In weather, a 4 is rolled for the ground conditions, which remain mud in the north (D) and clear in the south (E). A 3 is rolled for the Atlantic, leaving it clear, but in a bit of a surprise, the Med wx rolls a 6 and the Med goes rough. North of Madrid, 4 hexes remain OOS, with 3 units now U-2 black and 2 U-1 red. PA units remain isolated in the north, while 1 hex/unit NW of Teruel is U-1 black. Now that U status is starting to bite a bit, 2 GSPs are generated each at Zaragoza and Valladolid.
Santander and Euzkadi garrison forces are in place (I like to check in my ini phase too.) Pacification is complete in Almeria, which will go into production on Dec II 36. Clearing out leftist terrorists is finished in Don Benito as well, clearing the secondary line leading Don-Benito-Puertollano for supply traffic. The Cadiz X begins pacifying Martos, the 2 Cord X Ubeda, the 2 GC Sec III Velez-Malaga, and the 31st Inf III Tineo. Van Inf XX starts pacifying Puertollano, but it is expected this will be abandoned as offensive ops are considered. 13 GC Sec III, the only unit that advanced into San Sebastian begins routing out Basques that will surely somebody become the leaders of the ELA.
No reinforcement or production occurs, and only minimal replacement. The 5th Cav III is rebuilt at Vallodolid, and the 4th Lar Col at Ceuta, both units having been destroyed in the area btw the Gaudalajara and Teruel fronts in the last Loyalist turn. Meanwhile, 2 entrenchments are completed along the Aragon front by 1 Cas and Cac Inf XX’s. No air activities occur by either side.
NT-1 and 2 open the turn’s movements. The each load a Col Inf III at Ceuta and Larache, and carry it to Cadiz. Both return to Larache, pick up another III each, and head to Sevilla, dropping the second 2 III’s there. Nationalist naval HQ decides now is the time to make a run to the Balearics, given the rough weather in the Med. Therefore, NT-4 at Larache moves to 2511, where the BBTF & CATF at Ceuta move as well, as does the group of CTV subs off Cartagena. The surface units form 1 group and the subs a second, and all proceed collectively to Palma, past the PA cruisers and sub in Cartagena. Because sub combat comes before surface combat, the 6 pts of CTV subs are ensured first shot against any sortie by the 3 pts of Loyalist CL’s, before they could attempt anything against the 4 pts of Nat surface combatants, or the NT. Not surprisingly, the Loyalists let this massive (for FWTBT) fleet pass by unmolested. The combined fleet makes Palma, loads up the elite 36th Inf III (supported), and then runs by Cartagena to Almeria. Again no response from the Loyalist fleet. The III is offloaded at Almeria, and then the combined fleet heads back to Ceuta, unmolested.
On the Aragon front, all units remain static, except for the supply two-step which begins in the area btw the Aragon and Teruel fronts, circa 17:3632 & 23:3401. In the Teruel area, 1st Soria XX moves into the line NE of Teruel, allowing the 10 L Art III to shift from that spot to the area just east of the town. 5th Mtn II moves from east of the town into the town itself, bring defense in town to 3, while east is 2 pts and NW is 3. Further north, 1st Zar X moves into the mountains at 3104 now that 1stSoria is protecting the town’s rear, allowing 24th Inf to advance NW and extend the line towards the Guadalajara front, currently weakened by the loss of 2 units last turn. There, Leon and Vald Fal X’s stand gamely in front of the PA Mtn XXX, waiting for the Hue Inf XX to make it into the line, it having admin’d forward to 2705, just behind these units at 2706 and 2606. 2 LE Inf III moves to San Sebastian and then takes high volume rail to Calatayud, where it offloads and hoofs it overland towards this front, sloggin through the mud thanks to a previous lucky airstrike against 2703, west of Calatayud. It will form the basis for a new XX next turn (which I could have formed this turn, but that would have cost me rail cap getting the unit into the Guadalajara front. Hopefully the mud here will encourage the Mtn XXX to move along (along with my attacks planned elsewhere!)
North of Madrid, a lot of logistical mov’ts occur. At either end of the 4 hex long OOS zone, units two step back and forth to keep the ends no worse than U-1. That won’t work for the 2 center hexes, or the artillery in 2510, the salient in the mtns which is the western end of the OOS zone. The artillery needs to stay in the mtns should the wx shift. First, the Mxd T at Zaragoza tries to airdrop GSPs in. Two are dropped at 2309, outside any possible intercept or patrol zone. Rolls are poor though and both points are scattered in the mud (50/50 shot of success for each.) 5th Cav, rebuilt at Valladolid, then cartages overland 2 GSPs to 2309. The arty and one unit in the center will have supply, while the other goes without for the next two checks.
NW of Madrid things remain stable, but to the west of Madrid (SE of Talavera), the Insurgents launch a small offensive. 1 P Art III, ZMO Eng, & O & E MG II’s rail in from the San Sebastian area, having been released from northern operations, to 2613. From there, they can assault 2713, defended by a sec & art III. Following, an attack will strike at 2714 with zoc encirclement against a hex with naught but 2 eng III’s. With luck, an arty and 3 units with replacement limitations will all die. For the second assault, 1 LE Inf III and the CTV’s Ter Art III & Bab Lt Arm II rail in from the San Sebastian area, reaching 2614. With these new units in the line, each of the units to the SW shifts one hex to the SW, extending the line to the Guadiana’s east bank. Units on the west bank all shift 1 hex SE so that the line in western Castille la Nueva is fully joined. In the Valdepenas front, Van XX abandons the pacification of Puertollano, leaving that to some Falangists for next turn. It moves up to Ciudad Real, abandoned by the PA without a fight, from which point it can put full zoc’s on a greater number of enemy units.
Next, the mov’ts for an assault on Valdepenas itself and its flank are made. An elite force of colonial infantry and cavalry III’s, Nat Lt Inf & Eng, supported with artillery assemble to assault the town from the northwest and west. Once the town is seized, a secondary attack to its southwest will commence, with a smaller number of colonial inf, and Nat infantry, sec, bdr & Lt Inf leading the way, supported by the 2 E art III. Within the western jump off point for the assault on Valdepenas, the ZME Eng III builds a temp airfield as well, which should provide an excellent location from which to control the immediate airspace. The field is occupied by the CTV’s Ricci Lt AA II as well, for some point defense. Other pos flak admins toward the field, but doesn’t quite make it.
South of this, the line is strengthened a bit. With the addition of the elite 36th Inf III to Almeria, the 4 L Artillery in the city can move up and through Gaudix for the main fronts, as Almeria will remain at a 2 DS, sufficient to dissuade an Loyalist attempts to retake the city for the time being. This allows some minor shifting to allow a Nat unit and a Fal X to garrison each pass facing Lorca, while single units take on the defense of the mountains and the area just north of Almeria itself. To the rear in Andalucia, a X of Fal move to Ubeda for pacification duties, a III of Col Inf, Sec & Cons from the Canaries, admin/cartages an AS from Sevilla forward, with the Inf & Sec moving on when the Cons runs out of mps. The AS pt is then within reach of projected attacks. 6 SMPs move another AS pt forward to Linares, sufficient to supply the northern attack on the Valdepenas front. Further in the rear, 4 SMPs move an AS from Huelva to Sevilla (a pt was imported there when port capacity was an issue in an earlier turn, but Huelva’s access to the rest of Spain is via low volume rail, so moving it via rail would be prohibitively expensive.) Finally, the 2 col Inf III’s landed at Cadiz are admin’d up to Sevilla for next turn’s cartaging efforts, while the 2 III’s landed at Sevilla simply admin forward (I considered cartaging for them as well, but then decided against as they only had 4 mps remaining, and cartaging would have cost them 2 more, so the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.) At the end of the turn, the Italian CR32bis unit CAPs hex 2713, 30 miles west of Madrid, which should suffice to keep DAS away.
On the northern front, nearly all units remain in place… those in Euzkadi that weren’t railed away this turn following last turn’s assault on San Sebastian reform a 2 to 3 pt line along the 19xx row, which elbows northwest at sector 1902. In northern Estramadura, the 7th Cav continues its tour of out of the way places, gaining ownership of a number of unowned hexes which completes the take-over of that province. It ends the turn heading towards the Talavera front, still some 60 miles away.
Two pairs of attacks are planned in the south, aligned to take advantage of possible DR zoc kill opportunities. Loyalists fly DAS to 2714, the weaker stack in the 1st pair of attacks, and 3514, the weaker in the 2nd pair, using the Bre19’s and Vild’s respectively. The Nat AF counters with Bre19’s flying to 2714 and the Mxd B float planes flying to 3514 (the Bre19 staging through the new temp field; the Mxd B not actually increasing the odds, but modifying the potential for a militia failure on the PA side.)
The first two attacks, west of Madrid, are a smashing success. At 2713, a 4:1 +0 attack (full AS, 4 rolled for PA morale for no effect) rolls a 6 for a DE and obliterates the defending 5 GC Sec & 1 L Art III. The following attack at 2714 is similarly successful (4:1, +1, full AS, 6 for PA morale, no effect, 6 rolled for a DE), eliminating the PA’s 3rd and 4th Eng III’s. Things don’t go quite so smoothly around Valdepenas, though success is achieved. At Valdepenas (3413), the 5:1 even attack gets off to a poor start (nearly full AS, 3 rolled for PA morale, no effect) when a 1 is rolled, resulting in an HX. Still, this is an acceptable cost, since the enemy units didn’t retreat away, as was possible. Another 2 pts of PA infantry type units die, as does a second arty III, albeit at the cost of the 2 O Col Cav III. Perhaps the poor showing by the attackers at Valdepenas carries over, as the attackers at 3514 do worse. The 3:1 even attack fails to impress the PA defenders (nearly full AS provided, 6 rolled for PA morale, so again no effect), and the PA stand their ground despite being so heavily outnumbered (1 rolled for AS… would have been an EX at 4:1, had PA morale buckled.) Still, after combat advances, there’s a 5 pt stack 16 miles from Madrid at 2713 and adjacent to Toledo, with a 3 hex wide hole in the Loyalist lines west of Madrid. In the south, even with the AS at 3514, there’s a 2 hex gap in the line and the hex so well-defended this turn will almost assuredly be given up regardless in the Loyalist mov’t phase. Still, killing another pt of PA artillery would have been very useful. The CR32 and Bre19’s return to the new temp airfield at 3414, just west of Valdepenas, while the Mxd B returns to Malaga. All PA a/c return to their starting bases (Madrid & Cartagena).
NT 1 & 4 return from Sevilla to Ceuta, where they join NT-2 in loading an AS pt. They carry this point from Morocco’s ‘as start’ forces to Sevilla, replenish in the city, enjoying some leave, and then return back to Ceuta. The BBTF & CATF replenish and then wait out the turn. The Italian subs replenish, enjoy some wine, and then head back out on patrol near Cartagena, following the coastal and night route to prevent any sort of reaction by the PA’s CL’s in the port. No ground mov’t occurs, and given all a/c have flown, no air missions are launched either.