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). Insurgent spearheads are now within 40 less than miles of the Cinca river, the next major obstacle at which the Loyalists are expected to make a firm stand. In a smaller action, Catalan infantry was evicted with losses from the last mountains that overlook Huesca and the highway to the Somport Pass.
All other fronts remained quiet, except for a reshuffling in the Albacete sector, where Italian and Falangist forces emerged from the Segura mountains and concentrated in the foothills without as yet attacking.
Nationalist merchantmen were busy transshipping imports from LaCoruna and ElFerrol to Bilbao S.Sebastian, where international neutrality patrol is stricter. The Italian submarines, still concentrated in a strong Wolfpack, shifted their patrol area to the Catalan coast, blockading Barcelona and Tarragona. SM-81 and Ju-52 aircraft attack the Valencia rail yard and CR-32s strafed Albacete airfield, but no significant damage was done to either target.
Behind the Nationalist lines, pacification has continued apace and is now complete in Andalucia and approaching completion in Madrid and the Biscay provinces. Also, almost all damage to rail the rail net has been repaired, the exceptions being the area around Santander and the secondary line from Merida to Ciudad Real.
LOYALIST APR I 1937
The Loyalists intensified their recruiting and equipping efforts. They managed to dispatch six new infantry divisions as well as Soviet-delivered tanks, armored cars, and artillery to the fronts, mostly in Aragon.
Having lost their supply line to the positions at the Pourtalet Pass, the Loyalists pulled back their flank in the Pyrenees to the headwaters of the Cinca river. However, they are still attempting to brave it out forward of the Cinca in strongly reinforced positions across southern Aragon, roughly in the line Barbastro (33:2930)-Montalban (23A:3134).
All other front remained quiet.
While the Republican navy remained inactive, the airforce concentrated on the Insurfent rail net. Calatayud, Madrid, and Cordoba were attacked. The Cordoba marshaling yard suffered significant damage.
Despite Leftist lobbying in the French Parliament, the French border remained closed, with no hope of reopening in the near future. This, however, will have scant inpact since the Valencia government can no longer pay for French materiel after having handed over all Spanish gold to Stalin in the hopes of ensuring his continued support with tanks, field guns, aircraft, and supplies.
The Republican Aragon front has now been strengthened to 11+ CF per hex, with back-up to prevent exploitation by motorized units. This still allows the Insurgents to obtain 4:1 odds, but only at an expenditure of 4 or 5 supply points per attack, which practically limits their offensive to one attack per turn. Having failed this turn in scoring a knock-out (DE, HX, EX, or even DH) as well as in interrupting the rail line at Valencia, they seem to have missed the chance of crossing the Cinca “on the run” and will now find it hard to crack that position. Moreover, behind the Cinca, the Segre river offers another excellent defense line, although falling back to it would require giving up Lerida.
Also, at this particular time the Loyalists receive new infantry division and artillery points in large numbers whereas the Insurgents get few reinforcements and suffer under shortage of artillery. Despite a large Insurgent superority that all but condemns the Loyalists to defense, a stalemate may well be in the offing