The phase opens with some good news for the Loyalists on the political front, as a change in government policy in France occurs, opening the border between the two countries (1 rolled.) In supply, things remain much as they have since the wx changed in the north. For the Insurgents, 4 hexes north of Madrid are OOS, with GSPs nearby limiting the worst of the difficulties. North of Teruel one hex/unit is U-1, while east and a bit south of Teruel 2 hexes with unit each are U-1. For the Loyalists, all units are in supply except northwest of Teruel where one hex/unit is U-1. All the PA units in the NGobs are isolated but in supply via the various cities inherent supply.
All border guard forces facing the NGobs are in place. Cuenca is pacified, ending the impact of the raid a month or two ago. The 1 L Art III is replaced at Madrid, while the 21st Inf X is replaced at Albacete (supported.) The 1 Car Bdr III upgrades to the 3 Car Inf X at Valencia. Due west of Madrid at sector 2713 another fort is q.c’d, while in the north two Asturian Cons X’s q.c. a fort at Aviles (which will take some time to complete, as the weather is poor.) No ini phase air missions are flown.
In the Bay of Biscay NT-3 loads the 10 Car Bdr III at Bilbao, carries it to Gijon, unloads it, then returns to Bilbao for replenishment. The LtTF moves to Bilbao from the coast of Guernica, then replenishes before waiting out the rest of the phase. In the Med, NT-4 and the Catalunian NT-1 along with LC-1 move to Mahon, load the attack supply there, move to Cast. de la Plana, then via protected waters to Valencia, where the a/s is unloaded. These ships then return to Cast. de la Plana via protected waters and on to Barcelona, all avoiding any reaction by the Italian sub group off Cartagena.
In ground movement, along the Aragon front there is some unit shuffling but nothing is remotely offensive at this point, thanks to the rain and mud. Likewise, along the Teruel and Guadalajara fronts only a few minor tweaks occur in the line. The POUM’s Maur X catches trains from near Alcazar and heads for the fort at 2609, north of Madrid. This frees the 11th Th. International X to move into 2511. The new 3 Car Inf X rails from Valencia to 2412, but the units south consisting of the Mtn XXX at 2512 and two strong inf X’s at 2612 don’t shift. An assault against the wooded rough at 2513 seems unlikely, but the 2411 Mtn XX is threatened a bit, defended by single unsupported point, despite the terrain and weather. West of Toledo some more shuffling occurs, but nothing offensive appears in the works. Along the Alcazar front, PA units take over the defense of Tomelloso, while Anarchist units are send to the woods in 3412, sacrificial lambs I’m sure as there are more An replacements than anything else for Loyalists at this point, and the CNT Art III only costs 0.5 Arty to replace as well. Still, there’s no reason to think the front will hold back the Insurgent Army of Africa pushing towards Alcazar at this point. South of Tomelloso sectors 3301 and 3302 are given up without a fight, creating a straight line that runs from 3512 to 3407 just east of Almeria, before hooking to the sea at 3508. Along this sliver of Andalucia no movement occurs other than the giving up of the two aforementioned hexes.
In the north, in Asturias units shuffle south along the narrow strip of Asturias still in Loyalist hands, allowing three Inf X’s to leave zoc by entering northern Santander. They’ll surely form up a XX next turn. Other than these units entering Santander, no mov’t occurs in that gobernito. Similarly, all units in Euzkadi remain in place, relying on good terrain, weather and the apparent desire of the Insurgents not to release the garrison to hold the lines; a fair bet.
To the rear, aside from minor rail mov’ts of units to the front, mostly covered already, 1 AS is sent by rail from Tarragona to Madrid, while another pt is shifted from Albacete to Madrid via SMPs. On the insurgent side, the Mxd B (f)’s at Almeria transfer back to Malaga to limit airbase bombing targets.
There appears to be only one possible attack, at 2411, planned by the Loyalists. No Insurgent DAS can reach the spot, so no Insurgent a/c fly. No Loyalist a/c fly either. At 2411, the Loyalists do attack the defending 6 GC Sec III. One a/s is spent to put the main Mtn XXX (1 Mtn Art III, plus 4 Mtn II’s), plus the 11 Th Internat’l X, 3 Car Inf X and 1 GA Sec X into attack supply. Other attacking units go without. PA morale holds (the last such roll of the game, as militia affects end next turn), and the hex is carried easily (13:1 -4, mtns, mud, partial a/s provided, 4 rolled for morale for NE, 6 rolled for combat for a DE.)
The BBTF prep’s for NGS inside Gijon harbor, while the LtTF moves to Guernica’s hex and preps for NGS there. The transports used for the a/s move to Valencia replenish at Barcelona.
In ground mov’t, the AAC Lt Arm retreats back from 2712 to Madrid proper, and the 1st Arm II moves into a second line position backstopping the Alcazar front (in the woods at 3411.) Similarly, 1st Arm X backstops the line NW of Alcazar at 3012. In the air, the Vild and Bre bomb the rail junction at 1909, just NE of Valladolid, but miss with a 1. The I-15/t5’s transfer from Albacete to west Madrid. The D.371 transfers from France to Bilbao, while the I-15/t22 that had been at Bilbao transfers to Albacete.