New Spanish Civil War book from Osprey

Last year I bought a copy of Alejandro de Quesada’s THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR 1936-39 (1): NATIONALIST FORCES. The book was illustrated by Stephen Walsh and published by Osprey Publishing as part of their ‘Men-at-Arms’ series No.495 (ISBN 978 1 78200 782 1).

The companion volume about the Republican forces has just been published, and a copy arrived in today’s post.

THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR 1936-39 (2): REPUBLICAN FORCES has also been written by Alejandro de Quesada and illustrated by Stephen Walsh, and is published by Osprey Publishing as ‘Men-at-Arms’ No.498 (ISBN 978 1 78200 785 2).

I must admit that I have not wargamed the Spanish Civil war for quite a long time, but reading this book has rekindled my interest. Whether that turns into anything more concrete remains to be seen … but you never know!


Out of the Shed: My 1:300th-scale Spanish Civil War armies … and an unexpected bonus

The sorting out of the contents of the shed continues. When I opened one of the crates I discovered a storage box that contained my long-lost 1:300th-scale Spanish Civil War armies. These were created from a mixture of World War II and Colonial figures from the ranges produced by Heroics & Ros, and were used to demonstrate the earlier versions of my Spanish Civil War rules, ¡ARRIBA ESPAÑA!

The Nationalists
The Nationalist forces were made up of two ‘battalions’ of infantry (actually a Bandera of the Spanish Foreign Legion and a Tabor of Moroccan Regulares), a battery of field artillery, and a tank company.

The Republicans
The Republicans were made up of both regular and militia forces.

The regulars consisted of a battalion of Peninsulares (Spanish conscripts who served on the Spanish mainland and not in North Africa), two companies of Assault Guards (para-military police), a Grupo of field artillery, a battery of anti-tank guns, and a tank company.

The militia consisted of three ‘battalions’ of Trade Unionist and members of political movements. These were the PCE (Partido Comunista de España [Communist Party of Spain]), the UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores [General Union of Workers]), and the FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica [Iberian Anarchist Federation]).


An added bonus was the fact that the box these armies were stored in contained three scratch-built 15mm-scale model Vickers six-ton tanks.

These were built many years ago for my Chaco War project … and I can certainly find a use for them today!


Some interesting parcels

We spent most of yesterday at the National Archives, Kew, with the result that we were out when the postman tried to deliver some bits and pieces that I had ordered. I made a trip to the local sorting office just after midday today to collect the undelivered parcels … and the contents are described below.

The Spanish Civil War has always fascinated me, and I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Alejandro de Quesada’s THE SPANISH CIVIL WARS 1936-39 (1): NATIONALIST FORCES. The book is illustrated by Stephen Walsh and published by Osprey Publishing as part of their ‘Men-at-Arms’ series No.495 (ISBN 978 1 78200 782 1).

I understand that a companion volume about the Republican forces is in preparation and due for publication later this year.

The other parcels contained items that will complement my existing MEMOIR ’44 collection. They are the CAMPAIGN BOOK VOLUME 2 …

… and the OPERATION OVERLORD SET.

The CAMPAIGN BOOK covers five campaigns (one of which is an air campaign) set in the Pacific, Malaya, Poland, and Normandy. The book also contains the campaign rules and is accompanied by a punchboard on which is printed a selection of new badges, tokens, and obstacles.

The OPERATION OVERLORD set contains:

  • An updated Overlord Rules Booklet that also covers the Eastern Front and the Pacific War.
  • Two decks of 64 cards each that have been redesigned for use with the Overlord Rules
  • 178 tokens that represent American/Russian and German/Japanese figures … just in case you don’t have enough to use the rules.
  • Eight additional MEMOIR ’44 Combat Dice.

I am really looking forward to spending some time reading all of the above, and using the additional MEMOIR ’44 stuff as soon as possible.


¡Arriba España! Spanish Civil War wargames rules

Back in 1985 I wrote a set of Spanish Civil War wargames rules entitled ¡ARRIBA ESPAÑA! They were originally designed to be used with 1:300th-scale figures, but included information so that they could be used with 1:200th and 20mm-scale figures.

Recently I was contacted by someone who wanted to buy a copy of the rules, but who had been unable to find any on sale. (They subsequently did find a copy, but that is another story.) I thought that the easiest thing for me to do would be to send them a copy in PDF format … but when I looked at the .doc file copy of the rules that I had on my computer, I discovered that it was not 100% compatible with the current version of MS WORD that I use.

At this point it dawned on me that unless I did something about this, the electronic copy of rules would end up being ‘lost’, and so I have decided to restore the rules to a format that is compatible with current versions of MS WORD as well as saving the file in PDF format. This will probably take me a few days, but once done the file should then be reasonably safe.


I have been to … the Regional Military Museum, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Regional Military Museum, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is situated in an old D-shaped artillery fort and former barracks near the seafront.

The entrance is in the centre of the flat face of the ‘D’.

The main cased exhibits are in the former casemates of the fort, and are situated on the top floor.

Larger exhibits are on show in the small courtyard that forms the centre of the ‘D’.


Nelson and TenerifeIn 22nd July 1797 Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson led an amphibious assault on Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This attack was a failure, and the British forces lost 250 dead, 128 wounded, and approximately 300 captured, whilst the Spanish defenders lost 30 dead and 40 wounded. Amongst the British wounded was Nelson, part of whose arm was amputated as a result on injuries caused by Spanish grapeshot.

The people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are very proud of the way in which their forefathers defended their city, and the story of the British attack and its defeat form part a number of large exhibits in the museum. These include a large painting that is on show at the top of the main staircase, …

… a large diorama (and recorded Spanish commentary) that shows the course of the battle, …

… and models of each of the Royal Navy ships that took part.


Ship ModelsThe museum contains a large number of model ships that cover the period from 1492 to 1940.

Of particular interest is the model of SNS Canarias. This was one of two heavy cruisers built in Spain during the 1930s (the other was the SNS Baleares) to a design based upon that of the Royal navy’s County-class. They were originally designed to have two funnels, but they were completed with one large funnel.

SNS Baleares was sunk during the Spanish Civil War, but SNS Canarias served in the Spanish Navy until she was decommisioned in 1975. By then she had been rebuilt and modernised … and had reverted to her original two-funnel layout.


The Spanish Army in AfricaOne section of the museum is made over to a number of exhibits that cover the Spanish Army’s campaigns in Africa, especially Ifni.

The exhibits included a uniform from the late nineteenth century made from rayadillo material, …

… the flag carried by the Punishment Battalion of Morocco, …

… cloaks worn by locally recruited troops, …

… uniforms worn by Spanish officers and men in Ifni, …

… and flags carried by various locally-recruited units.

The flags were displayed in a case that had a mirror in its base. This enabled viewers to see both sides.


Small ArmsA side gallery is used to display a large range of different small arms.


The CourtyardThe courtyard of the artillery fort contains examples of artillery used by the Spanish Army.

100mm Skoda M1914 Field Howitzer

57mm Maxim-Nordenfelt Quick-Firing Gun

75mm Deport Field Gun


OutsideThere are a large number of exhibits outside the artillery fort.

88mm Flak 18 Anti-aircraft Gun

75mm Vickers Anti-aircraft Gun

5.5-inch Vickers Coastal Defence Gun
This was essentially the same gun that was used as the secondary armament aboard HMS Hood.

75mm M1941 Mountain Gun

105mm Vickers Field Gun
The original version of this field gun had a shorter barrel and wooden wheels. This is an example of a modernised version that has a longer barrel and that has been modified for towage by motorised transport.

The original Vickers design influenced the development of the famous British 25-pounder Field Gun/Howitzer.

57mm Anti-tank Gun

M41 Walker Bulldog Tank

There are numerous other exhibits in the outside part of the museum, some of which were either not identified or identifiable. These include a pair of smooth-bore cannons (one of which may or may not have been El Tigre, the cannon that fired the grapeshot that wounded Nelson), …

… a 37mm Hotchkiss Quick-Firing Gun, …

… a number of vintage and reasonably new military vehicles, …

… two helicopters (a Bell 47G and a Huey), …

… a 40mm Bofors Anti-aircraft Gun and its fire control system, …

… some examples of horse-drawn transport, …

… and a 20mm Anti-aircraft Gun.

One corner of the former parade ground has been turned into a memorial to all fallen Spanish soldiers.


The Re-enactorsWhilst we were at the museum a number of World War II re-enactors were present, and appeared to be making a film or video.


COW2002: The Roads to Madrid (Spanish Civil War)

The ROADS TO MADRID was a Spanish Civil War battle that Tony Hawkins and I put on at COW2002. The terrain and figures came from Tony’s Spanish Civil War collection. The figures were all manufactured by Peter Pig and the buildings were mainly from the range of Spanish building made by Hovels.

The battlefield … before the battle began.

The battle begins.

The battle as seen from the other end of the tabletop.

The Convent of the Fallen Madonna … with the Big Boobies!

The village.

The roads to Madrid.

Fighting was fierce around the Convent.

Nationalist Infantry and Artillery in action.

Nationalist Artillery.

More Nationalist Artillery.

Nationalist Infantry and Artillery in action.

Nationalist Infantry and Artillery in action.

Fighting in the village.

The Spanish Foreign Legion: The Nationalist’s elite troops!

Cavalry still had a limited role to play.

A Republican T-26 tank.

A Nationalist T-26 tank.

A pair of Republican T-26 tanks.


The Portable Wargame: 20th century version now online!

It took me some time to find the latest draft of the 20th century version of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules on my computer … but I managed it, and now they are available in PDF format as a download from my PORTABLE WARGAME website here.