Miguel was feeling cramped. Over the last fortnight thousands more troops had arrived and he was now bunk sharing with a burley fellow from Leon. But if cramped it was at least rested.  Until that was Operation “Eagle”. HQ must have decided that it was not a good idea to cram thousands of troops into a working town and give them nothing to do. So they were to carry out a large “anti –partisan” operation to root out all the Asturian stragglers still at large in the mountains and coastal plain to the north west. His unit along with the howitzers of the 1PL was to drive to the coast and sweep behind the 15TH infantry holding the Narcea river and block their escape so that the 1st Madrid and comrades from Avila province could finish them off.

FWtBT No 4 - DEC I 36: Tactical view: Internationalists become involved in force.

The Internationalists arrive in force

As the military situation worsened Republican circles harboured a naive belief that help might come from external sources such as Britain as the champion of the underdog. However in 1936 British prime minister Eden did not recognise the growing threat of fascism and in fact he preferred “on balance” a “fascist” victory to a “communist” one and thus refused to sell arms to the Republic.  Notwithstanding this official stance the Republican forces were being supplemented by the Internationalist brigades in growing numbers who were taking on some of the toughest fighting.

FWtBT No 4 - DEC I 36

Nationalist line again breached around Zaragoza

Game Report

Insurgent Turn

Weather: North: Winter, South: Mud, Atlantic: Storms, Med: Clear.

Supply:  PA 40thinf goes U4 but there are still some areas where the front is not continuous so it is not isolated.

(I considered taking the view that the line to the PA unit was so long, crossing most of Spain and over mountain ranges that it should have an “isolated” status. However I want to play the game strictly according to the rules and it could be argued that in a civil war there would be supplies slipping through line from sympathisers, local sources etc. Anyway this punishes the Nationalists for not sealing the front more effectively.)

Seville draws on GSPs and expends another supply unit for 12 more GSPs.

Reinforcements and replacements: All arrive unmolested. At Mieras (23A:1108) 1-5 Inf Vald (Fal) , 1-6 inf30  and  1-6 art 16L form 3-6 inf XX 1Av and 2x 1-6 sec 6GC &10GC and 1-6 art 16L  form 3-6*inf XX 2Av

4-6inf XX Mov arrives at Jean and 2-3-5*inf XX Pos arrives at Zaragoza both supported.

Replacements: (½ SRP received)  1-6 mg E, 1-6 inf 24, 1-6 sec 21GC  replaced and . 1-6 art 9L, 1-6 infs 26 and 5 replaced and form 3-6* inf XX 2Cas @ Leon.

Construction: 3 Res Pts expended to increase rail cap to 7 RE

(The limited fighting has allowed the Nationalists to build up a large manpower reserve)

Moves: BBTF and CATF Fleet moves to La Coruna for repairs.

Attack1: 3212 (west of Alcazar de San Juan) Supplied 0-1-10 AA88 (KL), 1-10 lttnkDro (KL) 3-2-6inf 1LE, 1-6 art 4L, and 2-3-5*inf XX 3Madwith Mixd B and Mixd T attack 1-6  inf 17  and 1-5 AgL (An) @ 8:1 (-2)  – DH  loose AgL.  17th retreats NE. Advance: Dro, 88 and 3Mad.

Attack2: 3303 (Alfambra valley, east of Teruel)  Supplied 1-6 inf 31, 1-8cav 31, 1-6 art 11L and 1-8lt 3 and 1-8 cav 5 and 1-67 sec 20GC attack 1-6 inf 9 @ 8:1(-2) = DE. Advance: 3Cav, 11L.

(The following form the combined “anti –partisan” operation “Eagle” north west of Oviedo, All PA and Asturian forces are unsupported and at least U2)

Attack3:3933 (Tineo) Unsupplied 1-2-6* inf32, 2-1-8 art E, 2-5 inf 5 (Req),  attack 1-4 inf 7 (Ast) @ 9:1 (-2) = DH. Advance32nd

Attack4:0908(rough) Unsupplied 2-3-5*inf XX 1Med (over river) and 3-6* infXX  1Av (over river) and 3-2-6  inf 1LE, 2-6art 1P attack 1-2-4 inf Di (Ast) @ 7:1(-2)  = DH. No advance.

Attack 5: 1209 (rough) Unsupplied 3-6* inf XX 3Sor and 3-6* inf XX 2 Cas and 1-5 inf1Cord (Fal) attack PA 1-6 inf40 @ 6:1 (-3) DR. 40th eliminated surrounded. Advance: 2 Cas

Attack 6: 1110 (mtn) Unsupplied 3-6* inf XX 2Av, 1-6 sec 13GC with HE51, Ju52g4e attack 1-4inf 5 (Ast) @ 5:1 (-3) = AS

Exploitation; 0-1-10 AA 88 (KL) exploits to 3211 {Alcazar de San Juan) and breaks the rail line.

Republican Turn

French Border open.

Supply: Seville draws on GSPs.

Reinforcements: All reinforcements arrive equipped.

Replacements: 1-6 Bdr 4Car, 2 X 1-2-6 art 3 and 4, 1-6 inf 40. 1-4 inf 4 (Ast), 1-2-4 inf Di (Ast), 1-5 inf 5 (Cat)

1-6 inf 9,19 and 1-6 art 5Lreplaced and form 3-6* inf XX 6 at Cartagena

1-2-4 inf 8 (Bas), 1-4 inf 3 (Bas) and 1-6 art 14 form 3-4-4* inf 4 (Bas)

Moves: I-15/t22 and I-16/T6 transfer to Gijon. D.371 transfers to Madrid. Repaired Po.340 arrives from France and stages to Lorca. Vild and Bre.19 fly Naval Patrol but fail to contact National subs off Almeria.

Asturian remnants cut off in the north east of the province move deeper into the mountains.

Other moves establish a continuous front of Republican units and/or ZOCs around the perimeter.

Attack1: 3919 (mtn) Supplied 1-5 inf AmL (An), 1-5 inf Pi (An),1-5 inf Cast (An),1-5 inf Lar (An),1-2-5 inf  TL (An),0-1-6 art CNT (An) attack 1-6 Sec 10GC @ 5:1 (-4) = EX. Loose PI. Advance TL, AmL and eliminate Attack Supply point in hex.

Attack2:  3211 (Alcazar de San Juan) Unsupplied 1-6 inf 40, 1-2-6 art 3 from the north and 2-6* inf 13Dom (Int) , 2-6* inf 14Mar (Int) and 2-6* 11Th (Int) from the south Attack 0-1-10 AA 88 (KL) @ 9:1 (-2) = DE.  Advance 13Mar, art 4

Attack 3:  2830 (rough) Unsupplied 2-5 inf Durr (An) and 1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat), 1-5 inf 6 (Cat), 1-2-5 inf4 (Cat). 1-8 Cav Buxo (Cat), 1-0-R art 1 (Cat), and 1-2-5 inf  AN (P), 1-2-5 infMaur (P) attack 1-6 inf 17 @ 7:1 (-2) = DE. Advance 4,6 and Buxo

Attack 4: 2935 (rough) Supplied 1-6 Sec 10GA, 1-6 Sec 5GC, 2-6 art 2P and 1-5 inf  Hi (An)  attack 1-8 mtn 4 @ 5:1 (-5) = DR.  1-8 retreats to 2936 to hold rail line to Teruel. Advance 2P, 5GC.