A war shortening, if not war winning, breakout this turn by the Nationalists!

Whereas the Republic have defended in depth in the north the defences in the south have been slowly stripped to replaces losses at the front and the rear is unguarded.

The Nationalists spot a vulnerable 10 pt reverse corner hex and the weather clears briefly allowing an armour assisted attack. The Nationalist are lucky and score an EX allowing the breakthrough to take place. The Transported artillery and the invaluable Italian mot  Artillery unit provides an overrun opportunity which swings in behind Albacete pinning 6 top quality Republic divisions.  A second stack exploits to the wooded ridge to the West of Valencia preventing relief from the East while a lone unsupported Lt tk regiment reaches the outskirts of the capital at Alicante and causes panic and chaos in the government.

The breakout not only traps the bulk of the defenders on this front it also cuts the republican line in two with zocs from the republican line to the coast at Elchi. The Republican supply net is divided into two . Cartagena/Murcia/Lorca and Valencia/Barcelona/ Lerida/Tarragona and the rail net is split.  The Anarchists can only draw 6REs of supply from Barcelona via Cartagena.

The Republic will have a choice to make.

Do they attempt to seal the breach and deal with the breakout units later; perhaps with the help of a return of mud which will remove any AECD?;  or do they pull back to hold the line, again dealing with the breakout later; or do they pull as many units back to deal with the armour and form a screen defence.

Raising rail capacity despite the Valencia yards being damaged will give 9RE capacity which will allow 2 divisions and Artillery/regiments to move from the Zaragoza front but little can engage the stack just outside Yeica.

Under no option can the hex at 3708 be entered giving the Nationalists a free passage next turn to widen the breach.

Supply:  The clear weather allows much needed supplies to reach the high outposts of the Penebetica range (SW of Albacete)

Replacements: 2 SPR recovered.  Cav, Eng rebuilt.   Ro.37 Repaired.

Air Activity:

Sortie 1: Cr.32, CR.32bis (CTV),Do 17E, Ju 52g4e fly to bomb Albacete airfield. Intercepted by i-16/t5. Cr.32 and I-15/t Eliminate each other. (R + 2 VP, N +2 VP) Bombers get through and Hit the airfield.

Sortie 2: The rail marshalling yards at Valencia are hit, SM 79-1 (CTV) evades AA and scores a hit, damaging the yards and breaking the rail line.

Sortie 3 3404 (E of Valencia) sm79-1Breaks rail line.

Sortie 4:  A major dogfight over the airfield at 3232 (s of Zaragoza) results in the elimination of the ME 109D by the i-16/t10 and the Abort of an I-16/t5 by a CR.32bis a second CR.32Bis (CTV) is ineffective and unharmed. (R +2 VPs)

Other sorties. Against Yards, airbase and rail lines are uneventful and inflict no hits.

Naval Activity: 3x NTs shuttle supplies from San Sebastian to Bilbao the other returning to Spanish Morocco.

SS Naval groups take up blockading positions at Almeria and Aguilas.

Attack1: 3712 Mtn (Northern end of Penbetica Range). Unsupplied 5-6 inf Xs 84,105, 2-1-8 art ), 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col) and 5-6 inf XXs 53, 62, 4-6 art 2RG, 2-6 infs6Xau, 8Rif (Col) and 4-6 inf xx 17, 1-6 inf 17, 1-6 mg O Attack 1-2-5 inf TL (An) , 1-5 infs RIM, Aml (An) @ 7:1 (-2) = DH. Lose TL.

Attack 2: 3509 clear (E of Albacete)Supplied  3-2-8 lt tk N, 2-1-8 lt tk 2, 4-6 art 3RG, 7-7 inf XX 13, 5-6 XXs 11, 61, 1-8 mot art L (CTV), 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), SM. 81 GS Attack 2-3-5* inf XX 51, 3-4-5* inf XX 16, 1-2-6 art 22, 1-6 inf 14 @ 3:1 (+1) = EX.  Reduce 11,61 XX to cadres. Advance all others.

Exploitation.:  Lt tk N with transported 3RG overruns 2-1-8 cav 4 in 3709 (destroying RP) and remains.

Lt tk Bab, mot art L (CTV), 2-10 AA 88 (KL) to 3907 (W of Yeica)

Lt tk 2 to 4107 (Suburbs of Alicante)

Lt Tk 1, Mech 3 reinforces cadres in 3509. Transported 3LE, mc B (CTV) reinforce v13th in 3608

For Whom the Bell Tolls - DEC II 1938

Parliament saved but Nationalist forces still at large

Nationalists Turn

Weather; The high pressure over the Mediterranean moves inland and skies clear in the south. Land; North (D) = Mud. South (E) = Clear .  Seas;  Med = clear. Atlantic = Storms

Republican Turn

VPs : Lack of Goberneto collapse (+10 VPs)
French border; Closed
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply; Nat stack adj French border in Pyrenees U4
Radicals in Albacete all U1 except 6REs supplied  via Cartagena.
Replacements; 2.5  PA recovered.  I-16/t5 Repaired.
International Replacement City : Re-designated as Barcelona.
Rail Net; Segment 1;  Barcelona/Valencia;  Capacity 6 REs, reduced by Rail yard hit to 5 REs augmented by 1 Res pt to temporary increase capacity to 7.5 REs
Segment2: Cartagena/Murcia; Capacity 2 Res.

Air Activity; Sortie 1:  SB-2, R-Z escorted by GE.23, I-16/t5 fly airfield bombing mission to 3916 (E of Guadix) Intercepted by HE 51 who attempts to bypass the screen . Evade to GE.23 but the I-16/t5 Returns it.(To Grenada).  AA fire just misses but Bombs fall wide.

Attack1: 4217 clear (N of Alicante (Capital)) Supplied 3-4-5* inf XX 18 and 1-2-5 TL (An) and 105 inf   RN,(An) and 1-5 inf Agul (An) attack 2-1-8 lt tk 2 @ 9:1 (-2) = DX.   No Advance.