The March on to Madrid

In november of 1936, the Army of Africa was at the gates of Madrid after three months of fast, victorious non-stop campaigning. In fact, most observers deemed secure the fall of the Spanish capital, and the Republican government had been evacuated to Valencia. The 6 november Varela's forces launched a frontal assault of the city, while the war correspondents arrived from all the world announced the imminent fall of Madrid. But this time, the Republicans, fighting in urban terrain and aware of the arrival of modern weaponry from the USSR, recovered its morale and fought to a standstill the Army of Africa around the University Campus area (Ciudad universitaria). After a month of epic combats, the direct assault of Madrid was a failure, and therefore the Nationalist command ordered to stop the offensive. It was clear that conquest of Madrid required a different approach.

Franco decided to move the battle out of the urban area to surround the city with a pincer attack with two thrusts, one on to the Jarama and one from Guadalajara towards the Valencia road. From december 1936 to early january 1937 there are combats around the La Coruña road, NW of Madrid, in order to improve the precarious Nationalist bulge in the Ciudad Universitaria. In february begins the first offensive to envelope Madrid: the follow-on battle of the Jarama was one of the bloodiest clashes of the war and it result was indecisive. Franco spent all its reserves without achieving its main objetive of isolating Madrid. In March, the second arm of the pincer was launched on to Guadalajara but failed too.

During the winter of 1936 to 1937, in Madrid and in the windswept steppes around the capital the war between Spaniards turned from an amateur affair into a professional war: The colorful militias of the early war became painfully and slowly a regular army, the Ejército Popular (People's Army) that defiantly shouted ¡No Pasarán!


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Spanish Civil War, vol. I
The battles for Madrid, 1936-1937
Contents
960 counters and markers.

Two 42 x 54 cm maps.

Tables and Play Aids.

1 booklet with historical commentary, standard and scenario rules
.

1 Ziplock bag.
Counters and markers.

Maps:
[Click on the images to see a larger file]