The Battle of Brunete was a Republican Army attack on the Nationalist forces deployed about 14 miles west of Madrid, at the town of Brunete, lasting from July 6 to July 25, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The objective of this offensive was to relieve the Republican lines in Madrid, which were being attacked by the Nationalist Army during the siege of the city. Exactly one year had gone by since General Franco had rebelled against the Soviet-backed Republican government as the Nationalists forces under his command made territorial gains everywhere in Spain, except the capital of the nation, which was being besieged.
Commanding two army corps that totaled 82,000 men, the Republican General Jose Miaja launched an attack on the Nationalist Army positions west of Madrid on the morning of July 6th, 1937. The Nationalist Army’s 1st and 7th Corps, under General Jose Varela Iglesias, were defending that sector. The assault had been preceded by artillery barrage. Backed by International Brigades units, the Republicans pushed several miles and took the towns of Brunete and Villanueva de la Cañada after a week of heavy fighting. However, on July 18, and assisted by the Condor Legion, the Nationalists launched a counter-offensive that breached the socialist lines, with the German tanks driving a wedge in the enemy positions. Finally, after fierce fighting, the Nationalists were able to recapture Brunete. At the end of the battle, the Republicans had failed to cut off the Nationalist Army divisions carrying out the siege of Madrid, suffering heavy casualties.