Game Settings

  • Game: For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Scenario: Full Campaign
  • Optional Rules: All rules in play except variable beginning of the rebellion, variable French assistance, Loyalist OB modifications, and amphibious invasions.
  • House Rules: None
  • Insurgent Player: Friedrich Helfferich (State College, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Loyalist Player: Elias Nordling (Stockholm, Sweden)

Turn Reports

  • JUL II 1936 - July II Insurgents The murder of Calvo Sotelo seems to have forced the insurgent leaders to start their revolution prematurely. The outcome is in doubt. Much of the traditionally conservative countryside, especially in Galicia and Navarra, have joined the uprising, but in the industrial centers the loyalists have retained control. Of the big cities, Madrid, […]
  • AUG I 1936 - AUG I 36 – Insurgent The insurgents succeeded in linking up all portions of their rail net except Granada. This enabled them to rail strong forces into Oviedo and capture Gijon with naval support. The air and sea lift of troops from Morocco continued full-tilt. In Andalucia a strong insurgent force approached Malaga, scattering an […]
  • AUG II 1936 - AUG II 36 – Insurgent The Italian navy made a dramatic appearance intervening in favor of the insurgents. Two cruiser squadrons steamed into the Bay of Biscay and made short shrift of the Red Atlantic Fleet that was still lingering at Gijon. In a very brief encounter the loyalist forces were obliterated, at the loss […]
  • SEP I 1936 - The hectic pace of the Spanish civil war has picked up even more as both sides appear to scramble to make best use of the remaining weeks of fair weather before onset of the rainy season. SEP I INSURGENT Events took a dramatic turn in the northern separatist provinces. As expected the Asturian “government” collapsed […]
  • SEP II 1936 - SEP II INSURGENT In the Biscay provinces things are fast coming to an end. The Basque “government” has capitulated. Santander has fallen to a concentric attack, and its separatist leaders are negotiating surrender. Only three pockets of resistance still hold out, a major one in Pyrenees foothills near Pamplona and two small ones in the […]
  • OCT I 1936 - INSURGENT OCT I 36 In beautiful fall weather affairs in the Biscay provinces are winding down. The separatist Santandero “government” has capitulated as expected and mop-up of the three residual pockets was completed. The only serious resistance was encountered near Pamplona and was broken by the Carlist Navarrese Corps supported by Italian artillery and newly […]
  • OCT II 1936 - INSUGENT OCT II 36 The rain, in Spain, falls mainly in the … north. Storms have hit Navarra, Aragon, Cataluna and Castilla la Vieja and put the cramps into the transfer of Nationalist troops from the Biscay provinces to their new destinations. The south still enjoys favorable campaign weather. In Aragon, the first troops newly […]
  • NOV I 1936 - NOV I INSURGENT Unseasonably early rain has engulfed all of Spain, hindering movement and attacks. In Aragon the Nationalists continued their attack south of Zaragoza, strengthened by the arrival of additional troops which victory in the Biscay provinces had freed.. The bothersome Loyalist salient near Calatayud was eliminated and the mountains to the south cleared […]
  • NOV II 1936 - NOV II INSURGENT While rain continued in the north, a lucky break in the foul weather over central and southern Spain dried up roads and fields. This was put to good use by the Nationalists. Lightly held Loyalist positions near Toledo and Tomelloso were overrun. Outflanked, the Loyalist front in between was shredded and collapsed, […]
  • DEC I 1936 - INSURGENT DEC I Rain has returned to central and southern Spain and has again put the cramps into any far-flung operations. With an epic air battle raging overhead (Italians Fiats and Russian I-16s shooting one another down while German Ju-52s and He-51s and Republican Bre-19s bombed), the Insurgents continued their offensive along the Cordoba-Madrid axis […]
  • DEC II 1936 - INSURGENT DEC II While the north remained drenched in mud and sleet, central and southern Spain enjoyed a return of dry weather. The Insurgents were quick to take advantage. Marshaling overpowering superiority they extended their hold on the Cartagena-Madrid rail line southeast of Alcazar de San Juan and broke determined Republican resistance to advance in […]
  • JAN I 1937 - JAN I INSURGENT Drenching rain has returned to all of Spain. A high over the Azores (with good weather over the Atlantic) may or may not herald a change for drier conditions. Hampered more by mud than by the enemy, Nationalist troops poured in strength into the vacated Madrid corridor, securing Aranjuez and starting to […]
  • JAN II 1937 - JAN II INSURGENT Very poor and rainy weather continued everywhere through all of January and greatly hampered operations. The Insurgents followed up on Loyalist tactical retreats but did not mount any attacks. Engineers worked around the clock on repairs of the rail and road net in what had been the Loyalist Madrid corridor. Elite Moroccan […]
  • FEB I 1937 - FEB I INSURGENT A cold front finally reached northern Spain, bringing winter weather with frost and some snow, putting an end to mud but making movement in the mountains more difficult. The south meanwhile remained mired in rain and mud. After a build-up that had lasted through most of January, the long-awaited all-out attack on […]
  • FEB II 1937 - INSURGENTS FEB II 1937 The Azores high-pressure system has finally moved into southern Spain, bringing unseasonably dry and sunny days. In the north meanwhile, wintery weather persisted. As expected, the Nationalist onslaught on Madrid continued. Although beefed up by newly recruited units and expenditure of last supplies (attack supply converted to general supply to negate […]
  • MAR I 1937 - MAR I INSURGENT The nice weather in central and southern Spain was short- lived and a warm front has brought thaw to the north as well. Rain has returned, everyone is sloshing through mud everywhere, and rivers in Navarra, Aragon, and Cataluna are in flood. Though hampered by mud, the Nationalist juggernaut in Aragon pressed […]
  • MAR II 1937 - MAR II INSURGENT Unusual atmospheric conditions brought sunny skies and crisp spring weather to all of Spain (die roll “1”). The Insurgents made good use of dried-up ground to forge ahead in Aragon. With maximum concentration of strength they achieved a deep though narrow penetration north of Ebro river in the Alcubierre hills (33:2932). Also, […]
  • APR I 1937 - INSURGENT APR I 1937 Unseasonably brisk and dry spring weather continued throughout all of Spain. This helped the Insurgents with their offensive in Aragon, where they gained further ground along the Huesca-Barcelona axis on a narrow front against stiffening resistance. Although badly outnumbered, the Loyalists retreated in good order (DR on 6.50:1(percentiles) in clear terrain). […]
  • APR II 1937 - APR II INSURGENT With dry spring weather here to stay, the Nationalist Aragon offensive along the Huesca-Barcelona axis kept grinding on and reached the Cinca river at Barbastro. This time the Loyalists took heavy losses. However, the Nationalists failed to exploit the gap in the front they had created (only the Kondor Legion’s motorized 88AA […]
  • MAY I 1937 - INSURGENT MAY I TURN With order completely restored in Madrid, General Franco triumphantly entered the traditional capital and established himself and his government in the largely undestroyed palaces in the western part of the city overlooking the Manzanares river. The Nationalist steamroller continued on in Aragon. With concentration of force and under fighter cover to […]
  • MAY II 1937 - 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 […]
  • JUN I 1937 - JUN I INSURGENT Being now faced with forbiddingly strong defenses in Aragon (15+CF/hex), the Insurgents shifted their stance, railed their elite formations into Castilla, and started a strong offensive on a broad front in the central plain between Albacete and Cuenca. The main thrust developed along the Madrid-Cartagena rail line and penetrated to within a […]
  • JUN II 1937 - INSURGENT JUN I TURN The Nationalist offensive in the central plain gained momentum with the arrival of additional combat divisions. The main axis of advance remained the Madrid- Cartagena rail line, but attacks were conducted on the entire front between Albacete and Cuenca and gained ground. At Albacete, the Republican Airforce massed its fighters and […]
  • JUL I 1937 - INSURGENT JUL I TURN At the central front the Nationalist juggernaut continued to inch forward. The main thrust along the Madrid-Cartagena rail line gained ground beyond Albacete with air ample support. Spearheads advanced beyond the important rail junction Estacion de Chinchilla (hex 3709), at which the lines to Valencia and Cartagena branch. This has severed […]
  • JUL II 1937 - INSURGENT JUL II TURN The Nationalist offensive in Murcia ground on slowly but inexorably although encountering stiffer resistance (now 10 CF per hex) and tougher terrain. Troops advancing from Albacete took Hellin and begin to threaten the flank of Loyalist forces still holding strong positions south and west of the Segura river. A second thrust […]
  • AUG I 37 - INSURGENT AUG I TURN The battle in Murcia Province intensified as the Nationalist encountered stiffer resistance. Their thrust has narrowed and now follows the Albacete-Alicante axis south of the Jucar river. Ground was gained in heavy fighting and forward elements are within sight of Yekla. Losses on both sides were light (one HX at expense […]
  • AUG II 37 - INSURGENT AUG II TURN The battle in Murcia province escalated as the Loyalists are attempting to stem the swelling tide. The main thrust of the Nationalist offensive advanced along the Albacete-Valencia rail line and broke into the Loyalist lines. A Legion Kondor flak regiment raced forward far into the Loyalist rear and reached Alcira, where […]
  • SEP I 1937 - INSURGENT SEP I 1937 The battle of the Jucar river is reaching a climax. In a determined effort the Nationalists pressed forward on the south bank and broke into the Republican lines, undeterred by defensive air support. The leading elements of the main force reached the confluence of the Jucar and Cabriel rivers (23A:3806) while […]
  • SEP II 1937 - INSURGENT SEP II 1937 The battle of the Jucar continued full blast. Bypassing the Reserva nacional to the south, the Nationalist main forces pressed forward through the Enguera hills to Canals on the Albacete-Valencia highway (23A:3906) and reestablished contact with the hedgehog at Alcira, but were not yet able to reinforce it. A hapless contingent […]
  • OCT I 1937 - INSURGENT OCT I 1937 Unseasonably early and heavy rains have turnd roads and fields in Aragon and Cataluna into a quagmire. This makes it even more unlikely that the long dormant front between Teruel and the Pyrenees will see any action for some time to come. The Insurgents lost no time in taking advantage of […]
  • OCT II 1937 - OCT II INSURGENT While the Loyalists in the Murcia-Alicante pocket were still reeling from their failure to break through to Cartagena, the Nationalists attacked in full force and stormed both Murcia and Alicante, meeting with only half-heartded resistance. Losses were light. Many facilities in Murcia had been destroyed, but Alicante fell with its port and […]
  • NOV I 1937 - NOV I INSURGENT While rain in the north continued as predicted, southern Spain still enjoyed dry days of Indian summer. However, a storm over the Atlantic may portend the arrival of poor weather even here. Cartagena, attacked from all sides with extremely heavy artillery support, has fallen. As in Alicante, damage was minimal: port, naval […]
  • NOV II 1937 - NOV II INSURGENT Not unexpectedly, the Atlantic low reached southern Spain, causing torrential rains in Murcia and Valencia provinces while Aragon and Cataluna remained mired in mud. Now faced with abominable weather on top of rough terrain and the formidable defenses of the “no pasaran” line, the Caudillo called off his offensive toward Valencia, just […]
  • DEC I 1937 - DEC I INSURGENT While dreary weather lingered in the south, a cold front passed through Aragon and Cataluna bringing a bit of sunshine, a drop in temperatures that let the mud dry up a little, and snow flurries in higher elevations (winter weather). In the south, the pocket has ceased to exist. The last die-hard […]
  • DEC II 1937 - DECEMBER II INSURGENT No change in weather: Aragon and Cataluna kept enjoying a mild winter while the south remains engulfed in rain. Their efforts toward Quinto (23A:3033) rebuffed, the Nationalists tried their mettle on the other, northern Ebro bank, again with strong artillery and air support and combat engineers in an attempt to crack the […]
  • JAN I 1938 - INSURGENT JAN I 1938 A cold front moving in from the Atlantic brought freezing temperatures and light snow flurries to Aragon and Cataluna while the south of Spain remained mired in mud. The Ebro battle continued. Having outflanked the fortified position at Quinto (13:3034) and forced its evacuation, Franco’s troops shifted their Schwerpunkt again to […]
  • JAN II 1938 - INSURGENT JAN II 1938 The strong cold front has now extended its hold to southerm Spain. While snow flurries continued in the north, sunshine and freezing ground brought an end to the mud in the south. At the Ebro front, the Nationalist offensive continued unabated. The main effort remained concentrated on the south bank of […]
  • FEB I 1938 - INSURGENT FEB I 1938 The cold spell was broken by an unseasonable intrusion of warm air. Heavy rainstorms turned all of Spain into a quagmire and caused rivers in the north to flood. The Nationalists halted their Ebro offensive in the face of atrocious ground conditions. All other fronts also remained quiet. The rains did […]
  • FEB II 1938 - INSURGENT FEB II 1938 Normal winter weather has returned to Spain, with freezing temperatures (winter) in the north and continuing rain and mud in the south. Making use of the hardened ground, Franco’s troops renewed their attacks in Aragon south of the Ebro. Overhead, Nationalist and Republican fighters clashed for control of the air space. […]
  • MAR I 1938 - INSURGENT MAR II A strong high from the Azores stalled over the Iberian peninsula, bringing sunshine with cold temperatures in the north (winter) and spring-like days in the south (clear). To make hay while the winter lasts, Franco’s finest continued their drive on the Ebro’s south bank in Aragon. Overhead in clear skies another battle […]
  • MAR II 1938 - INSURGENT MAR II 1938 The Azores high has move on and warm air has invaded Spain in its wake. Melting snow has produced a sea of mud in the north, but the south is enjoying dry, spring-like weather. In Aragon, an impatient Nationalist command insisted on continuing the Ebro offensive despite poor ground conditions. Starting […]
  • APR I 1938 - INSURGENT APR I 1938 Spring has awakened, and with a big bang at that! Warm sunshine and dry winds from the North African deserts dried up the snow melt’s slush. Another Azores high is on its way and promises continuing fair spring weather for all of Spain (fair weather now automatic). Eager to strike before […]
  • APR II 1938 - LOYALIST APR I ADDENDUM Because of a misunderstanding, the previous report went out prematurely, before the turn was finished. It was not: The Loyalists still had something up their sleeve. Spurred on to make a supreme effort, new Russian tanks that had been ferried by ship to Tarragona moved into the Ebro bend for a […]
  • MAY I 1938 - INSURGENT MAY I 1938 In an attempt to prevent the Loyalists from digging in, the Nationalists stepped up their attacks between Lerida and the coast. Strong forces crushed the Cinca bridgehead opposite Fraga (13:3230), clearing the entire western bank of that river of enemy troops and edging closer to Lerida. In the Ebro bend, Gandesa […]
  • MAY II 1938 - INSURGENT MAY II 1938 Still riding the wave of their successes, the Nationalists at the Ebro kept pounding away at an opponent now reeling from their blows. A massive, tank-supported attack cleared the Ebro bend, taking Flix and Asco (13:3430) and eliminating the last Loyalist bridgeheads. This time the Loyalists managed an orderly evacuation with […]
  • JUN I 1938 - INSURGENT JUN I 1938 The Nationalist onslaught continues unabated. Having cleared the Ebro bend, Franco’s troops attacked across that river and the lower Segre near their confluence, gained a substantial bridgehead, took Maials (13:3330), and are approaching Lerida from the south. Once again, however, the Loyalists managed a retreat in good order (DR one one […]
  • JUN II 1938 - INSURGENT JUNE II 1938 Having consolidated their position around Tortosa and being faced with natural obstacles and strong defenses, the Nationalists shifted their Schwerpunkt once again to the north, attacking from the Noguera river north of Lerida toward the upper Segre. However, the Loyalists held fast, as they did in the first attack on that […]
  • JUL I 1938 - INSURGENT JUL I 1938 Undaunted by their earlier failure, the Insurgents renewed their attempts to dent the Cataluna front north of Lerida. This time they succeeded and reached the Segre at Balaguer (at 23:3129), upstream of Lerida. The latter city is now in what has become an endangered bridgehead. However, the Loyalists once again beat […]
  • JUL II 1938 - The war has been raging for two years. Loyalists control has been reduced to the city of Valencia and a small triangle in Cataluna, about 5 percent of Spain’s territory. Nevertheless, there is stalemate with no end in sight. INSURGENT JUL II 1938 Finally, Lerida has fallen! The hapless and hopeless defenders were overwhelmed by […]
  • AUG I 1938 - NATIONALIST AUG I 1938 Having cleared the Loyalisy Segre bridgehead at Lerida, the Nationalists got down to the hard work of trying to bulldoze their way into the “iron shield” main Catalan defense line that runs practically straight from Reus to the Sant Maurici mountains in the high Pyrenees (13:2927). They opted for a narrow-front […]
  • AUG II 1938 - Insurgent AUG II 1938 The Nationalists continued their Cataluna offensive, keeping their Schwerpunkt on the Pla d’Urgell, northeast of Lerida and south of the Segre river. Storming the towns of Balaguer and Artesa de Segre (13:3228), Franco’s soldiers cut the main supply roads to the Republicans up north in the high Pyrenees. But the Loyalists […]
  • SEP I 1938 - INSURGENT SEP I 1938 With summer time beginning to run out, the Insurgents kept pressing their attack on the Pla d’Urgell along the Lerida-Barcelona rail line. They ran head-on into the elite Asalto and Choque formations the Loyalists had newly assembled and sent to this most threatened spot of their front (stack of 26CF, strongest […]
  • SEP II 1938 - INSURGENT SEP II 1938 To make most of the remaining days of fair weather, the Insurgents kept pressing their offensive in northern Cataluna. Their main thrust was just south of the Segre, to widen the breach in the second defense line and secure a broader basis for an attack on the last, the Pasionaria line. […]
  • OCT I 1938 - INSURGENT OCT I 1938 Storm clouds racing overhead, but no rain yet (roll of “5” when a “6” would have produced mud). On the ground, Franco’s elite is racing against time to plow through the Pasionaria line while the sun still shines. The best troops, the last combat engineers, all the heavy artillery thrown in, […]
  • OCT II 1938 - INSURGENT OCT II 1938 Although weather has turned cloudy and windy in the north, the rain has held off so far. This has given the Insurgents one more chance to gain victory before offensive operations have to be stopped because of mud. With only minor adjustments, the assault on Cervera and Calaf (13:3327) on the […]
  • NOV I 1938 - INSURGENT NOV I 1938 Companys has thrown in the towel, the Catalan military command has ceased to exist. Catalan troops everywhere laid down their arms and just went home (automatic with the -2 modifier after OCT I). However, the central government has not yet capitulated, though Azana and Negrin have moved to Gerona, a step […]
  • NOV II: SURRENDER !! - Azana, Negrin, and the communists Togliatti and La Pasionaria fled to France to join ex-Premier Largo Caballero in exile. The government has ceased to exist (with the last gobiernito collapsed and Madrid Insurgent-held, the game’s surrender conditions were met). Franco’s troops entered Barcelona in a victory parade. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership in Valencia succeeded in […]
  • SPANISH CIVIL WAR: Highlights and Comments - This was a truly fascinating and exciting match. Here is a brief recap: AUG 36: Great battle for Gijon, which changes hands three times, finally secured by Insurgents with help of Regia Marina which sinks the entire Republican Atlantic Fleet. Another RM squadron helps a weak Insurgent force to secure Malaga, whose main garrison had […]