The Battle of the Ebro took place in Spain, from July 24 to November 15, 1938, during the Spanish Civil War. It was fought between the Nationalist forces, composed of 90,000 men, under General Fidel Davila, and the Republican army, made up of 85,000 troops and commanded by Juan Modesto. Both armies were reinforced by foreign units: the Nationalists, who had risen up in arms against the socialist Republican government, were reinforced by the Condor Legion, while the Soviet-backed Republican Army had been shored up by the International Brigades, guerrilla units formed by volunteers that came from different countries, such as the Soviet Union, Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The Republican commanders were also assisted by Soviet military advisers.

Having crossed the Ebro at different points on the night of July 24, 1938, the Republicans attacked the Nationalist positions on the other side of the river, taking several thousand prisioners of war during the first couple of weeks. However, German and Italian aircraft from the Condor Legion destroyed the bridges across the river, stopping the socialist offensive. Then, the Nationalist army counter-attacked, annihilating more than half of the Republican Army of the Ebro, which had got trapped between the river and the enemy forces. By November 16, the Nationalist Army had recovered all the lost territory and cities and crossed the Ebro, setting up new military bases on the other side of the river. With about 26,000 soldiers killed in action on both sides, the Battle of the Ebro was the fiercest military engagement of the Spanish Civil War and the last socialist offensive against the Spanish Army.

Battle_of_the_Ebro_map

Map showing the Republican offensive across the Ebro before being mauled to pieces by the Nationalist counter-attacks

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