The turn opens with a bit of a minor disaster for the Loyalists, when the French gov’t decides it no longer is interested in supporting their regime. The French close the border (4 rolled), leaving the D.371 fighter unit that would have been available stuck on the wrong side of the border. Moreover, having missed the 50/50 shot at keeping the border open, it is much less likely to open for the foreseeable future (the border is automatically open through Sep I 36… at that point, the odds shift to 1 in 6 open, 2 in 6 no change, and 3 in 6 closed. Having closed, the ‘no change’ possibility means there’s just a 1 in 6 of it opening each turn until the Apr I 37 turn, when it closes for a few months with no chance of opening.) Clearly a diplomatic coup for the Nationalist cause.
All Gobernito guard forces are in place facing Santander & Euzkadi. Pacification in Albacete is completed as well, while purification in the last two unpurified cities in Cataluna (Manresa & Tortosa) begins. The Loyalists replace the destroyed Cat Inf III at Barcelona, and then the destroyed 5 L Art, 23 GC Sec & 5 Car Bdr III’s at east Madrid. Two more forts are quick constructed just north of Madrid at 2609 and 2610, facing the Nationalist mountain salient. In another bit of a disaster for the Loyalist side, the BBTF’s mine storage compartment explodes due to poor mine handling procedures, sinking the Jaime I. Only the supporting light forces remain in the TF (11 rolled, 2 hits are placed on the BBTF, dropping it to a 1 strength TF.) The LC in Barcelona continues the trend of not being repaired as well (3 rolled.) No air declarations are made by either side.
All Loyalist naval units first replenish. The LtTF in the north then joins the wrecked remnants of the BBTF at Gijon and both prep for NGS (which suits Nationalist plans just fine, since this drops the San Sebastian strength from a projected 5 to 4, less DAS.)
In the far southwest, the Andalucia front remains static, though one empty hex is filled in the line. Along the Valdepenas front, 5 L Arty from Madrid, and 4 MG II, rail in to help make up for last turn’s losses. Puertoallano is abandoned without a fight, with the main line running from Cuidad Real to Valdepenas itself, thence southwest to 3514 before zig-zagging south into the mountains and the Andalucia front. To the north of Puertollano the PA gives up the west bank of the Guadiana in Castilla la Nueva, with unsupported units creating a solid line along the east bank and then into the west Madrid front northwest of Toledo. A few rail hits are placed by units in Puertollano, Ciudad Real and Valdepenas. In the west, north and east Madrid fronts, things remain roughly stable, with some arty to the west facing Nat supported stacks, and unsupported units, sometimes paired, forming the rest of the front around past Guadalajara on the east side.
On the Teruel front, the big Mtn unit ‘corps’ shifts left again in and attempt to get around the right flank of the Teruel defenders. They appear poised to launch an attack against the 24th Inf defending the mountain sector 3204. Intriguingly, the AAC armored cars admin to near this area as well, perhaps indicating some desire to do some exploit (seems an odd place for a 0 DS armored car unit though, being mtns and limited to no exploit if in zoc.) Very limited mov’t occurs along the Aragon-Cataluna front, with a few units joining and others shifting into the west. Overall the line remains the same and of about the same strength as before. Both sides seem willing to let this front remain as is.
In the north, mostly just some construction and engineer units shifting about for potential fort building, whenever the res pts are made available. The one completed fort at 3031 on the coast in Euzkadi is occupied by an Inf X when the cons unit shifts west a hex. In Gijon, the 6L Art does move up to 1106, adjacent to the city, presumably so NGS can focus on Aviles. A few other units shift about, but the DS of hexes doesn’t appear to appreciably change.
Only a single attack is launched by the Loyalists… the elite Mtn corps (consisting of 1st Mtn Art III, 1st thru 4th Mtn II’s and the 4 Cav III launch an attack against 3204 as expected… morale remains high and the unsupported 24th Inf is quickly overwhelmed (11:1 -2, full attack supply provided, 6 for no morale impact, 5 rolled for a DE.) Only the 4th Cav III advances, but this does put a zoc into 3203, the rail hex behind Teruel. Supply can still be drawn around the zoc through the mountains at 3202 to the rail at 3103, so Nationalist command is not overly concerned at this point.
No naval mov’ts of note in exploit. The AAC joins the Mtn XXX just west of Teruel. I suppose it’s there to provide 1/7th AECA next turn. The PA launches a pair of RR bombing runs which both come off well. The Vild stages back south to Cartagena (meaning it will be unavailable at San Sebastian next turn!), but it does manage a hit at 3104, just north of Guadix. Odd that the line was hit there and not at the junction of Guadix itself. Regardless, I happen to have the 2nd Eng III in Guadix on pacification duty, so that hit won’t last long. The Bre19 hits 2703 from west Madrid… again, not a rail junction. It couldn’t reach the junction at Calatayud without staging from to east Madrid, but I’m not sure why that wasn’t done. Regardless, this will cause some minor problems as I cannot easily rail into the east Madrid-Guadalajara front now (or out of it for the San Sebastian attack, which I had planned for at least the 4 Lar Col Inf III, mores the pity.)