Villarreal Offensive

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Villareal Offensive
Part of the Spanish Civil War
Date November 30, 1936-December 24, 1936
Location Villareal, near Vitoria, Basque country, Spain
Result Nationalist victory
Belligerents
Spain Spanish Republic
Bandera del País Vasco.Euzko Gudarostea
Francoist Spain Nationalist Spain
Commanders and leaders
Spain Francisco Llano de la Encomienda
Spain Francisco Ciutat
Bandera del País Vasco. Alberto de Montaud
Francoist Spain Emilio Mola
Francoist Spain Camilo Alonso Vega
Strength
4,300 men
25 guns
8 armored vehicles
600 men
5 guns
Casualties and losses
1,000 dead ?

The Villarreal Offensive (Spanish: Ofensiva de Villarreal) was an offensive of the Spanish Civil War which lasted from 30 November to 24 December 1936. Eusko Gudarostea's 4300 men fought 600 men of the insurgent forces.

Background[edit]

In 1936, the Basque Aguirre's government organized its own independent army, the Eusko Gudarostea, with 25,000 men. Nominally, the Basque Army was a part of the Republican Army of the North. Furthermore, the war industries were militarized and started the construction of the Bilbao's Iron Belt. In early December the Basques, launched an offensive in order to occupy Vitoria, the capital city of the Alava province,[1] and reduce the Nationalist pressure on Madrid.

The battle[edit]

The Republicans, led by the general Llano de la Encomienda, assembled nineteen infantry battalions, six batteries and some armoured vehicles.[2] The morale of the Basque troops was high, but they had virtually no air support and only a few field guns.[3] Furthermore, before the offensive, one nationalist reconnaissance aircraft from Burgos, spotted the Republican force.[4] Opposing them, the Nationalists had one company of Requetes, two infantry battalions, one machine-gun section and an artillery battery in Villareal.

The offensive started on 30 November, and the Basques occupy the mountains around Vitoria, surrounded Villareal (3 km from Vitoria) and their artillery bombed it, but they could not occupy the town. The Nationalist troops rejected the attacks of the Republican troops and the Basques suffered high losses (1,000 dead). Furthermore, Nationalist reinforces led by the Colonel Camilo Alonso Vega, reached the town. On 13 and 18 December, the Basques launched new attacks against the town, but both of them were rejected by the Nationalist troops. On 18 December, the Nationalists, started a counter-offensive and ended the siege of the town. By the 24 December the battle ended.

Aftermath[edit]

The offensive failed and the Basques did not occupy Villareal, although the Basque forces occupied the mountains of Maroto, Albertia and Jarinto,[5] until the start of the Biscay Campaign.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.203
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.226
  3. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. pp.203-204
  4. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.226
  5. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.226

References[edit]

  • Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. ISBN 978-0-14-303765-1.

Coordinates: 42°58′N 2°38′W / 42.967°N 2.633°W / 42.967; -2.633