Her name was accompanied by rustling in the brush behind her to her right. Francesca scowled her annoyance as two young women, crept up to her position.
“Shhh! Silencio!” Francesca hissed In a low voice. “What are you two doing — making noise like a herd of cows?”
“It’s boring sitting out there staring at an empty field,” whined Sarah.
“And lonely,” added Maria.
“Couldn’t we stay here with you? We promise to go back to our positions if anything happens. At least there is shade here on the edge of the olive grove.”
“No! Go back to your positions,” said Francesca. She sighed, “Look, there are fascist bastards out there trying to move past us to attack the city. The delegado, our sargento, has sent a runner for a machine gun to support our advance on the farmhouse on the other side of the grove and these fields. With you here, our flank is exposed. Now, go back, comrades.”
Dejected, the two girls looked down at the ground. They both claimed to be eighteen, but Francesca knew they were much younger. She wondered if they could be relied on once the shooting started.
Maria looked up and asked, “What do we do if the fascists come while we are sitting out there?”
“You kill the bastards, Comrade Maria. If you go back to the same position, you will see them crossing the field long before they see you.”
“That’s easy for you to say, Francesca. We aren’t communist like you,” complained Sarah.
“Then, why did you join a communist battalion?”
“We want to fight, to drive the fascists out of Spain. Besides, when we joined they said we didn’t have to be communist,” retorted Sarah.
“Well, fighting involves killing, and you don’t have to be a communist to kill fascist pigs. Now, go back to your position before I kick your ass!”
The two girls mumbled protests, but eventually obeyed and started back to their position. Francesca turned to her left. About five meters away lay Margarita, she shook her head and rolled her eyes. Francesca smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
Not wanting to creep back through the brush, Sarah decided to cut through the field. Viewing the countryside, she paused. “Maria, look, you can see the roof of the farmhouse from here.”
Maria stepped into the open with her friend. Francesca’s eyes grew wide when she realized what the girls had done. A shot rang out and Maria’s lifeless body crumpled to the ground.
“Get down!” Francesca shouted. Two more shots were fired. Sarah flinched, but instead of diving for cover she turned her attention to the far end of the field. Another shot, this one struck Sarah spinning her around. She fell to the ground screaming.
“Francesca! Francesca, I’ve been shot,” she cried. “You’ve got to help me. Francesca, it hurts.”
“Be quiet, Sarah!” Francesca hissed. “Or they will keep firing until they kill you.”
Francesca looked at Margarita. Margarita signaled for Francesca to stay put. The rest of the squad was going to move through the grove to the far end of the field. Francesca nodded as Margarita dashed out of sight.
“Sarah, hold on. After we flush out the fascists, I’ll come to you.” Francesca wasn’t sure if Sarah had heard her. She was sobbing and calling for her mother. Soon, even the sobbing stopped. Francesca was afraid it was too late to help Sarah.
Without warning, two men stepped into the far end of the field. They were quickly joined by a third one. They paused and lit cigarettes. One of the men pointed toward where Sarah and Maria lay. They began walking across the field. A fourth man stumbled out of the brush and hurried to join the other three.
Francesca watched in disbelief. Then a wicked smile crossed her face. “Now it’s the fascists’ turn to do something stupid,” she thought. She pulled the butt her ancient Mauser snug against her shoulder. She peered down the sights, exhaled, and squeezed….
Minairons 1/72 (20mm) Spanish Civil War Militiawomen
I’ve just painted up a box of the beautiful 20mm Milicianas from Minairons. They were a joy to paint, even for my old eyes. Unlike the other infantry boxes, this box included both command figures and infantry figures (19 figures total). There was some assembly on a couple of the figures which entailed gluing the rifles to the figures. The box also included a sheet of three flags of different all female battalions.
On the back of the box, Miniarons has a painting guide including the numbers and names of Valejo paints. After painting, I gave the figures a wash made from Reaper’s Brown Liner and then I sealed them with Liquitex Matte Varnish. Since I will use these figures in both rural and urban scenarios, I chose to base them on 25mm clear acrylic bases from Litko.
Ok, I know some of you are asking “Why did Elaine choose 20mm when everything else she does is 28mm?” The simple answer is cost. I could have easily handled the cost of 28mm figures for the Spanish Civil War, but the cost of vehicles in 28mm would have blown my budget. I’d rather collect figures in the comfort of my own home rather than be the latest crazy cat woman in a third rate retirement home.
The Nationalist figures are on my painting table and should be finished by the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to play games based on the Spanish Civil War. I have two rule sets to try. One is “Nuts!” from Two Hour Wargames and the other is “Disposable Heroes and Coffin for Seven Brothers” from Iron Ivan Games. I also have the two wonderful supplements from Iron Ivan: “Primera Battalla!” and “Atacar es Vencer!”
I’m also reading “Homage to Catalonia” by George Orwell. The novelist served in a militia during the Spanish Civil War and wrote a very good first hand account. I can hardly put it down.
Anyway, here is some more pictures, I hope they aren’t too blurry.
“I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia