18th March 1938
The Italian Air Force has waged a major bombing campaign against Barcelona. With a raid every 3 hours for nearly 3 days, it appears that they have achieved somewhere between 1,000 and 1,300 deaths for zero Italian losses.
Republican air defence was limited to anti-aircraft artillery until the 17th, then the Republican Air Force joined the fray, but hasn’t proven effective, failing to inflict any losses on the Italians. The Italians have been flying their own aircraft, but decked out in Spanish Nationalist markings.
The bombings haven’t particularly targeted military installations and are largely throught to be an effort to instill terror on the civilian population. International condemnation has been strong with the US Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, being one of the most verdant speakers. Mussolini on the other hand has been quite proud of his Air Force claiming that the ruthless nature of the raids and the horror invoked would raise their profile with the Germans who, according to Mussloini, like that sort of thing. Franco himself has been less impressed with the killing of non-combatants and is reportedly likely to ask the Italian to cease bombing civilian targets.
In other news: German General Fritsch’s trial for homosexual behaviour has found him innocent of the charges, but his career still seems doomed and he will not be reappointed to his former posts. Hitler took the oportunity to reshuffle his senior army leadership and seems happy with his new team for now.