From Our Own Correspondent
The following admissions concerning the Red defeat at Teruel were contained in an official report issued by the Red Government to its Paris Embassy.
"The absolute lack of reserves made it impossible to resist the enemy manoeuvre at Teruel. At first the Campesino Division decided to sacrifice itself, staying inside the town to defend it to the very last. Later, it changed its intentions, but when an attempt was made to abandon the city it was found that it was surrounded, between 5,000 and 6,000 men having been trapped within it.
" They were all taken by the Nationalist forces, either dead, wounded or prisoners, with the fall of Teruel.
" The Red Army likewise abandoned a complete store of artillery supplies and over 60 heavy and light lorries.
" Demoralised, the remainder of the Red troops around Teruel withdrew in disorder several miles to the south, the soldiers even abandoning their arms."
This confidential note of the Red Government proves the reality of the disaster suffered by the Government troops in the Teruel sectors.
Extent of the Defeat
Details are now available of the extent of the defeat. The Red effectives on this front were made up of 58 brigades.
A Red Brigade usually consists of 3,000 men, but many of them were not complete; if the brigades are estimated at 2,000 men each it makes the Red Army on the Teruel front to have consisted of 116,000 men before the battle; after the battle this figure was only 90,000 men.
The inhabitants of Teruel have described life in the city while it was under Red domination.
They tell of wholesale executions and the dynamiting of churches. They further describe the differences which arose over the question of whether Teruel should come under the domination of Barcelona or Valencia, differences which led to bloodshed on several occasions.
These disorders were finally brought to an end by Prieto's representative, Francisco Bueno Salvador; Prieto himself, since General Varela's troops threatened the road, did not enter Teruel but went as far as the bullring where he made a speech to the Red militiamen.
The Aragon front has been relatively calm since the victory.
The Nationalists pushed their advance twelve kilometres southwards. and since, the troops have been occupied in reinforcing their positions, and in collecting the vast quantities of ammunition and war material of all sorts left by the enemy. On Friday among other things, 86 cases of explosives were found.
Owing to the discouragement reigning in the Red zone, the number of militia that pass daily into Franco's lines, has augmented on all the fronts since the conquest of Teruel.
Fate of the City
But the city itself is a heap of ruins, it has suffered even more than Oviedo. Its beautiful fourteenth century Cathedral, and the curious Moorish remains have been so badly damaged by Marxist hatred, that one doubts if even a clever restoration will be able, out of this forlorn mass of ruins, to reconstruct these marvels of antiquity and art, constructed through the centuries, and wantonly destroyed in the space of a few days,