Military Review

Aragon battle or the decisive victory of the national of Spain in the Civil War


As is known in the Civil War in Spain, two irreconcilable political and ideological forces clashed: on the one side are the Republicans - liberals, left socialists, communists and anarchists, on the other - Spanish nationalists - monarchists, phalangists, carlistists and traditionalists. Bloody struggle went on for three years. In the course of the war, Republicans supported the USSR, France and the international forces of the Third International, and nationalist forces - Italy, Germany and partly Portugal. Tens of thousands of volunteers fought there on both sides of the front against each other. The decisive, turning point during the war was the battle of Aragon in March-April 1938. On the Aragon front, the Republicans had a lot of manpower - about 200 people with a moderate amount of equipment (000 guns, about 300 armored units and 100 aircraft). The nationalists concentrated 60 divisions (up to 20 thousand people), 250 guns, 800 tanks and wedges and 500 aircraft.

March 9, 1938 the nationalists of the strongest artillery and aviation forces launched a general offensive in Aragon south of the Ebro and broke into republican positions. Two Catalan divisions immediately took flight from Alcaniz, without even waiting for a ground attack. A gap was created in which the shock units of the nationalists immediately moved — two whole corps. On March 12-13, republican defense no longer existed between the Ebro River and Teruel; an avalanche of nationalist divisions moved toward the Mediterranean Sea. Nationalists and Italians advanced at a huge speed by Spanish standards - 15–20 kilometers daily. The offensive of the nationalists was consistent. In the Eastern (Aragon) operation, nationalists applied the form of combined frontal and flank attacks on a wide front, using mountain-type mobile corps (Moroccan, Navarre and Italian) and operational air forces. These actions led to decisive results, as they were associated with reaching the enemy flank and rear. Having broken through the front and entered the operational space, the nationalist command immediately replaced the brigades and divisions that had made the breakthrough with fresh units of generals Garcia Valino and Escames. The shock groups therefore constantly maintained a healthy offensive impulse, and therefore the attack did not run out of steam.

The population of the villages of Aragon, tired of republican atheism and the arbitrariness of the “uncontrolled” anarchists, met the nationalists with a bell ringing and a phalangist salute. In a week, the nationalists marched to 65 kilometers, forming a deep ledge in Lower Aragon and beating an enemy force on the north bank of the Ebro from the south.

March 25 nationalist troops occupied the whole of Aragon and started fighting on Catalan territory. In western Catalonia, the nationalists met with very strong opposition and were forced to stop in the valley of the Segre River, which flows from north to south. But they still occupied one of the bases of the Catalan energy - the city of Tremp. Reasonably fearing military intervention by France, General Franco forbade troops to approach the French border more than 50 kilometers and ordered to advance not to the north, but to the south-east, to the sea. Performing the will of the caudillo, the nationalists quickly regrouped their forces, concentrated the infantry-motorized and tank fist south of the Ebro and again broke through the enemy, just re-created, front. In addition, the attackers reigned supreme in the air.

The nationalists continued their march towards the sea. 1 of April south of the Ebro, they captured the Gandes, and 4 of April north of the Ebro, after a week of fighting with the Campesino 43 division - Lleida. The troops of General Aranda have already seen the blue of the Mediterranean Sea from the dominant heights. 15 April 1938 of the year Navarre divisions of Colonel Alonso Vega fought to the Mediterranean near the fishing town of Vinaros and occupied the 50-kilometer stretch of coast. Joyful soldiers entered the cold waves of the sea to the waist, many sprinkled themselves with water. Army priests served prayers of thanksgiving. Bells rang throughout nationalist Spain. The battle was nearing its end. “The victorious sword of the caudillo cut Spain in two, still remaining in the hands of the Reds,” the national anti-crisis center wrote about this event. In the five-week “spring battle in the Levant,” the nationalists won a major victory, which became the turning point of the entire war. They finally captured Aragon, occupied part of Catalonia, reached the approaches to Barcelona and Valencia, and cut the republican territory in two.

The nationalist military advantage is now clearly outlined. The number of nationalist provinces increased to 1938 by May 35, while the number of republican provinces decreased to 15. The center of Spain, which remained in the hands of the Republicans, was now cut off from its military-industrial Catalan arsenal and from the French border.

Republicans in five weeks of battle left important territories to the enemy and lost at least 50 000 wounded and killed, more than 35 000 captured and over 60 000 deserters, that is, much more than half of the troops on the Aragon front to 9 in March. They also lost most of the military equipment that participated in the battle. Interbrigade received a fatal blow and actually left the stage. Nationalists in the “spring battle” lost no more than 15 000-20 000 people. The damage in the technique was noticeable, but the wounded guns and armored units remained on the nationalist territory and were repaired.

The nationalists defeated the enemy not only by the quantitative and qualitative superiority of the troops, their art of warfare progressed, their command did not tire of analyzing the defeat of the enemy troops. The seizure of territory was considered a secondary matter. As a result, the nationalists defeated, albeit, inferior to them in forces and means, but still a large - 200-thousandth grouping of the enemy and occupied a significant territory.

However, the USSR and France did not leave the Republic, just as Germany and Italy did not leave the nationalists. Supplies of Soviet, French, and Comintern food, fuel, medicine, clothing did not stop, and soon Soviet steamers delivered a new large batch of Soviet heavy weapons to France, including armored vehicles and aircraft with improved models. The war was raging for a whole year in Spain.

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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 17 October 2015 09: 59 New
    Article with a brown ducky ..
    1. dda
      dda 17 October 2015 10: 57 New
      Comment with an atheistic blue ducky
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 17 October 2015 14: 02 New
        Of course, especially if you consider that my grandfather, later, fought on the Leningrad front against the Blue Division ... from the country where the "nice and kind nationalist" won .. Franco ... You can minus this comment ... Please!
        1. Scraptor
          Scraptor 17 October 2015 20: 36 New
          Before that, inter-brigades, pilots and advisers from the USSR traveled to Spain? The Communists in Spain do not like the Poles. There were more atrocities on the part of the Reds. Almost all of these red fugitives who fled to the USSR in 1939, Stalin quickly consumed ... He knew what he was doing - nobody needs such maniacs at his side.
          1. Rastas
            Rastas 17 October 2015 20: 55 New
            What kind of communists are you talking about? For some reason, all Republicans were immediately sent to the Communists, although they were a minority compared to the same anarchists and social democrats.
            1. Scraptor
              Scraptor 17 October 2015 21: 38 New
              RSDLP (b) was such a pagtiya? laughing

              not to be confused with NSDAP crying
    2. rumpeljschtizhen
      rumpeljschtizhen 17 October 2015 11: 31 New
      dubious you are very
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 17 October 2015 14: 00 New
        Why is there such a civil war in Ukraine ... nationalists against their opponents .. And all the same, the Ukrainian Nazis are supported by Europe, Russia by their opponents .. in Spain, the Francois, the Spanish fascists were supported by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, democratic Europe declared neutrality .. helped the republicans to the atheists of the USSR .. Let's ask the author, let him write in the same tones as the Ukrainian nationalists took Mariupol ...
    3. vrach
      vrach 17 October 2015 14: 02 New
      Dear Sailfish, your desire to leave a comment under any article is commendable, but annoying that you are not always able to speak on the merits.
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 17 October 2015 14: 27 New
        You’re mistaken, I put it where I’m interested, not under anyone, as you deigned to put it .. Go through the articles .. look .. Why not in essence .. my comment on the matter .. The author, sympathizes with the Francoists, I have a grandfather against them fought for me, an article with a brown ducky .. If this annoys you, ask the admins ... they will remove me ..
    4. anip
      anip 17 October 2015 15: 11 New
      Quote: parusnik
      Article with a brown ducky ..

      And what is this expressed in? The fact that in those battles the Francoists achieved a strategic victory and, in the end, won the war? So this is a fact.
  2. Nikita Gromov
    17 October 2015 10: 53 New
    Nationalists showed themselves great, especially in terms of rapid tactical response. And most importantly - went to the sea and halved the enemy. Whatever you say, the operation is brilliant.
    1. Rastas
      Rastas 17 October 2015 21: 01 New
      I like our Natsik, like you. Those. Franco is a real patriot, a defender of the national interests of his country, a Spanish nationalist, but Poroshenko is a murderer, fascist, Nazi. You already decide on the position. So you should sing both Poroshenko and his predecessors for fighting for the purity of the Ukrainian people.
      1. Nikita Gromov
        17 October 2015 22: 09 New
        Poroshenko and his entire Kiev clique are terry liberalists and have nothing to do with national patriots. On the contrary, liberalism is a fierce enemy of all national movements. It is a fact. And one more thing: do not hang propaganda cliches and clichés on people - you are not called a librik or commic. This is about war and battles, not political and ideological affiliations.
        1. Rastas
          Rastas 18 October 2015 01: 20 New
          What are you ??? Why can't a liberal be a nationalist ??? Do you even know that liberalism goes well with nationalism if it does not go totally to all spheres of life? In general, for people like you, everything is very conveniently obtained. Like Franco - will be a good nationalist, but Poroshenko does not like - will be bad. And how did Franco remember positively for Spain? The fact that he fought with his own people with the involvement of the invaders Hitler and Mussolini? Monuments then Franco almost all demolished, only in his homeland in Galicia left a couple. And it was not royal power that initiated it, but the people.
  3. Georg Shep
    Georg Shep 17 October 2015 13: 04 New
    The Spanish Civil War was essentially an international one. There were applied the latest advances and new military equipment and military thought. This war, in all respects, was the prologue to a big war - the Second World War.
    1. Gomunkul
      Gomunkul 18 October 2015 10: 17 New
      This war, in all respects, was a prologue to the great war - World War II.
      You are partly right. To expand my horizons, I recommend reading the book: "When the Second World War began and when it ended" authors: A. Parshev, V. Stepankov. hi
      1. Georg Shep
        Georg Shep 18 October 2015 11: 00 New
        Thank you.
  4. sigdoc
    sigdoc 17 October 2015 14: 42 New
    the fascists were funny named - monarchists, phalangists, carlistists and traditionalists
    1. timyr
      timyr 17 October 2015 16: 51 New
      The funny thing is if there the Communists commanded the war they would have won. And then Franco has a single command. And the Republicans have a zoo, a betrayal. Who wants to fight, who does not want to leave the front. There is still a showdown among the Republicans. It's amazing that the Republicans lasted so long.
      1. Rastas
        Rastas 17 October 2015 20: 49 New
        Yes. The Republicans did not fight with a united front, although the sympathies of all adequate, normal people in the world were on their side. In Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls," the author writes about this and writes that different groups of Republicans were often headstrong and waged their own war. And about the present I want to say, as a person who has been in Spain more than once. In Catalonia, Asturias and Basque, the name Franco is generally abusive, when he died in the shops of Barcelona they sold out all the drinks. In the rest of Spain, almost all the monuments of the caudillo have been demolished, the people themselves speak of him completely indifferently, well, there was and was such a m ... k.
    2. Georg Shep
      Georg Shep 17 October 2015 21: 56 New
      In Spain, Italian fascist volunteers fought against the Republicans, while the Spanish right fought monarchists, Falangists, carlists, and traditionalists, calling themselves nationalists. It's funny you didn't know that.
    ALEA IACTA EST 17 October 2015 19: 49 New
    The convincing victory of the francists.
  6. kvs207
    kvs207 17 October 2015 20: 31 New
    Quote: Georg Shep
    The Spanish Civil War was essentially international.

    She is, the forerunner of World War II. Remember how Europe was seething at this time.
  7. sigdoc
    sigdoc 17 October 2015 21: 18 New
    I wanted to read a book on this subject: Freedom Volunteers: memories of a participant in the national revolutionary war in Spain. Author A. A. Vetrov
    And on the net there isn’t anywhere.
  8. uncle
    uncle 17 October 2015 23: 43 New
    Many Russian volunteers fought in Franco's army.
    1. Gomunkul
      Gomunkul 18 October 2015 10: 29 New
      Many Russian volunteers fought in Franco's army.
      72 people is a lot for you? Here for Nazi Germany in the Second World War really fought, especially your fellow countrymen. wink
      The first group of white Russians in March 1936 fell into the Navarre Reket - a monarchist militia from among the descendants of the unfortunate contender for the Spanish throne, Don Carlos - in the third (regiment) of Zumalakarregi, from where some went to the Spanish Foreign Legion, while others went to the third "Doña Maria de Molina." With this unit, in April 1937, the formation of the Russian unit with its charter and command, called the "Russian National Detachment", was begun. By March 1938, 27 volunteers constituted a full Russian platoon (18 people) and one unit in the Spanish platoon. At the most, in the Russian detachment with the third Donja Maria de Molina and the third Marco de Bello that stood out from it, there were 35 Russians at the same time. The Russian detachment was commanded by a Markovets artilleryman, Captain N.E. Krivosheya (with the rank of Lieutenant Rekete). The Spaniards were not opposed to the creation of a separate Russian unit - “Gerilya San Jorge” (“partisan detachment of St. George”), but a small number of volunteers did not allow the creation of a unit more than a platoon. In addition, of the Russians who arrived in Spain, at different times in the Spanish Phalanx 4 people fought, in the Foreign Legion - 10, in other parts of Rocket - 11. Two were pilots. Of all 72 volunteers, 34 were killed, many were injured. It should be noted that during the war the same people changed places of service and moved either from the Legion to Rheket or from one third of Rheket to another.
      If you wish, you can follow this link to find out these volunteers by name:
      1. uncle
        uncle 18 October 2015 19: 14 New
        Yes it is, a very correct answer!
  9. skeptic31
    skeptic31 18 October 2015 00: 48 New
    Until the 38th year, the main support for the Spanish fascists (and what are some nationalists here?!?, The author, apparently, also a "nationalist") was provided by Italians with their weapons. Our pilots and tankers fought with them quite successfully. But then the Germans entered the struggle. And this is not about some volunteers, but about very specific combat units. Only the Soviet Union provided real military support to the Republicans, and even then, at this point, our assistance, due to difficulties in the delivery of weapons, had virtually come to naught. In addition, against modern German aircraft and tanks, ours did not pull. By the way, it was then, and not after the war with Finland, that our leaders realized how much we were technically behind. In the interpretation of the author, it all comes down to the success of the Spanish fascists. Don’t the Italian and German “volunteers” be there, the Spanish fascists could not even dream of any victory.
  10. alf19545
    alf19545 19 October 2015 01: 27 New
    The Spanish Civil War continues to this day. These are Catalonia and the so-called "Basque separatists", etc. During the Second World War, about a hundred thousand partisans fought on the territory of Spain, which is the main reason why Spain Franco could not more actively participate in the campaign to the east.