The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: September 2017 (page 2 of 7)

The Europa Magazine 58

The Europa Magazine # 58 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 58 – Cover

(Vol.X, No.6, 1997)

Contents:

  • “Company Briefing: Some Details” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “From the Editor: Playing at War” (Editorial) Peter Robbins
  • “Historical Background: Forging the Red Star” (Historical) Jason Long
  • “Home Front: The Europa Ground Operations System – Some Proposed Fixes” (Variant Discussion) John C. Gordon
  • Europa Side Trips: The Iron Cross” (Historical) Randy Moffat
  • “Home Front – SCORCHED EARTH: The Dual Standard for Soviet Armor” (Variant) Mark Swenholt (Scorched Earth)
  • “Battlefield Report: Scorched Earth, Australia style” (Series Replay) Michael Tapner (Scorched Earth)
  • “A Europa Battle Scenario: Lost Victories -the Stalingrad Counteroffensive” (Scenarios) Bradley Skeen (Scorched Earth)
  • Europa as History: Scorched Earth Historical Axis Setup” (Historical) William Russ (Scorched Earth)
  • “Historical Background: Soviet Infantry Weapons” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • Europa Aloft: Misfit MiGs – The MiG-1 and MiG-3” (Historical) Jason Long
  • “Historical Background: The Remedy” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • “Orders of Battle: The Luftwaffe in Barbarossa” (Historical) Jason Long (Total War)
  •  “Rules Court: Fire in the East/Scorched Earth Questions and Answers” (Discussion) Rich C. Velay (Fire in the East/Scorched Earth)
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

 

The Europa Magazine 57

The Europa Magazine # 57 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 57 – Cover

+(Vol.X, No.5, 1997)

Contents:

  • “Company Briefing: Total War” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “From the Editor: Introductions” (Commentary) David H. Lippman
  • “Inside Europa: Turkey and War in the Desert” (Discussion) John Astell (War in the Desert)
  • “Inside Europa: Thoughts on the Partisans” (Discussion) John Astell with Mark Royer
  • “Historical Background: Yugoslavia 1941-1945” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • Europa Variant: Neutral Yugoslavia” (Variant) Frank Watson (Balkan Front)
  • “Battlefield Report: Beleaguered Greece” (Series Replay) Ed Dickenson (Balkan Front)
  • TEM Index: The Balkans in The Europa Magazine” (Insert) GR/D Staff
  • “Battlefield Report: An Italian Blitzkrieg?” (Series Replay) Sven-Ake Bengtsson (Balkan Front)
  • “Home Front – Balkan Front: Halt! Who Goes Where? Examining the Hungarian Operational Area” (Strategy) Joe Pyland (Balkan Front)
  • “A Europa Battle Scenario: The Dodecanese Campaign, Disaster in the Aegean – September to November, 1943” (Scenarios) David Hughes ) (Second Front/Balkan Front/War in the Desert)
  • Europa as History: Dodecanese Adventure” (Historical) Frank Watson
  • Europa  Side Trips: At the Movies, About the Dodecanese” (Discussion) GR/D Staff
  • Europa Battle Scenario: The Macedonian War – Bulgaria Invades Yugoslavia, 1940” (Scenarios) Frank Watson (Balkan Front)
  • “Play Aids: Balkan Front Expanded Sequence of Play” (Variant) Martin Duke (Balkan Front)
  • “Battlefield Report: The Balkan Front Small Solution” (Series Replay) Ralf Schultz  (Balkan Front/Fire in the East/Scorched Earth)
  • Europa Variant: Crete Solitaire” (Variant) Frank Watson (Balkan Front)
  • Europa at Sea: German Light Cruisers” (Historical) David Tinny
  • “Home Front – Second Front: An Alternative Naval Replenishment” (Variant) Peter Rogers (Second Front)
  • Europa Aloft: Under Six Flags – The Bristol Blenheim I” (Historical) James A. Broshot
  • “Rules Court: Balkan Front Q&A” (Discussion) Rich C. Velay and Rich Gayler (Balkan Front)
  • “Rules Court: Balkan Front Errata, 1 December, 1997” (Errata) GR/D Staff (Balkan Front)
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

The Europa Magazine 56

The Europa Magazine # 56 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 56 – Cover

(Vol.X, No.4, 1997)

Contents:

  • “Company Briefing: Origins/Europafest 1997” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “From the Editor: Time for Fresh Faces” (Editorial) Frank Watson
  • Europafest Report: From the Player’s View” (Commentary) Rich C. Velay
  • Inside Europa: Anvil-Dragoon, Desert Options, and WitD Q&A” (Discussion) John Astell (Second Front/War in the Desert)
  • “Historical Background: Liquid Courage – The Italian Human Torpedoes” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • “Counterbattery: Crows, Frogs, Swallows, and John Henry” (Discussion) Jason Long
  • “Battlefield Report: 1943 Italy Campaign” (Series Replay) Lars Wistedt (Second Front)
  • “Home Front – Second Front Operation Slapstick: The Capture of Taranto” (Historical) Cory S. Manka (Second Front)
  • “Counterpoint: Comments on Slapstick” (Commentary) Rich C. Velay (Second Front)
  • Europa Side Trips: Lest We Forget…” (Historical) Randy Moffat
  • “A Europa Battle Scenario: Soft Underbelly – A 1943 MTO Campaign for Second Front July 1943 – June 1944” (Scenarios) Sam Rosania (Second Front)
  •  “Scenario Errata: Crusader Throws A Track” (Errata) Peter Rogers (Western Desert/War in the Desert)
  •  “Battlefield Report: Playing Operation Husky” (Strategy) David Tinny (Second Front)
  • Europa Aloft:  The CR.32 and CR.42” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • “Operations: Air Battle Over Sicily” (Strategy) Alan Tibbetts (Second Front)
  • “Home Front – War in the Desert The British 18th Infantry Division in North Africa” (Historical) Richard Cronin (War in the Desert)
  • Europa Staff College: Rule 14A – Special Unit Types: Engineers” (Discussion) Rich C. Velay
  • Europa at Sea: German Pocket Battleships” (Historical) David Tinny
  • “Rules Court: More WitD Questions and Answers” (Discussion) John Astell and Rich C. Velay (War in the Desert)
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

The Europa Magazine 55

The Europa Magazine # 55 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 55 – Cover

(Vol.X, No.3, 1997)

Contents:

  • “Company Briefing: Lots ‘O Stuff” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “From the Editor: One Forward, Three Reverse” (Commentary) Frank Watson
  • “Inside Europa: Air Unit Ratings: Italian-Produced Aircraft” (Discussion) John Astell (Second Front)
  • “Historical Background: Desert Dawn – North Africa Before Rommel” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  •  “A Europa Variant and Battle Scenario for War in the Desert: Graziani’s Offensive – The Italian Invasion of Egypt September, 1940” (Variant Discussion) Frank Watson and James A. Broshot (War in the Desert)
  • “A Europa Battle Scenario: Operation Crusader – Auchinleck’s Offensive – November, 1941” (Scenarios) Peter Rogers (Western Desert/War in the Desert)
  • “Facts behind the Counters: Still More Italian Divisional Histories” (Historical) Michael K. Parker
  • “Facts behind the Counters: Celere – Italy’s Cavalry Tank Divisions” (Historical) Michael K. Parker
  • Europa Aloft: Broken Arrow – The Fiat G.50 “Freccia”” (Historical) James A. Broshot
  • “Historical Background: Italian Infantry Weapons” (Historical) David H. Lippman
  • “Rules Court: War in the Desert Questions and Answers” (Discussion) John Astell and Rich C. Velay (War in the Desert)
  •  “Rules Court: War in the Desert Consolidated Errata, 28 April 1997” (Errata) John Astell (War in the Desert)
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

The Europa Magazine 54

The Europa Magazine # 54 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 54 – Cover

(Vol.X, No.2, 1997)

Contents:

  • “Company Briefing: A Year of Promise” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “From the Editor:: More Messing About in Boats” (Editorial) Frank Watson
  • “Home Front: Some Thoughts on a Europa Naval System” (Discussion) David Tinny
  • Europa Variant: Scorched Earth Naval System” (Variant) A. E. Goodwin (Fire in the East/Scorched Earth)
  • “Counter Sheet Special Edition 1” (Insert) A. E. Goodwin (Fire in the East/Scorched Earth)
  • “Rules Court: Second Front Questions and Answers” (Discussion) Rich C. Velay (Second Front)
  • Europa Aloft: Me and My Ilyusha: The Il-2 and Il-10 Shturmovik” (Historical) Jason Long
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

The Europa Magazine 53

The Europa Magazine # 53 - Cover

The Europa Magazine # 53 – Cover

(Vol.X, No.1, 1997)

Contents:

  • “From the Editor: Happy 10th Anniversary, TEM” (Commentary) Frank Watson
  • “Inside Europa: Mediterranean Danger Zones and Other Q & A” (Discussion) John Astell (Second Front)
  • “Home Front: Europa Logistics – Time for a Fix” (Variant) Cory S. Manka
  • “Orders of Battle: British Airborne Units” (Historical) David Hughes
  •  “Europa Contest Results: The “Siege” of Belgrade Resolved” (Contest) GR/D Staff (Balkan Front)
  • “A Europa  Battle Scenario: The Magnitogorsk Campaign, An Imaginary Battle in the Urals, 1943” (Scenarios) Frank Watson (The Urals)
  •  “Operations: NODLs a la dente” (Discussion) Jamie Gagnon (Fire in the East/Scorched Earth)
  • “A EUROPA VARIANT: Get the POINT!” (Variant) Chuck Meyer
  • “A Europa Training Scenario: The Great Race” (Scenarios) Frank Watson
  • Europa Aloft: The Early Stukas – Poster Children for the Blitzkrieg: the Ju 87A and B” (Historical) Jason Long
  • “Historical Background: French Military Doctrines – The Causes of French Collapse in 1940?” (Historical) Darryl Pidduck
  • “Point/Counterpoint: Der Beverly Hillbillies/Mr. Drysdale Forecloses” (Discussion) Tom Witham & John Astell
  • Europa Staff College: Rule 8 – Stacking” (Discussion) Rich Velay (Second Front/For Whom the Bell Tolls/War in the Desert)
  • “Home Front: Attacking from Overstack” (Variant Discussion) Rich Velay
  • “Rules Court: Second Front Questions and Answers” (Discussion) Rich C. Velay (Second Front)
  • “The Reader Always gets the Last Word: EXchange” (Commentary)

 

A Spanish End

Ken Newall finally shared the last turns of his epic game report from his For Whom the Bell Tolls game. I can only again thank him for his efforts, the awesome writing and the permission to host this great report here. And Kudos for Ken to actually follow through to the very bitter (at least for the Loyalist side) end.

Also I noticed that I still hadn’t gotten round to fix Robert Williams TDDH-report which, even though its from 2000, still makes a fantastic read. And it makes me sad that Samurai Lightning will never see the light of day. So there it is now, re-upped, Links fixed and all the posts in working order again. There is still some cleanup to do from the great migration, but then there always is.

 

Analysis

I had at one point intended to playthe game out to a final military victory but due to the inevitability of the result next turn this now serves no purpose  – the end is predictable.

This was without a doubt the closest run game in Military terms I have played and it went right down to the wire.  Of course in terms of VPs this is a different story.:

Final Victory Tally

Victory PointsNationalists Republicans
From Jan I 1939248702
Interventionist Losses 4
Air Losses818
Naval Losses80
Terror Bombing 4
Gobernetos Non-Collapse/Late End 220
Game END Terrtory22732
Game End Losses695.553.5
TOTAL JUL I 19391190.51029.5

Result: Republican Major Victory

A word about victory conditions.

It seems this result is a reasonable basis to judge payer victory in an historic game. However this AAR is of an alternate reality version (Variable rebellion). What if in this universe the Nationalists decided on a strategy of Gobernetos last.  The game does nudge players to adopt the historical path such as attacking before the Gobernetos reach peak strength, gaining  port access close to the main front, gaining the factory production etc. all good real reasons and this in itself could be deemed sufficient incentive without the swinging penalties for not attacking the Gobernetos  first.

However would a “Gobernetos last” be viable strategy?

Removing all rewards from the Republic for the Nationalists failing to take the Goberetos produces the following result.

Nationalists 1190.5. Republic 449.5 Ratio = 2.64/1 = Insurgent Marginal Victory.

To me this feels a more realistic result for this alternate reality game.  The Republic is after all utterly crushed, hardly a “Victory” but the war has dragged on for 6 long months extra, the Nationalists still have much heavy industry to rebuild, their fleet is crippled and the air force severely damaged. So marginal is a credible result grounded in reality.

Personally although it does permit a less historic strategy to be adopted. I feel this is a better way to the judge the Variables Start to the Rebellion as an alternative reality game.

(Indeed an argument could be made to remove all artificial constrains and requirements such as the border garrisons and operational restrictions but this is an argument for another day)

FWtBT Post game summary

The tides of War: The game can be divided into 4 phases. Phase one ‘the land grab’ comprised the initial explanation and consolidation by both sides from game start to around September/October ’36.  The Nationalists were initially frustrated by the failure of Seville to declare for the cause but this did not appear to hurt their efforts too much. The early capture of Malaga meant that the Nationalists had a route for the arriving reinforcements and colonial troops and became something of a backwater for the main troop entry to the front. The loss of production did make itself felt in latter turns but production soon returned after capture. The front stabilises in the region of a line, Motril (on the south coast), Gaudix, Aquilegia, Valdepenas, Alcazar de  San Juan, Aranjuez, then along the Cordillera Central north of Madrid to Catalayud and south to Zaragoza still firmly in Nationalists hands. The revolutionaries made an attempt to collapse Asturias but gave up as resistance stiffened and this proved to be a significant error.

Phase two of the game in the spring/summer of 1937 centred around the large battles for the central plain and the towns of Valdepenas, Alcazar de San Juan and Aranjuez characterized by these towns changing hands several times. The breakout to Ceunca by the Nationalists finally broke the Republican resistance and a somewhat precipitous retreat that resulted lead to the sudden collapse of resistance and the rather easy capture of Madrid (it should be recorded that a misinterpretation of the abilities of transport units ability to advance after combat resulted in breakthroughs being a lot more fragile than necessary which prolonged this period of see saw actions.)

Simultaneously and perhaps the decision which the most long term consequences was the persistent failure of the Nationalists to provide enough defensive support on the Zaragoza front which was slowly and inexorably pushed further north with the Republic briefly capturing Catalayud(May ’36) for a time.

This defined the start of the third phase of the game where the Republic held the upper hand. The Nationalists aware that the struggle in the East had resulted in a northern expansion of the Republic so stripped the central front to the minimum and tried to stiffen the defence in the east whilst at the same time trying to reduce the northern gobetnetos.  The Republic still retained the momentum and came within one attack of reaching the Basque lines and taking Pamplona. Simultaneously they were retaking grounding the West and indeed for a moment it looked like a push to Madrid was feasible .

At this time the Nationalists considered conceding and indeed had the Republic linked with the Basques in strength they may well have done so.  However the failure of the Republic link up with the Basques gave the Nationalists fresh hope and the final phase of the game began

This was initiated by a prepared attack south from Catalayud area to Zaragoza. The Republic had pushed their best troops to the far north and the Nationalist breakout threatened to trap apppprox1/3 of the republican forces in the far north. The secondary Albacete front was stripped to reinforce the defence South of Zaragoza to contain the Nationalists while the far northern forces started the long retreat south.

The Republic with the aid of the northern rains did finally contain the breakout and the war from the end of 1938 was characterised by the Nationalists pushing South to Valencia thus cutting the Republic in two Having held back for good weather the Nationalists had been stockpiling supplies and pre-positioning units Thus the good weather saw the unleashing of a massive final offensive south towards Barcelona. As with the 1938 operation ultimately the breakout failed to complete a large encirclement of troops although many were eliminated in the large scale retreat

The final days of the republic saw a lone defiant Murcia in the West and a collapsing Republican rump in the East one hex away from collapse at game end.

Air and sea; the air war was interesting in so far ask each side was ascendant for part of the game although the. Nationalists were dominant overall. The republicans tried to maintain a mixed force but as defenders rarely used the air force effectively. The exception was naval patrol which seems especially effective at eliminating naval assets and netted them quite a few victory points. After the early attrition Naval battles the Nationalist fleet was never strong enough or bold enough to significantly interdict reinforcements. Both sides have considerable engineering assets so any rail destruction can only be of limited effectiveness. This play through suggests that other than a naval patrol wing the Republic would be best served with a pure fighter force deployed in depth to limit Nationalist hits.

The nationalists have a generally longer ranged and effective and balanced force which is able to perform a variety of tasks and did so well particularly the harassment campaign against the retreating forces in late 38 and 39.

The naval war was short. The Republic forced an encounter and lost and thereafter the Nationalist rump dominated the seas but was not strong enough to perform anything other than occasional and ineffective interdiction activities and some transport and NG support.

Triumphs & Tragedies; The Nationalists certainly played the better tactical game, they paid good attention to maximum stacking, armour effects and minimised reliance on air power as “flying artillery” to achieve odds. However they were strategically less successful. The move on Seville was timed correctly and the initial move for territory was well executed with a secure flank south of Zaragoza and a good line in the west. However thereafter the decision to coral the gobernetos and continue the battles in the centre was a strategic error. It is true that this gave them Madrid at little direct cost but this allowed the gobernetos to reach full strength and thereafter it was always to be an uphill struggle. Similarly there was never quite enough defence in the east. The golden rule here is that it is far easier to hold ground than to retake it if given up and even with the final precipitous collapse of the Republicans the Nationalists never quite finished them off before game end due to the start line being way back at Catalayed when they began the final offensive push

By contrast the Republicans played a good strategic game and came within an ace of a Nationalist surrender. They attacked where strongest in the East, north through Zaragoza to the Basques almost taking Pamplona. They created a good spoiling attack in the East out of Albacete which caused the Nationalists pause for thought and deftly swapped from an offensive to defensive posture when needed.

However tactically they were less adept. There was no effective use of armour. The rules make attacking with armour difficult for the Republic but had they thought more about defensive use of their tanks they may have been able to assemble some defensive modifiers mid game. The larger stacks and 2 unit stacking limit  makes any effective use limited in endgame especially as their armour is only 1/2 AECD

Perhaps their worst errors came with the lack of a secondary defensive line which allowed a number of significant Nationalist breakthroughs this should have been avoided for little detrimental effect Too late they developed the better tactic of a thin secondary line overrun proof from most exploitation stacks and a reserve of top line divisions as a “Fire fighting” force for localised counter attacks. This worked well until losses required that these troops join the front line. Had all these tactical developments been employed from the start I feel the Republic could have ended the game in a much stronger position militarily. Ultimately however the whole worked good enough to save the day but it was a close run affair.

'Autorretrat vestit de millicia' c 1938 by Pere Daura I Garcia (1896-1976)

‘Autorretrat vestit de millicia’ c 1938 by Pere Daura I Garcia (1896-1976)

A personal note

FWtBT is my favourite Europa title which is surprising as the East Front is my main area of interest and indeed it was DNO which got me hooked on wargaminig all those years ago.

In particular in FWtBT the force balance nice and the use of supply counters tends to create a more realistic “pulse” of offensives, lulls and counter attacks. I am certainly keen to play this game again and try out different strategies and put into place the lessons learned from the errors of both sides in this game. The AAR reporting and the reference to VPs ( not normally a solitaire concern) provides for tighter more considered play which itself is a different experience to my normal  quick solitaire run through  The game which has taken 9 months real time has become a part of my daily routine and I have gained many insights about the game. In this regard I am grateful to those who have offered help, advice and, in particular, corrections and rules interpretations where I have gone astray.

Regarding the war itself Franco, no doubt mindful of the awful slaughter kept Spain out of the Second World War despite entries from his invaluable ally Hitler. In 1947 he was made head of state for life.  When he died in November 1975, the monarchy was restored when Prince Juan Carlos became head of state, as Franco had decreed. Spain quickly translated itself into a fully functioning modern democracy just as much as other European countries. Ultimately therefore the War now appears a pointless bloodletting marking a moment of madness in Spain’s history.

These last words are penned between Palamos and Tarragona in Catalonia as part of a cruise around the Western Mediterranean and l finish with a photo of a painting seen in the Covent Museum of Ciutadella in Minorca on this same trip. The portrait has the following explanatory note about the artist which is interesting particularly for the American connection.

“The son of a Barcelona family Pere was born in Ciutadella and married an American painter Louise Blair. He subsequently joined the Republican forces and was wounded on the Teruel front. At the outbreak of WWII he and his family were visiting in America and so remained spending his later years at Rockbridge Baths, Virginia where he died in 1976.

The portrait is entitled.  ‘Autorretrat vestit de millicia’ c 1938 by Pere Daura I Garcia (1896-1976)

(Translated from Catalan it reads “Self-portrait in Militia uniform”)

To me it captures the weariness and futility of this war perfectly and is, I feel, a fitting bookend to end this AAR.

JUL II 1939

Nationalists Turn

Weather; Clear skies across land and sea. D=C. E=C, A= C, M= C
Supply: 12 REs of the defenders in Murcia city draw and expend the last supply from GSPs.
Do 17E replaced. G.50 (CTV), CR.32bis (CTV) repaired
Airfield At 3333 augmented to 6 capacity
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 27 REs

Air Activity: Sortie 1: Me109E (KL), HE 51, He 111B, Do 17E, 2B3 deliver 5 GSPs to 3328 unoposed.Sortie2: 3624 (Eastern Barcelona) Unescorted SM.81 SM.79-1 on airfield bombing mission intercepted by I-16/t5 who engages the SM.79-I.  No result. Bombs miss target.

Sortie 3:  SM.79-I, SM.79-I (CTV), HE 111E (KL) fly Terror bombing to Barcelona. The He 111E (KL) is aborted by the intercepting I-16/t5. The remaining bombers score 2 Hits (N +4 VPs)

Attack 1:  3028 mtn (n of Lerida)  Unsupplied 1-8 mtns 7,8,  1-8 mtn art 2 and 3-4-5* inf XXs, 24, 75, 1-6 inf 22, 1-6 inf I-S (Col), 2-1-8 art O and  3-4-5* inf XXs 12, 74, 1-6 inf 27,  1-6 art 12L, 1-8 cav VMS (Fal) Attack 1-2-5 inf 1 (CAT) @ 6:1 (-2) = DH. Advance 24, 75 XXs.

Attack 2:  3531 rough/fort/over river (Tortosa) Unsupplied 6-8 lt 150, 5-6 inf XXs 51, 71, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-6 inf 10BT (Col), 2-1-6 cav 2O (Col), 2-6 art 1P, 2-1-8 art E and 7-8 inf XX 13, 5-6 inf XXs 61, 82, 2-6 infs 5Alh, Tdi (Col), 2-6 art 4P and 6-6 inf XX 52, 102, 2-6 inf 2Mel ~(Col), 2-3-6 art 62, 1-6 arts 10L. 11L and 5-6 inf XX 11, 4-6 inf XX 85, 2-6 infs 8Rif, 6Xau, 4Lar (Col), 2-1-8 cav1E (Col). 1-2-6 art 48 Attack 3-4-5* inf XX 27CM @ 6@1 (-2) = DR. Eliminated as no retreat path. Advance 13, 52, 102 XXs, 6Xau, 8Rif, 4La (Col), 4P, 62 art.  Fort destroyed.

Attack 4: 3229 clear (Lerida). Supplied 2-8 mtn Guad, 5-6 inf XX 53, 4-8 cav 1, 3-2-6 inf 2LE, Unsupplied 2-6 eng AM, 4-6 inf XX 83, 1-2-6 art 49, 1-6 art 2 and (over river)  4-5-5 inf XX 50, 4-6 inf XX 154, 2-6* inf cadre 54, 2-6 infs 3Ceu, 7Lam(Col),, supplied 4-6 XX FV (Mxd), 1-8 mot art L (CTV), 1-8 art Ter (CTV) and  (over river) 3-1-2 sge art Man (CTV),  4-6 art 3RG, 3-2-6 inf 3LE, unsupplied 6-6 inf XXs 3, 4, 152, 2-1-8 lt tks 2,3 and 2 pts GS from 1A2 Mxd. Attack 3-4-5* inf XXs 77, 30(Cat), 1-2-6 18, o.5 Garrison (unsupported) @ 4:1 = DE.  Advance 53 XX, 2LE, Guad mtn, 2, 49 art, AM cons. Fort destroyed 2X AS destroyed, Garrison dispersed.

Attack 5: clear (SE Lerdia).  $ Points AA form 88 (KL) fires at DAS 2X SB-2 Returning one.

Supplied6-6 inf XXs 5, 63, 108, 4-6 arts 1RG, 2RG (Transported), 3-2-8 lt tk N, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 2-10 aa 88 (KL) attack 3-4-5* inf XX 74 (Cat), 1-8 lt tk 1, 2-6 nvl 95, 1-6 inf 16, 1-6 eng 4, 1-6 mg 3, 1-2-6 art 2, 1pt DAS @ 2:1 (+1) = DH!.  Lose 95 nvl, 1 lt tk

4 eng ,16  inf 16, 3 mg. Advance 63, 108.

Jul II 1939 - Lerida and Tortosa fall

Jul II 1939 – Lerida and Tortosa fall

Republican Turn

VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
Guerrillas;Hit the rail junction at Aranjuez.
Supply:  Western Zone: 12 REs @ Murcia Cty U4 all GSPs and Ass exhausted so roll for elimination:  2-6 nvl is unafect4ed, all 3 divisions eliminated*  2 tk, 15 art are eliminated.
Interesting rules point are attected divisions completly eliminated or reduced to cadre?  Rule 9E Cadres specifies “in combat”, Rule 13 Overuns specifically states they are not formed yet Rule 12 Supply is moot on the point. I rule that they are NOT formed on the bais that this is not combat and combat staying power does not make you any less lilely to starve.)

Eastern Zone:  Isolated 3-6* at 3534 U2.
Replacements;   3.5 SRP, 1 SRP (Cat)  recovered.   R-Z  Rebuilt..
Air Activity:  sortie 1: R-Z, SB-2bis fly DAS to 3427
Sortie2:  R-Z flies DAS to 3428
Sortie 3: The last Sortie of the war 2x SB-2 fly DAS to 3327
Moves: The mighty fortress of Murcia is reduced to a ptiful rump which can be overrun.

The Republic’s northern flank is constrained by The Nationalist drive due East and can only move one hexand is thus unable to aid the more critical defenders south of the penetration.

The Republic thin the main line still further to get an overrun proof second line.

The line is thinner than last turn and the Nationalists will inevitably take another hex towards Barcelona and force the Catalans to collapse and thus end the game.

BUT the Nationalists , of course,  have no more turns left to do this.

The Republic has survived by one hex and one turn.

Jul II 1939: Murcia garrison reduced by famine

Jul II 1939: Murcia garrison reduced by famine

JUL I 1939

Narrative:

A growing problem for the Nationalists administration was the containment and management of prisoners of war. Camps were set up across the country and although the worst of the winter was past still posed a vast problem of logistics.  In all there are now 190 plus prisoner of war and transit camps holding between them 367,000 to 500,000 inmates. During the final offensives 60,000 have been taken in the Western Zone, and 45,000 in the East. Some were now put into employment, some given provisional liberty and escapee’s suicides and execution squads also helped reduce numbers

The internments continued after the war for many. One such place put into service I discovered on a recent trip was part of the former Roman Circus at Tarragona, known as Pilatus prison. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the ordinary soldier that one inmate penned the following.   ”People of all ages experienced the same sense of oppression when they were put in solitary in that dungeon Of course our generation had grown so accustomed to suffering that even without noticing we had adapted to any possible situation, however difficult, dangerous, uncomfortable. Some hours after living in such terrible conditions, badly eating, sleeping on the floor, enshrouded by darkness, covered in lice and bedbugs and fearful of a court martial that could condemn us to the maximum sentences, we felt veterans of that home and could offer comfort and advice to those who arrived every day”.

Jul I 1939: The end in the West; Murca beseiged

Jul I 1939: The end in the West; Murca beseiged

Nationalists Turn

Weather; Clear skies across land and sea. D=C. E=C, A= C, M= C
Supply: 12 REs of the defenders in Murcia city draw supply from GSPs (2 REs @ U3) and expend their last ASP for 12 more GSPs.
Replacements: 4.5 SRPs received.   1-6 eng ZME replaced. Me 109B/D, HE111B (KL)
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 27 REs
1 REs pt spent to build airfield at 3333.

Air Activity:  Sortie 1: Large mixed fighter/bombing force flies an airfield bombing mission to Lerida. The I-16/t5 on the runway scrambles to Barcelona; 1 Hit achieved.

Sortie 2: G.50 (CTV), C2.23 escorts 2B3 Mxd, SM.81, SM.79-1 to bomb Taragonna airfield. An I-16/t5 aborts the G, 50 and an I-16/t10 and the CR.32 The G.50 is aborted and the CR.32 eliminate each other.  The mission force scores a Hit and knocks out the base, (N+2VPs, (R+2 VPs)

Sortie 3: Taking advantage of the cleared skies a He 111E (KL) flies GS to3430

Attack1: 3329 clear (S of Lerida) Supplied 6-6 inf XXs 5, 63, 108, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 3-2-8 lt tk N, 4-6 arts 1RG, 2RG Attack 4-6 inf XX 47, 2-3-5* inf XX 21, 2-6 nvl 95, 3-4-5* inf XX (Cat), 1-2-6 art 12 v(Cat) @ 2:1 (+1) = DR (Excitement at a roll of 5 turns to disappointment  as it is the only none lethal defender result – if only those tanks had broken down!). Advance 5, 108 XX, N lt tk

Attack2: 3430 clear (Bend of the Ebro nth of Tortosa), 4 points AA fires at the DAS SB-2bis and misses.  Supplied 6-6 inf XXs 3, 4, 152, 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 2-6 inf 10BT (Col), 4-6 art 3RG, 3-1-2 sg art Man (CTV), 2-10 AA 88 (KL) and 5-6 inf XX 54, 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 2-1-8 art O, unsupplied 2-6 art 1P, 2-6 inf 7Lam (Col) and 2 pts GS attack 6-6 inf XX 35 (Int), 3-6* inf XX 1, 2-6 infs152C, 222C, 2-6 nvl 56 and 1 pt DAS @ 3:1 = HX. Lose XX54 to cadre, O art. Advance 3, 4, 152 XXS, 3RG art, sge art Man (CTV)

Attack 3: 3631 canal intensive (Coast adj Torosa) Unsupplied 6-6 infs XX 52,102, 2-6 inf 2Mel (Col), 2-3-6 art 62 Attack 1-6 eng 2, 0-1-5 cons 3 @ 8:1 (-1) = DE. Advance All.

Attack 4: 3532 clear (W of Tortosa) Unsupplied 5-6 inf XXs51, 71 and 7-6 inf XX 13, 2-1-8 lt tks 2,3, Supplied 1-8 mot art L (CTV) and Unsupplied over mtn 5-6 inf XXs 61, 82, 3-4-5* inf XX 33, 2-6 art 4P Attack 2-3-5* inf XX49 @ 5:1 = DR. Eliminated as no retreat path. Advance 61, 82XXs, 2, 3 lt tk, L mot art (CTV), 4P art

Attack 5: 3533 Mtn (nth of coast road W of Tortosa)  Unsupplied 2-8 mtn Guad, 2-1-8 art E, 2-6 infs Tdi, 5lah (Col) and 6-8 lt inf 150, 5-6 inf XX 11, 2-6 inf8Rif, 2-1-8 cav1E, 1-2-6 art 48 and Supplied 5-8 inf LA, 4-6 inf XX FA(Mxd)  1-8 mg Ard( CTV), 1-8 mot Ter (CTV) attack  1-6 bdr 8car, 1-6 art 5L @ 6:1 (-2) = DR. Eliminated no retreat path. 150 XX lt.

Jul I 1939: Tortosa encircled

Jul I 1939: Tortosa encircled

Republican turn

VPs: Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender(R+10 VPs)
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply:  Western Zone: 12 REs @ Murcia City draws of GSPs (Underlying supply condition is now U4) 2 REs roll for elimination 1-8 inf GP sand all 3 succumb and are lost.
Eastern Zone:  Isolated 3-6* at 3534 U1.
Replacements;   4.5 SRP recovered.   SB-2 Repaired. 1-2-6 sec rebuilt.

Air Activity: Sortie 1:  2X SB-2 fly DAS to 3328

Sortie 2:  SB-2Bis, R-Z fly DAS to 3528

Moves:  Fort built at 3239 (E Tortosa)

Republicans abandon the Cinca river line and fall back towards the Sagre river.  Lerida is exposed and will fall but supplies are flowing through the French border so they can fight on in general supply if so.

Attacks: None

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