The March on to Madrid
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
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!
Civil War, vol. I
The battles for Madrid, 1936-1937
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.
[Click on the images to see a larger file]