Little notes about the SCW.

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
durb
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby durb » 07 Apr 2015 17:43

How did official Spanish history during Franco era consider the insurgents or Republican guerrillas of posguerra years - were they labelled simply as bandits which had no real connection to Civil War?

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tigre
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby tigre » 29 Jul 2016 20:34

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................................

Operations against the Sierra Palomera.

This operation was a preliminary to the eventual recapture of Teruel, with the immediate objective of reducing the Sierra Palomera salient, which dominated the railroad to Saragossa.

The tactical possibilities of this prominent salient were apparently appreciated by the Reds (Republicans); as early as 27 January, General Rojo launched the division "Karl Marx," in direction of Singra, in an abortive attack to cut the Saragossa railroad. The Nationalists lost no time to retaliate with a counter-offensive. The grouping of forces was as follows:

General Yagüe (Y): 1 Moroccan Division, 1 Navarrese Division, the Legion, 1 Cavalry Division.
General Sanchez (S): 1 Navarrese Division.
General Aranda (A): 2 Galician Divisions, 1 Navarrese Division.

The factors of mass and direction are clearly present: the relative weight of the frontal or holding attack and the decisive envelopment are recognizable in the allotment of three divisions to the flanks of the salient (Generals Yagüe and Aranda) and a minimum of only one to its front (General Sanchez); the maneuver procedure is identical with the historical pattern described previously. The timing of the frontal attack, the progress of successive efforts, the superb coordination of widely spaced converging attacks, create a picture of maneuver concept, superior staff work and command capacity that can hardly be surpassed.

(1) The frontal attack: Sanchez attacked from assembly positions in vicinity of Torre la Cárcel; by noon, he had captured the crest north of B.M. (Bench Mark) 1580 and by evening he had reached Argente.

(2) The envelopment (north): Under cover of a dense fog and supported by tanks, General Yagüe broke through Portalrubio and, without regard to his exposed left flank, pressed on to the vicinity of Fuentes; he captured 2000 prisoners.

(3) The envelopment (south): Aranda advanced in direction of Alfambra to get in rear of the defenders of the salient and cut their line of retreat; a Red (Republican) counter-attack against Peralejos by the 151st and 157th Brigades was repulsed, and Alfambra was reached after heavy fighting.

(4) On the morning of the sixth, Aranda changed attack direction to the northeast, against the rear of the Red contingents held frontally by Sanchez.

(5) During the sixth and seventh, Yagüe's main column continued the advance south via Perales and established contact with Aranda, while Monasterio's Cavalry Division operated in the gap, in direction of Visiedo, and in close conjunction with attack aviation harassed and destroyed the retreating remnants of the "Karl Marx" Division.

The net result of the three-day operations was the reduction of the salient, the capture of 70 field pieces, 600 machine guns and 12,000 prisoners; losses were estimated at 10,000 in killed or wounded.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby tigre » 06 Aug 2016 16:20

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................................

Operations against the Sierra de San Just, April 1938.

After the reduction of the Palomera salient and the subsequent recapture of Teruel, the next objective was another defensive bastion jutting into the narrow Nationalist corridor to the sea, the salient formed by the Sierra de Pobo, on the west, and the Sierra de San Just, on the north; the western face of this salient was the line: Portalrubio—Alfambra—Teruel, previously established by the brilliant attack on the Palomera salient, already described; this operation is consequently a continuation of the former and very typical of the step-by-step advance, in this period, where every ridge in mountainous country became a defensive line to be broken.

The plan of attack involved a scheme of maneuver characteristic of Franco's style of warfare, i.e., avoidance of expensive frontal attacks, the envelopment of tactically difficult areas and cooperation of advancing columns by mutually supporting flanking actions, as the opportunity presented itself. With such a concept of maneuver, it was obvious that the Sierras de Pobo and San Just would be enveloped.

The main effort was placed on the front: Perales—Fuentes Calientes, utilizing the existing road net, in three columns, and advance in the valley between the Sierras, on Villalba and Aliago. Envelopments by weaker forces were undertaken in the south from Teruel on Corbalan, and in the north from Molinos on Ejulve and Bordon. A column operating from Alfambra against Escorihuela furnished the traditional frontal attack, against the face of the Pobo, designed to pin the defenders to the ground until the envelopment became tactically effective.

At 8:00 AM, 23 April, Varela fired a brief concentration of several hundred guns; the infantry advanced within 30 minutes, supported by successive waves of attack aviation.

An advance of approximately 9 miles was made on the first day by Sanchez' 82d Division via Culvas and by the right column via Calve; the frontal attack and the envelopment on the south slowed down, which would have the ultimate effect of making the progress of the main effort even more decisive. Heavy snows on the twenty-fourth made the going difficult, but Varela pressed down the corridor of Aliaga-Aguila; he hoped to cut off the garrison of San Just, in conjunction with the 106th Division coming from the north; this outfit, however, did not get far beyond Ejulve; it took this division until the twenty-eighth to reach Bordon, and the bulk of the Reds made their getaway.

Varela changed direction to the south, to complete the encirclement of the Sierra de Pobo (and the 22d Red Division); he took Jorcas and Ababuj on the twenty-sixth; when the weather cleared on 3 May, three Nationalist columns launched a reorganized attack and took El Pobo, Allepuz and Villaroja and cut the important Red communication via Cantavieja to the sea. The new front line stabilized, as shown on the map and, as so often before, a new bastion presented itself, the Sierra de Gudar, to be taken in the customary manner at a later date.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby tigre » 13 Aug 2016 12:29

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................................

The reduction of the Albentosa Sector, June 1938.

This operation was incidental to the drive on Sagunto. Franco took personal command. The salient was pronounced but was held by considerable Red forces, 40 battalions with 60 guns in heavily organized defensive positions, the XVII Corps on the north front, the XIII Corps on the west face of the salient, in vicinity of Sarrion, and two corps in general reserve.

The sequence and timing of successive efforts in the plan of attack are characteristic of Franco's method and represent an object lesson in staff coordination.

(1) Initially, pressure was applied against the east face of the salient, along the front of the Sierra Espadan, in the period 8 to 12 June, by Generals Valino (GV) and Aranda (A), to immobilize enemy forces.

(2) In the meantime, Franco assembled mass against the directly opposite face of the salient, on the line Mora de Rubielos—Sarrion—Manzanera. The grouping of forces was as follows:

General Berti: 3 Italian Divisions: Littorio, 23d March and Blue Arrow Divisions.
General Solchaga (S): 2 Navarrese Division and 82d Division.
General Varela (V): mixed divisions.

(3) Berti attacked via Sarrion; Solchaga in direction of Manzanera. At 5:30 AM, 13 June, 300 guns opened fire against the relatively narrow breakthrough front; at 6:00 AM a heavy concentration was placed on Sarrion with over 3000 shells, since it was known that the town contained staffs and reserves; at 7:00 AM bombers began to operate and within half an hour, the infantry followed. Sarrion was taken by nightfall.

At this point, street fighting took place between tank units; with heavy going, an advance of 5 miles was accomplished that day.

Various crests in vicinity of Sarrion were heavily organized with concrete emplacements; close support by infantry mortars made a slow progress possible.

(4) Varela had instructions not to attack on the thirteenth in order not to force back the defenders of the north salient but await the progress of the breakthrough, which would eventually lead to an encirclement.

(5) The main effort was shifted to south of Sarrion, in Solchaga's zone of action; local heights were taken by envelopment and successive artillery concentrations.

(6) On the fifteenth and sixteenth an advance was ordered along the entire front. Albentosa was captured; a mechanized column drove into Barracas.

In the north, Varela took Mora de Rubielos and turned on Noguerelas, across the mountain. The time was ripe to close the salient from the east.

(7) On the seventeenth, a column advanced west of Lucena via Castillo and Zucaina; in forced marches they reached the vicinity of Montan on the nineteenth and established contact with Varela's troops: the salient was cut off.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby tigre » 20 Aug 2016 13:41

Hello to all :D; a little more...........................................

he operations in Estremadura (Extremadura), July 1938.

This pattern of elastic warfare, so familiar and yet so modern in the tools of its workmanship, is repeated everywhere. While Palomera, San Just, Albentosa are characterized by a step-by-step advance in mountainous terrain, the same pattern was applied in other sections of Spain with equally smashing results.

The salient of Don Benito in Estremadura came within 40 miles of the frontier of Portugal; the Reds (Republicans) attempted to extend it, in the fall of 1937, and the Nationalists made a previous attempt against Medellin; then calm reigned in this area until 14 June 1938, when Queipo de Llano drove a salient into the Sierra del Pedroso to Peraleda de Zaucejo.

A month later, a more important offensive, prepared in strictest secrecy, was to net considerably more territory. The plan involved a double flank attack, or double envelopment, from the south by Queipo de Llano (Q), and from the north by General Saliquet (S) who had Monasterio's veteran cavalry division at his disposal, in view of great distances and lack of roads in this region.

(1) In the broiling heat, Saliquet started on the nineteenth, mopped up the area north of the Guadiana, crossed this river at Orellana on the twentieth and pushed on to Campanaria.

(2) Queipo de Llano advanced on Benquerencia and Castuera, which he reached on the twenty-second; on the twenty-fourth he established contact with Saliquet at Campanaria, and the salient was cut off.

(3) A frontal attack via Medellin on Don Benito kept the defenders occupied until the town fell; the remnants began to withdraw, only to find their retreat cut off in the east.

By the twenty-eighth, 20,000 prisoners had been collected, with 112 guns of various caliber, 82 tanks and 1326 motor vehicles.

To protect the Almaden mercury mines, the Reds sent reinforcements in this region and a lull set in, since major operations had begun on the line of the lower Ebro.

Source: FMFRP 12-13. Maneuver in War. Reprint 1939 Edition. USMC 1990.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Little notes about the SCW.

Postby tigre » 10 Sep 2016 13:17

Hello to all :D; a little more, this time two pictures............................

Nationalist positions somewhere along the front!

Source: http://www.ebay.de/itm/20-Foto-Legion-C ... 2088999230

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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