The Battle of the Ebro represented the confrontation of the best military units of two great armies: the People’s Army of the Republic and the Francoist army sent to the Ebro in order to repel the Republican offensive.
The route of the Battle of the Ebro Areas includes a series of routes through historical spaces and interpretation centers distributed throughout the region of Terra Alta and the Ribera d’Ebre, the main scenes of the 115 days of fighting which made the Ebro the hardest, bloodiest and decisive battle of the whole war.
In Ascó we can visit two places that are part of the Battle of the Ebro Areas, the Reguers bunker and the Camp of the 15th Army Corps.
Camp of the 15th Corps of the Army
In 2005 a huge republican camp built in 1938 was discovered on the northern slope of the Sierra de la Fatarella, the remains of the camp of the XV Army Corps of the Ebro, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Tagüeña.
The camp, built of stone and distributed on four terraces on different levels of the mountain slope, was a real village, where between July and November 1938, it is estimated that there were 5,000 Republican soldiers who lived there for 115 days. Which lead to the Battle of the Ebro. It also has shelters dug into the rock to protect the military from the bombing of Franco’s aircraft. The camp had sheltered rooms for the commanders, some of whom had direct access to the shelter.
The camp of the XV Army Corps was a real organizational point, which served as a place of instruction and training, distribution of food and ammunition and also for assistance and evacuation of the wounded.
Its location in a hidden and well-defended place, with a great visual dominion over the river, served to maintain a continuous contact with the republican rear. Staff later moved to the Flix anti-aircraft shelter, built on the need to create defensive structures to protect the civilian population from the constant bombing of the air force.
Bunker of the Reguers
The bunker of the Reguers is a defensive construction that was part of the system of permanent fortifications called “Fortified Line of the Cabeza de Puente Riba-roja-Flix-Ascó”, and had a dual purpose: to control the area near the river to prevent a possible Republican attack and defend the railroad track.
This fortified line was built by the Francoist army on reaching the river Ebro, and remained under its power until the offensive of July 25, 1938, when Republican soldiers crossed the river and occupied it without finding it. there is too much resistance. The surprise attack had been a success.
The bunker remained in Republican territory for most of the Battle of the Ebro, but only in the last few days were Republican soldiers fortified there to gain time and allow an organized retreat to Flix.
After the Battle of the Ebro, the Francoists occupied it from November 15 until the end of December, when they began the campaign on Catalonia.