|Spanish Civil War|
| Spanish Republic|| File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Nationalist Spain|
| Manuel Azaña|
Francisco Largo Caballero
Vicente Rojo Lluch
Juan Hernández Saravia
| File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 José Sanjurjo|
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Gonzalo Queipo de Llano
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Emilio Mola
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Francisco Franco
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Juan Yagüe
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Manuel Goded Llopis
File:Flag of Spain under Franco 1938 Miguel Cabanellas
|Casualties and losses|
The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict that devastated Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939. It began after an attempted coup d'état against the government of the Second Spanish Republic, then under the leadership of president Manuel Azaña, by a group of Spanish Army generals, supported by the conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, or C.E.D.A), Carlist groups, and the Fascistic Falange (Falange Española de las J.O.N.S.). The war ended with the victory of the rebel forces, the overthrow of the Republican government, and the founding of a dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco. In the aftermath of the civil war, all right-wing parties were fused into the state party of the Franco regime.
Republicans (republicanos) were supported by the Soviet Union and Mexico, while the followers of the rebellion, Nationalists (nacionales), received the support of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, as well as neighbouring Portugal.
The war increased international tensions in Europe in the lead-up to World War II, and was largely seen as a proxy war between the Communist Soviet Union, the Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. In particular, new tank warfare tactics and the terror bombing of cities from the air were features of the Spanish war which played a significant part in the later general European war.
The Spanish Civil War received a great deal of attention in the mass media—Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, and Robert Capa all covered it—and became notable for the passion and political division it inspired, and for atrocities committed on both sides of the conflict. Like other civil wars, the Spanish Civil War often pitted family members and trusted neighbours and friends against each other. Apart from the combatants, many civilians were killed for their political or religious views by both sides, and after the war ended in 1939, Republicans were at times persecuted by the victorious Nationalists.
There were several reasons for the war, many of them long-term tensions that had escalated over the years.
The 19th century was turbulent for Spain. The country had undergone several civil wars and revolts, carried out by both reformists and the conservatives, who tried to displace each other from power. A liberal tradition that first ascended to power with the Spanish Constitution of 1812 sought to abolish the absolutist monarchy of the old regime and to establish a liberal state. The most traditionalist sectors of the political sphere systematically tried to avert these reforms and to sustain the monarchy. The Carlists—supporters of Infante Carlos and his descendants—rallied to the cry of "God, Country and King" and fought for the cause of Spanish tradition (absolutism and Catholicism) against the liberalism and later the republicanism of the Spanish governments of the day. The Carlists, at times (including the Carlist Wars), allied with nationalists (not to be confused with the nationalists of the Civil War) attempting to restore the historic liberties (and broad regional autonomy) granted by the fueros (regional charters) of the Basque Country and Catalonia. Further, from the mid-19th century onwards, liberalism was outflanked on its left by socialism of various types and especially by anarchism, which was far stronger and more numerous in Spain than anywhere else in Europe aside from (possibly) Russia.Template:Fact
Spain experienced a number of different systems of rule in the period between the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century and the outbreak of the Civil War. During most of the 19th century, Spain was a constitutional monarchy, but under attack from these various directions. The First Spanish Republic, founded in 1873, was short-lived. A monarchy under Alfonso XIII lasted from 1887 to 1931, but from 1923 was held in place by the military dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera. Following Primo de Rivera's overthrow in 1930, the monarchy was unable to maintain power and the Second Spanish Republic was declared in 1931. This Republic soon came to be led by a coalition of the left and center. A number of controversial reforms were passed, such as the Agrarian Law of 1932, distributing land among poor peasants. Millions of Spaniards had been living in more or less absolute poverty under the firm control of the aristocratic landowners in a quasi-feudal system. These reforms, along with anticlericalist acts, as well as military cutbacks and reforms, created strong opposition.
The Second Republic began on 14 April 1931 when King Alfonso XIII left the country following local and municipal elections in which Republican candidates won the majority of votes in urban areas. The departure led to a provisional government under Niceto Alcalá Zamora, and a constituent Cortes to draw up a new constitution, which was adopted on 9 December 1931, after being passed by a referendum three days earlier.Template:Fact The Spanish Constitution of 1931 meant the legal beginning of the Second Spanish Republic, in which the election of both the positions of Head of State and Head of government was meant to be democratic. The Second Spanish Republic lasted from 14 April 1931 to 18 July 1936 (military uprising) or 1 April 1939 (republican defeat by Francist forces).
The document provided for universal suffrage. It generally accorded thorough civil liberties and representation, "with the major exception of Catholic rights". Historians have seen the "disregard for civil rights" both in the articles on religion and property as a major flaw which prevented the forming of an expansive democratic majority. This Constitution proclaimed religious freedom and a complete separation of Church and State, but went much further than a legal separation of Church and state, and in actuality provided for significant governmental interference in church matters. Namely, it excluded the Church from education (prohibited teaching by religious orders, even in private schools), restricted Church property rights and investments, provided for confiscation of and prohibitions on ownership of Church property, and banned the Society of Jesus. The revolution of 1931 that established the Second Republic brought to power an anticlerical government.
The government was unable or unwilling to control the anti-Catholic sentiment or to curb deadly mob attacks on churches and monasteries, during which almost 7,000 priests and nuns were slain.Template:Fact That caused Catholics to muster their forces in opposition, exacerbating the conditions that led to the war.
On 3 June 1933, in the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis (On Oppression Of The Church Of Spain), Pope Pius XI condemned the Spanish Government's deprivation of the civil liberties on which the Republic was supposedly based, noting in particular the expropriation of Church property and schools and the persecution of religious communities and orders. Not only advocates of establishment of religion but also advocates of the separation of the church and state saw the constitution as hostile; one such advocate of separation, Jose Ortega y Gasset, stated "the article in which the Constitution legislates the actions of the Church seems highly improper to me."
Commentators have posited that the "hostile" approach to the issues of church and state was a substantial cause of the breakdown of democracy and the onset of civil war. One legal commentator has stated plainly "the gravest mistake of the Constitution of 1931—Spain's last democratic Constitution prior to 1978—was its hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church." Since the far left considered moderation of the anticlericalist aspects of the constitution as totally unacceptable, commentators have argued that "the Republic as a democratic constitutional regime was doomed from the outset".
In this atmosphere, other aspects also contributed to the Civil War: disputes on the internal organisation of the State (centralism vs. federalism), the "Catalan question", the rise of anarchists and communists, and the rise of conservative parties and organisations that admired fascist methods.
Spanish politics, especially on the left, were quite fragmented. At the beginning, socialists and radicals supported democracy, while the communists and anarchists opposed the institution of the republic as much as the right (mostly monarchists) did. There were internal divisions even among the socialists: a group that adhered to classical Marxism, and a more progressive Marxist group. The former was the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), one of whose delegates to the Soviet Union challenged Lenin regarding his use of the CHEKA to rein in dissidents, and upon his return to Spain convinced the PSOE to reject affiliation with the 5th to 7th Comintern. But the actions of the Republican government slowly coagulated the different people on the right: monarchists, strong Church supporters, moderate and radical traditionalists, conservatives and nationalists, and even the newly emerged fascist-like Falange Espanola (Spanish Phalanx).
In the 1931 Constitution, women won the right to vote and also the right to be elected to any public office. In 1932 laws on civil marriage and divorce were introduced. For the period they were the most progressive in Europe, for they recognised divorce by mutual consent, and the right of women to custody of children.Template:Fact
The 1931 Constitution was formally effective from 1931 until 1939. Although the Constitution continued to be nominally in effect, by the spring of 1936, just prior to the effective onset of the Spanish Civil War, it had been largely abandoned, the extreme left having taken power, disenfranchising the centre and conservatives.
Leading up to the Civil War, the state of the political establishment had been brutal and violent for some time. In the 1933 elections to the Cortes Generales, the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas or CEDA) won a plurality of seats. However, these were not enough to form a majority. Despite the results, then President Niceto Alcalá-Zamora declined to invite the leader of the CEDA to form a government and instead invited the Radical Republican Party and its leader Alejandro Lerroux to do so. CEDA supported the Lerroux government; it later demanded and, on 1 October 1934, received three ministerial positions. Hostility between both the left and the right increased after the formation of the Government. Spain experienced general strikes and street conflicts. Noted among the strikes was the miners' revolt in northern Spain and riots in Madrid. Nearly all rebellions were crushed by the Government and political arrests followed.
Lerroux's alliance with the right, his suppression of the revolt in 1934, and the Stra-Perlo scandal combined to leave him and his party with little support going into the 1936 election. (Lerroux himself lost his seat in parliament.)
In the 1936 Elections a new coalition of Socialists (Socialist Workers Party of Spain, PSOE), liberals (Republican Left and the Republican Union Party), Communists, and various regional nationalist groups won the extremely tight election. The results gave 34 percent of the popular vote to the Popular Front and 33 percent to the incumbent government of the CEDA. This result, when coupled with the Socialists' refusal to participate in the new government, led to a general fear of revolution. This was made only more apparent when Largo Caballero, hailed as "the Spanish Lenin" by Pravda, announced that the country was on the cusp of revolution. However these statements were meant only to remove any moderates from his coalition. Moderate Socialist Indalecio Prieto condemned the rhetoric and marches as provocative.
From the Comintern's point of view the increasingly powerful, if fragmented, left and the weak right were an optimum situation. Their goal was to use a veil of legitimate democratic institutions to outlaw the right and to convert the state into the Soviet vision of a "people's republic" with total leftist domination, a goal which was repeatedly voiced not only in Comintern instructions but also in the public statements of the PCE (Communist Party of Spain).
Without the Socialists, Prime Minister Manuel Azaña, a liberal who favored gradual reform while respecting the democratic process, led a minority government. In April, parliament replaced President Niceto Alcalá-Zamora with Azaña. The removal of Zamora was made on specious grounds and in violation of the constitution. Although the right also voted for Zamora's removal, this was a watershed event which inspired many conservatives to give up on parliamentary politics. Zamora had been Spain's "stable pole", wrote Leon Trotsky, comparing him to Hindenburg in Germany. His removal meant that, "The situation in Spain is once more revolutionary." Azaña was the object of intense hatred by Spanish rightists, who remembered how he had pushed a reform agenda through a recalcitrant parliament in 1931–1933. Joaquín Arrarás, a friend of Francisco Franco, called him "a repulsive caterpillar of red Spain." The Spanish generals particularly disliked Azaña because he had cut the army's budget and closed the military academy while war minister (1931). CEDA turned its campaign chest over to army plotter Emilio Mola. Monarchist José Calvo Sotelo replaced CEDA's Gil Robles as the right's leading spokesman in parliament.
This was a period of rising tensions. Radicals became more aggressive, while conservatives turned to paramilitary and vigilante actions. According to official sources, 330 people were assassinated and 1,511 were wounded in politically-related violence; records show 213 failed assassination attempts, 113 general strikes, and the destruction (typically by arson) of 160 religious buildings.
José Calvo Sotelo was the leading Spanish monarchist and a prominent parliamentary conservative. He protested against what he viewed as escalating anti-religious terror, expropriations, and hasty agricultural reforms, which he considered Bolshevist and anarchist. He instead advocated the creation of a corporative state and declared that if such a state was fascist, he was also a fascist. Sotelo had declared in the Cortes that Spanish soldiers would be mad to not rise for Spain against anarchy. In turn, the leader of the communists, Dolores Ibarruri, known as La Pasionaria, allegedly vowed that Calvo Sotelo's speech would be his last speech in the Cortes.
On 12 July 1936, in Madrid, a far right group murdered Lieutenant José Castillo of the Assault Guards, a special police corps created to deal with urban violence, and a Socialist. The next day, Assault Guards with forged papers "arrested" Sotelo and abducted him in an Assault Guard van. Leftist gunman Luis Cuenca, who was operating in a commando unit of the Assault Guard led by Captain Fernando Condés Romero, is said to have murdered Sotelo. Condés was close to the Socialist leader Indalecio Prieto. The murder of such a prominent member of parliament, with involvement of the police, aroused suspicions and strong reactions amongst the Center and the Right. Although the Nationalist generals were already at advanced stages of planning an uprising, the event provided a catalyst and convenient public justification for their planned coup.
Scholar Stanley G. Payne claimed that by the time of the outbreak of war Republicans had abandoned constitutional republicanism for leftist revolution:
The leftist zone has been variously designated "Republican," "loyalist," and "Popular Front." Of those terms, the adjective "loyalist" is somewhat misleading, for there was no attempt to remain loyal to the constitutional Republican regime. If that had been the scrupulous policy of the left, there would have been no revolt and civil war in the first place. Thus after July 1936 what remained of the constitutional Republic gave way to the "revolutionary Republican confederation" of 1936–1937.
The genial monarchist General José Sanjurjo was the figurehead of the rebellion, while Emilio Mola was chief planner and second in command. Mola began serious planning in the spring, but General Francisco Franco hesitated until early July, inspiring other plotters to refer to him as "Miss Canary Islands 1936". Franco was a key player because of his prestige as a former director of the military academy and the man who suppressed the Socialist uprising of 1934.
Fearing a military coup, Prime Minister Casares Quiroga sent Puerto Rico-born General Manuel Goded Llopis to the Balearic Islands and General Francisco Franco to the Canary Islands. On 17 July 1936, the plotters signaled the beginning of the coup by broadcasting the code phrase, "Over all of Spain, the sky is clear." Llopis and Franco immediately took control of the islands to which they were assigned. Warned that a coup was imminent, leftists barricaded the roads on 17 July. Franco avoided capture by taking a tugboat to the airport.
A British MI6 intelligence agent, Major Hugh Pollard, then flew Franco to Spanish Morocco in a de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide to see Juan March Ordinas, where the Spanish Army of Africa, led by Nationalist officers, was unopposed. Sanjurjo was killed in a plane crash on 20 July, leaving effective command split between Mola in the north and Franco in the south.
The Franco insurrection in July 1936 came against a background of several months of strikes, expropriations, and battles between peasants and Civil Guards. The left-wing Socialist leader Largo Caballero had demanded in June that the workers be armed, but was refused by Manuel Azana. When the coup came, the Republican government was paralyzed. Workers armed themselves in Madrid and Barcelona, robbing government armories and even ships in the harbor, and put down the insurrection while the government vacillated, torn between the twin dangers of submitting to Franco and arming the working classes. In large areas of Spain effective authority passed into the hands of the anarchist and socialist workers who played a substantial, generally dominant role in putting down the insurrection.
The rising was intended to be a swift coup d'état, but was botched in certain areas allowing the government to retain control of parts of the country. At this first stage, the rebels failed to take any major cities—in Madrid they were hemmed into the Montaña barracks. The barracks fell the next day with much bloodshed. In Barcelona, anarchists armed themselves and defeated the rebels. General Goded, who arrived from the Balearic islands, was captured and later executed. However, the turmoil facilitated anarchist control over Barcelona and much of the surrounding Aragonese and Catalan countryside, effectively breaking away from the Republican government. The Republicans held on to Valencia and controlled almost all of the Eastern Spanish coast and central area around Madrid. Except for Asturias, Cantabria and part of the Basque Country, the Nationals took most of northern and northwestern Spain and also a southern area in central and western Andalusia including Seville.
.]] Republicans (also known as Spanish loyalists) received weapons and volunteers from the Soviet Union, Mexico, the international Socialist movement and the International Brigades. The Republicans ranged from centrists who supported a moderately capitalist liberal democracy to revolutionary anarchists and communists; their power base was primarily secular and urban, but also included landless peasants, and it was particularly strong in industrial regions like Asturias and Catalonia. This faction was called variously the "loyalists" by its supporters; the "Republicans", "the Popular Front" or "the Government" by all parties; and "the reds" by its enemies.
The conservative, strongly Catholic Basque country, along with Galicia and the more left-leaning Catalonia, sought autonomy or even independence from the central government of Madrid. This option was left open by the Republican government. All these forces were gathered under the Republican Popular Army (Ejército Popular Republicano, or EPR) .
The Nationalists on the contrary opposed the separatist movements, but were chiefly defined by their anti-communism and their fear of Spain's breaking up, which served as the galvanizing agent of diverse or even opposed movements like falangists or monarchists. This side was called the "Nationalists", or the "insurgents". Their opponents referred to them as the Fascists or Francoists, or simply the "rebels".
Their leaders had a generally wealthier, more conservative, monarchist, landowning background, and they favoured the centralization of state power. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy supported the Nationalists, while the Portuguese Second Republic (Estado Novo) provided logistical support. Their forces were gathered into the National Army (Ejército Nacional).
The active participants in the war covered the entire gamut of the political positions and ideologies of the time. The Nationalist (nacionales) side included the Carlists and Legitimist monarchists, Spanish nationalists, the Falange, Catholics, and most conservatives and monarchist liberals. On the Republican side were socialists and liberals, as well as the communists and anarchists. Catalan and Basque nationalists were not univocal. Left-wing Catalan nationalists were on the Republican side. Conservative Catalan nationalists were far less vocal supporting the Republican government due to the anti-clericalism and confiscations occurring in some areas controlled by the latter (some conservative Catalan nationalists like Francesc Cambó actually funded the rebel side). Basque nationalists, heralded by the conservative Basque nationalist party, were mildly supportive of the Republican government, even though Basque nationalists in Álava and Navarre sided with the uprising for the same reasons influencing Catalan conservative nationalists.
To view the political alignments from another perspective, the Nationals included the majority of the Catholic clergy and of practicing Catholics (outside of the Basque region), important elements of the army, most of the large landowners, and many businessmen. The Republicans included most urban workers, most peasants, and much of the educated middle class, especially those who were not entrepreneurs.
One of the Nationalists' principal claimed motives was to confront the anti-clericalism of the Republican regime and to defend the Roman Catholic Church, which had been the target of attacks, and which many on the Republican side blamed for the ills of the country. Even before the war religious buildings were burnt and clergy killed without action on the part of the Republican authorities to prevent it. As part of the social revolution taking place, others were turned into Houses of the People. Similarly, many of the massacres perpetrated by the Republican side targeted the Catholic clergy. Franco's Moroccan Muslim troops found this repulsive as well, and for the most part fought loyally and often ferociously for the Nationalists. Articles 24 and 26 of the Constitution of the Republic had banned the Jesuits, which deeply offended many within the conservatives. The revolution in the republican zone at the outset of the war, killing 7,000 clergy and thousands of lay people, constituted what Stanley Payne called the "most extensive and violent persecution of Catholicism in Western History, in some way even more intense than that of the French Revolution", driving Catholics, left then with little alternative, to the Nationalists even more than would have been expected. After the beginning of the Nationalist coup, anger flared anew at the Church and its role in Spanish politics. Notwithstanding these religious matters, the Basque nationalists, who nearly all sided with the Republic, were, for the most part, practicing Catholics.
Republican sympathizers proclaimed it as a struggle between "tyranny and democracy", or "fascism and liberty", and many non-Spanish persons, often affiliated with radical, communist or socialist parties or groups, joined the International Brigades, believing that the Spanish Republic was the front line of the war against fascism. Franco's supporters, however, portrayed it as a battle between the "red hordes" of Communism and Anarchism on the one hand and "Christian civilization" on the other. They also stated that they were protecting the Establishment and bringing security and direction to what they felt was an ungoverned and lawless society.
The Republicans were also split among themselves. The left and Basque or Catalan nationalist conservatives had many conflicting ideas. The Cortes (Spanish Parliament) consisted of 16 parties in 1931. When autonomy was granted to Catalonia and the Basque Provinces in 1932, a nationalist coup was attempted but failed. An attempt by the communists to seize control resisted by anarchists resulted in the massacre of hundreds of rebels and intra civil war between anarchists and communists in Catalonia.
The Spanish Civil War had large numbers of non-Spanish citizens participating in combat and advisory positions. Foreign governments contributed large amounts of financial assistance and military aid to forces led by Generalísimo Francisco Franco. Forces fighting on behalf of the Second Spanish Republic also received limited aid but support was seriously hampered by the arms embargo declared by France and the UK.
These embargoes were never very effective however, and France especially was accused of allowing large shipments through to the Republicans—though the accusations often came from Italy, itself heavily involved for the Nationalists. The clandestine actions of the various European powers were at the time considered to be risking another 'Great War'.
The official publication of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, or POUM), La Batalla, dated 15 November 1937 stated that "...while Germany and Italy had sent Franco planes and arms by the end of June, Stalin had taken two and a half months to decide whether to help the Spanish Republic" and went on to claim that "what really interests Stalin is not the destiny of the Spanish or international proletariat but the defence of the Soviet Government in accordance with the pacts established between certain States."
The League of Nations' reaction to what was happening during the war was mostly neutral and insufficient to contain the massive importation of arms and other war resources by the two fighting factions. Although a Non-Intervention Committee was created, its policies were largely ineffective. Its directives were dismantled due to the policies of appeasement of both European democratic and non-democratic powers of the late 1930s: the official Spanish government of Juan Negrín was gradually abandoned within the organization during this period.
Francisco Franco asked dictator Adolf Hitler from Nazi Germany and dictator Benito Mussolini from Fascist Italy to aid the Nationalists in their fight for a fascist Spain. Hitler agreed and ordered three major military operations in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Hitler authorized Operation Feuerzauber ("Magic Fire") in late July 1936. He mobilized 20 three-motor Junker 52 planes with 6 escort fighters, 85 Germans on the SS Usaramo ship to work on the planes, and transferred German troops stationed in Morocco to Spain. A few months later in late September, Hitler again mobilized men and materials to aid Franco for Operation Otto. He sent 24 more Panzer I light tanks, a flak, and some radio equipment to increase communication. German commander Major Alexander von Scheele also converted the Junkers 52s to bombers. By October, there were an estimated 600–800 German soldiers in Spain. Hitler’s largest and last move was the Condor Legion (Legion Condor). Initiated in November of 1936, Hitler sent an additional 3,500 troops into combat and supplied the Spanish Nationalists with 92 new planes. The Condor Legion was Hitler’s last operation in Spain. However, he kept the Condor Legion in Spain until the end of the war in May 1939. At its zenith, The German force numbered about 12,000 men and as many as 19,000 Germans fought in Spain.
After Franco’s request and in response to Adolf Hitler's encouragement, Benito Mussolini joined the war. He did this partly because he did not want to be outdone by Hitler. While Mussolini sent more ground troops than Hitler, he initially supplied less materials. At the beginning of war in September 1936, Mussolini had only supplied 68 aircraft and several hundred small arms to the Nationalists. However, the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina Italiana) played “a major role in the Mediterranean blockade and ultimately Italy supplied machine guns, artillery, aircraft, tankettes, the "Legionary Air Force" (Aviazione Legionaria), and the "Corps of Volunteer Troops" (Corpo Truppe Volontarie, or CTV). Compared to the 19,000 ment sent to Spain by the Germans, the Italian CTV reached a high of about 50,000 men and, by rotation, more than 75,000 Italians were to fight for the Nationalists in Spain.
The Soviet Union primarily provided material assistance to the Republican forces. The Soviet Union ignored the League of Nations embargo and sold arms to the Republic when few other nations would do so. The Soviet Union was the Republic's only important source of major weapons such as tanks, aircraft, and artillery.
However, the Republic had to pay for Soviet arms with the official gold reserves of the Bank of Spain (see Moscow Gold). The Soviet Union also sent a small number of military advisors to Spain. While Soviet troops amounted to no more than 700 men, Soviet "volunteers" often operated Soviet-made Republican tanks and aircraft. In addition, the Soviet Union directed Communist parties around the world to organize and recruit the famous International Brigades.
Stalin signed the Non-Intervention Agreement but decided to break the pact. However, unlike Hitler and Mussolini who openly violated the pact, Stalin tried to do so secretly. He created a section X of the Soviet Union military to head the operation, coined Operation X.
In total USSR provided Spain with 806 planes, 362 tanks, and 1,555 artillery pieces. 
The troops of the International Brigades represented the largest foreign contingent of troops fighting for the Republicans. Roughly 30,000 foreign nationals from possibly up to 53 nations fought in the various brigades. Most of them were communists or trade unionists, and while organised by communists guided or controlled by Moscow, they were almost all individual volunteers.
, an Irish fascist movement which joined Franco's nationalists.]] Despite the declaration by the Irish government that participation in the war was illegal, around 250 Irishmen went to fight for the Republicans and around 700 of Eoin O'Duffy's followers ("The Blueshirts") went to Spain to fight on Franco's side.
On arrival, however, O'Duffy's Irish contingent refused to fight the Basques for Franco, seeing parallels between their recent struggle and Basque aspirations of independence. They saw their primary role in Spain as fighting communism, and defending Catholicism. Eoin O'Duffy's men saw little fighting in Spain and were sent home by Franco after being accidentally fired on by Spanish Nationalist troops.
Approximately one third of Irishmen who fought for Republicans died, a group composed primarily of socialists, trade unionists, and former IRA members. The "Connolly Column" of the International Brigades was named after the Irish socialist leader executed after 1916 Easter Rising, James Connolly.
The Mexican Republic supported fully and publicly the claim of the Madrid government and the Republicans. Mexico refused to follow the French-British non-intervention proposals, recognizing immediately the great advantage they offered the Nationalists. Contrary to the United States, Mexico did not feel that neutrality between an elected government and a military junta was a proper policy. Mexico's attitude gave immense moral comfort to the Republic, especially since the major Latin American governments—those of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru—sympathized more or less openly with the Nationalists. But Mexican aid could mean relatively little in practical terms if the French border were closed and if the dictators remained free to supply the Nationalists with a quality and quantity of weapons far beyond the power of Mexico.
Mexico furnished $2,000,000 in aid, and President Lázaro Cárdenas saw the war as similar to Mexico's own revolution although a large part of Mexican society wanted a Nationalist victory.
The Nationalists received weapons and logistical support from Portugal. Portugal's Salazar, in spite of sending soldiers to fight for the Nationalists in the Viriato Legion, refused to accept refugees. There are various accounts of Spanish refugees, mostly Republicans, attempting to cross the border into Portugal only to be denied and left to die. This was a policy applied by Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, right-wing dictator ruling Portugal at the time.
About 3,000 Poles volunteered for the International Brigades. Elsewhere, "it has been calculated that 5,400 Poles fought in Spain. The majority (3,800) were miners working in France, 300 were Polish-Americans, and several hundred were Poles living in various European countries. Only 800 came from Poland itself."
Ion I. Moţa, deputy-leader of the Legion of the Archangel Michael (or Iron Guard), formed a Legionary unit to fight for the Nationalists against the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. Both he and Vasile Marin (another prominent Legionary) were killed on the Madrid Front on the same day of fighting. Moţa and Marin became a prominent part of Legionary mythology. Over five hundred Romanians also fought on the Republican side, including Romanian Communist Party members Petre Borilă and Valter Roman.
As war proceeded in the Northern front, the Republican authorities arranged the evacuation of children. These Spanish War children were shipped to Britain, Belgium, the Soviet Union, other European countries and Mexico. Those in Western European countries returned to their families after the war, but many of those in the Soviet Union, from Communist families, remained and experienced the Second World War and its effects on the Soviet Union.
(WRI) children's refuge at Prats-de-Mollo in the French Pyrenees, some time between 1937 and 1939. The warden of the home, Professor José Brocca is standing third from left in the photograph.]]
Like the Republican side, the Nationalist side of Franco also arranged evacuations of children, women and elderly from war zones. Refugee camps for those civilians evacuated by the Nationalists were set up in Portugal, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
In the 1930s Spain also became a focus for pacifist organizations including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War Resisters League and the War Resisters' International (whose president was the British MP and Labour Party leader George Lansbury). Many people including, as they are now called, the 'insumisos' ('defiant ones', i.e., conscientious objectors) argued and worked for non-violent strategies.
Prominent Spanish pacifists such as Amparo Poch y Gascón and José Brocca supported the Republicans. As American author Scott H. Bennett has demonstrated, 'pacifism' in Spain certainly did not equate with 'passivism', and the dangerous work undertaken and sacrifices made by pacifist leaders and activists such as Poch and Brocca show that 'pacifist courage is no less heroic than the military kind' (Bennett, 2003: 67–68). Brocca argued that Spanish pacifists had no alternative but to make a stand against fascism. He put this stand into practice by various means including organising agricultural workers to maintain food supplies and through humanitarian work with war refugees.
At least 50,000 people were executed during the civil war. In his recent, updated history of the Spanish Civil War, Antony Beevor "reckons Franco's ensuing 'white terror' claimed 200,000 lives. The 'red terror' had already killed 38,000." Julius Ruiz concludes that "although the figures remain disputed, a minimum of 37,843 executions were carried out in the Republican zone with a maximum of 150,000 executions (including 50,000 after the war) in Nationalist Spain." However, in his recent book on Republican atrocities, César Vidal puts the number of Republican victims at 110,965. A Spanish judge, Socialist Baltasar Garzon, has opened an investigation of 114,266 people executed and disappeared during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco years between 17 July 1936 and December 1951. This includes Federico García Lorca's death, among many others.
As in most civil wars, atrocities were fairly common place on both sides. The atrocities of the Bando Nacional were common and were frequently ordered by authorities in order to eradicate any trace of leftism in Spain; many such acts were committed by reactionary groups during the first weeks of the war. This included the execution of school teachers (because the efforts of the Republic to promote laicism and to displace the Church from the education system by closing religious schools were considered by the Bando Nacional side as an attack on the Church); the massive killings of civilians in the cities they captured; the execution of unwanted individuals (including non-combatants such as trade-unionists and known Republican sympathisers etc). An example of this kind of tactics on the Nationalist side was the Massacre of Badajoz in 1936.
The Nationalist side also conducted aerial bombing of cities in the Republican territory, carried out mainly by the Luftwaffe volunteers of the Condor Legion and the Italian air force volunteers of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Guernica, and other cities). The most notorious example of this tactic of terror bombings was the Bombing of Guernica.
Guernica was not the only town bombarded by German planes. The front page headlines of the Diario de Almeria, dated 3 June 1937, referred to the press in London and Paris carrying the news of the "criminal bombardment of Almeria by German planes".
by Communist militiamen at Cerro de los Ángeles near Madrid, on 7 August 1936, was the most famous of the widespread desecration of images and Churches. The photograph was taken by a Paramount newsreel representative and originally published in the London Daily Mail with a caption calling it part of the "Spanish Reds' war on religion."]]
Violent acts on civilians and property on the part of the Republicans have been termed Spain's red terror. Republican attacks on the Catholic Church, associated strongly with support for the old monarchist and hierarchical establishment, were particularly controversial.
Republicans reacted to the attempted coup by arresting and executing actual and perceived Nationalists. In the Andalusian town of Ronda 512 alleged Nationalists were murdered in the first month of the war. Many repressive actions on the Republican side were committed by the Republican political police in detention centers nicknamed Checas after the then-renamed Cheka of the Soviet Union, whose advisers were apparently involved in setting the detention centers up. There were some 229 such checas in Madrid alone and prisoners (both of the right and non-conformist leftists) were subjected to torture and were frequently executed. Some 11,705 people were slain in this way in Madrid.
Communist Santiago Carrillo Solares and members of his party were responsible for the murder of thousands of alleged Nationalists (including women and children) in Paracuellos del Jarama and Torrejón de Ardoz (the biggest massacre performed by the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War). Communists committed numerous atrocities against fellow Republicans: André Marty, known as the Butcher of Albacete, was responsible for the deaths of some 500 members of the International Brigades, and Andreu Nin, leader of the POUM, and many prominent POUM members were murdered by the Communists.
Nearly 7,000 clerics were killed by the Republicans and churches, convents and monasteries were attacked (see Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War). Some 13 bishops, 4184 diocesan priests, 2365 male religious (among them 114 Jesuits) and 283 nuns were killed. There are unverified accounts of Catholics being forced to swallow rosary beads and/or being thrown down mine shafts, as well as priests being forced to dig their own graves before being buried alive. Pope John Paul II beatified several hundred people murdered for being priests or nuns, and Pope Benedict XVI beatified almost 500 more on 28 October 2007. Many Republican politicians, such as Lluís Companys, the Catalan nationalist president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the autonomous government of Catalonia –which remained initially loyal to the Republic before proclaiming independence from it– carried out numerous actions to mediate in cases of deliberate executions of the clergy.
In the early days of the war, over 50,000 people who were caught on the "wrong" side of the lines were assassinated or executed. In these paseos ("strolls"), as the executions were called, the victims were taken from their refuges or jails by armed people to be shot outside of town. The corpses were abandoned or interred in graves dug by the victims themselves. Local police just noted the appearance of the corpses. Probably the most famous such victim was the poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca. The outbreak of the war provided an excuse for settling accounts and resolving long-standing feuds. Thus, this practice became widespread during the war in conquered areas.
Coup leader Sanjurjo was killed in a plane crash on 20 July, leaving effective command split between Mola in the North and Franco in the South. On 21 July, the fifth day of the rebellion, the Nationalists captured the main Spanish naval base at Ferrol in northwestern Spain. This encouraged the Fascist nations of Europe to help Franco, who had already contacted the governments of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy the day before. On 26 July, the future Axis Powers cast their lot with the Nationalists. A rebel force under Colonel Beorlegui Canet, sent by General Emilio Mola, advanced on Guipúzcoa. On 5 September, after heavy fighting it took Irún closing the French border to the Republicans. On 13 September, the Basques surrendered San Sebastián to the Nationalists who then advanced toward their capital, Bilbao but were halted by the Republican militias on the border of Viscaya at the end of September. The capture of Guipúzcoa had isolated the Republican provinces in the north.
Franco was chosen overall Nationalist commander at a meeting of ranking generals at Salamanca on 21 September. He outranked Mola and by this point his Army of Africa had demonstrated its military superiority. Franco won another victory on 27 September when they relieved the Alcázar at Toledo. A Nationalist garrison under Colonel Moscardo had held the Alcázar in the center of the city since the beginning of the rebellion, resisting for months against thousands of Republican troops who completely surrounded the isolated building. The inability to take the Alcázar was a serious blow to the prestige of the Republic, as it was considered inexplicable in view of their overwhelming numerical superiority in the area. Two days after relieving the siege, Franco proclaimed himself Generalísimo and Caudillo ("chieftain") while forcibly unifying the various and diverse Falangist, Royalist and other elements within the Nationalist cause.
In October, the Francoist troops launched a major offensive toward Madrid, reaching it in early November and launching a major assault on the city on 8 November. The Republican government was forced to shift from Madrid to Valencia, out of the combat zone, on 6 November. However, the Nationalists' attack on the capital was repulsed in fierce fighting between 8 November and 23 November. A contributory factor in the successful Republican defence was the arrival of the International Brigades, though only around 3,000 of them participated in the battle. Having failed to take the capital, Franco bombarded it from the air and, in the following two years, mounted several offensives to try to encircle Madrid. (See also Siege of Madrid (1936-39))
On 18 November, Germany and Italy officially recognized the Franco regime, and on 23 December, Italy sent "volunteers" of its own to fight for the Nationalists.
With his ranks being swelled by Italian troops and Spanish colonial soldiers from Morocco, Franco made another attempt to capture Madrid in January and February 1937, but failed again.
On 21 February the League of Nations Non-Intervention Committee ban on foreign national "volunteers" went into effect. The large city of Málaga was taken on 8 February. On 7 March German Condor Legion equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes arrived in Spain; on 26 April the Legion was responsible for the infamous massacre of hundreds, including numerous women and children, at Guernica in the Basque Country; the event was committed to notoriety by Picasso in his Guernica painting. Two days later, Franco's army overran the town.
After the fall of Guernica, the Republican government began to fight back with increasing effectiveness. In July, they made a move to recapture Segovia, forcing Franco to pull troops away from the Madrid front to halt their advance. Mola, Franco's second-in-command, was killed on 3 June, and in early July, despite the fall of Bilbao in June, the government actually launched a strong counter-offensive in the Madrid area, which the Nationalists repulsed with some difficulty. The clash was called "Battle of Brunete" (Brunete is a town in the province of Madrid).
After that, Franco regained the initiative, invading Aragón in August and then taking the city of Santander. With the surrender of the Republican army in the Basque territory and after two months of bitter fighting in Asturias (Gijón finally fell in late October) the war was effectively ended in the north front with a Francoist victory.
The Battle of Teruel was an important confrontation between Nationalist and Republican troops. The city belonged to the Nationalists at the beginning of the battle, but remarkably, the Republicans conquered it in January. The Francoist troops launched an offensive and recovered the city by 22 February. However, in order to do so, Franco had to rely heavily on German and Italian air support and subsequently repaid them with extensive mining rights. 
On 7 March, the Nationalists launched the Aragon Offensive. By 14 April, they had pushed through to the Mediterranean, cutting the Republican government-held portion of Spain in two. The Republican government tried to sue for peace in May but Franco demanded unconditional surrender, and the war raged on. In July, the Nationalist army pressed southward from Teruel and south along the coast toward the capital of the Republic at Valencia but was halted in heavy fighting along the fortified XYZ Line.
The Republican government then launched an all-out campaign to reconnect their territory in the Battle of the Ebro, beginning on 24 July and lasting until 26 November. The campaign was militarily unsuccessful, and was undermined by the Franco-British appeasement of Hitler in Munich with the concession of Czechoslovakia. This effectively destroyed the last vestiges of Republican morale by ending all hope of an anti-fascist alliance with the Western powers. The retreat from the Ebro all but determined the final outcome of the war. Eight days before the new year, Franco struck back by throwing massive forces into an invasion of Catalonia.
Franco's troops conquered Catalonia in a whirlwind campaign during the first two months of 1939. Tarragona fell on 14 January, followed by Barcelona on 26 January and Girona on 5 February. Five days after the fall of Girona, the last resistance in Catalonia was broken.
On 27 February, the governments of the United Kingdom and France recognized the Franco regime.
Only Madrid and a few other strongholds remained for the Republican government forces. Then, on 28 March, with the help of pro-Franco forces inside the city (not as effective as described by General Mola in his propagandistic broadcasts of 1936 referring to the so-called "fifth column"), Madrid fell to the Nationalists. The next day, Valencia, which had held out under their guns for close to two years, also surrendered. Franco proclaimed victory in a radio speech aired on 1 April, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.
After the end of the War, there were harsh reprisals against Franco's former enemies, when thousands of Republicans were imprisoned and at least 30,000 executed. Others have calculated these deaths at from 50,000 to 200,000. Many others were put to forced labour, building railways, drying out swamps, digging canals (La Corchuela, the Canal of the Bajo Guadalquivir), construction of the Valle de los Caídos monument, etc. Hundreds of thousands of other Republicans fled abroad, especially to France and Mexico. Some 500,000 of them fled to France.
On the other side of the Pyrenees, refugees were confined in internment camps of the French Third Republic, such as Camp Gurs or Camp Vernet, where 12,000 Republicans were housed in squalid conditions (mostly soldiers from the Durruti Division). The 17,000 refugees housed in Gurs were divided into four categories (Brigadists, pilots, Gudaris and ordinary Spaniards). The Gudaris (Basques) and the pilots easily found local backers and jobs, and were allowed to quit the camp, but the farmers and ordinary people, who could not find relations in France, were encouraged by the Third Republic, in agreement with the Francoist government, to return to Spain. The great majority did so and were turned over to the Francoist authorities in Irún. From there they were transferred to the Miranda de Ebro camp for "purification" according to the Law of Political Responsibilities.
After the proclamation by Marshal Philippe Pétain of the Vichy regime, the refugees became political prisoners, and the French police attempted to round-up those who had been liberated from the camp. Along with other "undesirables", they were sent to the Drancy internment camp before being deported to Nazi Germany. About 5,000 Spaniards thus died in Mauthausen concentration camp. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who had been named by the Chilean President Pedro Aguirre Cerda special consul for immigration in Paris, was given responsibility for what he called "the noblest mission I have ever undertaken": shipping more than 2,000 Spanish refugees, who had been housed by the French in squalid camps, to Chile on an old cargo ship, the Winnipeg.
After the official end of the war, guerrilla war was waged on an irregular basis, well into the 1950s, being gradually reduced by the scant support from an exhausted population and military defeats. In 1944, a group of republican veterans, who also fought in the French resistance against the Nazis, invaded the Val d'Aran in northwest Catalonia, but they were defeated after 10 days.
In the anarchist-controlled areas, Aragón and Catalonia, in addition to the temporary military success, there was a vast social revolution in which the workers and peasants collectivised land and industry, and set up councils parallel to the paralyzed Republican government. This revolution was opposed by both the Soviet-supported communists, who ultimately took their orders from Stalin's politburo (which feared a loss of control), and the Social Democratic Republicans (who worried about the loss of civil property rights). The agrarian collectives had considerable success despite opposition and lack of resources, as Franco had already captured lands with some of the richest natural resources.
As the war progressed, the government and the communists were able to leverage their access to Soviet arms to restore government control over the war effort, through both diplomacy and force. Anarchists and the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, or POUM) were integrated with the regular army, albeit with resistance; the POUM was outlawed and falsely denounced as an instrument of the fascists. In the May Days of 1937, many hundreds or thousands of anti-fascist soldiers fought one another for control of strategic points in Barcelona, recounted by George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia.
The pre-war Falange was a small party of some 30-40,000 members. It also called for a social revolution that would have seen Spanish society transformed by National Syndicalism. Following the execution of its leader, Jose Antonio Primo de Riviera, by the Republicans, the party swelled in size to over 400,000. The leadership of the Falange suffered 60% casualties in the early days of the civil war and the party was transformed by new members and rising new leaders, called camisas nuevas ("new shirts"), who were less interested in the revolutionary aspects of National Syndicalism. Subsequently, Franco united all rightist parties into the ironically named Falange Española Tradicionalista de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS), or the Traditionalist Spanish Falange of the Unions of the National-Syndicalist Offensive.
, the bridge that links together the two parts of Ronda in Spain. Behind the window near the center of the bridge is a prison cell. There have been allegations that during the Civil War the nationalists threw people who supported the Republicans from the bridge to their deaths many meters down at the bottom of the El Tajo canyon. On the other hand, authorities confirm the atrocities committed by the Republicans against the Nationalists at Ronda. "Thus the description in Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls of how the inhabitants of a small pueblo first beat all male members of the fascist party with heavy flails and then flung them over a cliff is near to the reality of what happened in the superb Andalusian town of Ronda. There 512 were murdered in the first month of the war."]]
Spain Again (1969, Jaime Camino)
The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984)
Si Te Dicen Que Cai [If They Tell You I Fell] (1989, Vicente Aranda)
À la vie, à la mort! ['Til Death Do Us Part] (1995, Robert Guédiguian)
Amor y Venganza (1996, Pilar Miró)
Talk of Angels (1998, Nick Hamm)
El Mar (2000, Agustí Villaronga) El Portero [The Goalkeeper] (2000, Gonzalo Suarez)
No pasarán, album souvenir (Henri-François Imbert, 2003). Documentary about the Republican exodus to France in 1938-1939, illustrated by picture postcards taken at the time.
La Puta y la Ballena (2004, Luis Puenzo) Iris (2004, Rosa Verges) Blind Sunflowers (2008, José Luis Cuerda)
Phase 1. 1930s–1980
Phase 2. 1981–1999
Phase 3. 2000–2008
Almost as soon as the civil war started, the Portugese government more or less cast in its lot with the rebel forces and decided to support them by all means short of actual participation in the war.quoted in Gallagher, Tom. Portugal: a twentieth-century interpretation. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1983 p.86
Template:Commonscat Template:Wikisourcepar Template:Wikisource-lang
[[File:|thumb|Oak of Guernica]] The Spanish Civil War (July 18, 1936–April 1, 1939) was a war in which the Spanish General Francisco Franco and his troops successfully took control of Spain. A lot of different groups worked together with the Spanish Republic (the government of the time) to stop him, including socialists, communists, anarchists, and other leftist groups. The fascist governments of Germany and Italy provided troops and supplies for Franco, while the communist Soviet Union sold the Republican forces weapons. Lots of people from other countries volunteered to fight against Franco (sometimes against the orders of their own countries), including people from the United States, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and many other countries. These groups were known as the International Brigades. The war ended April 1, 1939 when the last of the Republican troops gave up. Franco became the ruler of Spain until he died in 1975.
On April 26, 1937 Guernica was bombed by Legion Condor, supported by Hitler's nazi regime. It was the first time that large civilian casualties resulted, the destruction received wide media coverage and created a public perception of German involvement which persists to this day.