The Ebro July 1938

Spanish Polikarpov Chato

In mid-July the southern offensive began at Merida, followed by a Nationalist counter-attack. On 24 25 July the major offensive on the Ebro was launched, and initially it made good progress much Nationalist ground was taken, and enemy initiatives on other fronts were brought to a halt. The Republican advance was finally blocked at Gandesa on 2 August, partly by devastating air attacks. Throughout August Franco counter-attacked, and the 36. A Squadriglia commander of the 16 Gruppo C.T....

Belchite August 1937

Heinkel Legion Condor

The Republican offensive at Belchite on 24 August 1937 was paralleled by an attack at Teruel, on the 'elbow' of the front line. Although Belchite fell on 6 September the Republicans did not follow up their advantage immediately new thrusts were made on Huesca in the Pyrenean foothills on 22 September, but had made little progress by 6 October. On 15 October one of the most successful Republican air operations of the war took place. Y.S. Ptukhin led his R-Z escuadrilla and four units of fighters...

Fiat Cr32

Spanish Polikarpov Mosca

The following specification of one of the most widely used fighter types of the Spanish Civil War gives a representative example of the performance of combat aircraft of international standing just two years before the outbreak of the Second World War Powerplant One Fiat A30RAbis in-line liquid-cooled engine rated at 600hp at 2,750rpm with adjustable pitch airscrew diameter 9.24ft Wing span upper 31.168ft lower 20.16ft Length 24.29ft Height 8.63ft Wing area 237.88sq ft Weight empty 3,2051bs...

Republican Air Superiority

Narciso Berm Dez Castro

The He46 units in Arag n needed fighter support -a single NiD 52 was hardly adequate - and three German He51s flew in from Leon in mid-October , those of von Howald, Str mpell and Henrici. They were faced by half a dozen French machines and pilots from Guides's unit, together with four old Gourdou-Leseures and, later, three I-15s sent from Madrid. This quiet front erupted on 17 October thirteen Republican aircraft attacked the mixed Heinkel formation, but lost five of their number -three to...

Thejarama February 1937

Breda Destroyed

Despite this unwelcome Russian attitude, Republican morale was high. Throughout the winter they had held the Nationalists in the southern and western outskirts of Madrid. The first International Brigade had entered the line, and Russian BT tanks and other material were becoming available. Franco, now overall commander of the Nationalist armies, realised that any frontal attack was unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future. In an attempt to outflank the main defences he launched an offensive...

Introduction

Ivan Kopets

On 18 July 1936 Spain, after a long period of domestic upheaval, plunged into one of the most savage and protracted civil wars in modern history. Given the national tendency to passionate dogmatism rather than reasoned consensus, this was hardly surprising. Fratricidal warfare has been a feature of Spanish history for centuries. On the one side was the elected Republican government. Basically of socialist persuasion, but well-leavened with mutually hostile extremist groups such as outright...