¡En el filo! - The Battle of the Taberna
|Milicianos deploy from their bus|
As Durutti with his Anarchist Militia and Asaltos had failed to hold the village of Gran Salchichas during the second Nationalist attack by Teniente Arrojo and his Moroccan Regulares they had fell back towards the strategic el Puente de Queso. Durutti halted his troops at the taberna along the road and formed a defensive line. It was time for Teniente Arrojo to push on.
Rolling for Force Morale, the high opinion of the men mean that Arrojo would start on Force Morale 11 while Durutti only managed a Force Morale of 8.
We then played out the patrol phase and the Anarchists were effective in pushing the Regulares quite far back. The subsequent jump off points are shown in the aerial photograph on the right, Anarchists in red, Nationalists in blue.
I rolled a 7 for my Force Support which due to my commanding officers opinion was increased to an 8. James would have 3 points.
Note that I did not field the Panzer I, I think that the whining noise would have become unbearable :)
Due to casualties from earlier in the campaign we were both a little light on numbers and had to do some reorganisation. I fielded one Regulare section as normal and the other one with LMG section then team of 9 Regulare including the HQ runners, these were given the VB launchers. James organised his Milicianos into one section of 22 with the LMG and one section of 21 with the flag. The Asaltos were organised into two teams each of six Assault Guards.
|Republican Militia deploy|
I was soon ensconced with my Moroccan LMG team in the central wood when things went desperately wrong. The Anarchists maintained the initaitive and lined the hedge and started shooting, they then continued to maintain the initiative for a total of four phases shooting away at my Regulares. At the end of this travesty six Regulares were down and the LMG team pinned!
The turn ended and my pinned troops were rallied. Al-Makawi pushed on the attack and Teniente Arrojo arrived with reinforcements, soon a brisk fire-fight with the Asaltos who had occupied the Taberna was under-way. Realising they were out-gunned the Assault Guards soon withdrew.
|The militia abandon their barricades and charge|
|Tear-gas is used on the Bilbao|
Soon the Bilbao was on the objective and machine-gunning down Asaltos with abandon. If the turn ended the game would be mine.
The Anarchist on the right tried to move back to the centre but were cruelly cut up by the concentrated fire of the Regulares. With the militia numbers thinned, despite the presence of an LMG, Teniente Arrojo gathered up his troops and launched an assault. The Militiamen were all cut down, but El Scrivs was mortally wounded and breathed his last outside the taberna.
|Arrojo leads the fatal charge|
Things were looking terrible for the Republicans though. James summoned his last hope and called up the Antes de la Siesta. The UGT miltiamen were deployed and tried to take advantage of the loss of the Nationalist command. Durutti gathered them up and launched a charge around the flank of the Taberna. The Regulares again skedaddled and left the Republicans in the open where a pair of well sited LMGs commanded by the Moroccan Sergentos soon cut them up cruelly, Durutti was twice more wounded in this action. Reduced to just two men the UGT militia fled taking the bleeding Durutti and the Sergento from the Asaltos from the field.
|FT-17 ramming tactics fail|
However the butchers bill was huge:
- Arrojo Dead
- Al Makawi Dead
- Durruti ran away escorted by Asaltos Sergento and two UGT militiamen - never seen again!
- 12 Legion dead
- 1 Legion Sergento dead
- 19 Regulares dead
- 32 CNT Milicianos dead
- 13 Asaltos dead
- 8 UGT Milicianos dead
The end of the campaign is nigh, the Moroccans are again victorious but at a bloody cost. The Anarchists are virtually wiped out as a fighting force. What will happen in our final game, the attempt to seize el Puente de Queso?
|The butchers bill!|
Sergento Hassan surveyed damage in the tavern, a miltiaman had scrawled on the wall:
él estaba aquí
Hassan took out his bayonet and added below:
pero él se escapó
|Republican jump-off point|
|That taberna again|
|Regulares pinned in the woods|
|UGT militia are deployed.|