The Republic is not only fighting a military war but an economic one too. The growing financial crisis and the low morale it produced was a great concert to the Negrin government. The Republican Zone has hyper inflation the cost of living more than tripling since the start of the war. The loss of the factories in Northern Spain was a blow which the factories in the south struggled to replace. Indeed it was a feat of some magnitude that the metallurgical factories in Barcelona converted to a war footing where the expertise was so lacking. The Republic therefore was now as dependant as ever on foreign aid but the means to pay for these was quickly diminishing. Payment was of course demanded in gold and when rumours circulated that the Republic had transferred their reserves to France and the Soviet Union a fever gripped European dealers who saw the potential of a quick profit at little risk. Right from the start the Naivety of the Republic was evident as their obvious desperation created a seller’s market in Europe and north America. Unscrupulous dealers and officials took large “commissions” and arms paid for in advance arrived as inferior substitutes. Only 50% actually arrived after avoiding fraud, “shrinkage” and torpedoes.
The profiteering was widespread and although not known at the time even Herman Goering Minister President of Prussia and commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe was selling weapons while his own men were fighting for Franco.
Weather; The cold spell is over, the roads turn to mud in the north but sunny clear skies and hardening ground mark the start of what is hoped to be the final year of the war. . D=M. E=C , A= R, M= C
Supply:. Extreme left flank hex of Nationalist in North Aragon valley become U2.. Almeria pocket is eliminated bur the garrison survives to fight on.
Goberneto Collapse: Asturia.
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 24.75 REs
3-4-5* XX 18 moves into Almeria overunnuing Garrison.
Replacements; 2 SRPs recovered. 2-8 mtn rebuilt, 1A2 mxd, repaired.
Air Activity; Sortie 1: 1A2 Mxd , Ro 37 escorted by Cr.32 fly GS to 4314 (Aguilas – see below) Intercepted by I-16/t5. Which engages the CR.32 for no effect?
Sortie 2. Me 109E flies airfield bombing to Alicante.. I-5/t25 escapes to Valencia. ME109E avoids light flack (1pt) and Hits airfield.
Sortie3: CR.32bis (CTV), Me 109B/D escort SM.81 to Murcia to bomb airfield. I-16/t5, I-152 intercept and engages the CR32.Bis and Me 109B/D. The I-16/t5 is aborted. SM.81 survives heavy flack (3 pts) but miss’s target
Sorties 4,5,6 against rail lines fail.
Naval Activity; Surface and Sub Task forces move to blockade Barcelona.
Attack 1: 4314clear (Aguilas) Unsupplied 3-4-5* inf XXS 40, 79, 1-6 inf 5, 1-6 inf 5MH (Col) and 4-6 inf XX 117, 3-4-5* inf XXS 14, 72, 1-6 inf 31, 1-2-6 arts 43, 46, 1-6 art 16L, 1-6 inf 1MT (Col) with 2 factors GS (see above) Attack 1-5 infs Fan, 19Jul, Conf, 0-1-6 art CNT @ 3:1 = HX. Lose5, 31. Advance 14,72,117 XXs, 43, 46, 16L arts
Attack2: 3806 rough (NW of Alzera) Unsupplied (over river) 7-6 inf XX 13, 6-6 inf XX 3 and Supplied
5-6 inf XXS11,62,81, 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 3LE, 2-3-6 art 62, 1-2-6 art 48 and 6-8 lt XX 150, 6-6 inf XXs 52, 102, 1-2-6 art 42, 1-2-8 art50 2-6 infs 8Rif , 2Mel, 6Xau (Col) Attack 3-6* inf XX 3, 3-4-5* inf XX 77, 2-8 mot ACGA @ 7:1 (-1) = DH. Lose 77XX. Advance 52, 102 XX, 42art, 2 Mel. 6axu (Cols).
Attack 3: 3705 rough (E of Valencia) Supplied 2-1-8 lt tks 2,3,m Bab (CTV), 2-10 AA 88 (KL), Transported 2-6 art 4P, transported 4-6 art 3HG Attack 3-6* inf XX67, 2-3-5* inf XX 39, 1-6 eng 4, 0-, -5 cons 1 @ 2:1 (+3, -1) = EX. Lose 88 (KL( R+2VPs), 3RG, 3 lt tk. Advance lt tks 2 , Bab(CTV) , art 4P ,1x transport ( A disappointing result, a DE would have ripped the Republicans in two and allowed an overrun to Valencia. )
Attack 4: 3506 rough (on Valencia/Madrid rail line) Supplied 3-2-8 lt tk N, 1-8 mc B (CTV), 1-8 mot art L (CTV), unsupplied 1-5 mech 1, 4-8 cav 1, 3-4-5* inf XX 16, 4-5-5 inf XX 55 and 5-6 inf XXs 53, 54, supplied 5-6 inf XX 105, 2-1-8 cavs 1E, 2O (Col) and unsupplied 4-6 inf XX 151. Attack 2-3-5* inf XX 42 @ 9:1 (-1) = DH. Advance 53, 54 XXs, lt tk N, mech 1, mc B (CTV), mot art L (CTV)
Exploitation lt tk N, mech 1, Mc B (CTV), mot art L (CTV) to 3505
Lt tks 2, Bab (CTV), transported art 4P boldly exploit to 3703 believing that the republic cannot move sufficient forces to block relief or make a counter attack.
Air Activity: Sortie 6: DAS mission to 3505 Do 17E, He 111B escorted by CR.32Bis, CR.32Bis (CTV). Intercepted by I-16/t10 which engages the CR.32bis for no effect. CR.32Bis (CTV) eliminates one by-passing I-15/t5. The other eliminates the HE 111B. (N+2VPs, +2 VPs)
Sortie 7; SM 79-I adds to DAS at 3505 unopposed.
VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
French border; Open
Supply: Nationalist spearhead pushed to out of supply isolated position at 3703
2 XXs and eng isolated U1 at southern edge of Cordillera Penebetica.
The line of XXs forming the Eastern flak and relying on the Valencia Teruel rail line are U1
Replacements; 3 SRP, 0.5 SRPs (An) recovered. I-15/t5 repaired.
Replacement Pools (and rail cap split) Reinforcements Of the 2.5 art reps to go to Barcelona 1 is eliminated 0.5 turned back and 1 arrives.
Sortie 1: 1A2 with Me 109B/D flies to 39095 (Alzira) to Harris the hex. I-16/t10 , I-16/t5 intercepts. The t10 mutually aborts with the Messerschmitt. The t/5 misses the bomber and returns.
Sortie 2: I-16/t5 at Lerida attempts to bomb the airfield at 3133 but is intercepted by CR.32bis. (CTV) Jettisoning his bombs the I-16/t5 dispatches the Italians with ease and returns to base (R+2 VPs)
Movement: The Zaragoza front sends their last reserve divisions to the Valencia defence but maintains a second screen line and fully manned, fortified l defensive line. They position engineers to fortify the river line in front of Lerida but await Res points to begin construction.