O and 1-8 lt 2 to Algecira who move toward Ronda. NT2 then to Ceuta and loads 2-1-8 art E.

NT1 escorted by BBTF-1 moves 1-6 inf 35 to Huelva, then moves to Ceuta and loads 2-6 Inf 3Ceu (Col)

Other Colonials move towards ports and airfields.

1-6 inf 33 crosses straits from Cadiz to Jerez.  All available forces converge on Valladolid from Burgos and Salamanca. Other mainland units fan out to secure territory with 1-6 Sec 10GC in Ovido occupying Mieres.

Exploitation. NT1 takes 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col) to Cadiz and returns to Ceuta.  NT2 takes 2-1-8 Art E to Cadiz and returns to Larache

Loyalists

Intention; To hold Seville to delay Nationalist moves north.  Madrid force to capture Toledo in preparation for a move west to cut Nationalist N/S communications and prevent reinforcements from the north moving on Seville.  Ideologically Purify Cartagena and then move to Bilbao via Zaragoza. Northern Gobernetos to await relief from Catalonian force driving north west from the Barcelona area.

Reinforcements (Any Euzkadi): 1-5inf Aml (An)at Seville. Basques 1st at Bilbao, 2nd at San Sebastian. LC1 Repaired!

Moves: Barcelona, Gerona and Tarragona’s troops begin Purification, others in Catalan take up positions to Purify next turn.

From Seville 1-5 inf AmL(An) moves one hex east to occupy Carmona, 1-6 Bdr 8Car and 1-6 Eng 2 move to occupy Utera and 1-8 Cav 7 moves along rail to Huelva.    Madrid area 1-0-8 AAC moves 1 hex North and other PA units fan out one hex from starting positions.

N52 stages to Seville. A101 attempts to bomb transports at Tetuan but fails.

Pre-Game Setup

Narrative:

General Jose Fernandez de Villa-Abrille looked out over the parade ground where the 6th Regiment was assembled. As he watched a dark sedan slew to a halt in a cloud of early morning dust. Five men stepped out. Jose recognised the central figure as General Queipo De llano an irreverent and cynical man with known fascist leanings.  After a heated discussion with the drill sergeant they made their way to Jose’s office.

As the door swung open a single shot rang out. Queipo died with an expression of surprise and disappointment on his face, Surprise that the dithering dolt De Villa-Abrille would dare take such decisive action and disappointment that his dream of creating a Nationalist State centred upon the Andalucían capital city of Seville was stalled from the outset.

Jose, not normally a man of decisive action, had been warned by a frantic call late last night from his friend and occasional bridge partner now on protection duty at the High Commissioners office in the Spanish Moroccan city of Tauten. Threatened with artillery they had surrendered and most including the Commissioner had been executed. All of the colony was aflame with Nationalist fervour. Troops had been mobilised that morning and preparations were already underway for a surprise move to the mainland.

Devoid now of any major cities the Nationalists chose the ancient fortifications of Cadiz as their capital. Occupying the tip of a long peninsular the walled town protected from direct assault by the Nationalist garrison at Jerez-la-Frontera and was close to reinforcements arriving daily by sea and air from Morocco. It was a perfect bastion.

But the rebellion was primarily one of the peasant class, large swaths of the countryside and many small towns had declared for the cause but not one major city and only a few of the regional centres were flying the Nationalist flag this morning.

Initial Revolt - Seville stays loyal!

Initial Revolt – Seville stays loyal!

The next few weeks would be decisive………….

(Note: Some phrases (in quote marks) have been lifted from Anthony Beevor’s book “The Battle For Spain” and adaped to fit the Narrative)

Nationalists Gains:  Jerez, Huelva, Jaen and Logrono Resulting rail Cap 4 REs

Nationalists declare Cadiz as their seat of government.

Land and sea have clear weather..