Sunday 16 June 2024

Father`s Day Present

 Father`s Day Present

Went down to our local Sunday market at Santa Faz this morning, nearby is a second hand footfair type market at Benimagrell which we also browse as we are nearby. 

On one stall was a small pile of plastic kits a mix a military and civilain planes and stuff among the pile one caught my eye and at 10 Euro I just couldn`t resist, to which my wife and son both said Happy Father`s Day (I`d forgotten).

Designed in the early 1930s to cover the specifications for both a high speed airliner for civilian use and a medium bomber for the new Luftwaffe.

Four aircraft were sent to Spain as part of the Condor Legion for field testing, the diesel engines proved unreliable and the aircraft`s performance wasn`t as good as the Heinkel He-111. 
One aircraft (26-1) suffered from engine failure returning from a bombing raid on February 23rd 1937 and crash landed behind enemy lines a total right-off, only one crewman survived to be captured.

A replacement aircraft was sent from Germany, but after two more were damaged in landing incidents, the surviving pair were handed over the Nationalist Airforce where they remained in service at least until the end of the Civil War.

The Ju-86 did see some service during WW2 with the Germans and with the Hungarians, but alos surprisingly with the South African Airforce too where South African Airways aircraft were converted to military use with defensive guns and external bomb racks.

I`m going to try and paint her up as a Spanish Nationalist aircraft

Period Photos

The last surviving Ju-86 at the Swedish Airforce Museum


The Experimental Units of Hitler`s Condor Legion by Rafael A. Permuy López & Lucas Molina Franco ISBN 9781473878914

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Bunkers on the Serra Grossa (Alicante) Newly found bunker added 12/06/24

Bunkers on the Serra Grossa

For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of Alicante, the Serra Grossa are a pair of hills which lie directly north of Santa Barbara Castle along the coast towards San Juan. They are bordered by Avienda de Denia and the seafront road between Alicante-San Juan.

Both hills are natural parks and protected areas and have quite a few walking paths arounds and over them, great for excercise and with some superb views.

The lower of the two hills (nearest Alicante) and directly behind the tram station for Plaza Mar 2 shopping center, has two interesting Civil War era bunkers on the seaward side.

Anti-Aircraft Emplacement 

The entire bunker complex consists of a circular gun-pit with an ammunition bunker, about 60 feet of concrete trench (some with conrete top cover) and two small personel shelters/bunkers. The whole site is accessable and has been at some time renovated, it has however fallen into disrepair and poorly treated by local youths - rubbish and graffiti abound. 😝  

Round gun-pit with ammo bunker and covered trench to the rear
Ammo bunker entrance
Inside ammo bunker - yucky 
Looking towards the gun-pit through the covered trench
Turning right out of the covered trench toards the sea
This is a left branch of the seaward trench leading to a personel shelter
Inside the shelter strewn with rubbish 😒
Second personel shelter
Looking back from the access trench
Shelter 2 entrance
Inside - full of rubbish again 😕
Access trench to the rear of the position
War time image of this position which i found on the internet with a 20mm AA gun

Guard/Sentry Post
Situated only a short distance along the path are some steps leading down to this square concrete structure, which due to its exposed position I can only assume was just a sentry post.
The bunker is in a truely sad state of neglect 😠

A couple of shots taken 12/06/24 of this sentry box from the main road below

Today (120624) we went for a long walk around the Serra Grossa with our Spanish walking group. The route took us across the saddle between the two hills and high on the shoulder overlooking the old rail line and road Alicante/San Joan was a Machine gun position cut into the rock.

View from the position down onto the railine and road

Further bunkers and stuff I`ve discovered can be found here:


Saturday 8 June 2024

The Road to Toledo

The Road to Toledo

22 July 1936

I was doing a little reading into the Schneider Ca-1 in Spanish service and discovered they were used during the very early days of the Civil War. I wanted to see one on my table top so wrote a couple of quick games; I also wanted to use my recently built militia armoured trucks. So this particular game is a fictional encounter, pitting a militia column heading from Madrid to Toledo against a scratch blocking force of Rebels.


On 21 July, a large column under the command of General José Riquelme y López-Bago left Madrid and headed south towards Toledo. The column consisted of various confiscated trucks and cars plus a number of improvised armoured vehicles and two Schneider Ca-1s from the Regimiento Ligero de Carros de Combate N° 1 at Madrid. The next day the column arrived at Toledo, unfortunately they arrived too late to stop Col. Moscardó and his Rebels withdrawing into the Alcázar.

The game

Col. Moscardó knows the column is coming, but needs more time to transfer the arms from the Toledo arms factory into the Alcázar. So he has sent a company of Civil Guards and some Falangists north to form a blocking force and delay the column. The Militia column has 20 turns to cross the table for a strategic win, if they clear the blocking the blocking force but haven`t crossed the table this is a draw. If by some miracle the blocking force still prevents traffic after turn 20 they can consider this a strategic win. 

Republican Column

1 company of militia (carried in improvised armoured vehicles)

Militia HQ
Complete company

1 x `75 field gun + crew & tow

1 Ca-1 

This is carried on a trailer and takes 3 turns to unload during which time it cannot fire

Rebel blocking force

These can be concealed and dug in (only soft cover due to hardness of the ground) obviously stone walls give the usual hard cover.

1 Civil Guard company (2 x 12-man platoons)

1 platoon Falangist militia 

Includes a Hotchkiss MMG manned by army cadets

My table

(This cannot be seen until the lead vehicle rounds the bend)

Dry river bed (it is July) and bridge 
After looking at the forces I added a second farm around the bridge and dry river

The game started with the Militia column already on the road and the first armoured truck rounding the bend and being confronted by the road block (which until that point was concealed from their view). The vehicle was immediately sprayed with MMG fire, but its mild steel and mattress armour saved the occupants from casualties.

Turn 2 the militia bailed out of their vehicles, now coming under fire from Falangists around the road block as well as the MMG. The lead platoon took casualties!

Turn 3 The MMG again sprays the lead vehicle causing more casualties among the lead platoon, the truck`s armour is finally overcome and it bursts into flame.

The first platoon LMG targets the Falangists around the barricade, causing enough casualties to make them take a morale check.

The armoured truck with the Maxim moves forward and engages the MMG supported by its own dismounted platoon

2nd militia platoon moves to outflank the road block, but comes under fire from Civil Guards in the farm.

Turn 4 the MMG is wiped out and the Falangists around the road block fail their morale and flee.

The Republicans deploy their `75, and start to unload the Ca-1

The Militia commander orders men forward to open the road block (this will take 3 turns)

Turn 5 The militia start work on the road block the truck with the Maxim moves to cover their work, whats left of the 1st platoon advances towards the farm

The `75 targets the farm buildings

Turn 6 & 7 the militia continue to clear the road block and the `75 targets the farm buildings, whats left of 1st platoon and half of 2nd platoon advance on the farm once the defensive firing slacken off

Turn 8 the road block is clear, the militiamen (and women) remount all available transport and re-start their advance along the road. The truck with the Maxim spraying any potential defensive points. The `75 crew limbers up and Ca-1 now off its trailer moves slowly forward along the road 

The Militia advancing on the farm occupy the nearest building, they find the other farm building occupied by Civil Guards

Turn 9 The Militia advance along the road, random rifle fire from Falangists and Civil Guards can`t stop them. The Militia and Civil Guards in the farm exchange fire to little effect.

Turn 10 the Militia column nears the bridge and second farm where more Civil Guards await, the `75 unlimbers to provide support

Turn 11 the Ca-1 arrives at the farm and moves to support the militia

The Militia column debusses and the vehicles lead the attack across the bridge supported by the `75

Turns 12 – 15 sees the Republicans push through scattering the Rebels and clearing the farm buildings by close assault – a strategic victory!

Vive La Republica! – forwards to Toledo

A pretty one sided game, I`m not really sure what more the Rebels could have done to slow the Republicans down? If I was to try this one again, I`d give the rebels a 37mm trench gun or Bilboa armoured car maybe to help balance the game better.