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Old 12-22-2016, 10:12 AM
Thumb Dog Thumb Dog is offline
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Hi All,

Well, it looks like I got ahead of myself in describing the set of four Industrias GrŠficas Offset dioramas shown last week. I wrote the two brief histories for the earlier post before I researched the stories for this week's dioramas. So, some corrections are in order.

The third diorama seen below is titled Zaragoza, and as with the previous two scenes, it shows a squad of riflemen with cannon, blasting away at a hidden enemy. The best I can tell, the earliest such action took place in Zaragoza on August 24th, 1937. Known as the Zaragoza Offensive, the Republicans, supported by nearly 50 tanks, tried to take the communications hub of Zaragoza, the capital city of Aragon, Spain. Things did not go their way.

Poor planning, sloppy recon, delays in bring up troops and losing their tanks in a quagmire of mud led to a Republican defeat at the hands of an equally unprepared but quickly reinforced Nationalist side. A number of the Republicanís Russian-supplied tanks were either destroyed or captured, and it was this type of turnover that put the previously modeled and described Russian T-26 tanks into the hands of the Nationalists.

The diorama is quite striking, with its large tree serving as a perch for a red-capped rifleman. He is overlooking the famed Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar on the Ebro River in Zaragoza. The Basilica received three hits from aerial bombs during the course of the war, and as miracles go, none of them exploded. Two of them remain on display in the church.

As always, the flags interest me, and it is of note that the red and black flag of the CNT-FAI, a joining of Spainís largest anarchist unions, is shown in the first three dioramas flying backwards. The red portion of the flag should be the hoist. The second flag is the red and gold flag of Aragon, similar to the flag of its neighbor to the east, Catalonia.

The fourth diorama is called Mallorca, and refers to the Mallorca Landings that took place on August 16th, 1936. 8,000 Republican troops invaded Nationalist held Mallorca (Majorca), the largest of the Balearic Islands, with the intent of driving the Nationalists into the sea. For a time, the Republicans were able to push the outnumbered Nationalists aside using ground forces in concert with aerial and cannon bombardment. However, on August 27th, the Nationalists received much needed support in the form of supplies and overwhelming air power from their fascist ally, Italy. Without air superiority, the Republicans could no longer maintain their position, and they retreated to the beaches. In a foreshadowing of Dunkirk, the Republicans were the ones getting their feet wet, and by September 12th, they had left the island.

The scan of this rare paper model was a bit washed-out and fuzzy, but a little enrichment in the computer brought it back to life. The ram bow of an anchored Republican ship is seen at the right of the model, with an oar-powered whaleboat serving as a landing craft. The flags of the Republican forces and Catalonia are displayed here during their brief time on the island.

As the Zaragoza Offensive took place in the summer of 1937, the publication of the third diorama shows that Industrias GrŠficas Offset was in business longer than the one year claimed last week. Also, the third and fourth scenes show Republican military defeats, something rather unexpected considering the first two dioramas displayed victories.

Construction of the four scenes was my usual, with mat board laminated to the back and bottom parts, and three-ply, 110 lb. card making up the other parts. 1/8 inch basswood stringers along with some square toothpicks were glued to the back of the parts to keep things straight. I also used the computer to remove the black placement markings seen on the flat, bottom parts of the dioramas. This gave a cleaner look to the finished project.

Thanks again to Tom Greensfelder and Francesc ďA Lůpez Sala for their scans of these historic models.

Score and fold,

Thumb Dog
Attached Thumbnails
Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_4998.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5000.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5003.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-lamina-3a.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5006.jpg  

Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5010.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5015.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-lamina-4.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5018.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-img_5024.jpg  

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