INSURGENT DEC I
Rain has returned to central and southern Spain and has again put the cramps into any far-flung operations. With an epic air battle raging overhead (Italians Fiats and Russian I-16s shooting one another down while German Ju-52s and He-51s and Republican Bre-19s bombed), the Insurgents continued their offensive along the Cordoba-Madrid axis and managed to recapture the rail junction Alcazar de San Juan on the Catagena-Madrid rail line which the Loyalists had reoccupied. They also continued their attacks at the Guadalajara front, inching ever closer to Madrid’s last raining rail link, that to Valencia. In the mountains of central Aragon the Insurgents consolidated their lines in the Jiloka valley, A limited local attack gained ground in the mountains to the northeast of Teruel. At the Lorca front the Insurgents brought reserves up by sea into Aguiles and overland from Granada to contain the Republican break-in. All other fronts remained calm. The Nationalist light cruiser *Navarra,* having undergone thorough modernization at ElFerrol, was commissioned. Also, Nationalist vessels cleared the Straits of Gibraltar of Republican submarines. Among the victims was the *C-4* that had sunk the *Beleares.*
LOYALIST DEC I
Hampered by mud, the Loyalists contented themselves with a few local actions in southwest Aragon and Murcia. They regained a mountaiin top northeast of Teruel an another mountain position southwest of Albacete. They did not continue their attacks along the Lorca-Granada highway, but dug in in the salient they had gained. Newly raised reserves were rushed to the threatened eastern flank of the Madrid salient and took up defensive positions shielding the vital Valencia-Madrid rail line nothwest of Cuenca. Two exposed positions near Alcazar de San Juan and west of Albacete were evacuated to form a stronger defensive line. All other fronts remains quiet.
Poor weather everywhere has resulted in a stalemate. While the Insurgents can muster greater strength, they now find it hard to obatin sufficient superiority and move needed attack supply forward. This forces them to concentrate their efforts on a few selected spots. Three can be identified. The main thrust is in La Mancha, pressing forward along the Cordoba-Madrid rail line. A secondary drive is against the other flank opf the Madrid salient, between Guadalajara and Cuenca. This effort suffers from difficulties caused by the loing distances over whcih supplies and reinforcements have to be brought forward. Lastly, there is still maneuvering for position in the mountains around Teruel. At sea a stalemate has also developed. The Republican fleet does not dare to operate where the Italian submarines roam, transports stick to protected coastal waters, and the submarines therefore have no targets.
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