Game Settings and Setup

  • Game: For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Scenario: Invasion of Spain
  • Optional Rules: All used except 44I (Loyalist OB Modifications), 44J (Variable French Assistance), 45A (Limited Intelligence and Entrnchments
  • House Rules: No
  • Game Played: 2007
  • Game Lengh: 15 turns
  • Game Turns played: 15 turns
  • Insurgent Player: Ralph Sunley
  • Loyalist Player: Ralph Sunley

Setup

Being a fan of ‘what-if’ scenarios, I decided to pull out For Whom the Bell Tolls and fire up a solitaire version of the Invasion of Spain scenario included with the larger Spanish Civil War game.

The scenario deals with a hypothetical attack on Spain by Germany in 1941, in an attempt to seize Gibraltar. It must be assumed that a Mediterranean strategy is being pursued by the Axis, so only a portion of the German Army is sent to the Iberian Peninsula. British involvement is also limited to roughly a reinforced Corps, plus significant Royal Navy assets. Historically the Germans tried to pressure Spain into allowing free passage for their troops to assault Gibraltar (Operation Felix), but Franco refused unless paid with an enormous amount of oil and other raw materials. Hitler baulked at the price, and in any case was already starting to look to the east.

Germany is hoping for a quick victory, but the Spanish Army is sizeable, and the terrain is difficult. There are also supply implications due to the Iberian gauge rail network of both Spain and Portugal. On the other side of the equation, Spain has very little armour or antitank weaponry, and is totally outclassed in the air by the Luftwaffe.

March 41

Hitler meets General Franco in a rail carriage near the French border, in a final attempt to secure passage for German troops to carry out Operation Felix, a direct assault on the British bastion of Gibraltar. Although sympathetic, Franco is trying to rebuild a nation devastated by 4 years of Civil War. He demands huge amounts of food, resources and war materiel. Hitler refuses, declaring that he would rather have teeth pulled than meet with the Spanish leader again. Upon arrival in Berlin, he orders his general staff to prepare for an invasion of Spain, with the intention of capturing Gibraltar, and with it control of the Western Mediterranean. The Spanish Army, along with any reinforcements sent from Britain, is to be wiped out.

April I 41

To secure assembly areas for the assault, Germany occupies Vichy France. Various tank and infantry units head south from the Bordeaux area as part of the occupation. This sudden move prompts French Morocco to declare that it is no longer loyal to the Vichy government, but is instead a part of Free France. Spain also responds to the provocation, ordering turn 2 of general mobilisation. Britain details the 1st Canadian infantry division plus two smaller units to be sent to the area to defend Gibraltar, and they arrive by sea. Mobilised Spanish units are sent to the border area to join the main force that has been redeployed there during the winter months as a precaution against any surprise attack.

  • Mar II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The weather is mud in Zones D and E. Following Franco’s final refusal to join the Axis, a German Army is deployed to southwest France to prepare for the invasion of Spain. 3 Panzer divisions, 20 Infantry divisions, 2 air transportable divisions and associated support units arrive. Numerous Luftwaffe assets arrive and are […]
  • Mar II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase No activity, Spain is still neutral and does not mobilise further, despite reports of a massive German buildup in France. Movement Phase: The 4th Lt Tank Regiment moves from Pamplona to join the 62nd Infantry Division in 2132. The 42nd Infantry XX pulls back into the mountain at 3524. Some air assets are […]
  • April I 41 – Allied turn - Initial Phase: Spain declares another turn of General mobilisation (turn 2) in response to the German occupation of Vichy France. Many of these units appear on Spanish islands, but a few small formations appear at mainland cities. Britain also mobilises reinforcements for Gibraltar. Movement Phase: In Britain, The 1st Canadian Infantry Division, the 20th Guards […]
  • April I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. The Axis moves to occupy Vichy France. In reaction, French Morocco declares that it no longer considers itself as a part of Vichy France and joins the Allies. Movement Phase: The 15th Mountain Corps and 1st RR […]
  • April II 41 – Allied turn - Initial Phase: A reinforced British Corps is made available in the UK for deployment to Spain. Spain conducts turn 3 of mobilisation. In addition, the garrisons of Valencia, Castilla de Nueva, Santander, Leon, and Extremedura activate. Portugal orders general mobilisation in response to the attack on Spain. However, Allied diplomatic efforts are unsuccessful in gaining […]
  • April II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Movement Phase: Germany declares war on Spain and invades. The 62 Corps advances to the Spanish/Andorran border at 3124, along with 63 Corps, which uses administrative movement to reach 3024. A Me110C1 […]
  • May I 41 – Allied turn - Initial Phase: Spain completes its 4th and final turn of mobilisation. Garrison units are also released for Asturias. Portugal completes turn 2 of mobilisation. Britain does not receive any additional reinforcements apart from 5 ARPs. The 23rd Infantry division is reconstituted in Madrid from remnants of destroyed formations (5 inf RPs, 3 remain) All the […]
  • May I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. 1 ARP is spent (10 left) to bring back a He111H at 33:1725 Movement Phase:The 66th Corps advances to 3623 in preparation for an assault on Barcelona. In the mountains near Andorra, […]
  • May II 41 – Allied turn - Initial Phase: Due to the appearance of Axis forces in Asturias, the garrison of Galicia is activated. One border and one security regiment appear in La Coruna. The 21st Infantry division and 62nd Artillery regiment are reformed with manpower drawn from men that have managed to escape Axis attacks (7 Inf RPs spent, 1 left). […]
  • May II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Germany spends 1 ARP (8 left) to bring back an aborted He111H4. It appears at Barcelona. Germany spends 5.5 inf RPs (7 remain) and 0.5 Arm RPs (2.5 left) to replace an […]
  • Jun I 41 Allied turn - Initial Phase: All units are in supply. It is the 6th turn of Spanish mobilisation, so production of RPs begins. 4 Inf RPs are received in mainland Spain, 0.5 RPs are received in the Canary Islands, and 0.5 Colonial Inf RPs appear in Tetuan. The 61st Infantry division is rebuilt and appears in Madrid (5 […]
  • Jun I 41 – German Turn - The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Madrid and 3 in Sevilla. With 19.5 Inf RPs available, the Germans rebuild the 11th and 12th Infantry divisions to full strength (5 RPs each). They also recreate the […]
  • Jun II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: All units are in supply. All German bomber units switch to Naval Patrol. Partisan units launch coordinated attacks against rail targets in Lerida, Tarragona and Reuss in Cataluna. Faulty explosives mean that the attempt in Lerida fails but the other 2 attacks are successful. Madrid and Sevilla generate 3 GSPs each. Valencia also […]
  • Jun II 41 German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Madrid and 3 in Sevilla. 3 German Infantry RPs are used to replace the 98th Mountain regiment (3 remain). This unit appears in Tarragona. 2 German Me110Cs […]
  • Jul I 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: The units in 2412 are out of supply and become U-1. Franco and his government are now in immediate danger. In order to avoid capture, they leave what is left of Madrid and relocate to Sevilla. Spanish Army units experience widespread confusion amongst their troops as the news filters through. All their combat […]
  • Jul I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Madrid and 3 in Sevilla. It is the start of a new air cycle, so 10 ARPs are received and one is carried over for a total […]
  • Jul II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: The units in 2412 are out of supply and become U-1. Germany now has 10 REs available to it on the Iberian gauge rail net and thus can now use it to trace supply lines. Due to the fall of Madrid, there are currently no Spanish full supply sources, so Spanish units must […]
  • Jul II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Madrid and 3 in Sevilla. The Axis uses 6 ARPs to bring back 2 Me109Es (1 from elimination), a Me109F a Ju87B and a He111H. The fighters […]
  • Aug I 41 – Allied Turn - All units are in supply except for the cadre of the 21st Infantry division, which is hiding in the Cordillera Central. All the German aircraft, except for a fighter in Madrid and the transports, go on Naval Patrol duty. Spanish guerrillas employ a change of tactics this turn, targeting airbases instead of the rail network. […]
  • Aug I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Sevilla. Germany spends 2 ARPs to bring back 2 aborted Me109Es. One appears at Tarragone and the other comes on at Lerida.1 ARP is left in the […]
  • Aug II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: The cadre of the 21st Infantry division, which is still in the Cordillera Central, is running low on food and ammunition. It is now at U-2 status. Only the German Ju88A4 aircraft go on Naval Patrol duty this turn. Attacks on rail lines are made by Spanish partisans in 23A:4110, 4210 and 33:3531. […]
  • Aug II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply, except for the Spanish 21st cadre in 23A:2315. It remains at U-1. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Sevilla. The last German ARP is spent bringing back an aborted Me110C4. This unit appears […]
  • Sep I 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: The Allied armour and infantry that was holding the Guadalquivir river has been outflanked and nearly surrounded. Units in 3518 and 3618 are U-1. All German He111s and Ju88s are assigned to Naval patrol. More Spanish replacements are received. They now have 2 Inf RPs in the Canaries and 2 Colonial Inf RPs. […]
  • Sep I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather remains clear in Zones D and E, however the Sea is rough in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply, except for the Spanish 21st cadre in 23A:2315. It remains at U-2. Spain generates 3 GSPs in Sevilla. A new air cycle has begun; the Germans receive 10 ARPs […]
  • Sep II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: The British 1st Tank brigade and attached Spanish artillery are cut off and become U-1. All German He111s and Ju88s are assigned to Naval patrol. The Special RPs generated during the Axis player turn are used to reconstitute 4 machinegun regiments. The 90th and 88th regiments appear in Huelva, while the 81st and […]
  • Sep II 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: The Weather remains clear in Zones D and E, but the Atlantic and Mediterranean remain rough. All units are in supply Spain generates 3 GSPs in Sevilla. Germany uses 3 ARPs to replace an aborted Me109E and an eliminated He111. The fighters are brought on at Jaen and the bombers at Madrid. No […]
  • Oct I 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: All units are in supply, however all Spanish units are halved due to demoralisation. All German bombers are assigned to Naval patrol. Spain has lost its last mainland replacement city, so it only receives 0.5 Inf RPs in the Canaries (2.5 available) and 0.5 Colonial Inf RPs in Spanish Morocco (2.5 available), plus […]
  • Oct I 41 – German Turn - Initial Phase: There is no sign of an early autumn. The weather remains clear in Zones D and E, but the Atlantic and Mediterranean remain rough. All units are in supply Spain generates 3 GSPs in Sevilla. 2 ARPs are used (5 left) to bring back an aborted Me109E and an aborted He111. The bomber […]
  • Oct II 41 – Allied Turn - Initial Phase: All units are in supply, however all Spanish units are halved due to demoralisation. All German air units are assigned to Naval patrol. No Allied units are replaced this turn. The Allies have no ARPs left to bring back any aircraft this turn. All the active German Me109s plus 2 Me110C1s fly CAP […]
  • Game Analysis - Victory points German Spanish surrender – 50 Capture government – 10 Government goes into exile – 5 Terror bombing – 6 (3 hits) Hits on Naval units – 72 (9 hits) Enemy losses – 34 (3 elim air units – 12, 7 aborted air units – 14, 7 REs in repl pool, 1 c/m – […]