The end is in sight and dismay, betrayal and naïve belief that a settlement could still be negotiated or at least respect gained on a professional basis was still held by some. The commander of the Western Zone; Colonel Segismundo Casado a professional cavalry officer from a peasant background was one of the latter. He still felt that professional soldiers could negotiate with The Nationalists- professional to professional as it were. He was not one who hoped he could save his life and career by a last minute betrayal but was naïve in his belief that Franco could be swayed. In fact the last thing Franco wanted at this point was to have to share the victory stage with anyone else. Casado made contact through a variety of means including the British but the reply from Franco was unequivocal; Unconditional surrender
“Delay in surrender and a criminal and futile resistance to our advance will carry a grave responsibility, which we will exact on the grounds of the blood spilled uselessly”.
Weather; Clear skies across land and sea. D=C. E=C, A= C, M= C
Supply: The defenders in Murcia city draw supply from GSPs the outlying posiiotns forage off the land as best they can and are at U2 Alicante defensers now cut off from the rest are U2.
3-6* XX inf 14 (An) comes of GSPs so rolls for elimination as would be U4+ without GSP use. The Republic converts a further ASP to GSPs in Murcia for next turn.
Replacements: 1.5 SRPs received.
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 27 REs
Naval Activity: TFs prepare for NGS off coast at Alicante.
3 X NTs transport ASP from San Sebastian to Cartagena then move empty to Malaga.
Air Activity. Severely weakened by the continuous air combat of recent months the Nationalists devote the majority of the sorties this turn to airfield bombing in an attempt to eliminate the Republicans capability in the air.
Sortie 1: He 51 and CR.32Bis fly to Lerida. Intercepted by I-16/t5. The CR.32Bis jettisons payload and forms a screen. The i-16/t5 engages. All is ineffective
Sortie 2: 2X CR32.Bis (CTV) fly to Tarragona; One escorting the other joining a He 111B. Intercepted by I-16/t5 whom engages the escort aborting the CR.32Bis for no loss. The mission force fails to score a hit
Sortie 3: 2B3 Mxd flies to Barcelona. Intercepted by an I-16/t5 air combat, AA fire and bombing all ineffective.
Sortie 4&5 SM.81, SM79-1 (CTV) avoid flack and cause 1 hit Aborting a SB-2Bis on the ground and 2X SM.79-1 also avoid flack but miss.
A disappointing campaign.
Attack 1: rough (Alicante) Unsupplied 5-6 inf XX 105, 1-2-8 art 50 and 4-8 cav XX 2, 4-6 inf XX 117, 151, 1-6 mgs E, O and 4-6 inf XX 60, 3-4-5* inf XX 16, 34, 2-5 inf AGM (Fal), 1-6 art 10L and 5-6 inf XXs 62, 64m 4-5-5 inf XX 55, 1-22-6 art 42 and 2 pts NGS Attack U”/Isolated 4-6 inf XX 34, 3-6 art 1Man, 1-8 tk10, 0-1-5 cons, 1pt pos AA, 0.5 Garrison @ 5:1 (-1) = EX. Lose 16, 34 XX, E, O mg, 10L art
Advance 105, XX, 50 art
Attack 2: 2208 clear (Orihuela) Unsupplied 4-6 XX 15 and (over river) 3-4-5* inf XX s 40,72, 73, 1-6 sec 2GC, 1-6 arts 1, 15L, 1-2-6 art 46 and 1A22 pts GS Attack U2/Isolated3-6* XX3, U1iosolated 0-1-5 cons @ 4:1 = DR. Eliminated no retreat path. Advance2GC sec, 46 art, 15XX
Attack 3: 4109 rough (Adjacent Murcia) Unsupplied 5-6 inf XX 81, 4-6 inf XX 106, 1-6 mg IMPex, 1-6 arts 4L, 13L and 4-6 inf XX 107, 3-4-5* inf XX 32, 1-2-6*inf 32, 2-8 mtn Pir, 1-6 inf30, 1-6 bdr 7Car and 4-6 inf XXs 112, 122, 1-6 infs 1MT, 5MR (Col), 2-6 inf 9Arc, 1-6 art 16L, 1-2-6 art 43 and ME 109 1pt GS Attack U4 isolated 3-6* inf XX 14 (An) U2 2-1-8 tk O @ 6:1 (-1) = DE. Advance 61XX.
Attack 4: 3632 clear (Cpast road Valencia/Catalan boarder) Unsupplied 7-6 inf XX 13, 6-6inf XX 52, 102, 3-3-6 inf 3LE, 2-6 infs2Mel, 6Xuan (Col), 2-3-6 art 62, 2-6 art 4P Attack 2-3-5* inf XX 42 @ 5:1 = HX. Lose 3LE. Advance 13XX, 62 art.
Attack 5: 3431 (N of Torosa) Supplied 5-6 inf XXs 51, 54, 71, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-6 infs 7Lam (Col), 10BT (Col), 1-6 art 12~L, 2-1-8 art O Attack 3-4-5* inf XX 27CM, 2-6 inf 211C @ 5:1 (-1) = DR. Advance 51, 54, 71 XXs
Attack 6: 3433.wooded rough (E of Teruel) Supplied 5-8 inf XX LA (CTV), 4-6 inf XX FA, FM (Mxd) 1-8 mg Ard (CTV) , 1-8 art Ter (CTV) and Unsupplied4-4-5 inf XX 50, 4-6 inf XX 85, 4-8 Cav XX 1, 2-8 mtn Guad, 1-6 bdr 8Car, 1-6 inf 27, 2-1-8 artE Attack 3-6* inf XX 40 @ 8:1 (-2) = DH. Advance 1 CavXX, 50XX, Guad mtn, 27, 8car bdr, E art
Attack 7: 3432 rough (NW Torossa) Supplied 2-6 infs Tdi (Col), 3Ceu (Col), 2-6 eng AM. 2-6 art 1P, Unsupplied 5-6 inf XXs 61, 82, 83, 1-2-6 art 49 = 5:1 (-2) m= DR Eliminated no retreat path. Advance 61, 82, 83 XXs, 1P art, TDi (Col).
Attack 8 3330 (S of Lerida) This is the important attack of this turn to breach the river line.
Supplied (Over river) 6-6 inf XXs 5, 63, 108, 2-6 inf 5Alh (Col), 2-10 AA 88 (KL), 1-8 mc B (CTV), Transported 4-6 arts 1RG, 2RG and (over river) 6-6 inf XXs 1, 4, 152, 3-2-8 lt tk N, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV) 3-2-6 inf2LE, 4-6 art 3RG, 3-1-2 sg art Man (CTV) attack 3-4-5* inf XXs 17, 57, 2-3-5* inf XX 39, 1-2-6 art 20 @ 3:1 = EX! Success and elimination of defenders- but at a cost… Lose 2LE, 3RG, Cadre1XX Advance 5,108 XXs, 1RG
VPs: Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender(R+10 VPs)
Supply: Western Zone: Murcia City draws of GSPs (Underlying supply condition is now U3)
Replacements; 4.5 SRP recovered. SB-2bis Repaired.
Air Activity; Sorties 1 & 2; Escorted DAS missions. Not intercepted result in a SB-2 over Lerida and a R-Z over 3103 (N of Lerida)
Sortie 3: 3430 (Elbow of the Ebro adjacent Tortosa) SB-2, SB-2b The SB-2 and CR.32bis are Aborted. The SB-2Bis survives to provide DAS