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Who Supported The Republicans In The Spanish Civil War

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Why Did Italy Germany And The Ussr Become Directly Involved In The Spanish Civil War

The book says that Italy and Germany became involved in the Spanish Civil war once it had started, there is enough evidence that suggests that both Mussolini and Hitler had agreed to help Franco before the war started. German and Italian planes provided aerial support, bombing the Loyalist lines and civil population.

Soviet Union And The Spanish Civil War


In the early 1930s Joseph Stalin was deeply concerned about the spread of in Europe. To counteract the growing power of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, he encouraged the formation left wing coalitions. This resulted in the Popular Front government being formed in February 1936. This was followed by Popular Front government in in May 1936.

On the 10th May 1936 the conservative Niceto Alcala Zamora was ousted as president of and replaced by the left-wing Manuel Azaña. Soon afterwards Spanish Army officers, including Emilio Mola, Francisco Franco, Juan Yague, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano and José Sanjurjo, began plotting to overthrow the Popular Front government. This resulted in the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War on 17th July, 1936.

In July, 1936, José Giral, the prime minister of the Popular Front government in Spain, requested aid from . The prime minister, Leon Blum, agreed to send aircraft and artillery. However, after coming under pressure from Stanley Baldwin and Anthony Eden in , and more right-wing members of his own cabinet, he changed his mind.

Baldwin and Blum now called for all countries in Europe not to intervene in the Spanish Civil War. In September 1936 a Non-Intervention Agreement was drawn-up and signed by 27 countries including , , , the Soviet Union and .

Spanish Civil War Encyclopedia


How Did The Us Government Respond To The Spanish Civil War

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the United States government would remain neutral in the conflict. The United States government also took measures to restrict its citizens from selling arms to the Nationalists and Republicans.

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Popular Front International Support


The Popular Front received international support from countries worried about the spread of fascism and from individuals who saw Nationalist aggression as a violation of democratic principles. The Soviet Union and Mexico sent direct aid in the form of money and weapons. France, though initially neutral, sent aid after French citizens protested in favor of the Republicans. The so-called International Brigade supplied a large number of the Popular Fronts fighters. This group consisted of communists, anarchists, leftists and democrats from around the world, who volunteered in what they saw as a battle against fascism.

Internal Displacement And Spanish Refugees

Spanish civil war

The fighting and persecution resulted in several million Spaniards being displaced. Many fled areas of violence for safe refuge elsewhere. Only a few countries, such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic, opened their doors to Spanish refugees. When the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939, with Franco’s victory, some 500,000 Spanish Republicans escaped to France, where many were placed in internment camps in the south, such as , St. Cyprien, and Les Milles. Following the German defeat of France in spring 1940, Nazi authorities conscripted Spanish Republicans for forced labor and deported more than 30,000 to Germany, where about half of them ended up in concentration camps. Some 7,000 of these became prisoners in ; more than half of them died in the camp.

Glossary Terms


A Spanish White Terror

Some attempts have been made to create an equivalence between the Red Terror in Spain and the Francoist repression at the end of the war. There certainly were atrocities committed by the Francoist forces during the course of the war. Indeed, it would be a bit strange if there weren’t, as such atrocities are a hallmark of modern warfare. Specifically, the Francoist forces engaged in war rape and frequently confiscated babies from Republican women prior to their execution. These babies were then placed with Francoist families.

However, there are also some important differences between the terror engaged in by the Francoist forces and their Republican adversaries. The Francoist repression wasn’t indiscriminately targeted at the friends, family and acquaintances of anyone who fought on the Republican side. It was directed squarely at people who had committed atrocities in the name of the Republican regime. The large numbers run up by the Francoist forces aren’t a function of the bloodthirsty nature of the victorious nationalist forces; on the contrary, they were quite conciliatory and looking to get the country moving again after a highly destructive war. Rather, it’s because the atrocities committed by the Republican forces during the Civil War were so widespread. Those executed generally received trials unlike those summarily executed by the Republicans.

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Bias In Sources Of Information


In the UK the sympathies of the middle and working classes lay overwhelmingly with the various left-of-centre groups which comprised the Republic. This was generally true of English-speaking nations. Numerous writers and intellectuals were among those from all walks of life and from many countries who went to Spain to join the Republican army, in contrast to a minute number who, sometimes motivated by religious zeal, volunteered for the Nationalists. Among the former were many doctors and nurses, who often served with the International Brigades or with the ambulance units raised by the Spanish Medical Aid Committee or with the Republican army,,. There was therefore no shortage of original papers, editorials, letters and news items sympathetic to the loyalists or written from a Republican perspective in the British journals. During 1936 to 1939, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet together carried some 56 such items, but only published 5 written from a Nationalist perspective and 7 which were neutral.

The four main areas in which medical science advanced during the Spanish Civil War are the treatment of wounds and injuries, the development of blood banks, medical diseases , and the organization of medical support to the armed forces.

Organization Of Military Medical Services

Similar patterns seem to have developed on the two sides, with evacuation taking place from the battalion first-aid posts, via the divisional or regimental aid posts to the frontline hospitals known as hospitales de sangre; these were the precursors of the mobile army surgical hospitals later used by the US Army in Korea, and they undertook a great deal of emergency surgery as well as triage,,. Patients not taken to theatre, and many of those recovering afterwards, were evacuated to the rearguard hospital, which was either a newly established military hospital or a preexisting civilian establishment. It was claimed by a surgeon who worked on both sides that the Republicans had the better surgeons but the Nationalists organized transport more effectively so that the wounded arrived in better conditionalso, that the Nationalists deployed field vascular surgical teams to secure haemostasis, with the same objective. The Spanish army in Morocco also seems to have pioneered the use of air ambulances during the 1920s, subsequently used by both sides during the Civil War and then by Allied and German airforces during the Second World War.


Prologue: The Situation In Spain Prior To The Civil War

As we talk about the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War, the situation will begin very much unlike modern-day America, however, it will become more like the contemporary domestic situation as time goes on.

The main difference, of course, is that Spain was a monarchy for almost all of its existence until 1931. A republic was briefly declared during the years 1873 and 1874, but it didn’t have much staying power and ultimately was not a transformative government in Spain. Following the First World War, the corrupt central government of Spain became increasingly unpopular and a military dictatorship, that of Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquess of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte, arose. This fell in 1930, along with the abdication of the deeply unpopular King Alfonso XIII.

This led to the creation of the Second Spanish Republic and a new constitution in 1931. It was a radically leftist constitution in a largely conservative and Catholic country. Women’s suffrage, civil marriage, compulsory universal education, the nationalization of Catholic Church properties, the prohibition of Catholic religious orders from teaching in schools , as well as a provision allowing for the nationalization of any property that was for the “public good” were all components of the new Spanish constitution. In many ways it resembled the constitution of Weimar Germany, in that it was an attempt by the Left to radically remake a country through constitutional means.


What Caused The Spanish Civil War

Spain spent much of the 1920s under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, and the economic hardships caused by the Great Depression intensified polarization within the Spanish public. Labor unrest was widespread in the early 1930s, and the election of February 16, 1936, brought to power a leftist Popular Front government. and extreme-right forces responded in July 1936 with an army mutiny and coup attempt that expanded into a civil war.

This fascist organization became an umbrella political movement for Nationalist forces during and after the war.

Rebels Aided By Italians And Germans: Berlins Mediterranean Ambitions


From our diplomatic correspondent25 July 1936

A pessimistic view is taken here of events in Spain. There is no indication yet whether tho Government or the insurgents are likely to prevail. Everything points to a protracted and sanguinary civil war. The insurgents have the advantage of getting outside help whereas the government is getting none. The latter has applied to the French government for permission to import arms from France, but so far at least permission has not been given. The insurgent, on the other hand, are being assisted by the Italians and German.

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Weapons of Italian originFor the insurgents the belief that they have the support of the two great fascist powers is an immense encouragement. But it is also more than an encouragement, for many of the weapons now in their hands are of Italian origin. This is particularly to in Morocco. The German influence is strongest in the Balearic Islands. Germany has a great interest in the victory of the insurgents. Apparently she hopes to secure concession in the Balearic Islands from them when they are in power. These islands play an important part in German plans for the future development of sea-power in the Mediterranean.

The civil war is of particular interest to Germany because the victory of the insurgents would open the prospect of action in western . That is to say, a fascist Spain would, for Germany, be a means of turning the French flank and of playing a part in the Mediterranean.


The Children Of Morelia

Although after the loss of the war, the exile was mostly family, as explained by Chaplain, during the conflict there was a particularly sad episode.

In 1937, many Republicans sent their children to other countries so they would not suffer the brutality of the war.

To Mexico almost 500 of them, minors of different ages, arrived in a steam boat called Mexique. Later they were taken to Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacán, where they were welcomed.

Families hoped to reunify after the war ended, but everything went wrong for them when Franco won.

Very few of the children were reunited with their parents and the meetings were not very pleasant in general: there was some resentment in the children, who felt abandoned, with wars or without them the parents live a story and the children others, says Capella.

The Formation Of The International Brigades

Republicans vs Nationalists

Volunteers for the International Brigades came from over 50 countries across the world to help the beleaguered Spanish republic, many of them with bitter experiences of fighting against fascism and with personal scores to settle. Over 35 000 men and women left their homes to volunteer for the Republican forces, the majority of whom served in the International Brigades and international medical services.

The largest single contingents came from , Germany, Poland and Italy, though many also came from other European countries, including and Ireland, Scandinavia, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Other volunteers endured long journeys from as far away as the USA , Canada, Mexico, Cuba, South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Jewish volunteers comprised a significant minority.

The International Brigades were recruited and organised by the Communist International , which was quick to respond to the influx of foreign volunteers for the Republic. For Stalin, who was concerned at the extent of German and Italian help for the rebels and its potential severely to weaken France, the International Brigades offered an opportunity to support the Spanish Republican Army without intervening directly, and thus reducing the risk of further alienating Britain and France who had established an international non-intervention agreement to limit foreign involvement in the war.

The Onset Of The Spanish Civil War

At this point the outcome of the rising was by no means certain. The Republicans held most of the navy, air-force and territory, including the capital and the vital industrial regions of the Basque Country and Catalonia. The rebels controlled the majority of the army, though the northern army, under General Mola, was paralyzed by a lack of arms and ammunition, and unexpected resistance from workers militias, and the formidable Army of Africa, under the command of General Franco, was trapped in Morocco.

At the end of September, the rebel army made another detour to lift the siege of the city of Toledo which, crucially, allowed the defending Republicans time to prepare the defenses in Madrid. After another massacre of militiamen, the march towards Madrid resumed. By November 1, the rebels had reached the south-west of Madrid adjacent to the Casa de Campo and University City. Here, at last, the advance was slowed by a defense established by militia units and the desperate population of Madrid. On November 10, 1936, the last ditch defense was joined by an international column of volunteers; the first of the International Brigades, determined to help ensure that Madrid would not fall, that the rebel army would not pass.

What Advantages Did Nationalists Have Over Republicans In The Spanish Civil War

Answer: 1) Nationalists had a better economy, standing army and a higher national unity. 2) The German Reich and Italy sent volunteers to support Nationalist Spain, while Republican Spain only got volunteers from the U.S.S.R. 3) Nationalists were led by the military and had a well-trained professional army.

How Did The Spanish Civil War End

The final Republican offensive stalled at the Ebro River on November 18, 1938. Within months Barcelona would fall, and on March 28, 1939, some 200,000 Nationalist troops entered Madrid unopposed. The city had endured a siege of nearly two-and-a-half years, and its residents were in no condition to resist. The following day the remnant of the Republican government surrendered; Franco would establish himself as dictator and remain in power until his death on November 20, 1975.

Spanish Civil War, , military revolt against the Republican government of , supported by elements within the country. When an initial military failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued, fought with great ferocity on both sides. The Nationalists, as the rebels were called, received aid from Fascist and . The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union as well as from the International Brigades, composed of volunteers from and the United States.

Beginning Of The Coup

Key

  Initial Nationalist zone July 1936  Nationalist advance until September 1936  Nationalist advance until October 1937  Nationalist advance until November 1938  Nationalist advance until February 1939  Last area under Republican control       Refugee camps

The uprising’s timing was fixed at 17 July, at 17:01, agreed to by the leader of the Carlists, Manuel Fal Conde. However, the timing was changedthe men in the Morocco protectorate were to rise up at 05:00 on 18 July and those in Spain proper a day later so that control of Spanish Morocco could be achieved and forces sent back to the Iberian Peninsula to coincide with the risings there. The rising was intended to be a swift coup d’état, but the government retained control of most of the country.

Spanish Revolution of 1936

The rebels failed to take any major cities with the critical exception of , which provided a landing point for Franco’s African troops, and the primarily conservative and Catholic areas of Old Castile and , which fell quickly. They took with help from the first troops from Africa.

Long Live The Spanish Republic

At that time, the president was Lázaro Cárdenas In 1936, at his cry of commemoration of the Independence of Spain in the Zócalo, which is traditionally Viva Mexico!, Added a Long live the Spanish Republic!.

In July of that year, when Francos rebellion had broken out, he had sent an initial shipment of arms, followed by others, to support the Republicans.

The government of Mexico at the time was always on the side of the Republic because it recognized its legitimacy. Lázaro Cárdenas was supportive of a friendly government that was being attacked by foreign forces: fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, explains to BBC Mundo Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas , the son of the former president.

Although the exiles also arrived in other countries, among them the Soviet Union, England, France, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic, in none of them were as many nor as sheltered as in Mexico,  explains the coordinator of the Migration and Exile Studies Center. from the National University of Distance Education , María Luisa Capella.

Supporters Of The Nationalists

Like the Popular Front, the Nationalists attracted a broad array of international support from countries that saw Spain in terms of their own political interests. The Nationalists received major support from Adolf Hitlers Germany. Germanys support initially took the form of logistical aid but evolved into the supply of arms, heavy artillery and outright military action in the form of bombings. Through Hitlers encouragement, the fascist leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini, supplied naval, air and ground support. Portugal also chose to aid the Nationalists and organized a large force of volunteer troops.

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Medicine And The Spanish Civil War

The very moving exhibition Dreams and Nightmares mounted by the Imperial War Museum from November 2001 until April 2002 reminds us all too appositely of the horrors of warfare. The loss of life suffered as a consequence of the Spanish Civil War has been estimated as perhaps half a million and the scale of mutilation and disease attributable to it was colossal. If the First World War was the first major war in which casualties inflicted by direct military action outnumbered those caused by disease, the Spanish Civil War may well have been the first in which civilian losses exceeded those of combatants. One of the very few redeeming features of warfare may be that it can stimulate progress in various aspects of medicine and surgery. Although medical historians have cast doubt on this belief, the Spanish Civil War may offer some support for it.

The uprising began with a military coup in which the Nationalist forces under General Francisco Franco soon gained control of sizeable areas of the country. The government responded by melding the militia columns into a popular army.

The Spanish Civil War

Spanish Civil War, 1936  1939

, reference Coll Misc 0819, courtesy London School of Economics ; Air raid: reference NMLH.1997.24.2; reproduced by permission of People’s History Museum These thumbnails are links to larger versions and more details.

Spain became a republic in 1931. In July 1936 there was a revolt by the Spanish military against the Popular Front government, a newly-elected coalition of Republicans, Socialists and Communists. General Francisco Franco became leader of this ‘Nationalist’ rebellion, which received substantial assistance from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

The British government had agreed a policy of ‘non-intervention’ with other Western governments. But many anti-fascist volunteers joined the International Brigades – British socialists and communists, German and Italian refugees, and others from around the world – marshalled by the Comintern, the international organisation of the Communist Party.

The Basque region, with its own distinct language and culture, was a particular focus of Nationalist violence. Anarchists and the POUM militia also opposed the Nationalists. POUM were Trotskyist, anti-Stalinist communists who were poorly equipped, and persecuted by the Spanish and Soviet Communists.

Franco’s Nationalist forces were mainly professional soldiers and experienced mercenaries, aided by large numbers of German and Italian military.

Related Resources In The Library Of Congress

General Collections

Approximately 2,000 books cover the subject “SpainHistoryCivil War, 1936-1939.”

Representative examples include:

Geography & Map Division

A set of twelve informational maps support the study of the Spanish Civil War, mostly showing the same areas as the news photographs. The set is in the single title, uncataloged collection. Use these titles to ask for the maps:

  • Spain War, Bilbao Area, 193-, 1:50,000
  • Spain War, 1937, War Map of Spain Bacons Geographical Establishment for Spanish Translation
  • Spain War, March on Santander, 1937
  • Spain War, Fronts at Malaga, Vizcaya, Santander, Asturias, Madrid, Cordoba, Jaen, Granada, 1937, Ollacarizqueta
  • Spain War, 1937, from One Year at War 1936-1937, Paulist Press
  • Spain War, 1937, 1 = 135 miles, from: Wash. Post Oct. 24, 1937
  • Spain War Civil, 1937,  Photostat from Wash. Post, Nov. 7, 1937
  • Spain War Civil, 1936-1938, Diario de la Marina
  • Spain War, 1936-38, Geopress
  • Spain War, Taking of Barcelona, 1938, 1 inch =25 miles, Geopress
  • Spain War, Civil War, 1939, Geopress, Feb. 1939
  • Spain War, 1938-39, Geopress

Law Library

Manuscript Division

Documentos de la guerra espanola: records, 1936-1939

Case files of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade v. Subversive Activities Control Board are in the papers of William J. Brennan, Emanuel Celler, William O. Douglas, Arthur J. Goldberg, and Byron R. White.

Microform & Electronic Resources Center

Serial and Government Publications Division

Compiled by

Republican Army In Spain

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War it is estimated that the Republic had retained the loyalty of aboonalist parties.

When Francisco Largo Caballero came to power in September 1936 he attempted to create a new Republican Army. With the help of two senior officers, General José Asensio and General Vincente Rojo, he established a central command and appointed generals to command specified areas in Spain. Militias were placed under military law and schools were established to train future officers in the army.

Political commissars were created in the Republican Army in October 1936. These men served as education officers for soldiers who did not have a full understanding of fascism. This included the publication of army newspapers and the teaching of literacy.

Spanish Civil War Encyclopedia

In October 1936 large quantities of Soviet tanks and aircraft began arriving in Spain. They were accompanied by a large number of tank-drivers and pilots from the Soviet Union. All told, about 850 Soviet advisers, pilots, technical personnel and interpreters took part in the Spanish Civil War.

A total of 59,380 volunteers from fifty-five countries served in the International Brigades during the war. This included the following: French , German , Polish , Italian , American , British , Canadian , Yugoslavian , Czech Hungarian and Scandinavian . These men were organized into the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of the Mixed Brigades.

Main Article

Learning From The Spanish Civil War

January 1, 2019

Rod Dreher

Over the past few days, I watched a 1983 British television documentary about the Spanish Civil War. Its six hours long, but you can watch it all on YouTube, starting here. I think it was Uncle Chuckie who recommended it and boy oh boy, was that ever a solid call. Last week I posted here that I knew almost nothing about the Spanish Civil War, but now I cant say that. The passion, the pain, and the terrible tragedy of that three-year conflict came vividly alive in the series, which was impressively balanced. I expected it to be heavily tilted toward the Republican side, but the UK producers allowed both left and right to tell their stories. One advantage the filmmakers had is that they made it in the early 1980s, when many of those who lived through and even fought in the conflict were still alive to offer their testimony.

What follows are some scattered impressions.

Maybe its an American thing, but its hard to look at a conflict like this without imposing a simple moralistic narrative on it, between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Certainly the received history of the conflict frames it as an unambiguous fight between democracy and fascism and the evil fascists won. The truth is far more complicated.

their enemies might take power. And, as one Nationalist interviewed in the documentary puts it, people on the left and right just flat out hated each other. The whole country was a powder keg.

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