Spanish Civil War – September 1937

September 1

The Republican Army attacks Peñarroya and Córdoba.

September 4–5

Nationalists cross the river Deva and invade Asturias from the East. They soon take Llanes.

September 6–22

The Battle of El Mazuco; fewer than 5,000 Asturians and Basques heroically hold off more than 33,000 Nationalists and the Condor Legion in and around the Sierra de Cuera. The battle was probably the first use of carpet bombing against a military target. (above link)

The defence of El Mazuco offered the hope of stemming the Nationalist advance until winter; if that had been achieved, then the course of the war would have been different. As it was, the attackers suffered a costly delay. The defenders regained their honour, battered in Santander, but also at great cost. The third-parties involved, notably the Condor Legion, learned many lessons which were later applied in the European theatre of the World War that followed.

September 7

Battle of Cape Cherchell between the Nationalist heavy cruiser Baleares and the Republican light cruisers Libertad and Méndez Núñez.

In the early morning hours Baleares unexpectedly met a Republican convoy consisting of several merchant ships escorted by Republican battleships. The biggest danger for the convoy was not the Baleares itself, but Nationalist airplanes who might approach after their sighting. While the convoy flees, along with most of the escorting ships, Libertad and Méndez Núñez engage Baleares. After losing contact with each other, they meet again in the afternoon, and Libertad hits Baleares twice. While Baleares then waits for her sister-ship Canarias, the retreating Republican ships are attacked, ineffectively, by several Nationalist airplanes, including Italian airplanes from the Non-Intervention-Committee blockade on Spain.

September 22

The Nationalists capture Peñas Blancas, bringing an end to the Battle of El Mazuco. They now move on the Sella river.

September 27

Nationalists forces enter Ribadesella in Asturias.

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