Vehicles of the Spanish Civil War

A variety of vehicles were used in the Spanish Civil War. They ranged from the WWI vintage FT17 through to the relatively modern BT5 used at the start of WWII. Both sides also improvised armoured fighting vehicles from converted trucks and tractors. The Basques even built their own tankette.

Bilbao Armoured Car

So what did they look like?

In general details on this page are taken from Wilson (1989); this includes the names of the various Armoured Trucks, although Stronghold/SDD use a different naming scheme. If you’re looking for another on-line resource on SCW tanks then try the tanks site or on John Larimer’s ASL site.

Vehicle Name Side Source Crew / Armament Comments Where to get one
Armoured Cars
Bilbao Both Spain 4 crew + 5 passengers; 7 mm Hotchkiss Issued to Assault Guards. Speed 50 Km/h Stronghold
BA-6 Republican Russia 4 men; 37 mm or 45 mm gun 2 DT 7.62 machine guns Perhaps 60 provided by Soviets. Speed 83.6 Km/h Battle Front
FAI Republican Russia Perhaps 40 provided by Soviets.
Lancia Ansaldo LZ11 1917 Nationalist Italy 6 men; 3 Fiat Revelli model 14 machine guns Used by Italians during attack on Malaga. Speed 60 Km/h.
Ligera FA 1 Italy 2 men; 7.62 mm machine gun Quite quick at 75.6 Km/h.
Union Naval de Levant Stronghold
Armoured Trucks
Armoured Truck A Republican Spain 11 men; 8 mm Hotchkiss + 6 rifles Attack on Huesca Stronghold Armoured Truck No 10
Armoured Truck B Spain 18 men; 8 mm Hotchkiss, 12 rifles, 3 LMG Only one made
Armoured Truck C Republican Spain 20 men; 8 mm Hotchkiss & 16 rifles Stronghold Armoured Truck No12
Armoured Truck D Spain 15 men; 13 rifles Probably only one made
Armoured Truck E Republican Spain 13 men; 8 mm Hotchkiss; 8 rifles Used in Battle of Teruel Stronghold Armoured Truck No 14
Armoured Truck F Republican Spain 11 men; LMG + 8 rifles Used in defence of Madrid Stronghold Armoured Truck No 7
Armoured Truck G Republican Spain 10-16 men; 8 rifles Built at Rio Tinto mines. Used in attack on Seville.
Armoured Truck H ?? Spain 10-12 men; 1 machine gun + 6 rifles
Armoured Truck I ?? Spain 20 men; one machine gun + 20 rifles Only one made.
Armoured Truck J ?? Spain 14-15 men; 2 LMG and 10 rifles Used at Aragena. None of the weapons fired forward.
Armoured Truck K ?? Spain 6-10 men; 2 x 8 mm Hotchkiss maching guns & 4 rifles This vehicle is also suitable for Israel 1948 as a Sandwhich Armoured Truck Stronghold Armoured Truck No 13
Armoured Truck L Republican Spain 8 or 9 men; small infantry gun or HMG firing forward with 4 LMG on sides Build by Fields of Barcelona for use on Aragon front. Stronghold Armoured Truck No 8
Armoured Truck M Republican Spain 14 men; 8 8 rifles + LMG Probably only one made (at Rio Tinto mines). Restricted to roads. Stronghold Armoured Truck No 4; they also have a variant with a turret.
Armoured Truck N Nationalist Spain Machine guns or a 81 mm mortar Used as firing platform for mortar or as troop carrier. Stronghold Mortar Carrier
Armoured Tractor Republican Spain 4-5 men; probably LMG Despite being tracked it was used for street fighting in Madrid. Stronghold Oruga Tractor No 1
Armoured Tractor Spain Stronghold Oruga Tractor No 2
Tanks / Tankettes
BT 5 Tank Republican Russia 3 men; 45 mm L/46 gun + 2 x 7.62 DT machine guns Small numbers – perhaps 50 – late in the war Battle Front
Euzkadi Light Tank (“Toy Tank”) Republican Spain 4 men; unknown armament Basque vehicle used in fighting around Asturias and Bilbao
Fiat CV 3-33 Tankette Nationalist Italy 2 men; 2 x 8 mm machine guns Used by Italians and Spanish Peter Pig or Battle Front
Fiat CV 3-33 Lanciafiamme Nationalist Italy 2 men; flame thrower Used by Italians at Guadalajara Peter Pig or Battle Front
Pzkpfw 1 Ausf A and Ausf B Tanks Nationalist Germany 2 men; 2 x 7.92 mm MG34 Peter Pig or Battle Front
Pzkpfw 1 Tank with 20 mm Nationalist Spain 2 men; 20 mm cannon A local conversion Stronghold
Renault FT 17 Both France 2 men; 8 mm Hotchkiss or 37 mm Puteaux gun Republican FT 17s were used in the defence of Madrid. Peter Pig
T-26 Tank Both Russia 3 men; 45 mm L/46 gun + 2 x 7.62 machine guns 310 supplied by Russians. Mostly Republican although some captured by Nationalists. Peter Pig or Battle Front
Schneider CA 1 Republilcan France 6 men; 75 mm howitzer + 2 x 8 mm Hotchkiss machine guns Used against Alcazar in Toledo

Wargaming Models for the Spanish Civil War

A number of manufacturers produce suitable models for the Spanish Civil War:

Stronghold Miniatures

Stronghold Miniatures have taken over the SDD range and have both 20 mm and 15 mm versions for each model they stock.

Mike Thompson of Stronghold Miniatures kindly sent me some photos of his 20 mm SCW vehicle range. He can also supply the same in 15 mm.

Bilbao Armoured Car from Stronghold

Los Tiznaos Spanish Civil War Armour Series

John Baumann sent through some useful information on Spanish Civil War Vehicles. Some years ago John was doing research with Rolf Hedges when Rolf was producing SDD. John still produces four resin/metal armoured cars in 1/76 scale.

John Baumann produces four 1/76 scale armoured cars. Look up Los Tiznaos Spanish Civil War Armour Series. The series includes: Durruti’s MTM No.4, Vulcan Mark II, The Republican ‘Louse’, The Mobile Pillbox. Check out Juan Gomez’s Blog: Vehiculos Blindados de la Guerra Civil for more photos of these models.

Baumann Armoured Car

Louser
Model by John Baumann; Painted by Gary Zimmer

Quick Reaction Force (QRF)

Apparently QRF have a small range of 15mm vehicles although I’ve not seen any so far.

WW2 Ranges

You can also use some early WWII 15mm vehicles from the likes of Peter Pig or Battle Front. I favour Battle Front but that is mainly because I know the fellow kiwis running the outfit.

Painting

To be honest this requires some further investigation. I’ve reproduced the details given in Wilson (1989). Mark Hannam and Allen Curtis of the RCFM discussion forum have raised some doubts about Wilson’s assertions, so I’ve included their thoughts as well.

Source of Vehicle Colour Scheme
France Camouflage: Green, Sand and Red Brown (and sometimes Grey) (Wilson, 1989)
Germany Dark Green (not the normal Panzer Grey) (Wilson, 1989) Mark Hannam says “Originally it was thought that the German tanks were Schwarz Grau with a wavy Dunkel Braun shadow pattern. Now it has emerged that there were two separate three tone camo schemes used at various times. One had the two colours above with an additional dark green wavy shadow, whilst the other had the brown replaced with a sand colour.”
Allen Curtis says “I finally got my hands on Jentz and Doyle’s ‘Panzertracts No. 1-2′, with its section on German interwar and early WWII official paint colours and schemes. Now I am happy to agree with Mark Hamman that the three-colour ‘Buntfarbenanstrich’ would be the scheme mostly likely applied to German vehicles sent to Spain. Solid dunkelgrau is anachronistic.”
Italy Green (Wilson, 1989) Mark Hannam paints his Cv33′s in the dark sand and green North African camo scheme.
Russia Olive Green (Wilson, 1989) Mark Hannam says “Soviet armour also displayed a two or three tone camo scheme – green, sand and brown, very similar to the 1944-45 one we associate with the Germans. There is b/w film quite clearly showing this, whilst I have b/w photos illustrating a T26 and BA64 with a darker colour with lighter ‘blotches’.”
Spain Usually Grey, but sometimes French Camouflage as above ( Wilson, 1989).

Mark Hannam notes “Some additional local colour was added on occasion and it’s impossible to be dogmatic about the colours or styles of camo patterns on German and soviet armour used in the SCW let alone all the odds and sods that were pressed into service.”

Political slogans were common on Republican vehicles – often in white chalk.

FAI Armoured Car

References

Baumann, John (29 Jan 2006). Personal communication.

John used to research Spanish Civil War Vehicles with Rolf Hedges when he was producing SDD some years ago. In fact John also produced 4 resin/metal armoured cars in 1/76 scale which he still stocks.

Hannam, M. (various). Emails on RCFM Discussion Forum [On-line http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/RFCM/]

Marín, F. and Mª Mata, J. (2002). Los Medios Blindados de Ruedas en Espana ( Volume 1). ISBN 84-87314-96-1. Quiron Ediciones

A more recent source which John Bauman found to be a masterpiece. The second volume is out but John wasn’t impressed since it is full of American equipment and other modern afv’s.

Mazarrasa, Javier de. (1991). Blindados en España (I) La Guerra Civil 1936-1939. Quirn.

I haven’t actually seen this yet, but apparently it is the definitive source.

Vehiculos Blindados de la Guerra Civil [Spanish]

Juan Gomez’s very comprehensive blog on Vehicles of the Spanish Civil War. Features photos of John Baumann’s models as well as many more.

Wilson, J. (1989). Tanks & Trucks of the Spanish Civil War. Partizan Press.

Pretty light really. Cheap and disappointing. John Baumann tells me that …

The above is an English facsimile of a very old out of print source (1980) by F C Albert
called Carros de Combate (y Vehiculos de la Guerra 1936-19) on Borras Ediciones publishing
house (Consejo de Ciento, 391. Barcelona-9).
ISBN 84-7413-153-7

The drawings are good but require further checking should one be modelling any of the vehicles since sometimes the side views don’t match the front views.

4 comments to Vehicles of the Spanish Civil War

  • Hi Again,

    I just wanted to mention that QRF, Old Glory 15′s and now the Excellent Minairons are on the web/market with many excellent models for this list.

    QRF: Lancia II & IZM, FAI, UNL35, Lancia Armoured Truck

    Old Glory: Schneider CA-1, St-Champond assault Tank

    Minairons: T-26 A & B, Pz.I A & B(and 20mm variant), Hispano Suiza MC-36(or, T-69), Bilbao AC

    I did not do an extensive web search before I posted this, but there are a few more excellent offerings now in 1/100, 1/72 and even 1/56 scales.

    Thanks for your great work on all things SCW!

    Cheers,

    FatalFlaw

  • FatalFlaw

    Oh! Also, Zvezda now does BT-5′s and Zis-5′s with a variant in 1/100 scale Plastic. IMO, they’re quite good, and a lot cheaper at roughly 2 BPS.

    Dave Schmidt, over at ‘Armaments In Miniature’, has a small line of 1/100 scale vehicles and one is an excellent Ba.3/6, complete with Rail wheels option in polyurethane resin. He also has a good line of 1/100 scale aircraft and lots more 1/200 scale for those WoW fans, etc.

    There are now several 3D Printer designers who are adding to this period in both Aircraft and vehicles…Yay!

    Cheers,

    FF

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