INSURGENT AUG II TURN
The battle in Murcia province escalated as the Loyalists are attempting to stem the swelling tide. The main thrust of the Nationalist offensive advanced along the Albacete-Valencia rail line and broke into the Loyalist lines. A Legion Kondor flak regiment raced forward far into the Loyalist rear and reached Alcira, where it formed a hedgehog at the Jucar river bridge, meanwhile blocking the only Loyalist line of communications between Murcia province and Valencia. A second, armor-supported attack north of the Cuenca-Valencia rail line also gained ground. Losses were heavy on both sides (two EX results).
While the airforces of both sides provided ground support in Murcia, the Nationalists staged another, smaller raid on Valencia’s airbase with fighter bombers. Escorting Italian Fiats gave intercepting Ratas (I-16s) a bad mauling, Valencia’s flak shot down some He-51s of the Legion Kondor, but the attack on the base did no damage.
All other fronts remained quiet.
The Nationalists have begun to pull Guardia Civil units out of the front lines, apparently out of concern about possible sabatoge activities in the rear.
LOYALIST AUG II TURN
In response to the Nationalist thrusts in Murcia province the Loyalists pulled back once again to shorten and strengthen their lines. They gave up Requenas (23A:3506) on the Cuenca-Valencia rail line and fell back to the Segura river at Cieza, which now is in the front line.
The Nationalist airforce went all-out to provide an umbrella for the Kondor regiment at Alcira. In the face of this support and because of a miscalculation, the Loyalists called off their planned attack, much to the jubilation of the beleaguered Legionnaires and their coherts at Albacete.
With the Nationalist airforce busy to protect the endangered Kondors, the Republicans took to the skies and raided the Albacete airbase. For want of the Kondor 88s, anti-aircraft fire remained dismally ineffective, and some aircraft were destroyed on the ground.
A crisis seems to be brewing. The failure to dislodge the Kondor flak regiment at the Jucar bridge is a major setback to the Loyalist cause. As the vital communication line into Murcia province remains interdicted, it will become even harder to contain the Nationalist offensive. If the Kondors can hold out until relieved by the main Nationalist forces, now scarecely 50 miles away, the Loyalist territory will be cut in two. To prevent that, at the very least the Loyalists will have to mount a serious effort against the Alcira hedgehog with troops pulled out from the Aragon front, a measure they obviously have been loath to resort to.