50th Division (Franco's Army) - 50.ª División (Ejército franquista)
|Wars and battles|
|Spanish Civil War|
The 50th Division was a Division of the Francoist Army that fought in the Spanish Civil War . He came to take part in the Battle of the Ebro and in the Campaign of Catalonia , forming part of the Moroccan Army Corps .
The unit was created in May 1938, [ 1 ] within the Moroccan Army Corps , with Cavalry Colonel Luis Campos-Guereta Martínez as Commander and Chief of Staff Luis de Lamo Peris as Chief of Staff . [ 2 ] The division, composed mainly of replacement forces, [ a ] covered in July 1938 the sector of the Ebro river that went from Mequinenza to Cherta . [ 4 ] It had its headquarters in Gandesa , [ 3 ]An important communications center.
Battle of the Ebro
In the early morning of July 25, the positions of the division were attacked by the Republicans, managing to disrupt their communications and defenses. [ 5 ] This constituted the beginning of the Battle of the Ebro . From Gandesa, the 5th board of Regulares de Melilla was sent as reinforcement, but when it came into contact with the Republican vanguards it was unable to maintain its positions and was forced to withdraw, after having lost 80% of its troops. [ 6 ] After a few hours of fighting, the defensive axis of the division was broken, with its forces widely dispersed, and at 07:30 h. Colonel Campos requested permission to withdraw into the interior. [ 7 ]
The 50th Division suffered significant losses in both men and materiel. [ b ] The material losses of the unit were such that the 43rd Republican Division would be re-equipped with the weapons captured from the 50th Francoist Division. [ 11 ] The division was withdrawn from the front and sent to the rear, where it was rebuilt; command of the unit fell to Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Coco Rodríguez , [ 9 ] who had previously commanded a brigade from the 105th Division . He went on to cover the front that went from La Pobla de Massaluca to Villalba de los Arcos .[ 9 ] In November he participated in the last Francoist counteroffensive, advancing towards the Ebro river through the Hermitage of San Francisco. [ 12 ]
End of the war
The division would participate in the offensive of Catalonia . At the beginning of January 1939 he crossed the Ebro river through Ascó , establishing contact with the 13th Division . [ 13 ] Later it would advance through the lands of Tarragona and Barcelona . In March 1939 he participated in the final offensive of the civil war.
The division would be dissolved after the end of the contest.
- In July 1938 the division was made up of twelve infantry battalions and one machine gun battalion. [ 3 ]
- According to Hugh Thomas , during the first day of battle the Francoists had 4,000 prisoners, also producing numerous desertions. [ 8 ] Several 105mm, 65mm and 105mm artillery batteries were captured. [ 9 ] Colonel Pedro Peñarredonda , head of the first half brigade, also fell into Republican hands along with his staff. [ 10 ]
- Salas Larrazábal, 1969 , p. 478.
- Engel, 2000, p. 84.
- Martínez Reverte, 2006 , p. 31.
- Alonso Baquer, 2004 , p. 308.
- Thomas, 1976, p. 901.
- Martínez Reverte, 2006 , pp. 44, 61-62.
- Martínez Reverte, 2006 , pp. 62-63.
- Thomas, 1976, p. 902.
- Engel, 2000, p. 85.
- Martínez Reverte, 2006 , p. 63.
- Tagüeña, 2005, p. 229.
- Mezquida, 1972, p. 163.
- Martínez Bande, 1979 , p. 89.
- Alonso Baquer , Miguel (2004). The Ebro, the decisive battle of the hundred days . The Sphere of Books.
- Engel , Carlos (2000). History of the divisions of the national army . Almena Editions.
- Martínez Bande , José Manuel (1979). The Campaign of Catalonia . Madrid: San Martín.
- Martínez Reverte , Jorge (2006). The fall of Catalonia . Barcelona: Criticism.
- Mezquida , Luis María (1972). The battle of the Segre. Repercussions of the Ebro in western Catalonia . Tarragona Provincial Council.
- Salas Larrazábal , Jesús (1969). The War of Spain from the air. Two armies and their fighters face to face . Ed. Ariel.
- Tagüeña , Manuel (2005). Testimony of two wars . Barcelona: Planet.
- Thomas , Hugh (1976). History of the Spanish Civil War . Barcelona: Circle of Readers. ISBN 84-226-0874-X .