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Wargaming the Spanish Civil War- No Pasarán!


This week, Spanish Civil War Republicans by Juan de Churchill


The Republican faction, also known as the Loyalist faction, was the side in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939 that supported the government of the Second Spanish Republic against the Nationalist or rebel faction of the military rebellion. They were a much divided alliance of Democrats, Basque Nationalists, Catalan Nationalists, Union members, Pro-Stalin Communists, Pro-Trotsky Communists, Syndicalist, Foreign Volunteers and Soviet Advisors. So divided, that ultimately despite having control of the main industrial areas and the main population centres they were unable to effectively coordinate a successful military campaign and despite some heroic actions they were ultimately a house divided against itself. The aid they received from the Soviet Union, Mexico had to be paid for up front, and once the Republican Government’s gold stocks ran out it ceased, unlike the aid the Nationalists received from Germany and Italy. For my Bolt Action Republican Forces I went for an early war force, allowing some more colourful units to be fielded. I found a useful set of lists online and set about building a list



HQ Group

Commander, Senior NCO, Flag Bearer and a “motivational” Commissar.



Maxim MMG

T26 (Soviet development of the British Vickers tank) Light Infantry Tank, of which 281 were supplied to Republican Forces – far superior to the German Panzer I’s in service with Nationalist Forces.


The core of my force is built around two squads of Carabineros, paramilitary gendarmerie normally charged with protecting borders and coastlines before the Civil War. Like the Civil Guards they largely stayed loyal to the Government from the start, and proved their value as elite trained troops for the rest of the war.

2 x 12 men Squads, Regular or Veteran tough fighters, with one SMG per squad, plus one LMG crewed by volunteers.


Next, we have two squads of Workers Militia, from groups later suppressed in a brutal civil war, within a civil war by the Stalinist communists.


One 12 man squad of POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista ) Anti-Stalinist Communists – my hat tip to George Orwell who fought in their ranks, with an improvised armoured truck for support. Inexperienced. Flag bearer.


One 12 man squad of CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) anarcho-syndicalist Union militia. Inexperienced. Flag bearer.


Now if only this damn pandemic would go away they might make a tabletop…

Happy Thanks Giving  to our Tercio Abraham Lincoln comrades!




  1. Jonathan Freitag

    Excellent work on the figures for a very interesting period. I played in a SCW game this week in 15mm. It was good fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those Paul Hicks sculpts are great and James always does a great job. I’ve just started reading Javier Cercas’ ” Lord of all the dead” – quite a controversial account of a fascist teenager but written by a Left winger. Good read thus far….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael Lane

    Tercio: surely James would translate as Iago rather than Juan (John) as in Santiago de Compostela at the end of the Pilgrim’s route. (just saying and not meaning to criticise)
    Interesting article Iago!
    Michael (aka “you pedantic b…..d”!)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Interesting stuff Mike, Orwell was one of my favourite authors, and when I travelled around Spain in 1978 I was warned about bad about Franco even though he had passed away in 1975.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Roger that – it is amazing how the years pass. About that time my mates father was arrested in Spain for photographing some locomotives. He was a native Welsh speaker and the Guardia Civil thought he was a Russian agent!

      Liked by 3 people

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