The latest Turkish incursion into neighboring Syria shows some astonishing parallels to another exercise in foreign adventurism decked in hubris, from 80 years back. Were they students of military history, the general staff of the TSK would know about the campaign in Spain which Mussolini conducted in support of his fellow fascist Franco... and be feeling more than a little worried right now. But of course, they are not. Islamist jihadis care not for the lessons of history - preferring instead to rely upon the dictates of ideology.
Lets have a brief look at what they will therefore be missing!
Regular forces of the TSK, numbering roughly 8000, have entered Syria in support of an assembled mercenary force of jihadist militias whose forces are somewhere close to 25,000 in number, and are tasked with attacking the villages and defensive strong points of Rojavas' Afrin Canton, currently defended by some 10,000 YPG militia.
On March 8th 1937, 5 Italian divisions and 1 Spanish division - overall force including artillery, tanks and motorized infantry being around 50,000 men, kicked off an attack on Republican positions outside of Madrid, in what would come to be known as the "Battle of Guadalajara." At the time of the attack the Republic had approximately 10,000 men in the area, Over the next few days, these would be augmented by substantial reinforcements. Here's where things get 'interesting,'
''Before the Republican reinforcements arrives, the Italians made good headway, capturing Brihuega and Trijueque. The weather at the time was very cold and rainy, creating miserable fighting conditions and also grounding the Italians air support."
"The Republicans counterattacked on March 12th through the 15th and again on the 18th to the 22nd. The CTV's left flank gave way and the Italians began retreating in disorder. The Republicans were able to recapture most of the lost territory, including Brihuega and Trijueque. by March 23rd the fighting was over and the Italian troops were replaced by Nationalists in defensive positions.''
As we now start to witness the defending forces counter attack the various prongs of Turkish advance, the deja vu scenario gets stronger:
as "during the early hours of January 23, Kurdish forces freed the village of Corna," while late yesterday,
"Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) launched a surprise assault on the rebel stronghold of Daret ‘Izza in west Aleppo."
In further parallel with past events, cold, rainy weather has accompanied the fighting, and reduced the tactical advantages of air superiority for the attacking side. From this point on, the rest is speculation... but keep the following review of the 1937 battle in mind, when watching things unfold:
"The Italians had left much equipment behind in their retreat, much of which was recovered by the Republicans. Losses on both sides were similar (around 6,000 dead and wounded), but the Republic gained a major propaganda victory that far outweighed the actual victory on the battlefield. The defeat of Italian troops, and particularly the involvement of anti-fascist Italians in that defeat, bolstered Republican morale and was viewed by many as a defeat for international fascism." http://spanish-civil-war.org/guadalajara.shtml
Fake news medias know nothing of military history. Outlaw journalists do.
You decide who to follow!