A growing problem for the Nationalists administration was the containment and management of prisoners of war. Camps were set up across the country and although the worst of the winter was past still posed a vast problem of logistics. In all there are now 190 plus prisoner of war and transit camps holding between them 367,000 to 500,000 inmates. During the final offensives 60,000 have been taken in the Western Zone, and 45,000 in the East. Some were now put into employment, some given provisional liberty and escapee’s suicides and execution squads also helped reduce numbers
The internments continued after the war for many. One such place put into service I discovered on a recent trip was part of the former Roman Circus at Tarragona, known as Pilatus prison. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the ordinary soldier that one inmate penned the following. ”People of all ages experienced the same sense of oppression when they were put in solitary in that dungeon Of course our generation had grown so accustomed to suffering that even without noticing we had adapted to any possible situation, however difficult, dangerous, uncomfortable. Some hours after living in such terrible conditions, badly eating, sleeping on the floor, enshrouded by darkness, covered in lice and bedbugs and fearful of a court martial that could condemn us to the maximum sentences, we felt veterans of that home and could offer comfort and advice to those who arrived every day”.
Weather; Clear skies across land and sea. D=C. E=C, A= C, M= C
Supply: 12 REs of the defenders in Murcia city draw supply from GSPs (2 REs @ U3) and expend their last ASP for 12 more GSPs.
Replacements: 4.5 SRPs received. 1-6 eng ZME replaced. Me 109B/D, HE111B (KL)
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 27 REs
1 REs pt spent to build airfield at 3333.
Air Activity: Sortie 1: Large mixed fighter/bombing force flies an airfield bombing mission to Lerida. The I-16/t5 on the runway scrambles to Barcelona; 1 Hit achieved.
Sortie 2: G.50 (CTV), C2.23 escorts 2B3 Mxd, SM.81, SM.79-1 to bomb Taragonna airfield. An I-16/t5 aborts the G, 50 and an I-16/t10 and the CR.32 The G.50 is aborted and the CR.32 eliminate each other. The mission force scores a Hit and knocks out the base, (N+2VPs, (R+2 VPs)
Sortie 3: Taking advantage of the cleared skies a He 111E (KL) flies GS to3430
Attack1: 3329 clear (S of Lerida) Supplied 6-6 inf XXs 5, 63, 108, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 3-2-8 lt tk N, 4-6 arts 1RG, 2RG Attack 4-6 inf XX 47, 2-3-5* inf XX 21, 2-6 nvl 95, 3-4-5* inf XX (Cat), 1-2-6 art 12 v(Cat) @ 2:1 (+1) = DR (Excitement at a roll of 5 turns to disappointment as it is the only none lethal defender result – if only those tanks had broken down!). Advance 5, 108 XX, N lt tk
Attack2: 3430 clear (Bend of the Ebro nth of Tortosa), 4 points AA fires at the DAS SB-2bis and misses. Supplied 6-6 inf XXs 3, 4, 152, 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 2-6 inf 10BT (Col), 4-6 art 3RG, 3-1-2 sg art Man (CTV), 2-10 AA 88 (KL) and 5-6 inf XX 54, 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 2-1-8 art O, unsupplied 2-6 art 1P, 2-6 inf 7Lam (Col) and 2 pts GS attack 6-6 inf XX 35 (Int), 3-6* inf XX 1, 2-6 infs152C, 222C, 2-6 nvl 56 and 1 pt DAS @ 3:1 = HX. Lose XX54 to cadre, O art. Advance 3, 4, 152 XXS, 3RG art, sge art Man (CTV)
Attack 3: 3631 canal intensive (Coast adj Torosa) Unsupplied 6-6 infs XX 52,102, 2-6 inf 2Mel (Col), 2-3-6 art 62 Attack 1-6 eng 2, 0-1-5 cons 3 @ 8:1 (-1) = DE. Advance All.
Attack 4: 3532 clear (W of Tortosa) Unsupplied 5-6 inf XXs51, 71 and 7-6 inf XX 13, 2-1-8 lt tks 2,3, Supplied 1-8 mot art L (CTV) and Unsupplied over mtn 5-6 inf XXs 61, 82, 3-4-5* inf XX 33, 2-6 art 4P Attack 2-3-5* inf XX49 @ 5:1 = DR. Eliminated as no retreat path. Advance 61, 82XXs, 2, 3 lt tk, L mot art (CTV), 4P art
Attack 5: 3533 Mtn (nth of coast road W of Tortosa) Unsupplied 2-8 mtn Guad, 2-1-8 art E, 2-6 infs Tdi, 5lah (Col) and 6-8 lt inf 150, 5-6 inf XX 11, 2-6 inf8Rif, 2-1-8 cav1E, 1-2-6 art 48 and Supplied 5-8 inf LA, 4-6 inf XX FA(Mxd) 1-8 mg Ard( CTV), 1-8 mot Ter (CTV) attack 1-6 bdr 8car, 1-6 art 5L @ 6:1 (-2) = DR. Eliminated no retreat path. 150 XX lt.
VPs: Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender(R+10 VPs)
Supply: Western Zone: 12 REs @ Murcia City draws of GSPs (Underlying supply condition is now U4) 2 REs roll for elimination 1-8 inf GP sand all 3 succumb and are lost.
Eastern Zone: Isolated 3-6* at 3534 U1.
Replacements; 4.5 SRP recovered. SB-2 Repaired. 1-2-6 sec rebuilt.
Air Activity: Sortie 1: 2X SB-2 fly DAS to 3328
Sortie 2: SB-2Bis, R-Z fly DAS to 3528
Moves: Fort built at 3239 (E Tortosa)
Republicans abandon the Cinca river line and fall back towards the Sagre river. Lerida is exposed and will fall but supplies are flowing through the French border so they can fight on in general supply if so.