Eric Tennyson Postlethwaite of the 35th International Division had impressed his superiors from the day of his arrival in Albacete in May and he had quickly obtained promotion for his actions and discipline. The regimen of pit work building a toughness which, mixed with the stoicism of his Yorkshire blood, made him an able and reliable soldier. He now commanded the 3rd battalion and was in action once again leading the charge into Aranjuez.

He had been observing the Nationalists and their Fascist supporters for many weeks and it was clear that they were suffering from a lack of food and ammunition. The bakery had long been looted clean and the shop shelves and smallholdings stripped. The German and Italian tanks and artillery guns made sure that their own troops were well supplied but there just was not enough to go around for their Nationalist brethren who diced daily with starvation and malnutrition. Reports from the outer ring of the encirclement suggested there was little chance of relief from outside as there had been limited activity along the enemy lines for the past 3 weeks, indeed some intelligence reports indicated their lines were being thinned out and troops transferred elsewhere.  Eric could not occupy his mind speculating where they may have gone or if that meant they were planning a move elsewhere; that was for others to determine.   No, he had more important things on his mind for it was clear that the time was now ripe to lead the charge and eliminate the fascist scourge from Aranjuez.   Once more into the breach……

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Oct II 1937

The renewed Republican attack on Zaragoza jumps off. (c) Ken Newall, 2017

Nationalist Turn

Weather;  Clear.

Supply; GSPs generated at Valladolid and  Salamanca. Aranjuez pocket goes U4  Bab/Fal  feed off GSPs) 6-6 inf XX 52 survives elimination roll

1Re pt expended to temp increase rail cap to 15.5pts

Replacements: 2 SRPs recovered . 1-6 sec 2GC, 1-8 lt 2 replaced

Air Activity; Sorties  1 to 3  (CTV)  and  (KL)  aircraft bomb the secondary rail line between  Valencia  and Aranjuez at multiple points scoring one Hit at 3605

Sorties ; 4 & 5. He51 and Mxd B  bomb the secondary rail between Murcia and Guadix scoring Hits @ 4115 and 4214.

Sortie 6; 2x CR32.bis (CTV), CR.32 bomb Madrid airfield avoiding AA and inflicting one hit on the airfield aborting the R-5 on the ground.

Sortie7; Mxd T airdrops GSPs over Aranjuez 1 scatters 2 drop successfully.

Moves; 2Mad XX pulls back out of fort at 2732 (NE Zaragoza) to shorten the line.

Attack 1; 3614 rough (S of the Penebetica Mtn range) Supplied 5-6 inf XX 54, 6-6 inf XX 152, unsupplied 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV) attack 3-6*XX 3 @ 4:1 (+1,-1) = DR. Advance 152XX.

Attack 2; 2612 wooded/rough (East of Madrid) Supplied 4-6 inf XX , unsupplied 3-2-6 inf 2LE and unsupplied 1-8 mtn, 8, 1-6 bdr 8Car attack 1-6 inf 1GC (U4) @ 9:1 (-2) = DE. Advance 2LE, 8mtn

Attack 3; 2609 (NW of Madrid) Supplied 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2LE 2-6 art 4P, 5-6 inf XX 4 (Req), 7-6 inf XX 13 1-8 lt 6 attack 3-6* inf XX 7, 2-3-5* inf XX 20 @ 3:1 (-1) =  AR.

Attack 4: 3310 clear/fort  (SE Alcazar de San Juan) Supplied 5-6 inf XX 11, 2-3-6 art 61, 3-1-2 sge art Man (CTV), 2-6 inf Tdi (Col), 2-1-8 cav2O (Col), unsupplied 4-6 inf XX Mov and 1-6 enf ZMO, 1-6 art 16L, 1-8 mg Ard (CTV), Supplied 6-6 inf XX 102, 1-6 sec 12GC, 2-6 inf 2 Mel (Col) with GS Ro 37 attack 2-3-5* inf XX69, 2-6* inf 6Ch, 1-6 bdr 4 Car @ 5:1(-1)=  DE. Advance 11XX, 12GC,16L,2Mel (Col). Fort destroyed

Republican Turn

VPs : Lack of Goberneto collapse (+15 VPs)

French border;  Open.

Supply: The isolated Republican redoubt in 2412 (mtn pass on the Medina to Campo/Madrid rail line) Rolls for elimination (U4 isolated) 1-8 art Cab, 1-2-6* inf 16 succumb.

Nationalist mtn redoubt @ 2903 (s of Catalayud) rolls for elimination (IsolatedU4, 1-8 cav 9 succumbs

Aranjuez pocket 6-6 inf XX 13 survives elimination roll.

Replacements:  1.5 SRPs recovered. 1 SRP (Cat) recovered

Moves;. The action around Guadix has persuaded the Republican  forces to pull back from their attempted capture of Grenada (other fronts always had the call on AS points) and to shorten the line.  Phase one is the evacuation of 3920 (immediately E of Grenada)

The attack on Zaragoza is renewed. (Operation “Z”) The left hook

Attack 1; 2735 clear (W of Catalayud)  Supplied 3-6* inf XX 2, 1-6 arts7L, 8L, 2-1-8 cav 1, 1-6 inf21 and 5-6 inf XX 15 (Int), 2-6* inf 5Car, 2-6 inf 152C, 2-1-8cav 3, 1-8 mtn art 1, 1-2-6 secs 6GA, 7GA, 2-6 art 2P and 1-2-6* inf 19, Unsupplied 2-3-5*inf XXs 23,38,64 with GS SB-2, Po.540 attack 3-4-5* inf XX 22, 1=8mtn art 2, 0-1-5 cons 1 (Fal) @ 5:1 = DR. Advance 2XX, 54xx, 19

The right hook (All Cat)

Attack2; Unsupplied 2-3-5 inf xx32 and Supplied 4-7 mtn XX 43 and 3-4-5* inf XX 30, 1-5 inf 6, 1-2-5 inf 4, 1-8 cav Buxo, 1-2-6 art 10, 1-0-R art 1 (All Cat)

@ 4:1 = DR Advance 30 XX 43 XX mtn

The Aranjuez boil is lanced;

Attack3;2911 (Aranjuez)  Supplied  5-6 inf XX46ch, 4-6 inf XX6, unsupplied 2-6* inf 2Ch 1-8 lt tk, and Unsupplied 4-6 inf 66, 1-8 tks 1,6, 10 and supplied 6-6 inf XX 35 (Int), 2-1-8 tks 1,P, 2-6 eng ZM and

Unsupplied over river 2-3-5* inf XX21, and Unsupplied over river3-6* inf 4 and Unsupplied over river 3-6* inf 7, 2-6 inf 15AL (Int), 1-6 art 2L, 1-5 mech 2 attack Isolated U4 6-6 inf XX 52, Supplied via GSPs 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL) , 4-3-6 art Leg (CTV) @ 4:1 (+1, -1) = HX. Lose15AL (Int), 1 tk, 1 lt tk.. Advance 7XX.

(Rep +4 VPs) (N +2 VPs)