Battle of Teruel
December 15, 1937-February 20, 1938
Republican offensive designed to forstall Nationalist offensive
against Madrid by reducing the Nationalist Teruel salient which
had penetrated Republican lines since the beginning of the war.
Largely fought in miserable weather and bitter freezing cold where
the climate was as much an enemy to both sides as they were to each
other. Overwhelming Republican attack against a spirited and stubborn
Nationalist defense goaded Franco into forstalling his planned Madrid
offensive and retaking Teruel after it was lost to Republicans.
Bitter defense of the Republicans failed to prevent advance of Nationalists
and a Nationalist flanking attack at Alfambra with a spectacular
cavalry charge helped turn the tide and trap the Republicans themselves
in Teruel. Republicans were able to break out only after heavy losses.
Initially designed as a showcase of Spanish endeavour, the Republicans
had withheld the International Brigades from this battle but as
the situation became more critical, the Internationals were deployed,
however performing no better than other Republican troops. Insignificant
in terms of territory, this battle again resulted in devestating
manpower and materiel losses for the Republic, whose Aragón
armies were so weakened as to be unable with withstand the following
Nationalist counteroffensive into Aragón. Losses Nat - 50,000,
a third due to cold, many aircraft to crashes and cold. Republicans
- 60,000 [Santa Cruz].