Huesca Offensive

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Huesca Offensive
Part of the Spanish Civil War
Date 12 June, 19 June 1937
Location Near Huesca, Huesca province, Spain
Result Nationalist victory1
Belligerents
 Spanish Republic
International Brigades
 Nationalist Spain
Commanders and leaders
Second Spanish Republic General Sebastián Pozas
Máté Zalka "General Lukacs †
?
Strength
? ?
Casualties and losses
9,000 casualties ?

The Huesca Offensive was an ill-fated Republican army thrust toward Huesca between 12 and 19 June 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. Hungarian writer and communist commander Máté Zalka was killed in the course of the battle.

Background.

On April 1937, the Nationalists started an offensive against the Republican held, Biscay Province, and by the end of May the Navarrese troops reached the eastern side of the Bilbao's defenses. Then, the Republican government decided to launch two diversionary offensives in the Aragon and the Madrid front in order to divert Nationalist troops.2

The Offensive

The Republican government decided to launch an attack against the Nationalist held city of Huesca. After the May Days, the Republican forces in the Aragon front had been reorganized and the Republican government established a new Army of the East. This force, under the command of the General Pozas, was reinforced with the XII International Brigade, led by General Lukacs, and other four brigades from the central front. The Republican forces outnumbered the Nationalist forces besieged in Huesca,3 but the Nationalist troops were well entrenched and the Republican troops had little artillery and armoured support.

The attack against Huesca started on 12 June, led by Lukács. The Republican troops attacking across open ground were decimated by the machine-gun and artillery fire of the Nationalists. Furthermore, the same day, Lukács was hit by a Nationalist shell and died. On 16 June the Republican troops attacked the villages of Alerre and Chimillas but the assault was rejected by the Nationalist troops. On 19 June, the Nationalists entered Bilbao and the offensive was called off, after other two days of failed Republican assaults.4

Aftermath

The Republican troops had heavy casualties (according to Beevor, 9,000), mainly anarchist and POUM members.5 The failed offensive after the recent May Days in Barcelona, increased the defeatism and the suspicions among the Republican troops in Aragon.6

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. (2001). Penguin Books. London. p.667
  3. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. (2001). Penguin Books. London. p.668
  4. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.277
  5. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. (2001). Penguin Books. London. p.668
  6. ^ Beevor, Antony. (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. p.277

Bibliography

  • Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. ISBN 0-14-303765-X
  • Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. ISBN 978-0-14-101161-5








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