Narrative: The War to Date

Front Line (Loyalist):  Since January the Loyalists mainly with Anarchist units has pushed West into Andalucía and now controls Motril and surrounds Grenada on 4 sides.  The line then follows north and west along the mountain chains to 3712 (30 miles West of Albecete).  The line then turns north through  Alcazar de San Juan which the Loyalists still hold to the Tajea River then straight west to include  the mountain redoubt at 2616.The line then curves back east with the Loyalists occupying the Cordilla Cental.  At around 45 miles short of Catalayud the line south and around a 2 hex intrusion of Nationalists at the head of the Jiloca River turning east to the outskirts of Zaragoza which is now contacted on 3 hexes.  From Zaragoza the line runs east then north hooking over the road to the French town of Pau.

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The Asturians control just 2 hexes, Gijon and immediately east.  Santander and Euzkadi are as yet free of Nationalist troops..

Nationalist View of the war since January.  Disappointment at the lack of progress from Jean. The initial attacks went well with some breakthroughs and yet the Loyalists still control the key town of Alcazar de San Juan. Progress has been made North and Toledo captured but without Alcazar any further move will be unsupplied even in summer.  Zaragoza still holds but the Republic is still a real and present danger and their attack towards Cataluyad has twice succeeded in cutting supplies to the Left flank and been beaten back only with the use of precious Attack Supply Points.

The need to contain this has meant that the attack on Euzkadi already far too late had been further delayed and the Loyalists are now amassing VPs for the loss of collapse of all 3 of the gobernetos (This is a result of solitaire play where VPs usually are not at the forefront of thinking. I should have abandoned the attack from Juan when it became tough and used the troops from the Fall of Seville to start attacking the gobernetos)

Plans for the rest of 1937 – Central Front to capture Aranjuez to eliminate Madrid as a source of supply and clear the railroad south to Alcazar de San Juan to maintain supplies to the troops around Toledo ready for winter.

To force the collapse of Euzkadi and Santander.

To use Navy more aggressively to starve Loyalists of supplies.

Loyalist View of the War since January– Very pleased with the stiffening resistance and blunting of the main Nationalist Attack from Jean and of the progress of the attack to Catalayud and on the secondary front at Grenada.  Allowing the loss of Toledo was a mistake but the breakthrough has been contained and force levels are building.  All Gobernetos are at full strength except for the shortage of art points which is preventing the Equipping of Divisions

Plans for the rest of 1937. Defensive posture to be maintained on the Central front with Madrid protected at all costs.   Local counterattacks authorised at full supply to stabilise the front at its current position.  No pasarán!

The capture of Catalayud remains the primary attack focus. Secondary front in Andalucía to continue.  Aim is to encircle Grenada and besiege unless direct assault becomes necessary.

The accrual of Gobernetos VPs is to be continued as long as possible.

FWtBT No 4 - JUL I 37

FWtBT No 4 – JUL I 37. Picture (c) 2017 by Ken Newall


Nationalists Turn

Weather: Clear/Clear, Clear/Rough in Atlantic.

Supply; All units in full general supply.

Reinforcements: All divisions arrive Equipped. Delayed conversions; Bab.

Replacements: ½ SRP recovered.  1-8 cav 5, 1-6 sec 10GC replaced.

Pacification; Toledo

Naval Activity:  NT-5 transports 2-6 inf 9Arc (Col) to Malaga

BBTF-1, CATF sail for 1832 (A 101 out of Cartagena fails to Contact) with the intent to prepare for NGS.  Reaction move by BBTF-3, LtTF-1 (Bas) succeeds initiating the first Naval Combat of the war.   Both sides allocate ships to main body.

Bay of Biscay is Rough so strengths are  halved ;  BBTF, CATF (Nat)  1.5,  BBTF-1 (PA) 1, LtTF (Bas) 0.5

Round 1. Nationalist Fleet makes one 3pt attack on BBTF-1 and misses.  Loyalists make one 1pt attack on BBTF-1 and miss.  Nationalists attempt to disengage and fail.

Round2;  Nationalists make two 1pt attacks against BBTF and one 1pt attack against LtTF-1 (Bas)   and score 1 HIT on each!. Sinking LtTF-1 (Bas).( +8 VPs).  Loyalists make one 1 point attack on BBTF-1 and fail.

Both sides elect to disengage. Loyalist TF sails to Bilbao.

Nationalist TF sails to mission hex and prepares for NGS.

Air Activity: Sortie 1; Mxd B hits rail line @ 4214

Sortie 1; He 51 (KL) flies to 1735 (Bibao) and bombs crippled BBTF-1 in Port. Survives AA fire and Hits TF which sinks. (+4 VPs)

Sortie 2; CR.32, CR 32bis (CTV) fly to 2710 (Madrid) on airfield bombing mission. Intercepted by Mxd F which engages Cr.32bis (CTV) and is Aborted.

Attack 1: 1832 rough/fort.  Supplied 5-6 inf XX 4 (Req), 4-6 inf XX 3 (Req), 5-6 inf XX 71, 3-2-6 infs iLE,3LE, plus 3 pts NGS  Attack 1-2-4 inf 1 (Bas), 1-6 eng 1 (Bas), 2-3-4* inf XX61 (Bas) @ 5:1 (-2) = EX

Lose 1LE,2LE. Advance 3 (Req)  4(Req)

Attack 2; 2911 clear, (Alanjuez) Supplied  6-6 inf XX 52, 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col) , 2-1-8 cav O (Col) , 2-3-6 art 61, unsupplied 2-1-8 art O and Supplied 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 1-8 mb B (CTV), 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL), 4-3-6 art Leg (CTV) ( Transported) , 3-1-2 sg art Man (CTV) , 4-3-6 art Leg (CTV), 3-6 inf cadre 13 Attack  6-6 inf XX 45 (Int), 4-5* inf 17 @ 3:1 (+1) =  DH.  Cadre 45 (Int).  Advance 52 XX, O, Bab, B, Leg  (CTV) Dro (KL)

Exploitation:  BBTF-1, CATF move to Mediterranean replenishing en-route and join with submarines (CTV) to continue  naval blockade of Loyalist Ports.

Republican Turn:

Victory Points:  None collapse of Gobernetos (+15 VPs))

Supply; Madrid – no longer connected.   North West section of Loyalist Front U1.

Ideological  Purification;  Completed for all point and reference cities in Catalonia

Reinforcements; 2 Delayed Art RPs attempt to land at Barcelona 0.5 are returned.  1 Delayed ASP attempts to land at Barcelona 1 is turned back.  4 art RPs attempt to land at Barcelona  1.5 are tuned back . 4 ASPs attempt to land at Barcelona 1 is turned back. 1 Res Pt attempts to land at Tarragona and succeeds.

All divisions appear equipped. Delayed Upgrade; 1-8 Cav 4 to 2-1-8 cav 1

Replacements: ½ SRP (PA), ½ SRP (ASt), 1 SRP (Bas) recovered.

1-6 mg 4, 1-6 inf 13, 1-6 bdrs 4Car, 10Car, 1-6 art 3L replaced and form 5-6 inf XX46Ch.

2-3-4* inf XX 6 replaced and equipped with 0.5 art at Bilbao. Mxd F repaired

1-2-5 infs 1,2 (Cat) form  Inf XX 30 (Cat) which is equipped with 0.5 art RP to 3-4-5* inf XX 30 (Cat)

Fort Construction: 3211 (Alcazar De San Juan.

Air Activity;  Naval  Patrols fail to make contact.

1-16/t5, 1-15/t22 Hit Zaragoza airfield which is now 0 capacity.

Attack1: 3011 clear (SW Aranjuez) Supplied 2-6* inf cadre 45 (Int), 1-8 tnks 6,10  and

4-6 inf XX 6, 5-6 inf 46ch Unsupplied, 2-3-5* inf XX 4 and Supplied 2-1-8 tnks 1,2, 2-6 inf 15AL (Int), 2-6* inf 12Gar (Int), , Unsupplied 3-6* inf XX70, 4-6 inf XX65, 1-2-6 art  Attack , 2-18 cav20 (col), 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col), 2-3-6 art61 @ 3:1 (+!) = DH lose cav 20, 3Ceu. Advance 6, 41, 70, 15AL (Int)

Attack 2: rough ( Catalayud) Supplied 5-6 inf 15 (Int), 3-6* inf XX 24, 1-2-6* infs 21,24, 2-6 art 2P and 4-6 inf XX 47, 3-6* inf 1, 2-6* inf 5Car, 2-6 nvl 151, 1-8 mtn art 1 Attack 5-6 inf XX 51, 1-8 lt 6 @ 4:1 (-1) = DR Advance  3-6* inf XX 24, 1-2-6* infs 21,24, 4-6 inf XX 47, 2-6* inf 5Car, 2-6 nvl 151.

Naval Activity; NT-3 Transports 1 art pt from Gijon to Bibao, returns and transports second to Bilbao harbour side.

Exploitation phase; NT-3 offloads art RP at Bilbao and returns to Gijon.