Rif Republic 1925 - a Spanish Bristol F.2b (and FT-17)

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Tim R-T-C
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Rif Republic 1925 - a Spanish Bristol F.2b (and FT-17)

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One of the last colonialisations of the Scramble for African was the Spanish move in the early 1920s to conquer their protectorate region of modern-day Morroco, although far less known today than the Italian moves in modern day Lybia and East Africa, it was more consequential - bringing on the political crisis that led to the Spanish Civil War.

Brought on by attacks on Spanish possessions by the Berbers of the Rif Mountain region, the Spanish went in with the same colonial mindset of superiority over native forces that had doomed so many other colonial armies down the years. Poorly trained Spanish conscripts were massacred, culminating in the Battle of Annual which saw over 13,000 Spanish soldiers killed or wounded and the forces in the country retreated to the small Spanish coastal exclaves.

With French support, including the provision of FT-17 tanks, a giant amphibious landing led to strong pushes inland and the eventual defeat of Riffian forces. Like the Italians in Lybia, the Spanish used severe tactics including aerial bombing and chemical attacks against the civilian population.

This scene shows a Bristol F.2b on reconnaissance patrol landing near an advancing Spanish column to update them on Berber positions.

The plane is the Valom F.2b with decals from LF Decals. I couldn't find specific images of the planes in operation in Morroco at this time but this is correct for 1925 and the type was definitely in service there. The kit went together quite well. The brass struts were solid and easy to place, but the tiny bits of styrene holding up the lower wing were never going to hold, so I fitted hidden supports. Some AK pencil weathering added dust effects.

The tank is the Brengun all resin FT-17 painted to a profile from a Polish FT-17 book with a whitewash scheme presumably for use in the mountains. This went together very nicely.

The figures are a Kallistra Belgian WWI cavalry set, with some suitable adaptation to their hats to represent the Spanish uniforms of the period.

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