The Civil War - Part II
On August 26th we receive our first new infantry brigade from production. It’s been posted to Tarragona where we hope it can be used to effectively attack the Nationalists at Barcelona. However in bad news the northwestern front has now been decimated besides a sole two-brigade mountain division which is holed up around the town of Piedras Blancas, halfway between Oviedo and La Coruna. The two brigades will hold until they are decimated, to give our southern forces as much time as possible to strengthen their lines.
Those are at the moment being pushed forward as further attacks from the Madrid line are being made against Nationalist forces near Salmoral and Guadalajara. Following up these attacks my forces manage to invest a Nationalist brigade which had begun probing around the south of my Madrid lines, after I managed to fix it by a frontal attack starting on the 27th.
Lister’s 1/1a Division fixes a Nationalist brigade around Guadiana
Perhaps more importantly my corps around Barcelona now also attacks, moving against the Nationalists who lightly control that city. However with reports that the Nationalists have two divisions further east of the city our chances of taking and then holding the region now appear slim. Despite this our attacks on the city proceed apace.
With the start of September the situation throughout Spain is still in flux. In the north my mountain troops under Lukacz are fighting for their lives around Piedras Blancas and I estimate that they will at most last until the second week of the month before they are forced to surrender. Around Madrid my front is now almost totally stabilized and indeed we are pushing forwards towards Burgos which is currently the Nationalist capital. I have roughly three divisions worth of troops available to make that advance and it seems I have a distinct advantage over the fascists who oppose me with mere brigades.
Madrid front September 1st 1936
Our attacks thereafter succeed beyond my wildest expectations. Within a week Republican forces are nearing the Duoro river and elements of the forces that surrounded and destroyed the one Nationalist brigade have closed in on the Portuguese border. Furthermore a division has taken Salamanca and we are now in the position to encircle a further four or more enemy brigades.
Republican forces advance on Salamanca and now have two Nationalist divisions in the position to be cut off.
While the Nationalists are being beaten back to the Duoro they are still attempting to destroy my mountain troops in the far north of the country on September 6th - though all hope is now lost for those men they’ve diverted at least two, possibly three divisions away from the critical front. Furthermore the enemy has largely been inactive in the south, for while they are taking up territory it is barely effecting me and indeed their forces have merely garrisoned the area around Valencia instead of attempting to cut my divisions around Barcelona off from the Madrid front. Wide gaps will remain in my lines for the time being.
The Barcelona Front
Around Barcelona itself the situation is not nearly as dire as I had once thought. The brigade that had chased some of my forces south from around Zaragoza have now stopped around the Ebro where I’ve attempted to sustain my own defensive line at Tarragona. What forces are left will move to attack and defeat the two enemy divisions that are left in my rear. Once that is done I’ll extend the line north along the Ebro and attempt to link with the Madrid front in the future. My only current potential reinforcements are due to arrive in the first two weeks of October when two militia divisions become available.