Jarama, Part 2

The mainly British battalion bore the brunt of the attack to the south of the road, and lost over half their men first capturing and then defending, "Suicide Hill". The French "6th February" battalion on their right flank was forced back, without warning, allowing the Republicans on the hill to be outflanked by a group of regulares. Suicide Hill could be held no longer, and the battalion was compelled to retreat. But a breakthrough had been prevented, as the Nationalists believed Republican forces were much stronger than they actually were.

In the olive groves north of the hill very heavy casualties were inflicted on the Moroccans until the old WW1 machineguns of the Dmitrov Battalion jammed. Attack followed attack as Varela became desperate to achieve his breakthrough. Eventually the Edgar Andre battalion of XI International was forced back as a result of fire from Condor Legion machinegunners and 155mm bombardment. The front was on the verge of disintegrating that night, as XI International fell back trying to re-establish a line. Varela was worried about the Nationalists becoming exposed and overstretched, so ordered his commanders to pause, giving the Republicans much needed breathing room.

That night, 50 T-26s under General Pavlov arrived in the sector.

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