for the Spain they believed to be better: Quatre camins memorial
The Terç de Requetès de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat was a battalion-type Carlist infantry unit, forming part of Nationalist troops during the Spanish Civil War. It is known as one of two Catalan units fighting against the Republican. It is also recognized as the unit which recorded extraordinarily high 20% killing in action ratio, with corresponding average Nationalist figure estimated at 6%.
According to Espais de Memoria / Memorial Democràtic and COMEBE “Quatre Camins (Four Paths) takes its name from the intersection of the four roads which lead to Vilalba dels Arcs, la Fatarella, Corbera d’Ebre and Gandesa.
Overlooking the roads are twin hills, one each side of the road, separated by 250 metres and rising of 481 metres above the sea level.The hill closer to Vilalba dels Arcs, known as Quatre Camins, was held by the troops of the Montserrat Carlist infantry regiment. The other hill, known as Punta Targa, had been in the hands of Republican troops since the 25 of July, the day the Battle of the Ebro began.
Due to the strategic importance of the crowsroad, the Republicans fortified Punta Targa with four machine gun nests connected by trenches covered with a double layer of logs and dirt. In front of these positions they dug out foxholes for sharpshooters, and between them they ran a double line of triple barbed wire.
In addition to these defences, the Republican had two machine gun platoons and one 50 mm mortar platoon at their disposal, as well as anti-tank guns, heavy mortars and armoured vehicles nearby.
The Nationalist army’s third offensive on the Ebro front was intended to dislodge the Republican forces from Vilalba dels Arcs to protect Gandesa’s left flank and prevent it from being surrounded.
On the 19th of August they launched their offensive with four divisions and more than 170 artillery pieces and air support. The Republican line had to be broken in three places. One of these places was Quatre Camins, where three battalions of the 74th division attacked: battalion B from Ceuta, the 131st from Bailen and the Nostra Señora de Monserrat Carlist Infantry Regiment. After three hours of preparation, at exactly noon, the Nationalist army units were to attack Punta Targa, which was defended by the 121st battalion if the 31st Republican Mixed Brigade. However, at the designated moment of attack, only the Montserrat Infantry Regiment emerged from the trenches. It was all over in just a few minutes, and the Nationalists did not achieve their objective. The men of the Regiment left 50 dead and 173 injured under the grapevines and returned to carry them away the night after Republicans has autorised a cease-fire. The following day, under heavy enemy fire, Republican troops fell back from their positions on Punta Targa, which were then occupied by the survivors of the Montserrat Infrantry Regiment.”
In 1968 the brotherhood Germandat d’ excombatents Terç de Requetès de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat, an organisation founded in the late 1950, decided to built a memorial to those who died in Quatre Camins (Vilalba dels Arcs). The memorial consists of two monuments, one in Quatre Camins and the other in Punta Targa. These monuments are linked by a 100 metres path, a Via Crucis which is flanked by monoliths with the carved names of the requetés killed in this war front. For the brotherhood this Via Crucis was a sign ot the reconciliation between the combatants of the two armies.
This memorial, however, is periodically vandalised. In this way in December 2018 part of the memorial was partially destroyed.
These photos were taken in August 2019.