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Battle of Alfambra
Part of the Spanish Civil War
Date5–7 February 1938
Location
Result Nationalist victory[1]
Belligerents
 Spanish Republic  Nationalist Spain
 Italy
 Germany
Commanders and leaders
Second Spanish Republic General Juan Hernández Saravia[2] Spain Rafael García Valiño
Spain Colonel Juan Yagüe
Spain General Antonio Aranda
Spain Colonel Jose Monasterio
Spain General Juan Vigon
Strength
fewer than 50,000[3]
120 fighters[4]
80 bombers[5]
100,000
500 guns[6]
150 fighters[7]
100 bombers[8]
Casualties and losses
20,000[9]-22,000 ?

The Battle of Alfambra took place near Alfambra between 5 and the 8 February 1938, during the Spanish Civil War. This battle was a part of the Battle of Teruel. After, the conquest of Teruel by the Republican army, the Nationalists started a counteroffensive in order to reocuppy Teruel. On 5 February a huge nationalist force broke the republican lines in the north of the Teruel towards the Alfambra river, taking 7,000 republican prisoners and threatening the Republican forces in Teruel.

Background.

After the conquest of Teruel by the Republican army on 7 January, the Nationalists started an offensive in order to conquest the high ground around Teruel on 17 January and occupied the heights of La Muela, nevertheless the Republican troops led by Hernandez Saravia and backed by the International Brigades,[10] stopped the Nationalist offensive on 27 January.[11] Then, the Nationalists concentrated an army of 100,000 men and 500 guns in the Sierra de Palomera in the north of Teruel, led by the general Juan Vigon, with three Army Corps (Aranda’s Galicia corps, Yagüe's Morocco corps and the Garcia Valiño’s Navarre Corp), the Italian CTV and Monasterio’s cavalry division.[12] On the other hand, the republican defenses in this part of the front were weak, since most of the republican troops were concentrated in the city of Teruel[13] and the republican troops in this part of the front had never seen action.[14] The Republican army had one Army corps, the 13th Army Corps here, with the 29th and the 42nd division.[15]

Battle

On 5 February, launched a major offensive towards the Alfambra river, along a front of 30 kilometres. The attack started with a massive cavalry charge of the Monasterio’s division, the last great mounted charge in the western Europe.[16] The three nationalists army corps broke the Republican lines and advanced swiftly towards the Alfambra river. The Republican forces were surrounded by the nationalists or fled in disorder.[17] By 7 February the Nationalists had conquered 500 square miles (1,300 km2) and huge amounts of material (munitions, weapons and ambulances),[18] and aircraft (twelve on 7 February alone).[19] The Republicans had suffered 20,000[20]-22,000 casualties, among them 7,000 prisoners.[21]

Aftermath

By the 20 February the Republican communications to Valencia from Teruel were threatened by the Nationalists and Hernandez Saravia gave orders for withdrawal from the city,[22] although the Republicans managed to form a defense line along the right bank of the Alfambra on 25 February.[23]

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2006. pages 347 and 429
  2. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  3. ^ es:Batalla de Alfambra
  4. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.773
  5. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.773
  6. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.321
  7. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.773
  8. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.773
  9. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p.321
  10. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.321
  11. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  12. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.321
  13. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  14. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.321
  15. ^ es:Batalla de Alfambra
  16. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  17. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  18. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  19. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.322
  20. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.321
  21. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  22. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p.772
  23. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.322

Coordinates: 40°20′43″N 1°07′23″W / 40.3453°N 1.1231°W / 40.3453; -1.1231