Balaguer bridgehead


In early April 1938, Franco's troops, after their victorious offensive in Aragon, reach Catalonia and establish a front that extends from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees along the right bank of the river Ebro, Segre and Noguera Pallaresa. In the area of Lleida, they concentrate their forces at strategic points in the right side of the two rivers to cross them and establish four bridgeheads (Serós, Balaguer, The Barony-Montsec Temple).


The 10th of April, 1938, the Franco supporters crossed Segre River and occupied part of the republican territory, as we know as Balaguer bridgehead, which had to be initially the area to move Franco supporters to the border with France.

Faced with the threat that formed the Bridgehead, the 12th, the Republican Army launches an offensive to expel Franco supporters from Bridgehead that finished on the 16th without any change in the front line.

Meanwhile Franco progressed to the Levante area in order to occupy Valencia, and to stop it, the Republican High Command prepared another offensive on Balaguer bridgehead with 2 goals : relieve francoist pressure on Valencia and create a Republican bridgehead on the right bank of Segre river, from which begin to recover lost ground.

The offensive began the 22th of May, 1938, in front of the whole line bridgehead; the republican attacks were very intense in Vallfogona de Balaguer, in the Chapel of “El Pedrís”, in the “Morinyol”, in “La Sentiu de Sio” and in “Merengue”. Despite the large number of casualties suffered by the Republicans, they continued the offensive until the 29th of May that ended with the occupation of three strategic areas worthless.  

From this offensive, the front remained stabilized for 7 months until the 24th of December, when Franco supporters began the Catalonia offensive in order to occupy the whole. The offensive began on the north, and on the south, from the bridgehead of the Barony-Tremp and from Seros bridgehead, respectively. The 28th of December, several francoist unities, on the north of Balaguer Bridgehead began their advance towards the interior of Catalonia and the whole set of forces in the bridgehead Balaguer made it the 7th of January, 1939.

The 26th January, the army of General Franco occupied Barcelona and on 10th February the whole Calatan territory.

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