Tank attack at Sesena – A Crossfire Scenario in the Spanish Civil War

A scenario for Fuego Cruzado – my variant of Crossfire for the Spanish Civil War – featuring the brand new Republican T-26 tanks fresh off the boats from the USSR. Historically the Republican armour mauled Nationalist Cavalry in the streets of Seseña then destroyed an Italian tankette squadron. They were only driven off by Legionnaires getting personal with petrol bombs.

Historical Situation

Setting: Seseña, South of Madrid, Spain; 29 Oct 1936

At dawn on 29 Oct 1936 the Republicans counterattacked the right flank of the Nationalist advance on Madrid. 15 brand new Russian T-26 tanks, driven by Russians under Captain Arman (known as ‘Greisser’), spearheaded the attack toward the towns of Seseña and Esquivias. Lister was in support with the first of the Republican Mixed Brigades formed from men of the Communist 5th Regiment.. The tanks quickly out distanced their supporting infantry and reached the town of Seseña. When Greisser rolled into the town square he saw a large cannon and some soldiers, plus a troop of cavalry entering the square. Thinking the soldiers might be his lost infantry support Greisser drove over, but realising they were Nationalists (part of Monasterio’s cavalry corp), he jumped back into his tank and radioed for his companions to open fire! One T-26 crushed the Nationalist cannon under its tracks, whilst others ran down Monasterio’s cavalry in the narrow streets of Seseña. Pushing on Greisser’s force reached Parla on the Madrid-Toledo road wiping out a squadron of Italian tankettes as they went along; one T-26 is said to have knocked out 11 Italian ones. Although successful against both the Nationalist cavalry and their supporting Italian tankettes, the T-26s were forced to retire when a detachment of Legionaries set two of them on fire with hastily improvised petrol bombs; a third was lost in further fighting as they retreated back through Seseña. The republican supporting infantry never showed up as in the confusion caused by language differences they had attacked an entirely different village.


Key features are:

  • The town of Seseña dominates the centre of the table. It must extend from the southern edge to the northern edge thus forcing the Republican tanks to go through it. Seseña must have a largish town square and roads traversing it and the town in general, but the roads shouldn’t be a grid.
  • The Madrid-Toledo road is off the western edge of the table.
  • The western and eastern thirds of the table should be fairly typical Spanish terrain, e.g. rock fields, boulder fields, scrubby, rocky low rises, fields (out of season), orchards (out of season), ridges, walls, buildings, streams, and possibly even woods features.

Republican Player


Destroy Nationalists and exit troops off the western table edge.


Begins scenario with initiative. Deploys second anywhere on the table that can be reached from the eastern table edge without crossing the LOC of a Nationalist stand. .

Forces Available

Two platoons of Russian T-26 tanks

6 x T-26 Tanks (Speed = Fast so 3 actions per initiative)

Allegiance: Communist


Arrive on a 3+ at the start of any Republican initiative after the first.

2 x Infantry Company

1 x CC (+2 rallying; +1 close combat)
Company Heavy Weapons

1 x LMG

3 x Rifle Platoons

1 x PC (+1)
4 x Rifle Squads

Attached from Machinegun Company

2 x HMG

Morale: Regular

Command & Control: Dependent

Allegiance: Communist

Nationalist Player


Destroy Republicans.


Deploys first inside Seseña but not in any buildings. The gun is limbered and the Moroccans are mounted.

Forces Available

1 x on table 75 mm infantry gun
1 x Moroccan Sabre Squadron

1 x CC
1 x LMG
3 x Sabre Troop

1 x PC
2 x Rifle Squads

Morale: Regular in towns otherwise Veteran.


At the start of their first initiative after each of 0800, 0900, 1000, and 1100 hours the Nationalist player throws for reinforcements:

1d6 Reinforcements
1 Nothing

Moroccan Sabre Troop (Regular in towns otherwise Veteran, Adventurous/Dependent)
1 x PC (+1)
2 x Rifle Squads


Spanish Foreign Legion Platoon (Veteran; Adventurous/Independent)
1 x PC (+1)
4 x Rifle Squads


Spanish Foreign Legion Platoon (Veteran; Adventurous/Independent)
1 x PC (+1)
4 x Rifle Squads
1 x LMG or HMG

5-6 3 x CV-33 (Speed = Normal so 2 actions per initiative)

Victory Conditions

Casualty (AD) objectives

At scenario’s end award each side victory points as follows; the side with the higher total wins.

VP Reason
1 Per enemy Squad, MG, CC, or gun crew destroyed
2 Per enemy AFV destroyed
2 (Nationalist only)
Each Republican AFV that has exited the western table edge but that has no matching squad.
4 (Republicans only)
Each Republican AFV that has exited the western table edge that has a matching squad that
has also exited the western edge. They can leave at different times, but both must be off
table to get the points.

Scenario Special Rules

  • See Crossfire House Rules and Fuego Cruzado (Crossfire House Rules for Spain’s Wars).
  • Special Rule 4. The Moving Clock is in use. The scenario begins at 0700 and ends at noon. The clock advances a half an hour on a roll of 4+ on 1d6 at the end of each Nationalist initiative phase.
  • Special Rule. AFV actions is in use. The T-26s are fast with 3 actions per initiative, and the CV-33s are normal with 2 actions.
  • Special Rule: HMG versus AFV is in use. MG can attack AFVs.
  • Special Rule. Political Cooperation is in use. There is a language barrier between the Russian Tanks and the Spanish Republican Infantry. This, and the fact that they are tanks, means that any cooperation roll between the two is as 3+ (normally 1+ because they’re both Communist then +1 for tanks and +1 for language). The Nationalists must throw a 2+ to for their tanks and other troops to cooperate. All other cooperation is automatic.
  • Special Rule: Cavalry is in use. The Moroccans – like all Spanish Civil War cavalry – are mounted infantry, i.e. they normally fight dismounted. In this scenario they are caught by surprise so start mounted. Individual stands dismount when they make the equivalent of a rally from Pin roll. Once dismounted they can not remount. While mounted the Moroccans cannot shoot, but can close combat normally (no plus or minus).
  • The Republican Tanks can go off either the western or eastern table edge and return from the same table edge later. They can not be harmed while they are off table. Other troops can leave but can not return.


Type of Scenario: Break through (AD)

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