Europa Games and Military History

Month: February 2017

FEB I 1937


The 2LE is still in hot pursuit of the Astrurians, They were pushed to the coast and now with their backs to the wall they are trapped and annihilated.  Another victory! But again at a cost. In the space of a few weeks the war has started to become very real for Miguel. The reports from their spies in Gijon is not good either,  the defenders have been recruiting factory workers, school teachers, police everyone of  fighting age (and some besides) and have formed a very formidable defence of their  city.  Miguel fears it will be some time before they are able to move against it. He hopes a lull will give him some much needed respite.

FWtBT No 4 - FEB I 37: Tactical view: Republicans push through south of Tommelleso

Republicans push through south of Tommelleso

The rear ranks of the Nationalists; Falangists and Carlists were slaughtering tens of thousands in the captured areas.  Everywhere intellectuals, teachers, doctors, even typists were rounded up and executed. The liberators of Huesca found that 100 residents were shot accused simply of being Freemasons despite the fact that the local lodge had only some dozen members

Game Report:

Nationalists Turn:

Weather:  Winter/Mud and Storms/Clear

Supply: Seville feeds of GSPs and expends another ASP

Replacements; ½  Nat and ½ Req SRPs received.  Replaced;  2-5 inf 5 (Req)

Reinforcements; All divisions supported on arrival.

Moves; NT transports 1-6 mg IMExp from Canaries to La Coruna.

Italians arrive in SW with a view to moving on Seville.

Attack 1 :3411 woods (SW of Tomelloso)  Supplied, 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-1-8 cav 20 (Col), 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col), 2-3-6 art 61, 2-1-8 art o, 4-6 inf XX Mov,  1-8 lt tk bab (CTV), Attack 2-3-5* inf 9 @ 6:1 (-3) =EX loose 3-2-63LE.  Advance 2-1-8 cav 20 (Col),  2-1-8 cav 1E (Col),  2-1-8 art o, 4-6 inf XX Mov

Attack 2: 1205 rough (coast 2 hexes east of Gijon), Supplied 3-6 * inf 1Cas, 3-2-6 inf  2LE, 2-6 art 1P, 2-1-8 art E, Unsupplied 1-6 13 GC attack 1-2-4 inf 13 (Ast), 1-6 eng 2 (Ast) @ 7:1 (-2)  = DE Advance 1Cas.

Air Activity: 2 more successful rail bombings!

Sortie 1;  Mxd B and Mxd T @ 4213

Sortie 2; He 51, Ju52g4e @ 3332.

Republican Turn

French Border: Open

Supply:  Seville feeds off GSPs .  Expends ASP for 12 more GSPs

Replacements; ½ PA and ½ Ast SRPs received.  1-6 infs 2,9 and 1-6 art5L replaced and form 3-6* inf 1.

2-3-5* inf 9, 1-6 infs 10,40 replaced.  A101 repaired.

Reinforcements: all arriving divisions equipped.

Moves: NT3  (with BTF-1, LtTF-1 (Bas)) collects 1-4 inf 3 (Ast) from Gijon and transports to Santander; returns to Gijon and loads 1-4 inf 5 (Ast).  In exploitation  offloads at Santander  and returns to Gijon.

All Reaction attempts by Nationalist Combat Task Force at El Ferrol fail.

Attack 1:  3104 mtn  (Montes Universales 30 miles north of Teruel)  Unsupplied 1-8 mtn 1, 1-6 sec 5GC, 1-6 inf 13, 1-6 mg 4, 2-6 art 2P and  1-5 inf Agul (An) and 1-5 inf Muer (An) ,  1-6 inf 16 Attack

1-8 cav 1 (U2) @ 8:1(-4) = DR eliminated as no retreat.  Advance 13 inf, 16 inf

Attack 2: 2731 rough (Huesca) Supplied 1-6 sec 3GC,  1-8 cav 4, 1-8 mtn 1, 1-2-6* inf 19, 1-6 art 8L, 1-0-R art 1 (Cat),  2-3-5* inf XX 32 (Cat),  2-3-5* inf XX 31 (Cat), and 1-2-5 inf 3 (Cat),  1-2-5 inf 4 (Cat),  1-5 inf 6  (Cat), 1-8 cav Buxo (Cat), 1-6 art 11 (Cat),  1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat)  Attack  2-3-5* inf XX Pos @ 5:1 (-2) = DH.  Advance 1-5 inf 6 (Cat), 1-8 cav Buxo (Cat), 1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat), 2-3-5* inf XX 31 (Cat)

Attack 3: 3222 woods (Carmona)  Unsupplied 1-5 inf Agl (An),  Supplied 1-5 inf Met (An), 1-5 infMej (An), 1-6 sec 17GC, 1-2-6 * inf 18, 1-6 art 3L attack 2-6 inf 3Ceu @ 5:1 (-4) = AS  (A bold attempted sally before Italian forces arrive and bolster the defensive ring dangerously weakened  over the winter months as forces were drawn off into the push west from Jean)

All Power to the People: An unofficial “Total War”-Playtest

A testament to the dedication and loaylty of the community. There, I always wanted to write such a sentence, and today I honestly have a reason for it: Robert, a member of the Europa mailing list, assembled a TW playtest set by using the TW maps and counters, and updating the FitE-rule set to modern Europa standards. His report of his solitaire game can be found at, and it would have made Winston proud.

JAN II 1937


Once again 2LE was lead to victory, but at what price!. They had returned to the coastal mountains and attacked the Asturians holding the ridge. The attack was bolstered by troops from many units rushed to the jump off points overnight. Scouts had reported a weakness in the defence as the enemy artillery had been withdrawn to bolster a large unit reportedly assembling behind along the coast. HQ had decided to take advantage of this temporary weakness and a scratch force was assembled and rushed into the attack. The lack of preparation showed for although they took the ridge and now overlooked the coastal strip beyond they had suffered heavy casualties. Miguel had known Jose of the 5thReq from the start of Operation Eagle and despite Jose’s strange political views such as promoting a “Royal Papacy” they had become firm friends. The 5th had lead the charge up the slope and had been annihilated in the opening fire from the well concealed Asturians some of whom had constructed rudimentary dug outs and entrenchments. Goodbye Jose, sleep well.

FWtBT No 4 - Jan II 37: Tactical view: Republic moves down the Jiloca valley.

The republic moves down the Jiloca valley.

The Castilian winter was now at its fiercest and well known for the freezing winds pouring down from the mountains. The winter weather was making the republican militiamen’s life a misery. Woefully equipped many still having their worker’s boiler suites and rope soled alpargatas for footwear, which rotted quickly. Where it was warmer the persistent rain and consequent mud made keeping clean impossible at the front and trenches formed convenient latrines. This practice horrified the Internationalist many who having experienced the trenches of the Great War had far better trench displace and “personal grooming” habits.

Game Report

Nationalist Turn

Weather; Winter/Mud and Rough/Rough.

Supply: Seville feeds of GSPs and expends an ASP for 12 more GSPs.

3-6* inf XX van in front line so upgrade delayed. 2.5 SRPs recovered.

Replacements; 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-3-5* inf XX 3Mad, 1-8 mtn 4, 3-6* inf XX 2Sor, 2 X 1-2-6 arts 42 and 43.

Fort Built at 3822 (East of Zaragoza)

Air Activity – Nationalist Air Force comes of age!

The first Casualty of the air war; CR32 and CR32bis (CTV) survive 1pt AA fire and Hit Lorca airbase Aborting the A101 there.

He51 (KL) and JU52g4e (KL) Hit the rail line @ 3331

Mxd B and Mxd B hit the rail line  @3609 (Albacete).

Attack1; 1206 mtn (30 miles east of Gijon) Supplied 3-6* inf XX 1AV, 1-8 mtn 4, 1-2-6* inf 32, 1-6 sec 13GC, 2-1-8 art E, and 2-6 art 1P, 3-2-6 inf 2LE, 1-6  bdr 9Car , 1-8* inf mar (CTV), 2-5 inf 5 (Req), and 3-6* inf XX cas attack 1-4 infs 10, 9 (Ast) , 0-1-4 cons 1,  2 (Ast)  @ 5:1 (-3) = EX.  Loose mtn 4, bdr9Car, inf 5 (req) Advance;  1-6 sec 13GC, 2-1-8 art E, and 2-6 art 1P, 3-2-6 inf 2LE. Part built fort removed.

FWtBT No 4 - JAN II 37: Tactical view: The push from Jaen continues at a slow pace.

Tactical view: The push from Jaen continues at a slow pace.

Republican Turn

French Border: Open. Supply: Seville feeds off GSPs

Reinforcements & Replacements; Recover 1/2 SRP (Ast) , and ½ SRP (An)

Equip 3-4-4* inf XX ( Bas).Replace; 1-6 infs 2,9 & 1-6 art 5L and form 3-6* inf XX 2.

Replace; 1-5 inf 6 (Cat), 2-5 inf Dur (An)

Move: Engineers remove rail hits @ 3709 and 3732.

Attack 1; 3103 rough (Jiloca Valley north of Teruel) Unsupplied 1-6 inf 13, 1-6 mg 4, 1-6 sec 5GC, 1-8 mtn art 1, 2-6* inf 6Ch, 2-6 art 2P attack 1-6 inf 21 @ 8:1 (-2) = DH. Advance 6Ch.

Attack 2: 3716 rough/Fort (east of Jaen) Supplied 3-6* inf XX 10, 1-6 sec 9GC, 1-6 art 6L

Attack 1-8 inf 18, @ 9:1 (-4) = DR. Advance 3-6* inf 10 (fort destroyed).

JAN I 1937

Narrative: Year End Review.

[table id=5 /]

(*Arguably these should be from enemy action but RAW does not make reference to how the hits are obtained so I have decided to award these points)

Front Line: The south end of the Nationalist line is anchored on the coast at Motril (4120) and then follows roughly north along the mountain ridge with the Nationalists in control except for the Republican presence on the rail line at 3918. The line then turns East to the end of the mountains at 3714, NE to 3412 then straight NW to circle the Republican mountain redoubt at 2616.The line then then curves East with the Republicans controlling the Cordilla Cental. Up to this point all frontline hexes have units but from here both sides rely on ZOCs to control the front until at the eastern end just 30 miles short of Calatayud where the line solidifies again and turns south to Teruel. The Nationalists control a row of mountains on the western valley sides.  After returning north from Teruel where the Nationalists control one or two hexes of the eastern valley sides it reaches 2836 where the line turns directly east and thence through Zaragoza to the Pyrenees at 2639.

Facing the gobernetos there are 4 self supported divisions plus a few regiments in Asturia and minimal guards elsewhere with a few regiments occupying the southern portion of Ezukadi.

Nationalist view of the progress of the war to date: The Nationalists are pleased with progress to date. They met their initial objectives and are well on the way to fulfilling their longer term goals. The decision to isolate and effectively ignore Seville is not regretted.  At first the loss seemed a disaster but Seville is not actually on the main rail line to the rest of the country and so can be isolated with little effect on communications. Had they decided to deal with this outpost early on it would certainly have weakened them elsewhere and allowed the Republicans to gain a much larger territorial advantage early on and may possibly have allowed the Nationalist to be split in the Caceres/Badajoz area.  The decision is not free of consequences however and the loss of 6 extra attack supplies plus those still bottled up outside the city (early arrivals at Cadiz yomping cross country around the city) has required higher troop concentration to attack unsupplied at places and reduced the total number of attacks.  More damaging perhaps is the loss of the Seville Rail Cap. The Nationalists have had to expend 9ResourcePoints into replacing this (now at 9REs) so have very little spare for fort development. So with the promise from Il Duce of specialist artillery and troops has brought the capture of Seville to the forefront of Nationalist thinking for early 1937.

The Nationalists have managed to check the Republicans at Zaragoza and still retain a tongue of units down the Jiloca valley between Calatayud and Teruel however this is very tenuous (2 hexes wide at the neck) and is in imminent danger of being severed and isolated. They want to try retain this as an “anvil” on which the (slow moving)”hammer” pushing east from Jaen is to strike splitting Madrid from the rest of Republican territory but given the low force levels and tenuous connection to the main front it is looking increasingly unlikely that this area can be held.   The loss of the Jiloca valley will result in the Jaen offensive punching into thin air but yet if Madrid’s rail connections can be severed this in itself will limit the Republican’s ability to reinforce the capital in due course so the push east remains the prime objective for 1937

The one failure for the Nationalists is that they had hoped to compensate for the loss of the Seville factory by an early capture of Gijon but Asturian resistance just seemed to keep ahead of them by a turn or so. Just when the attack troops were sufficiently strong (and naval task forces were on hand and rebuilt at El Ferrol for NGS) pressure from the Republicans moving NE from Catalonia forced the attack to be called off and troops moved south to bolster the Army of Aragon.  So while the Asturian hinterland has been cleared and the ground prepared for a renewed assault in the spring new forces will need to be assembled for this task. Nevertheless this remains a secondary objective for 1937 but may need Santander clearing in preparation for a full scale assault on Gijon.

The Zaragoza front.

Zaragoza front.

Republican view of the progress of the war to date: The Republican view is one of disappointment and lost opportunity but with some relief in the North. The early hopes of a swift suppression of the revolution by splitting the Nationalist forces and establishing link to Seville proved beyond their capabilities. The thrust west from Madrid was halted and Seville remains a lone isolated outpost.  The plans for an amphibious landing at Huelva required the forcing the blockade of Nationalist subs, capital ships and the CD at Ceuta so at best the plan had a thin chance of success. The early onset of bad weather and the mine hits on BBTF-1 reduced the chance of success to close on zero so the operation was cancelled.

Their main objective of thrusting north from Catalonia via Zaragoza was derailed by the AE on the right flank which occurred due to a combination of a low militia reliability roll and an equally low combat roll resulting in the elimination of most of the Catalonians from the front line. This stopped the offensive cold and the one month respite before replacements were available allowed the Nationalists to reinforce the front.

The only bright spot in this catalogue of doom was the fact that the renewed offensive obliged the Nationalists to call off their attack on Gijon and send troops to hold the line at Zaragoza.

Gijon has now assembled a good defence and has maintained a coastal strip where divisions can be formed and fed back into the city which will make Gijon a tough nut to crack for the Nationalists.

The Republican objectives for 1937 are therefore to continue to thrust northwest from Catalonia, taking Zaragoza and Calatayud thus protecting the eastern approaches to Madrid and at the same time isolating and eliminating the Nationalist at Teruel. However the chance of linking up with the Basques is now considered remote.

The Nationalist thrust east from Jean will be contained with minimal force and the Anarchist thrust towards Grenada will be supported as troops are available although this is seen as a spoiling action to siphon off Nationalists reserves from their own attack further north.

Game Report

Nationalist Turn

Weather: Snow/Mud and Storm/Clear.

Supply: Teruel force Isolated. (7.5 REs). Seville feeds of GSPs and expends another ASP.

Reinforcements & Replacements; Recover 1 SRP

Replace 2-3-6 art 61, 1-6 art 2, 1-6 sec 21GC, 3 x 1-6 infs 5, 18 and 30 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-5 inf Vald (Fal).

Replace 0-1-10 AA 88 (KL) and convert to 2-10 AA 88.(KL)

Rail Cap: 3 Res Pts expended to permanently raise Rail cap to 9.

Moves: Nationalist front now becomes continuous around the perimeter with units and ZOCs.

Attack1: 3412 woods (SE of Tomelloso)  Supplied 4-6inf XX Mov and  1-6 lt tank Bab (CTV), 1-10 lt tnk Dro, (KL)  2-1-8 cav 1E, (Col),  2-1-8 cav 20, (Col), 3-2-6 inf 1E, 2-3-6 art 61, 2-1-8 art and Unsupplied 1-6 sec 18GC and 2-3-5* inf XX  Ov Attack (1-2-6*inf 21, 1-6 inf 10, 1-6 inf 40) @ 6:1 (-3) = EX loose: 3-3-6 inf 1LE , 1-6 sec 18 GC. Advance; Cav1E, 20, art 61.

Attack 2: 1211 mtn  (End of Operation “Eagle”, mountains of NW Asturia). Unsupplied 3-2-6inf 2LE, 2-6 art 1P, 2-1-8 art E, 2-5 inf 5 (Req) and 1-6 sec 13 GC and 1-5 inf cord (Fal) attack 1-4 inf 8 (ast) U4 isolated @ 9:1(-3) = DR. Surrounded so eliminated.  Advance All except 13GC .

Air Activity: First successful rail bombings of the war!

Sortie 1; Mixd B and Mixd T Hit rail line at 4115.

Sortie 2; He51 and Ju52g4e Hit rail line at 3332.

Republican Turn

French Border: Open. Supply: Seville feeds of GSPs

Reinforcements & Replacements; Recover 1/2 SRP. 2-3-5 inf XX 9 and 3-6* inf XX 10 arrive supported.

Replace 1-4 inf 5 (Ast), 1-2-6* inf 21,1-6 art 11 (Cat), Replace 1-6 infs 2, 9, 10,40 1-6 art 5L and form 5-6 inf XX  11Ch.  Form: 3-4-4 inf XX 3 (Ast), and Convert 2-5 inf LE (P) to 3-4-5* inf 29Le (P).

1-2-4 inf 11 (Bas) and 1-6 art 14 form 2-3-4* inf 2 (Bas) *

*The Form within garrisons seems to cause some problems such as what happens when some units used to form a division in a garrison are released but others are not.

More significantly the Asturians are allowed to form a number of divisions but then certain “formed” divisions are released some with supported sides.  The OB seems to assume that the artillery units or art RPs generated at Gijon will be applied within the garrisons but I have the art regiments the field and in ZOCs which prevents Forming. Rules state that divisions can be formed at either side and presumably this applies to the garrison divisions but is there any significance to the fact that some are shown supported while most are not? When the units are  Released from the garrison e.g. Oct I  presumably if still in the Form box these are “released” to the General Pool Form box. If the garrison has already been released then normally “available” units are treated as reinforcements but presumably divisions not already formed are treated as “available” forms.  Does anyone have any intel on this? .  There have been some OB corrections to remove certain upgrades which act like forced “Equips” and possibly these “forced” forms should also be removed. 

Attack1: 3212 Clear (adj. Alcazar de San Juan) Supplied 2-6* inf 14Mar (Int),  2-6* inf 13Dom (Int), 2-6* inf 11Th (Int), And 4-6 inf XX 6 And 2-1-8 tk1, 1-2-6 sec 2GA, 1-2-6 art 4, and 3-6* inf XX 6,Attack (2-3-5 * inf XX 3Mad) @5:1 (-2) = DR. 3Mad eliminated as no retreat. Advance: 20Ga, art4 and 1Tk

Attack 2; 3002 rough( over mtn hexside (Top of Jiloca valley south of Calatayud). Unsupplied 1-6 inf 13,1-6 sec 5GC, 1-6 mg4, 2-6* inf 5Car, 2-6* inf 6Car, 2-6 art 2P, 1-8 mtn art 1  Attack ( 1-8 mtn 4) @ 5:1 (-2) = DH.  Advance; 1-6 sec 5GC, 1-6 mg4, 2-6 art 2P, 1-8 mtn art 1, inf 13

Attack3: 2831 clear (east of Zaragoza) Supplied 1-5 infs 5, 6 (Cat), 1-2-5 infs 3, 4 (Cat), 1-8 CavBuxo (Cat), 1-6 art 11, Unsupplied 2-5 infDur (An) And 1-0-R art (Cat), 2-3-5 * inf 32 (Cat), 1-2-5 infs Maur and AN (P), 1-2-6* inf 19, 1-6 sec 3GC And 1-8 mtn1, 1-6 art 8L, 1-8 Cav 4, Attack (3-6* 2Sor) @ 4:1 (-2) = EX. Loose 1-5 inf 5 (Cat), 2-5 infDur (An). Advance 1-2-6* inf 1P, 2-3-5*inf 32

Air Activity; First Air-Air Result of War!

Sortie1: A101 out of Seville and Bre.19 out of Albecete combine to attack Airbase @ Jaen.  CR.32bis intercepts and “Returns” BRe19. Attack aborted.

New game report

To start the New Year properly we have a brand new game report of For Whom the Bell Tolls, written by Ken Newall and reporting from his solitaire game featuring a variable start to the revolution. Thanks to Ken who allowed me publishing his reports here. Enjoy the read!

DEC II 1936


Miguel now looks back fondly to his cramped barracks with the burley fellow from Leon. His unit has been hunting the remnants of the Asturiansin the mountains now for two weeks, up and down mountain trails, helping to lug the heavy guns. There are few of the enemy left as a coherent force but they must be hunted down to a man if the rear is to be secured.  Meanwhile unknown to Miguel as he struggles in the mountains a number of divisions have been transferred south in response to desperate pleas for reinforcements from Zaragoza. Here the slow but steady advance by the Republican forces are threatening to cut across the head of the Jiloca Valley and trap a number of regiments at Teruel. This Nationalist held valley points like a sword towards Valencia and its retention is considered key as a jumping off point to cut the enemy into two.

FWtBT No 4 - DEC II 36: Tactical view: Teruel defenders supply line cut.

Teruels supply line cut.

The continuing advance on Madrid from the south west becomes a rallying call from socialist organisations all across Europe and while there is little support from the democracies the Communist Party in Soviet Russia is far more willing to help and indeed has had agents in place since the 1920’s . The outbreak of war is seen as an opportunity and financial support “for humanitarian purposes” is plentiful as well as T26 tanks and lately the Chato and Mosca fighters now in the skies over Gijon and driving off the fascist air power in the region.

Game Report

Insurgent Turn

Weather: North: Snow, South: Mud, Atlantic: Storms, Med: Rough

Supply;. A portion of the Republican line in the Sierra de Segura, West of Albacete goes U3 while Seville feeds off GSPs. Expends AS for 12 GSPs

Replacements: ½ SRP recovered,. 3 X 1-6 Inf 5,15 and 26 replaced. BBTF-1 and CATF repaired.

Moves: NTs move 1Res Pt from Cadiz to Malaga. 3-6* inf XX 3Sor and 3-6* inf XX 2Casrailed from Gijon front to Zaragoza front.  Ju52g4e and HE 51 transfer to Zaragoza

Attack 1: 3313 clear (Rail junction Just West of Tomelloso). Unsupplied. 2-3-5* inf XX Ov and 2-3-5* inf XX 3 Mad  and 1-6 inf 28 , Supplied 4-6 inf XX Mov, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-6 art 4L, 1-8 lttk Bab (CTV) , 1-10 lttkDro (KL). Attack 2-6* inf12Gar (Int) @ 6:1 (-2) = EX. Loose; 1LE. Advance;Mov.

Attack2: 2803 mtn (SW of Calatayud) Supplied 3-6* inf XX 2Cas And 1-5 mech 1, 1-6 art 10L, 1-8 Cav 9 and Unsupplied 1-8lt 1,and 1-8 lt 2 attack 1-6 inf 8 @ 6:1 (-3)  = DH. Advance 1 LT

Attack3: 1010 mtn (Operation “Eagle”, mountains of NW Asturia). Unsupplied 3-2-6 inf 2LE, 2-6 art 2P, 2-5 inf 5 (Req), 2-1-8 art E attack 1-4 inf 5 (Ast) U3. @ 9:1 (-3) = DE. Advance All

Republican Turn

French Border: Open.   Fort at 1106 (adjacent Gijon) completed

Supply Seville draws on GSPs.

Reinforcements & Replacements: 1-6 sec 14GC upgraded to 1-2-6 sec 2GA.

½  SRPs (Int) recovered.

1-6 infs 2 & 9 and 1-6 art 5L replaced and form 3-6* inf XX 8 at Madrid. 1-6 inf 19 and 1-5 inf PI (An) rebuilt.

1-2-4 inf 10 (Bas), 1-4 inf 4 (Bas) and 1-6 art 14 form 3-4-4* inf 3 (Bas)

Moves: 1-4 inf 4 (Ast) exfiltrates to 1211 onto rail line (but U4 so not enough MPs to cut line and no ZOC)

Attack 1: 3035 rough (Southwest of Zaragosa) Unsupplied 2-6* inf 5Car,  2-6* inf 6Ch,  1-6 mg 4 and 1-8 mtn art 1, 1-2-6 sec 10GA,and 1-6 inf 13, 1-6 sec 5GC, 2-6 art 2P attack 1=6 inf 18 @ 9:1 (-2) = DH.Advance5Car, 4 mg.

Attack 2: 2934 clear. Supplied 1-8 mtn 1, 1-8 cav 4, 1-6 art 7L (over river) and 3-4-4* inf XX 27ch attack 1-6 inf 5 @ 9:1 (-1) = DE.  Advance 27ch.

DEC I 1936


Miguel was feeling cramped. Over the last fortnight thousands more troops had arrived and he was now bunk sharing with a burley fellow from Leon. But if cramped it was at least rested.  Until that was Operation “Eagle”. HQ must have decided that it was not a good idea to cram thousands of troops into a working town and give them nothing to do. So they were to carry out a large “anti –partisan” operation to root out all the Asturian stragglers still at large in the mountains and coastal plain to the north west. His unit along with the howitzers of the 1PL was to drive to the coast and sweep behind the 15TH infantry holding the Narcea river and block their escape so that the 1st Madrid and comrades from Avila province could finish them off.

FWtBT No 4 - DEC I 36: Tactical view: Internationalists become involved in force.

The Internationalists arrive in force

As the military situation worsened Republican circles harboured a naive belief that help might come from external sources such as Britain as the champion of the underdog. However in 1936 British prime minister Eden did not recognise the growing threat of fascism and in fact he preferred “on balance” a “fascist” victory to a “communist” one and thus refused to sell arms to the Republic.  Notwithstanding this official stance the Republican forces were being supplemented by the Internationalist brigades in growing numbers who were taking on some of the toughest fighting.

FWtBT No 4 - DEC I 36

Nationalist line again breached around Zaragoza

Game Report

Insurgent Turn

Weather: North: Winter, South: Mud, Atlantic: Storms, Med: Clear.

Supply:  PA 40thinf goes U4 but there are still some areas where the front is not continuous so it is not isolated.

(I considered taking the view that the line to the PA unit was so long, crossing most of Spain and over mountain ranges that it should have an “isolated” status. However I want to play the game strictly according to the rules and it could be argued that in a civil war there would be supplies slipping through line from sympathisers, local sources etc. Anyway this punishes the Nationalists for not sealing the front more effectively.)

Seville draws on GSPs and expends another supply unit for 12 more GSPs.

Reinforcements and replacements: All arrive unmolested. At Mieras (23A:1108) 1-5 Inf Vald (Fal) , 1-6 inf30  and  1-6 art 16L form 3-6 inf XX 1Av and 2x 1-6 sec 6GC &10GC and 1-6 art 16L  form 3-6*inf XX 2Av

4-6inf XX Mov arrives at Jean and 2-3-5*inf XX Pos arrives at Zaragoza both supported.

Replacements: (½ SRP received)  1-6 mg E, 1-6 inf 24, 1-6 sec 21GC  replaced and . 1-6 art 9L, 1-6 infs 26 and 5 replaced and form 3-6* inf XX 2Cas @ Leon.

Construction: 3 Res Pts expended to increase rail cap to 7 RE

(The limited fighting has allowed the Nationalists to build up a large manpower reserve)

Moves: BBTF and CATF Fleet moves to La Coruna for repairs.

Attack1: 3212 (west of Alcazar de San Juan) Supplied 0-1-10 AA88 (KL), 1-10 lttnkDro (KL) 3-2-6inf 1LE, 1-6 art 4L, and 2-3-5*inf XX 3Madwith Mixd B and Mixd T attack 1-6  inf 17  and 1-5 AgL (An) @ 8:1 (-2)  – DH  loose AgL.  17th retreats NE. Advance: Dro, 88 and 3Mad.

Attack2: 3303 (Alfambra valley, east of Teruel)  Supplied 1-6 inf 31, 1-8cav 31, 1-6 art 11L and 1-8lt 3 and 1-8 cav 5 and 1-67 sec 20GC attack 1-6 inf 9 @ 8:1(-2) = DE. Advance: 3Cav, 11L.

(The following form the combined “anti –partisan” operation “Eagle” north west of Oviedo, All PA and Asturian forces are unsupported and at least U2)

Attack3:3933 (Tineo) Unsupplied 1-2-6* inf32, 2-1-8 art E, 2-5 inf 5 (Req),  attack 1-4 inf 7 (Ast) @ 9:1 (-2) = DH. Advance32nd

Attack4:0908(rough) Unsupplied 2-3-5*inf XX 1Med (over river) and 3-6* infXX  1Av (over river) and 3-2-6  inf 1LE, 2-6art 1P attack 1-2-4 inf Di (Ast) @ 7:1(-2)  = DH. No advance.

Attack 5: 1209 (rough) Unsupplied 3-6* inf XX 3Sor and 3-6* inf XX 2 Cas and 1-5 inf1Cord (Fal) attack PA 1-6 inf40 @ 6:1 (-3) DR. 40th eliminated surrounded. Advance: 2 Cas

Attack 6: 1110 (mtn) Unsupplied 3-6* inf XX 2Av, 1-6 sec 13GC with HE51, Ju52g4e attack 1-4inf 5 (Ast) @ 5:1 (-3) = AS

Exploitation; 0-1-10 AA 88 (KL) exploits to 3211 {Alcazar de San Juan) and breaks the rail line.

Republican Turn

French Border open.

Supply: Seville draws on GSPs.

Reinforcements: All reinforcements arrive equipped.

Replacements: 1-6 Bdr 4Car, 2 X 1-2-6 art 3 and 4, 1-6 inf 40. 1-4 inf 4 (Ast), 1-2-4 inf Di (Ast), 1-5 inf 5 (Cat)

1-6 inf 9,19 and 1-6 art 5Lreplaced and form 3-6* inf XX 6 at Cartagena

1-2-4 inf 8 (Bas), 1-4 inf 3 (Bas) and 1-6 art 14 form 3-4-4* inf 4 (Bas)

Moves: I-15/t22 and I-16/T6 transfer to Gijon. D.371 transfers to Madrid. Repaired Po.340 arrives from France and stages to Lorca. Vild and Bre.19 fly Naval Patrol but fail to contact National subs off Almeria.

Asturian remnants cut off in the north east of the province move deeper into the mountains.

Other moves establish a continuous front of Republican units and/or ZOCs around the perimeter.

Attack1: 3919 (mtn) Supplied 1-5 inf AmL (An), 1-5 inf Pi (An),1-5 inf Cast (An),1-5 inf Lar (An),1-2-5 inf  TL (An),0-1-6 art CNT (An) attack 1-6 Sec 10GC @ 5:1 (-4) = EX. Loose PI. Advance TL, AmL and eliminate Attack Supply point in hex.

Attack2:  3211 (Alcazar de San Juan) Unsupplied 1-6 inf 40, 1-2-6 art 3 from the north and 2-6* inf 13Dom (Int) , 2-6* inf 14Mar (Int) and 2-6* 11Th (Int) from the south Attack 0-1-10 AA 88 (KL) @ 9:1 (-2) = DE.  Advance 13Mar, art 4

Attack 3:  2830 (rough) Unsupplied 2-5 inf Durr (An) and 1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat), 1-5 inf 6 (Cat), 1-2-5 inf4 (Cat). 1-8 Cav Buxo (Cat), 1-0-R art 1 (Cat), and 1-2-5 inf  AN (P), 1-2-5 infMaur (P) attack 1-6 inf 17 @ 7:1 (-2) = DE. Advance 4,6 and Buxo

Attack 4: 2935 (rough) Supplied 1-6 Sec 10GA, 1-6 Sec 5GC, 2-6 art 2P and 1-5 inf  Hi (An)  attack 1-8 mtn 4 @ 5:1 (-5) = DR.  1-8 retreats to 2936 to hold rail line to Teruel. Advance 2P, 5GC.

NOV II 1936


Miguel was glad of the R&R. His unit had been pulled back from the coast and he was now resting in a school house in Oviedo.  The persistent rain had called a halt to operations in the area. There were a few scattered Asturian units to their west but they were unsupplied and leaderless and considered of little threat so the army was using the lull to rebuild and prepare for a major attack when the weather improved.

FWtBT No 4 - NOV II 36: Tactical view, the Republicans pull back their MLR on west flank

The Republicans in retreat

As a result of the Anarchist rout around Ciaudad Real Communist leaders in Madrid were determined to improve training and stiffen resolve. They formed new units and improved training. “Steel” companies paraded through Madrid well trained and walking in step and these were impressive compared to the ramshackle efforts of the militia. This resolve was enforced by slogans and actions “If my comrade retreats without orders I have the right to shoot him”. Time would tell if this would prove effective.

Insurgent Turn

(Last turn of Militia Unreliability)

Weather: Mud and storms throughout Spain.  French border: Open.

Supply :Seville draws on GSPs. Republican “bulge” West of Toledo and Andalucían Mountaintop troops go U1 as do stranded Asturians.

Reinforcement/Replacements: Nationalists recover ½ inf special RP from losses

5 and 26 inf,  4L art rebuilt and form 3-6* inf XX 3Sor

Attack: 3213 Unsupplied 2-3-5* inf XX 3Mad and 1-10 lt Arm Dro (KT), 1-8 lt arm Bab (CTV), 0-1-10 lt AA 88(KL), 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-6 art 4L attack 1-6 inf 11 (Failed Militia check)  @ 9:1 (–2)  = DR

Republican Turn

Supply:  Seville draws on GSPs.

Rebuilds 1-8 mtn 3, 1-6 sec 16GC, 1-8 Cav 7, 1-0-8 lt arm AAC. 0-1-4 cons2 (Ast), 1-8 Buxo cav (Cat) 1-2-5 inf 4 (Cat)

Moves: . Vild and Bre19 on Naval patrol.

Line pulls back between 2717 and 3114 to keep in supply.  Stranded Asturians infiltrate to attempt to cut Oviedo – Leon rail line but lead unit (40th inf) is U2 so has no ZOC

Attack 1 3917 (Guadix) Supplied 1-5 inf Cast (An), 1-5 inf Lar (An), 1-5 inf PI (An), 1-5 inf AmL (An), 0-1-6 art CNT(An) and 1-2-5 inf TL (An) attack 0-5 cons 2 , 1-6 inf 24. @ 9:1 (-3)  = DH. 24 lost 2nd  retreats,. Advance Cast, Lar, CNT and TL

Attack2 3816 (Supplied) 1-6 sec  9GC, 1-6 art 6L, 41-6 bdr 4Car, 1-8 bike and 2-6* inf 4CH, 1-2-6* inf 20  attack 1-6 MG 4 (Militia check ½)  @ 7:1  = EX. Loose 4 Car.  Advance; 9GC, 6L