Normal winter weather has returned to Spain, with freezing temperatures (winter) in the north and continuing rain and mud in the south.

Making use of the hardened ground, Franco’s troops renewed their attacks in Aragon south of the Ebro. Overhead, Nationalist and Republican fighters clashed for control of the air space. Although the Nationalist took higher losses, they held fast so that their brothers on the ground could enjoy air support by bombers from Zaragoza (one of four fighters on CAP killed at no Loyalist loss). This time the ground attack succeeded. Hijar (13:3233) was taken and the Loyalist driven back with substantial losses (HX at 3:1 -1). Forward Nationalist elements now are barely more than 100 km (4 hexes) from the coast, but from here on they will have to contend with stiffening resistance, more difficult terrain, and poorer weather.

All other fronts remained quiet.

Savoia-Marchetti and Heinkel bombers kept up their day- and nighttime attacks on Barcelona, but neither anti-aircraft fire nor bombs had any significant effect.


The ever fickle French government, true to its long-established role as the Comedie Francaise, decided to close the border once again. Not much effect, except perhaps as a show of vaning confidence in the Loyalist cause.

The Loyalist military command scraped together whatever manpower it could and managed to form or reconstitute and equip two more infantry division, the 6th and 18th, which were immediately thrown in to seal the gap the Nationalists had opened at Hijar. To shorten their front and avoid being outflanked, they also pulled back from their well-entrenched position in the foothills facing Nationalist-held Montalban (23:3201). The Barcelona government is rumored to have invited Navajo medicine men to perform rain dances.

All other fronts remained quiet.

Fortification work continued at a hectic pace. Guerrillas persisted in attacking railway installations near Soria on the only loosely guarded Calatayud-Burgos line, but failed.


It is ironic that of the Nationalists’ seven “big” attacks so far, the only two that succeeded in causing losses were those with the least favorable odds (3.51:1 -1 or worse). Interestingly, in both those cases a better percentile role or another ASP spent or stronger air support would have spoiled the success by raising the odds to the next higher level to give a DR instead of an HX. With the Nationalists’ enormous surplus of Rpls — 150.0 infantry and 14.0 artillery not counting Italian and Kondor points, and 24.5 infantry coming in with every replacement cycle — an HX is the optimum result for them short of a DE. This is an unusual situation and makes one think of perhaps interchanging the DR and EX/HX results on the CRT at this stage. But of course in our game we’ll stick to the rules.