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 the only remaining high-volume rail connection between the Cartagena-Murcia area and the rest of Spain. Casualties were high on both sides.
Farther southwest, another column is approaching Hellin. In this area, a Loyalist detachment consisting of four infantry brigades attempted to retreat from the northern foothills of the Segura mountains under the umbrella of almost the entire Republican airforce. However, Legion Kondor 88’s took a heavy toll of SB-2 and A-101 attack bombers, and the detachment was cut off and wiped out. Anarchists still hold one last position higher up in the mountains to the southwest (hex 3711), with only a tenuous supply line.
Farther north, Nationalist armor was active again, attacking in a pincer movement along and south of the Cuenca-Valencia road with massive artillery support. The Republicans suffered losses, including one armored brigade, and had to retreat.
All other fronts remained quiet. Nationalist merchantmen transferred fresh troops from Morocco to mainland Spain, unhindered by the Republican Navy.
Nationalist fighter bombers attacked the Murcia and Valencia airfields without success. Even so, the Republican aircraft losses south of Albacete have tipped the balance of forces in the sky back into the Nationalists’ favor.
LOYALIST JUL I TURN
The Barcelona revolt is over! Guardia Civil has restored order in all of Barcelona. Ultimately, the revolt has helped the Loyalists about as much as it hurt them. Military cooperation between the political factions has improved, recruiting for the Army in Cataluna has become easier, and even Catalan units are now willing to fight anywhere. For this, the loss of the POUM units in the field and the temporary tying down of a few Guardia Civil units for ideological repurification was not too heavy a price to pay.
Although by now their hold has been reduced to less than 15% of Spain’s area and little more than a quarter of the population (by count of hexes and cities according to their final VP values, respectively), the Loyalists managed one more time to field seven brand-new infantry divisions, if mostly of low quality, and to reconstitute several additional units from remnants and stragglers. They were helped in this by continuing generous deliveries of field gun components and tanks from the Soviet Union and the start-up of new armament factories in Valencia. However, The People’s Army is now scaping the bottom of the manpower barrel, with little hope for a repeat of any such feats in the foreseeable future.
While the Fleet continued to remain inactive at Cartagena, PO-540 bombers made a half-hearted and unsuccessful attempt to bomb Madrid railyards.
Although in the last two turns the Loyalists have suffered heavy losses (33 CF), these have been more than made up by reinforcements, replacements, and special replacements. Loyalist troop strengh is at an all-time high! In addition, the Nationalists will not be able to continue expending attack supply at the current rate (12 ASP in JUNE II-JUL I). However, Loyalist reinforcements will now slow to a dribble, and starting September InfRpl will accrue only every other month. It remains to be seen whether this will enable the Nationalists to wear down their opponents.