The Republicans had decided to clear the Brunete area juts 20 km west of Madrid, using every available (Russian supplied) tank and plane to support a showpiece offensive by the Communist Party’s troops. The attack began at dawn on July 6th, and despite initial success on the first morning, command failure became evident when the leading divisions halted indecisively because follow-up units had not cleared bypassed villages. At Villanueva, despite the presence of many Republican tanks, machine-gun fire from the church tower and other buildings had mown down the ranks of struggling 34th Division infantry. When the spent unit pulled back from the town, dazed with thirst and fatigue, the XVth International Brigade’s British and American battalions were committee to take over the attack.
Attacker: Republican Spanish (British Battalion, XV International Brigade)