Both sides are relying heavily on propaganda and much indistinguishable from each other. However the Republican rumour mill and news both official and unofficial includes many stories of dubious credulity.  Reports seize upon lone isolated incidents to make general points.  Horror stories are spread of small children’s hands being cut off by Moorish regulars because their fists were clenched in the Republican salute of defiance. Secular miracles are circulating such as bombs failing to explode because they have been packed not with explosives but with messages of support from leftish sympathisers within the foreign manufacture’s munitions factories.

The addiction of the Republican to its own propaganda machine has become so exaggerated and misplaced that it feeds on itself. Offensive gains however small are lauded and exaggerated in proportion to the hope of success rather than to any actually military significance.  These small gains after such exaggeration needed to be held at all costs irrespective of their military value for to admit defeat after such a “success” would undermine morale. Colonel Casado with some justification argues that this has a real and adverse effect on the military campaign and is wasteful of material and precious manpower and could be become a significant factor in the possible ultimate defeat of the leftist campaign.

Spoiler alert – skip this for now if you want to see the turn unfold step by step.

The return of clear weather in the North sees the largest battle of War to date in terms of units employed on both sides. Surprisingly this is initiated by the Republic on a 5 hex surrounded Nationalist redoubt protruding into the Republican lines towards Saragossa. (Actually formed by Republican attacks either side in recent months).. The Nationalists had believed a 15 point stack unassailable and indeed this attack took almost the entire stock of Republican Attack Supply points to initiate at a guaranteed 4:1. In terms of ASPs expended this could be seen as a waste and the Republic would have been better to go fully defensive and spread out the attack forces. But there are two reasons why they chose to attack.  Firstly they still harbour some hope of a link-up with the Basques and the captured rail line is an important first step allowing them to attack north without the cross country cartage previously needed.  And secondly –it is more fun to attack!?. While this may seem facile I view this in historic terms as the type of wasteful propaganda attack which did occur as discussed above and to that end the game mirrors reality.  Perhaps “fun” in game terms represents “propaganda/political advantage” in the real world – discuss

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Apr I 1938

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Apr I 1938, tactical view (c) Ken Newall, 2017

Nationalists Turn

Weather; Land; North (D)= Mud. South (E) =  Clear.  Seas;  Med = Clear. Atlantic = Rough
Replacements:  CR.32bis (CTV) replaced. Me109B (KL) repaired.  Madrid Factory in production.
Movement:  1 Res Pt expended to temp boost Rail cap to 20.25 Res.

Air Activity;  Sortie 1; CR.32bis, CR.32, escort extended range 2 X Mxd A, Mxd B evade 3 pts flack and cause 1 Hit on Murcia.
Sortie 2; SM.79-1 and SM.81 fly individual Strategic missions to Valencia inflicting one terror Hit. (N +2 VPs)
Sortie 3; Me 109B, He 45 fly airbase bombing to Zaragoza. Intercepted by I-16/t10. Me Jettisons bomb load, engages and is Aborted.

Attack 1; 1405 mtn (East of Santander) Supplied 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 2-1-8 cav 2O (Col), 4-8 cav XX 2, unsupplied 2-1-8 art O attack 1-4 infs 4,13 (San) @ 6:1 (-4) = DR. Advance 2 cav, 2O (Col) 2LE.

Republican turn

VPs : Lack of Goberneto collapse (+15 VPs)
French border; Closed
Replacements; I-16/t5 repaired. 0.5 SRP (San) recovered
Reinforcements; All XXs equipped on arrival.
Guerrillas; Ineffective

Attack 1; 2434 clear (SW of Logrono) Supplied, over river.  3-6* inf XXs 2,19, 2-6 inf 152C, 2-6 Nvl 151, 4-7 mtn XX43 (Cat), 2-6 art 2P unsupplied U2 1-8 mtn 1, unsupplied 1-5 mech 2 and Unsupplied U2 over river 4-6 inf XX 34, 5-6 inf XX 46ch, 1-6 art 11 (Cat),  U1 5-6 inf XX 15 (Int), 2-1-8 cav 3,4, 2-1-8 tk 3,  1-6 art 7L attack U3 3-6* inf XX 3Sor, 1-6 mg 2 @ 8:1 (-2) = DR. Advance inf XXs 2,19 mtn XX 43 (Cat).

Attack 2; 2331 mtn French boarder SE of Pamplona) All adjacent attack U4 1-5 inf 3Card (Fal) @ 6:1 (-4) = Hx lose 1-8 mtn 1

Air Activity; 2 x SB-2, R-5 with I-16/t10, I-16/t5 escorts fly airfield bombing at 2232 (Pamplona) Intercepted by  ME 109B which is returned for no loss. I hit inflicted Aborting He45 on the ground.