* End of the
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
* Establishment of Francoist
* CNT /FAI
* Popular Front
Generalitat of Catalonia
* EG (1936–37)
* Foreign volunteers
* FET y de las JONS (from 1937)
* FE de la JONS (1936–37)
* CT (1936–37)
* CEDA (1936–37)
* RE (1936–37)
* Foreign volunteers
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
Francisco Largo Caballero
Vicente Rojo Lluch
Juan Hernández Saravia
Carlos Romero Giménez
Buenaventura Durruti †
* José Antonio Aguirre
José Sanjurjo †
Emilio Mola †
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano
Miguel Cabanellas †
Manuel Goded Llopis †
Manuel Fal Conde
* 450,000 infantry
* 350 aircraft
* 200 tanks
* 600,000 infantry
* 600 aircraft
* 290 tanks
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
175,000 killed in action
110,000 killed in action
* 610,000 dead
* 450,000 fled
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
BACKGROUND JULY 1936 UPRISING MELILLA
BARCELONA Cuartel de la Montaña
Oviedo Cuartel de Loyola
1936 German intervention GUADARRAMA Alcázar EXTREMADURA
Convoy de la victoria
Convoy de la victoria Almendralejo Sigüenza Mérida
Majorca Sierra Guadalupe Córdoba GIPUZKOA Monte Pelado Talavera
Irún Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza Cerro Muriano Cape
Espartel Seseña MADRID Ciudad Universitaria 1st Corunna Road
Villarreal Ursula ACEITUNA Lopera 2nd Corunna Road 1937 3rd
Málaga JARAMA Cape Machichaco GUADALAJARA
Pozoblanco WAR IN THE NORTH BISCAY Durango Jaén
BRUNETE Santander ZARAGOZA 1st Belchite ASTURIAS El Mazuco Cape
Cherchell Sabiñánigo TERUEL 1938 Alfambra Cape Palos
ARAGON 2nd Belchite 3rd
Barcelona Caspe Lérida 1st Gandesa
SEGRE LEVANTE Balaguer Los Blázquez Alicante Granollers Bielsa
MERIDA POCKET EBRO 2nd Gandesa
Cantabria Cabra 1939
CATALONIA Valsequillo La Garriga Minorca Cartagena Olite FINAL
PART OF A SERIES ON THE
HISTORY OF SPAIN
Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
* Roman conquest of
* Romanization of
* Suebic kingdom
* Umayyad conquest of
* Age of Expansion
* Golden Age
Spain / War of Independence
Cádiz Cortes / 1812 Constitution
* Independence of Spanish America
* Reaction and
* First Republic
* Disaster of 1898
* Second Republic
* Civil War
* Transition to democracy
Spain since 1975
* Colonial history
* Economic history
* Military history
EVENTS LEADING TO WORLD WAR II
Pacification of Libya
Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
Spanish Civil War
Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
German occupation of Czechoslovakia
German ultimatum to Lithuania
British guarantee to Poland
Invasion of Albania
Pact of Steel
The SPANISH CIVIL WAR, (Spanish : Guerra Civil Española), widely
Spain simply as THE CIVIL WAR (Spanish : Guerra Civil) or THE
WAR (Spanish : La Guerra), took place from 1936 to 1939. The
Republicans , who were loyal to the democratic, left -leaning and
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic , in an alliance of
convenience with the Anarchists, fought against the Nationalists , a
Carlist , and largely aristocratic conservative group led
Francisco Franco . Although the war is often portrayed as a
struggle between democracy and fascism , historians consider it more
accurately described as a struggle between leftist revolution and
rightist counter-revolution. Ultimately, the Nationalists won, and
Franco then ruled
Spain for the next 36 years, from April 1939 until
his death in November 1975.
The war began after a pronunciamiento (declaration of opposition) by
a group of generals of the
Spanish Republican Armed Forces ,
originally under the leadership of
José Sanjurjo , against the
elected, leftist government of the Second Spanish Republic, at the
time under the leadership of
Manuel Azaña . The Nationalist
group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the
Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (Confederación
Española de Derechas Autónomas, or CEDA), monarchists such as the
religious conservative (Catholic)
Carlists , and the Falange Española
de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista , a fascist group.
Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return
from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the
The coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate
in Morocco ,
Córdoba , and
Seville . However, rebelling units in some important
Bilbao , and Málaga
—did not gain control, and those cities remained under the control
of the government.
Spain was thus left militarily and politically
divided. The Nationalists and the Republican government fought for
control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and
Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy , while the Republican
(Loyalist) side received support from the Communist
Soviet Union and
Mexico . Other countries, such as the United Kingdom
and France, operated an official policy of non-intervention .
The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and
west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937. They also
Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the
war. After large parts of
Catalonia were captured in 1938 and 1939,
the war ended with the victory of the Nationalists and the exile of
thousands of leftist Spaniards, many of whom fled to refugee camps in
southern France. Those associated with the losing Republicans were
persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a
dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all
right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime.
The war became notable for the passion and political division it
inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred. Organized purges
occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces to consolidate the
future regime. A significant number of killings took place in areas
controlled by the Republicans. The extent to which Republican
authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied.
* 1 Background
* 2 Military coup
* 2.1 Preparations
* 2.2 Beginning of the coup
* 2.3 Outcome
* 3 Combatants
* 3.1 Republicans
* 3.2 Nationalists
* 3.3 Other factions
* 4 Foreign involvement
* 4.1 Support for the Nationalists
* 4.1.1 Germany
* 4.1.2 Italy
* 4.1.3 Portugal
* 4.1.4 Others
* 4.2 Support for the Republicans
* 4.2.4 France
* 5 Course of the war
* 5.1 1936
* 5.2 1937
* 5.3 1938
* 5.4 1939
* 6 Evacuation of children
* 7 Atrocities
* 7.1 Nationalists
* 7.2 Republicans
* 9 Art and propaganda
* 10 Timeline
* 11 People
* 12 Political parties and organizations
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 14.1 Notes
* 14.2 Citations
* 14.3 Bibliography and books by noted authors
* 15 Further reading
* 16 External links
* 16.1 Films, images and sounds
* 16.2 Miscellaneous documents
* 16.3 Diverse references and citations
* 16.4 Academics and governments
* 16.5 Archives
Background of the Spanish Civil War
The 19th century was a turbulent time for Spain. Those in favour of
reforming Spain's government vied for political power with
conservatives, who tried to prevent reforms from taking place. Some
liberals, in a tradition that had started with the Spanish
Constitution of 1812 , sought to limit the power of the monarchy of
Spain and to establish a liberal state. The reforms of 1812 did not
King Ferdinand VII dissolved the Constitution and ended the
Trienio Liberal government. Twelve successful coups were carried out
between 1814 and 1874. Until the 1850s, the economy of
primarily based on agriculture. There was little development of a
bourgeois industrial or commercial class. The land-based oligarchy
remained powerful; a small number of people held large estates called
latifundia as well as all the important government positions.
King Amadeo I of
In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II
House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon . Two distinct factors led to the uprisings: a
series of urban riots and a liberal movement within the middle classes
and the military (led by General
Joan Prim ) concerned with the
ultra-conservatism of the monarchy. In 1873 Isabella's replacement,
King Amadeo I of the
House of Savoy
House of Savoy , abdicated owing to increasing
political pressure, and the short-lived
First Spanish Republic
First Spanish Republic was
proclaimed. After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874,
Carlists and Anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy.
Alejandro Lerroux , Spanish politician and leader of the Radical
Republican Party , helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia
, where poverty was particularly acute. Growing resentment of
conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in
Barcelona in 1909.
Spain was neutral in
World War I
World War I . Following the war, the working
class, industrial class, and military united in hopes of removing the
corrupt central government, but were unsuccessful. Popular perception
of communism as a major threat significantly increased during this
period. In 1923 a military coup brought
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera to
power; as a result,
Spain transitioned to government by military
dictatorship. Support for the Rivera regime gradually faded, and he
resigned in January 1930. He was replaced by General Dámaso Berenguer
, who was in turn himself replaced by Admiral Juan Bautista
Aznar-Cabañas ; both men continued a policy of rule by decree. There
was little support for the monarchy in the major cities. Consequently,
King Alfonso XIII gave in to popular pressure for the establishment of
a republic in 1931 and called municipal elections for 12 April of that
year. The socialist and liberal republicans won almost all the
provincial capitals, and following the resignation of Aznar's
government, King Alfonso XIII fled the country. At this time, the
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic was formed and would remain in power until the
culmination of the Spanish Civil War.
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora in
The revolutionary committee headed by
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora became
the provisional government, with Alcalá-Zamora as president and head
of state . The republic had broad support from all segments of
society. In May, an incident where a taxi driver was attacked outside
a monarchist club sparked anti-clerical violence throughout
Spain . The government's slow response disillusioned the
right and reinforced their view that the Republic was determined to
persecute the church. In June and July the Confederación Nacional del
Trabajo (CNT) called several strikes , which led to a violent incident
between CNT members and the Civil Guard and a brutal crackdown by the
Civil Guard and the army against the CNT in
Seville . This led many
workers to believe the Spanish Second Republic was just as oppressive
as the monarchy and the CNT announced their intention of overthrowing
it via revolution . Elections in June 1931 returned a large majority
of Republicans and Socialists . With the onset of the Great
Depression , the government attempted to assist rural
instituting an eight-hour day and giving land tenure to farm workers.
Fascism remained a reactive threat, helped by controversial reforms
to the military. In December a new reformist, liberal, and democratic
constitution was declared. It included strong provisions enforcing a
broad secularization of the Catholic country, which many moderate
committed Catholics opposed. Republican
Manuel Azaña became prime
minister of a minority government in October 1931. In 1933 the
parties of the right won the general elections , largely owing to the
anarchists\' abstention from the vote, increased right-wing
resentment of the incumbent government caused by a controversial
decree implementing land reform, the
Casas Viejas incident , and the
formation of a right-wing alliance, Spanish Confederation of
Autonomous Right-wing Groups (CEDA). The recent enfranchisement of
women, most of whom voted for centre-right parties, was also a
Events in the period following November 1933, called the "black two
years", seemed to make a civil war more likely.
Alejandro Lerroux of
Radical Republican Party (RRP) formed a government, reversing
changes made under the previous administration and granting amnesty
to the collaborators of the unsuccessful uprising by General José
Sanjurjo in August 1932. Some monarchists joined with the then
Falange Española y de las JONS ("Falange") to
help achieve their aims. Open violence occurred in the streets of
Spanish cities, and militancy continued to increase, reflecting a
movement towards radical upheaval, rather than peaceful democratic
means as solutions.
In the last months of 1934, two government collapses brought members
of the CEDA into the government. Farm workers' wages were cut in
half, and the military was purged of Republican members. A popular
front alliance was organized, which narrowly won the 1936 elections .
Azaña led a weak minority government, but soon replaced Zamora as
president in April. Prime Minister
Santiago Casares Quiroga ignored
warnings of a military conspiracy involving several generals, who
decided that the government had to be replaced to prevent the
dissolution of Spain.
Spanish coup of July 1936
They shall not pass! Republican banner in
Fascism wants to conquer Madrid.
Madrid shall be fascism's grave."
during the siege of 1936–39 Main article: Spanish Civil War, 1936
The Republican government acted to remove suspect generals from
influential posts. Franco was sacked as chief of staff and transferred
to command of the
Canary Islands .
Manuel Goded Llopis was removed as
inspector general and was made general of the
Balearic Islands .
Emilio Mola was moved from head of the Army of Africa to military
Navarre . This, however, allowed Mola to
direct the mainland uprising. General
Jose Sanjurjo became the
figurehead of the operation and helped reach an agreement with the
Carlists. Mola was chief planner and second in command. José
Antonio Primo de Rivera was put in prison in mid-March in order to
restrict the Falange. However, government actions were not as
thorough as they might have been, and warnings by the Director of
Security and other figures were not acted upon.
On 12 June, Prime Minister Casares Quiroga met General
Juan Yagüe ,
who falsely convinced Casares of his loyalty to the republic. Mola
began serious planning in the spring. Franco was a key player because
of his prestige as a former director of the military academy and as
the man who suppressed the Asturian miners\' strike of 1934 . He was
well respected in the Army of Africa, the Army's toughest troops. He
wrote a cryptic letter to Casares on 23 June, suggesting that the
military was disloyal, but could be restrained if he were put in
charge. Casares did nothing, failing to arrest or buy off Franco.
British sympathizers with the rebels (who were associated with the
Secret Intelligence Service
Secret Intelligence Service ) chartered a Dragon Rapide
aircraft to transport Franco from the
Canary Islands to Spanish
Morocco . The plane flew to the Canaries on 11 July, and Franco
arrived in Morocco on 19 July.
On 12 July 1936,
Madrid murdered a police officer,
Lieutenant José Castillo of the
Guardia de Asalto (Assault Guard).
Castillo was a
Socialist party member who among other activities was
giving military training to the UGT youth. Castillo had led the
Assault Guards that violently suppressed the riots after the funeral
of Guardia Civil lieutenant Anastasio de los Reyes. (Los Reyes had
been shot by anarchists during the 14 April military parade
commemorating the five years of the Republic.)
Assault Guard Captain Fernando Condés was a close personal friend of
Castillo. The next day, he led his squad to arrest José María
Gil-Robles y Quiñones , founder of CEDA, as a reprisal for Castillo's
murder. But he was not at home, so they went to the house of José
Calvo Sotelo , a leading Spanish monarchist and a prominent
parliamentary conservative. Luis Cuenca, a member of the arresting
group and a Socialist, summarily executed Calvo Sotelo by shooting him
in the back of the neck. Hugh Thomas concludes that Condés intended
to arrest Sotelo and that Cuenca acted on his own initiative, although
he acknowledges other sources that dispute this finding.
Massive reprisals followed. The killing of Calvo Sotelo with police
involvement aroused suspicions and strong reactions among the
government's opponents on the right. Although the nationalist
generals were already in the advanced stages of a planned uprising,
the event provided a catalyst and a public justification for their
The Socialists and Communists, led by
Indalecio Prieto , demanded
that arms be distributed to the people before the military took over.
The prime minister was hesitant.
BEGINNING OF THE COUP
General map of the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War (1936–39)
Initial Nationalist zone – Jul 1936 Nationalist advance to Sep
1936 Nationalist advance to Oct 1937 Nationalist advance to Nov
1938 Nationalist advance to Feb 1939 Last area under Republican
control Main Nationalist centres
Main Republican centres
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 changed—the men in the
Spanish protectorate in Morocco 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
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.
Control over Spanish Morocco was all but certain. The plan was
discovered in Morocco on 17 July, which prompted the conspirators to
enact it immediately. Little resistance was encountered. In total, the
rebels shot 189 people. Goded and Franco immediately took control of
the islands to which they were assigned. On 18 July, Casares Quiroga
refused an offer of help from the CNT and Unión General de
Trabajadores (UGT), leading the groups to proclaim a general
strike—in effect, mobilizing. They opened weapons caches, some
buried since the 1934 risings. The paramilitary security forces often
waited to see the outcome of militia action before either joining or
suppressing the rebellion. Quick action by either the rebels or
anarchist militias was often enough to decide the fate of a town.
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano managed to secure
Seville for the
rebels, arresting a number of other officers.
The rebels failed to take any major cities with the critical
Seville , which provided a landing point for Franco's
African troops, and the primarily conservative and Catholic areas of
Old Castile and León , which fell quickly.
Cádiz was taken for the
rebels, with the help of the first troops from the Army of Africa.
The government retained control of
Málaga , Jaén , and
In Madrid, the rebels were hemmed into the Montaña barracks , which
fell with considerable bloodshed. Republican leader Casares Quiroga
was replaced by
José Giral , who ordered the distribution of weapons
among the civilian population. This facilitated the defeat of the
army insurrection in the main industrial centres, including Madrid,
Barcelona , and
Valencia , but it allowed anarchists to take control
Barcelona along with large swathes of
Aragón and Catalonia.
General Goded surrendered in
Barcelona and was later condemned to
death. The Republican government ended up controlling almost all of
the east coast and central area around Madrid, as well as most of
Cantabria and part of the Basque Country in the north.
The rebels termed themselves Nacionales, normally translated
"Nationalists", although the former implies "true Spaniards" rather
than a nationalistic cause . The result of the coup was a nationalist
area of control containing 11 million of Spain's population of 25
million. The Nationalists had secured the support of around half of
Spain's territorial army, some 60,000 men, joined by the Army of
Africa, made up of 35,000 men, and a little under half of Spain's
militaristic police forces, the Assault Guards, the Civil Guards , and
the Carabineers . Republicans controlled under half of the rifles and
about a third of both machine guns and artillery pieces.
Spanish Republican Army had just 18 tanks of a sufficiently
modern design, and the Nationalists took control of 10. Naval
capacity was uneven, with the Republicans retaining a numerical
advantage, but with the Navy's top commanders and two of the most
modern ships, heavy cruisers Canarias —captured at the Ferrol
shipyard—and Baleares , in Nationalist hands. The Spanish
Republican Navy suffered from the same problems as the army—many
officers had defected or had been killed after trying to do so.
Two-thirds of air capability was retained by the government—however,
the whole of the Republican Air Force was very outdated.
The war was cast by Republican sympathizers as a struggle between
tyranny and freedom, and by Nationalist supporters as communist and
anarchist "red hordes" versus "Christian civilization". Nationalists
also claimed they were bringing security and direction to an
ungoverned and lawless country. Spanish politics, especially on the
left, were quite fragmented, since socialists and communists supported
the republic. During the republic, anarchists had mixed opinions, but
major groups opposed the Nationalists during the Civil War. The
Nationalists, in contrast, were united by their fervent opposition to
the Republican government and presented a more unified front.
Republican and Nationalist conscription age limits
The coup divided the armed forces fairly evenly. One historical
estimate suggests that there were some 87,000 troops loyal to the
government and some 77,000 joining the insurgency, though some
historians suggest that the Nationalist figure should be revised
upwards and that it probably amounted to some 95,000.
During the first few months both armies were joined in high numbers
by volunteers; unfortunately, there are no scholarly estimates
available. Starting August both sides launched own and similarly
scaled conscription schemes, resulting in further massive growth of
their armies. Finally, final months of 1936 recorded arrival of
International Brigades joining the Republicans and
Italian CTV, German Legion Condor and Portuguese
Viriatos joining the
Nationalists. The result was that in April 1937 there were some
360,000 soldiers in the Republican ranks and some 290,000 in the
The armies kept growing. The principal source of manpower was
conscription; both sides continued and expanded their schemes, the
Nationalists drafting somewhat more aggressively, and there was little
room left for volunteering. Foreigners hardly contributed to further
growth; on the Nationalist side the Italians scaled down their
engagement, while on the Republican side influx of new
interbrigadistas hardly made up for losses, suffered by these units on
the front. At the turn of 1937/1938 both armies achieved numerical
parity and equalled about 700,000 each.
Throughout 1938 the principal if not exclusive source of new men was
draft; at this stage it was the Republicans who conscripted more
aggressively. In mid-year, just prior to the Battle of Ebro, the
Republicans achieved their all-time high commanding the army of
slightly above 800,000 people; this was already no match for the
Nationalists, who numbered 880,000. The Battle of Ebro, fall of
Catalonia and collapsing discipline produced massive shrinking of the
Republican troops. In late February 1939 their army was 400,000
compared to more than double that number of Nationalists. In the
moment of their final victory, the latter commanded over 900,000
The total number of
Spaniards serving in the Republican forces was
officially stated as 917,000; latest scholarly work estimates the
actual number as "well over 1 million men" (1.2m?), though earlier
historiographical studies claimed the Republican total (including
foreigners) of 1.75m. The total number of
Spaniards serving in the
Nationalist units is currently estimated at "nearly 1 million men",
though earlier works claimed (foreigners included) the total of 1.26m.
Republican faction (Spanish Civil War)
Flags of the Popular Front (left) and CNT/FAI (right)
Only two countries openly and fully supported the Republic: Mexico
and the USSR. From them, especially the USSR, the Republic received
diplomatic support, volunteers, and the ability to purchase weapons.
Other countries remained neutral, said neutrality being a great source
of distress to the intelligentsia in the
United States and United
Kingdom, and to a lesser extent in other European countries and to
Marxists worldwide. This distress led to the
International Brigades ,
thousands of foreigners of all nationalities who voluntarily went to
Spain to aid the Republic in the fight; they meant a great deal to
morale but militarily were not very significant.
The Republic's supporters within
Spain ranged from centrists who
supported a moderately-capitalist liberal democracy to revolutionary
anarchists who opposed the Republic but sided with it against the coup
forces. Their base was primarily secular and urban but also included
landless peasants and was particularly strong in industrial regions
Asturias , the Basque country, and
This faction was called variously leales "Loyalists" by supporters,
"Republicans", the "Popular Front", or "the government" by all
parties; and/or los rojos "the Reds" by their opponents. Republicans
were supported by urban workers, agricultural labourers, and parts of
the middle class. Republican volunteers at
Teruel , 1936
The conservative, strongly Catholic Basque country, along with
Galicia and the more left-leaning Catalonia, sought autonomy or
independence from the central government of Madrid. The Republican
government allowed for the possibility of self-government for the two
regions, whose forces were gathered under the People\'s Republican
Army (Ejército Popular Republicano, or EPR), which was reorganized
into mixed brigades after October 1936.
A few well-known people fought on the Republican side, such as
George Orwell (who wrote Homage to
an account of his experiences in the war) and Canadian thoracic
Norman Bethune , who developed a mobile blood-transfusion
service for front-line operations.
Simone Weil added herself for a
while to the anarchist columns of Buenaventura Durruti, though fellow
fighters feared she might inadvertently shoot them because she was
shortsighted, and tried to avoid taking her on missions. By the
account of her biographer Simone Petrement, Weil was evacuated from
the front after a matter of weeks because of an injury sustained in a
Nationalist faction (Spanish Civil War)
Flags of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de
Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (left) and the
The Nacionales or Nationalists—also called "insurgents", "rebels",
or, by opponents, Franquistas or "fascists" (see: the Nationalist
faction )—feared national fragmentation and opposed the separatist
movements. They were chiefly defined by their anti-communism , which
galvanized diverse or opposed movements like falangists and
monarchists. Their leaders had a generally wealthier, more
conservative, monarchist, landowning background.
The Nationalist side included the
Carlists and Alfonsists , Spanish
nationalists, the fascist Falange, and most conservatives and
monarchist liberals. Virtually all Nationalist groups had strong
Catholic convictions and supported the native Spanish clergy. The
Nationals included the majority of the Catholic clergy and
practitioners (outside of the Basque region), important elements of
the army, most large landowners, and many businessmen. Italian
troops manning a 10 cm howitzer at Guadalajara , 1937
One of the rightists\' principal motives was to confront the
anti-clericalism of the Republican regime and to defend the Catholic
Church , which had been targeted by opponents, including Republicans,
who blamed the institution for the country's ills. The Church was
against the Republicans' liberal principles, which were fortified by
the Spanish Constitution of 1931. Prior to the war, during the
Asturian miners' strike of 1934, religious buildings were burnt and at
least 100 clergy, religious civilians, and pro-Catholic police were
killed by revolutionaries.
Franco had brought in the mercenaries of Spain's colonial Army of
Africa (Spanish : Ejército de África or Cuerpo de Ejército
Marroquí) and reduced the miners to submission by heavy artillery
attacks and bombing raids. The
Spanish Legion committed
atrocities—many men, women and children were killed, and the army
carried out summary executions of leftists. The repression in the
aftermath was brutal. In Asturias, prisoners were tortured.
Articles 24 and 26 of the 1931 constitution had banned the Society of
Jesus . This proscription deeply offended many within the conservative
fold. The revolution in the Republican zone at the outset of the war,
in which 7,000 clergy and thousands of lay people were killed,
deepened Catholic support for the Nationalists.
The Moroccan Fuerzas
Regulares Indígenas joined the rebellion and
played a significant role in the civil war.
Catalan and Basque nationalists were not univocal.
nationalists sided with the Republicans, while
nationalists were far less vocal in supporting the government due to
anti-clericalism and confiscations occurring in areas within its
control. Basque nationalists , heralded by the conservative Basque
Nationalist Party , were mildly supportive of the Republican
government, although some in
Navarre sided with the uprising for the
same reasons influencing conservative Catalans. Notwithstanding
religious matters, Basque nationalists, who were for the most part
Catholic, generally sided with the Republicans, although the PNV,
Basque nationalist party, was reported passing the plans of Bilbao
defenses to the nationalists, in an attempt to reduce the duration and
casualties of siege.
Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War and
International relations (1919–1939) Poster from the socialist
trade union , UGT , showing a caricature of a foreign-supported Franco
followed by a general, a capitalist and a priest
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War exposed political divisions across Europe. The
right and the Catholics supported the Nationalists as a way to stop
the expansion of
Bolshevism . On the left, including labor unions,
students and intellectuals, the war represented a necessary battle to
stop the spread of fascism. Antiwar and pacifist sentiment was strong
in many countries, leading to warnings that the Civil War had the
potential of escalating into a second world war. In this respect, the
war was an indicator of the growing instability across Europe.
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War involved large numbers of non-Spanish citizens
who participated in combat and advisory positions. Britain and France
led a political alliance of 27 nations that promised non-intervention
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War , including an embargo on all arms to Spain.
United States unofficially went along. Germany, Italy and the
Soviet Union signed on officially, but ignored the embargo. The
attempted suppression of imported materiel was largely ineffective,
however, and France especially was accused of allowing large shipments
to Republican troops. The clandestine actions of the various European
powers were, at the time, considered to be risking another world war ,
alarming antiwar elements across the world.
League of Nations
League of Nations ' reaction to the war was influenced by a fear
of communism, and was insufficient to contain the massive importation
of arms and other war resources by the fighting factions. Although a
Non-Intervention Committee was formed, its policies accomplished
little and its directives were ineffective.
SUPPORT FOR THE NATIONALISTS
German involvement in the Spanish Civil War
Members of the
Condor Legion , a unit composed of volunteers from the
German Air Force (
Luftwaffe ) and from the German Army (Heer ).
German involvement began days after fighting broke out in July 1936.
Adolf Hitler quickly sent in powerful air and armored units to assist
the Nationalists. The war provided combat experience with the latest
technology for the German military. However, the intervention also
posed the risk of escalating into a world war for which Hitler was not
ready. He therefore limited his aid, and instead encouraged Benito
Mussolini to send in large Italian units.
Nazi Germany 's actions included the formation of the multitasking
Condor Legion , a unit composed of volunteers from the
the German Army (Heer ) from July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor
Legion proved to be especially useful in the 1936 Battle of the Toledo
. Germany moved the Army of Africa to mainland
Spain in the war's
early stages. German operations slowly expanded to include strike
targets, most notably – and controversially – the bombing of
Guernica which, on 26 April 1937, killed 200 to 300 civilians.
Germany also used the war to test out new weapons, such as the
Luftwaffe Stukas and Junkers Ju-52 transport Trimotors (used also as
Bombers), which showed themselves to be effective.
German involvement was further manifested through undertakings such
Operation Ursula , a
U-boat undertaking, and contributions from the
Kriegsmarine . The Legion spearheaded many Nationalist victories,
particularly in aerial combat, while
Spain further provided a proving
ground for German tank tactics. The training which German units
provided to the Nationalist forces would prove valuable. By the War's
end, perhaps 56,000 Nationalist soldiers, encompassing infantry,
artillery, aerial and naval forces, had been trained by German
A total of approximately 16,000 German citizens fought in the war,
with approximately 300 killed, though no more than 10,000
participated at any one time. German aid to the Nationalists amounted
to approximately £43,000,000 ($215,000,000) in 1939 prices, 15.5
percent of which was used for salaries and expenses and 21.9 percent
for direct delivery of supplies to Spain, while 62.6 percent was
expended on the Condor Legion. In total, Germany provided the
Nationalists with 600 planes and 200 tanks.
Francisco Franco 's request and with encouragement from Hitler,
Benito Mussolini joined the war. While the conquest of Ethiopia in the
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Second Italo-Ethiopian War made Italy confident in its power, a
Spanish ally would nonetheless help secure Italian control of the
Mediterranean Theater of Operations . The Royal Italian Navy (Italian
: 'Regia Marina) played a substantial role in the Mediterranean
blockade, and ultimately Italy supplied machine guns, artillery,
aircraft, tankettes , the
Aviazione Legionaria , and the Corpo Truppe
Volontarie (CTV) to the Nationalist cause. The Italian CTV would, at
its peak, supply the Nationalists with 50,000 men. Italian warships
took part in breaking the Republican navy's blockade of
Nationalist-held Spanish Morocco and took part in naval bombardment of
Republican-held Málaga, Valencia, and Barcelona. In total, Italy
provided the Nationalists with 660 planes, 150 tanks, 800 artillery
pieces, 10,000 machine guns, and 240,000 rifles.
The Estado Novo regime of Portuguese Prime Minister António de
Oliveira Salazar played an important role in supplying Franco's forces
with ammunition and logistical help. Despite its discreet direct
military involvement – restrained to a somewhat "semi-official"
endorsement, by its authoritarian regime, of a volunteer force of up
to 20,000, so-called "
Viriatos " – for the whole duration of the
conflict, Portugal was instrumental in providing the Nationalists with
organizational skills and reassurance from the Iberian neighbour to
Franco and his allies that no interference would hinder the supply
traffic directed to the Nationalist cause.
Conservative government of the UK maintained a position of strong
neutrality and was supported by elites and the media, while the far
left mobilized aid to the Republic. The government refused to allow
arms shipments and sent warships to try to stop shipments. It became a
crime to volunteer to fight in Spain, but about 4,000 went anyway.
Intellectuals strongly favoured the Republicans. Many visited Spain,
hoping to find authentic anti-fascism. They had little impact on the
government, and could not shake the strong public mood for peace. The
Labour Party was split, with its Catholic element favouring the
Nationalists. It officially endorsed the boycott and expelled a
faction that demanded support for the Republican cause; but it finally
voiced some support to Loyalists.
Romanian volunteers were led by
Ion Moța , deputy-leader of the Iron
Guard ("Legion of the Archangel Michael"), whose group of Seven
Spain in December 1936 to ally their movement with
Despite the Irish government's prohibition against participating in
the war, around 600 Irishmen, followers of Irish political activist
Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army leader Eoin O\'Duffy , known as the "Irish
Brigade" , went to
Spain to fight alongside Franco. The majority of
the volunteers were Catholics, and according to O'Duffy had
volunteered to help the Nationalists fight against communism.
SUPPORT FOR THE REPUBLICANS
The Etkar André battalion of the
International Brigades .
Many non-Spaniards, often affiliated with radical communist or
socialist entities, joined the
International Brigades , believing that
the Spanish Republic was a front line in the war against fascism. The
units represented the largest foreign contingent of those fighting for
the Republicans. Roughly 40,000 foreign nationals fought with the
Brigades, though no more than 18,000 were in the conflict at any given
time. They claimed to represent 53 nations.
Significant numbers of volunteers came from in the French Third
Republic (10,000), Nazi Germany, the
Federal State of Austria (5,000)
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (3,350). More than 1000 each came from the
Soviet Union , the
United States , the
United Kingdom , the Second
Polish Republic , the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia , the Kingdom of Hungary
Canada . The
Thälmann Battalion , a group of Germans, and the
Garibaldi Battalion , a group of Italians, distinguished their units
Siege of Madrid . Americans fought in units such as the XV
International Brigade ("Abraham Lincoln Brigade"), while Canadians
Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion .
Over 500 Romanians fought on the Republican side, including Romanian
Communist Party members
Petre Borilă and
Valter Roman . About 145
Ireland formed the
Connolly Column , which was immortalized
by Irish folk singer
Christy Moore in the song "Viva la Quinta Brigada
". Some Chinese joined the Brigades; the majority of them eventually
returned to China, but some went to prison or to French refugee camps,
and a handful remained in Spain.
Review of Soviet armored fighting vehicles used to equip the
Republican Populist Army during the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Though General Secretary
Joseph Stalin had signed the
Non-Intervention Agreement , the
Soviet Union contravened the League
of Nations embargo by providing material assistance to the Republican
forces, becoming their only source of major weapons. Unlike Hitler and
Mussolini, Stalin tried to do this covertly. Estimates of materiel
provided by the USSR to the Republicans vary between 634 and 806
planes, 331 and 362 tanks, and 1034 and 1895 artillery pieces.
Stalin also created Section X of the
Soviet Union military to head
the weapons shipment operation, called Operation X. Despite Stalin's
interest in aiding the Republicans, the quality of arms was
inconsistent. On one hand, many of the rifles and field guns
provided were old, obsolete or otherwise of limited use (some dated
back to the 1860s). On the other hand, the
BT-5 tanks were
modern and effective in combat. The
Soviet Union supplied aircraft
that were in current service with their own forces, but the aircraft
provided by Germany to the Nationalists proved superior by the end of
The process of shipping arms from Russia to
Spain was extremely slow.
Many shipments were lost or arrived only partially matching what had
been authorized. Stalin ordered shipbuilders to include false decks
in the original designs of ships and, while at sea, Soviet captains
employed deceptive flags and paint schemes to evade detection by the
The Republic paid for Soviet arms with official Bank of
reserves, 176 tonnes of which was transferred through France. This
would later be the frequent subject of Franquist propaganda, under the
Moscow gold ". The cost of the
Soviet Union arms was more than
the value of Spain's gold reserves, which had been the fourth-largest
in the world, estimated at US $500 million (1936 prices),
The USSR sent a number of military advisers to
Spain (2,000 –3,000
), and, while Soviet troops were fewer than 500 men at a time, Soviet
volunteers often operated Soviet-made tanks and aircraft, particularly
at the beginning of the war. In addition, the
Soviet Union directed
Communist parties around the world to organize and recruit the
Another significant Soviet involvement was the activity of the
People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (
NKVD ) inside the
Republican rearguard. Communist figures including Vittorio Vidali
Iosif Grigulevich ,
Mikhail Koltsov and,
Aleksandr Mikhailovich Orlov led operations that
included the murders of Catalan anti-stalinist Communist politician
Andreu Nin and independent left-wing activist
José Robles .
Another NKVD-led operation. was the shooting down (in December 1936)
of the French aircraft in which the delegate of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Georges Henny , carried extensive
documentation on the
Paracuellos massacres to France.
United States and major Latin American governments, such
ABC nations and
Mexico supported the Republicans.
Mexico refused to follow the French-British non-intervention
proposals, furnishing $2,000,000 in aid and material assistance,
which included 20,000 rifles and 20 million cartridges.
Mexico's most important contributions to the Spanish Republic was its
diplomatic help, as well as the sanctuary the nation arranged for
Republican refugees, including Spanish intellectuals and orphaned
children from Republican families. Some 50,000 took refuge, primarily
Mexico City and
Morelia , accompanied by $300 million in various
treasures still owned by the Left.
Fearing it might spark a civil war inside France, the leftist
"Popular Front" government in France did not send direct support to
the Republicans. French Prime Minister
Léon Blum was sympathetic to
the republic, fearing that the success of Nationalist forces in Spain
would result in the creation of an ally state of
Nazi Germany and
Fascist Italy, an alliance that would nearly encircle France.
Right-wing politicians opposed any aid and attacked the Blum
government. In July 1936, British officials convinced Blum not to
send arms to the Republicans and, on 27 July, the French government
declared that it would not send military aid, technology or forces to
assist the Republican forces. However, Blum made clear that France
reserved the right to provide aid should it wish to the Republic: "We
could have delivered arms to the Spanish Government , a legitimate
government... We have not done so, in order not to give an excuse to
those who would be tempted to send arms to the rebels ."
On 1 August 1936 a pro-Republican rally of 20,000 people confronted
Blum, demanding that he send aircraft to the Republicans, at the same
time as right-wing politicians attacked Blum for supporting the
Republic and being responsible for provoking Italian intervention on
the side of Franco. Germany informed the French ambassador in Berlin
that Germany would hold France responsible if it supported "the
manoeuvres of Moscow" by supporting the Republicans. On 21 August
1936, France signed the Non-Intervention Agreement. However, the Blum
government provided aircraft to the Republicans through covert means
Potez 540 bomber aircraft (nicknamed the "Flying Coffin") by
Spanish Republican pilots),
Dewoitine aircraft, and
Loire 46 fighter
aircraft being sent from 7 August 1936 to December of that year to
Republican forces. The French also sent pilots and engineers to the
Republicans. Also, until 8 September 1936, aircraft could freely pass
from France into
Spain if they were bought in other countries.
André Malraux was a strong supporter of the
republican cause; he tried to organise a volunteer air force
(Escadrile Espana) on the republican side but as a practical organiser
and squadron leader he was somewhat idealistic and inefficient. The
Regular Spanish Air force commander
Andres Garcia La Calle was openly
critical of Malraux's military efficiency but recognized his
usefulness as a propagandist. His novel L'
Espoir and the film version
he produced and directed (Espoir: Sierra de
Teruel ) were a great help
for the Republican cause in France.
Even after covert support by France to the Republicans ended in
December 1936, the possibility of French intervention against the
Nationalists remained a serious possibility throughout the war. German
intelligence reported to Franco and the Nationalists that the French
military was engaging in open discussions about intervention in the
war through French military intervention in
Catalonia and the Balearic
Islands. In 1938 Franco feared an immediate French intervention
against a potential Nationalist victory in
Spain through French
occupation of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and Spanish Morocco.
Besides the generally Republican-oriented sympathies and support in
France, some right-wing extremists sided with Franco, most notably the
La Cagoule who were instrumental in sabotaging ships
transporting guns and civil relief equipment to Republican
COURSE OF THE WAR
Spain in September 1936: Area under Nationalist
control Area under Republican control Main article: Spanish Civil
A large air and sealift of Nationalist troops in Spanish Morocco was
organized to the southwest of Spain. Coup leader Sanjurjo was killed
in a plane crash on 20 July, leaving an effective command split
between Mola in the North and Franco in the South. This period also
saw the worst actions of the so-called "Red " and "White Terrors " in
Spain. On 21 July, the fifth day of the rebellion, the Nationalists
captured the central Spanish naval base , located in Ferrol, Galicia.
A rebel force under Colonel
Alfonso Beorlegui Canet , sent by General
Mola and Colonel Esteban García, undertook the Campaign of Gipuzkoa
from July to September. The capture of
Gipuzkoa isolated the
Republican provinces in the north. On 5 September, the Nationalists
closed the French border to the Republicans in the battle of
On 15 September
San Sebastián , home to a divided Republican force of
anarchists and Basque nationalists, was taken by Nationalist soldiers.
The Nationalists then advanced toward their capital,
Bilbao , but
were halted by Republican militias on the border of
Biscay at the end
The Republic proved ineffective militarily, relying on disorganized
revolutionary militia. The Republican government under Giral resigned
on 4 September, unable to cope with the situation, and was replaced by
Socialist organization under
Francisco Largo Caballero . The
new leadership began to unify central command in the republican zone.
On the Nationalist side, Franco was chosen as chief military
commander at a meeting of ranking generals at
Salamanca on 21
September, now called by the title Generalísimo . Franco won
another victory on 27 September when his troops relieved the siege of
the Alcázar in Toledo , which had been held by a Nationalist
garrison under Colonel
José Moscardó Ituarte since the beginning of
the rebellion, resisting thousands of Republican troops, who
completely surrounded the isolated building. Moroccans and elements of
Spanish Legion came to the rescue. Two days after relieving the
siege, Franco proclaimed himself
Caudillo ("chieftain", the Spanish
equivalent of the Italian
Duce and the German
'director') while forcibly unifying the various and diverse falangist,
Royalist and other elements within the Nationalist cause. The
diversion to Toledo gave
Madrid time to prepare a defense, but was
hailed as a major propaganda victory and personal success for Franco.
On October 1, 1936 General Franco was confirmed head of state and
armies in Burgos. A similar dramatic success for the Nationalists
occurred on 17 October, when troops coming from Galicia relieved the
besieged town of
Oviedo , in Northern Spain.
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
Madrid to Valencia, outside the combat zone, on 6 November.
However, the Nationalists' attack on the capital was repulsed in
fierce fighting between 8 and 23 November. A contributory factor in
the successful Republican defense was the effectiveness of the Fifth
Regiment and later the arrival of the International Brigades, though
only an approximate 3,000 foreign volunteers 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, beginning the three-year
Siege of Madrid . The
Second Battle of the Corunna Road , a Nationalist offensive to the
northwest, pushed Republican forces back, but failed to isolate
Madrid. The battle lasted into January.
Spanish Civil War, 1937 Map showing
October 1937: Area under Nationalist control Area under Republican
With his ranks swelled by Italian troops and Spanish colonial
soldiers from Morocco, Franco made another attempt to capture Madrid
in January and February 1937, but was again unsuccessful. The Battle
Málaga started in mid-January, and this Nationalist offensive in
Spain's southeast would turn into a disaster for the Republicans, who
were poorly organised and armed. The city was taken by Franco on 8
February. The consolidation of various militias into the Republican
Army had started in December 1936. The main Nationalist advance to
Jarama and cut the supply to
Madrid by the
Battle of Jarama , led to heavy casualties (6,000–20,000)
on both sides. The operation's main objective was not met, though
Nationalists gained a modest amount of territory.
A similar Nationalist offensive, the
Battle of Guadalajara , was a
more significant defeat for Franco and his armies. This was the only
publicised Republican victory of the war. Franco used Italian troops
and blitzkrieg tactics; while many strategists blamed Franco for the
rightists' defeat, the Germans believed it was the former at fault for
the Nationalists' 5,000 casualties and loss of valuable equipment.
The German strategists successfully argued that the Nationalists
needed to concentrate on vulnerable areas first. Ruins of
The "War in the North" began in mid-March, with the
. The Basques suffered most from the lack of a suitable air force.
On 26 April, the
Condor Legion bombed the town of Guernica, killing
200–300 and causing significant damage. The destruction had a
significant effect on international opinion. The Basques retreated.
April and May saw the
May Days , infighting among Republican groups
in Catalonia. The dispute was between an ultimately victorious
government –Communist forces and the anarchist CNT. The disturbance
pleased Nationalist command, but little was done to exploit Republican
divisions. After the fall of Guernica, the Republican government
began to fight back with increasing effectiveness. In July, it made a
move to recapture
Segovia , forcing Franco to delay his advance on the
Bilbao front, but for only two weeks. A similar Republican attack, the
Huesca Offensive , failed similarly.
Mola, Franco's second-in-command, was killed on 3 June, in an
airplane accident. In early July, despite the earlier loss at the
Battle of Bilbao , the government launched a strong counter-offensive
to the west of Madrid, focusing on
Brunete . The
Battle of Brunete ,
however, was a significant defeat for the Republic, which lost many of
its most accomplished troops. The offensive led to an advance of 50
square kilometres (19 sq mi), and left 25,000 Republican casualties.
A Republican offensive against
Zaragoza was also a failure. Despite
having land and aerial advantages, the Battle of Belchite , a place
lacking any military interest, resulted in an advance of only 10
kilometres (6.2 mi) and the loss of much equipment. Franco invaded
Aragón in August and took the city of Santander . With the surrender
of the Republican army in the Basque territory came the Santoña
Gijón finally fell in late October in the Asturias
Offensive . Franco had effectively won in the north. At November's
end, with Franco's troops closing in on Valencia, the government had
to move again, this time to Barcelona.
Spain in July 1938: Area under Nationalist control
Area under Republican control Main article: Spanish Civil War,
Battle of Teruel was an important confrontation. The city, which
had formerly belonged to the Nationalists, was conquered by
Republicans in January. The Francoist troops launched an offensive and
recovered the city by 22 February, but Franco was forced to rely
heavily on German and Italian air support.
On 7 March, Nationalists launched the
Aragon Offensive , and by 14
April they had pushed through to the Mediterranean, cutting the
Republican-held portion of
Spain in two. The Republican government
attempted to sue for peace in May, but Franco demanded unconditional
surrender, and the war raged on. In July, the Nationalist army pressed
Teruel and south along the coast toward the capital of
the Republic at Valencia, but was halted in heavy fighting along the
XYZ Line , a system of fortifications defending Valencia.
The Republican government then launched an all-out campaign to
reconnect their territory in the
Battle of the Ebro , from 24 July
until 26 November, where Franco personally took command. The campaign
was unsuccessful, and was undermined by the Franco-British appeasement
of Hitler in Munich . The agreement with Britain effectively destroyed
Republican morale by ending hope of an anti-fascist alliance with
Western powers. The retreat from the Ebro all but determined the
final outcome of the war. Eight days before the new year, Franco
threw massive forces into an invasion of
Spanish Civil War, 1938–39 Map showing
February 1939: Area under Nationalist control Area under
Franco's troops conquered
Catalonia in a whirlwind campaign during
the first two months of 1939.
Tarragona fell on 15 January, followed
Barcelona on 26 January and
Girona on 2 February. On 27 February,
United Kingdom and France recognized the Franco regime.
Franco declares the end of the war. However, small pockets of
Republicans fought on.
Madrid and a few other strongholds remained for the Republican
forces. On 5 March 1939 the Republican army, led by the Colonel
Segismundo Casado and the politician
Julián Besteiro , rose against
the prime minister
Juan Negrín and formed the National Defence
Council (Consejo Nacional de Defensa or CND) to negotiate a peace
deal. Negrín fled to France on 6 March, but the Communist troops
Madrid rose against the junta, starting a brief civil war
within the civil war. Casado defeated them, and began peace
negotiations with the Nationalists, but Franco refused to accept
anything less than unconditional surrender.
On 26 March, the Nationalists started a general offensive, on 28
March the Nationalists occupied
Madrid and, by 31 March, they
controlled all Spanish territory. Franco proclaimed victory in a
radio speech aired on 1 April, when the last of the Republican forces
After the end of the war, there were harsh reprisals against Franco's
former enemies. Thousands of Republicans were imprisoned and at least
30,000 executed. Other calculations of these deaths range from 50,000
to 200,000, depending on which killings are included. Many others
were put to forced labour , building railways, drying out swamps, and
Hundreds of thousands of Republicans fled abroad, with some 500,000
fleeing to France. 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. In his capacity as
consul in Paris, Chilean poet and politician
Pablo Neruda organized
the immigration to
Chile of 2,200 Republican exiles in France using
SS Winnipeg .
Of the 17,000 refugees housed in Gurs, farmers and others who could
not find relations in France were encouraged by the Third Republic, in
agreement with the Franquist government, to return to Spain. The great
majority did so and were turned over to the Franquist authorities in
Irún . From there, they were transferred to the
Miranda de Ebro
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 "undesirable" people, the
Spaniards were sent
Drancy internment camp before being deported to
Nazi Germany .
Spaniards died in the
Mauthausen concentration camp .
After the official end of the war, guerrilla warfare was waged on an
irregular basis by the
Spanish Maquis well into the 1950s, gradually
reduced by military defeats and scant support from the exhausted
population. In 1944, a group of republican veterans, who also fought
French resistance against the Nazis, invaded the Val d\'Aran in
northwest Catalonia, but were defeated after 10 days.
EVACUATION OF CHILDREN
Evacuation of children in the Spanish Civil War
Children preparing for evacuation, some giving the Republican salute.
The Republicans showed a raised fist whereas the Nationalists gave the
Roman salute .
The Republicans oversaw the evacuation of 30,000–35,000 children
from their zone, starting with Basque areas, from which 20,000 were
evacuated. Their destinations included the
United Kingdom and the
USSR, and many other locations in Europe, along with Mexico. On 21
May 1937, around 4,000 Basque children were taken to the UK on the
aging steamship SS Habana from the Spanish port of
Santurtzi . This
was against initial opposition from both the government and charitable
groups, who saw the removal of children from their native country as
potentially harmful. On arrival two days later in
Southampton , the
children were dispersed all over England, with over 200 children
accommodated in Wales. The upper age limit was initially set at 12,
but raised to 15. By mid-September, all of los niños, as they became
known, had found homes with families. Most were repatriated to Spain
after the war, but some 250 still remained in Britain by the end of
the Second World War in 1945.
Twenty-six republicans were assassinated by Franco\'s
Nationalists at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, between August
and September 1936. This mass grave is located at the small town of
Estépar , in Northern Spain. The excavation occurred in July–August
Death totals remain debated. British historian
Antony Beevor wrote in
his history of the Civil War that Franco's ensuing "white terror "
resulted in the deaths of 200,000 people and that the "red terror "
killed 38,000. Julius Ruiz contends 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 ". Spanish Civil War
grave sites. Location of known burial places. Colors refer to the type
of intervention that has been carried out. GREEN: No Interventions
Undertaken so far. WHITE: Missing grave. YELLOW: Transferred to the
Valle de los Caídos . RED: Fully or Partially Exhumed. BLUE STAR:
Valle de los Caídos. Source: Ministry of Justice of
In 2008 a Spanish judge,
Baltasar Garzón , opened an investigation
into the executions and disappearances of 114,266 people between 17
July 1936 and December 1951. Among the executions investigated was
that of the poet and dramatist
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca , whose body has
never been found. Mention of García Lorca's death was forbidden
during Franco's regime.
Recent research has started to locate mass graves , using a
combination of witness testimony, remote sensing and forensic
The view of historians, including Helen Graham ,
Paul Preston ,
Antony Beevor , Gabriel Jackson and Hugh Thomas , is that the mass
executions behind the Nationalists lines were organized and approved
by the Nationalists rebel authorities, while the executions behind the
Republican lines were the result of the breakdown of the Republican
state and anarchy:
Though there was much wanton killing in rebel Spain, the idea of the
limpieza, the "cleaning up", of the country from the evils which had
overtaken it, was a disciplined policy of the new authorities and a
part of their programme of regeneration. In republican Spain, most of
the killing was the consequence of anarchy, the outcome of a national
breakdown, and not the work of the state, although some political
parties in some cities abetted the enormities, and some of those
responsible ultimately rose to positions of authority.
– Hugh Thomas
White Terror (Spain)
White Terror (Spain) Nationalist SM.81 aircraft bomb
Madrid in late November 1936.
Nationalist atrocities, which authorities frequently ordered so as to
eradicate any trace of "leftism" in Spain, were common. The notion of
a limpieza (cleansing) formed an essential part of the rebel strategy,
and the process began immediately after an area had been captured.
According to historian Paul Preston, the minimum number of those
executed by the rebels is 130,000, and is likely to have been far
higher, with other historians placing the figure at 200,000 dead. The
violence was carried out in the rebel zone by the military, the Civil
Guard and the Falange in the name of the regime.
Many such acts were committed by reactionary groups during the first
weeks of the war. This included the execution of schoolteachers,
because the efforts of the
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic to promote laicism
and displace the Church from schools by closing religious educational
institutions were considered by the Nationalists as an attack on the
Catholic Church . Extensive killings of civilians were carried
out in the cities captured by the Nationalists, along with the
execution of unwanted individuals. These included non-combatants such
as trade-unionists , Popular Front politicians, suspected Freemasons ,
Basque, Catalan, Andalusian , and Galician Nationalists, Republican
intellectuals, relatives of known Republicans, and those suspected of
voting for the Popular Front. Bombing in
Barcelona , 1938
Nationalist forces massacred civilians in Seville, where some 8,000
people were shot; 10,000 were killed in Cordoba ; 6,000–12,000 were
Badajoz after more than one thousand of landowners and
conservatives were killed by the revolutionaries. In Granada, where
working-class neighborhoods were hit with artillery and right-wing
squads were given free rein to kill government sympathizers, at least
2,000 people were murdered. In February 1937, over 7,000 were killed
after the capture of
Málaga . When
Bilbao was conquered, thousands
of people were sent to prison. There were fewer executions than usual,
however, because of the effect
Guernica left on Nationalists'
reputations internationally. The numbers killed as the columns of the
Army of Africa devastated and pillaged their way between
Madrid are particularly difficult to calculate.
Nationalists also murdered Catholic clerics. In one particular
incident, following the capture of Bilbao, they took hundreds of
people, including 16 priests who had served as chaplains for the
Republican forces, to the countryside or graveyards and murdered them.
Franco's forces also persecuted Protestants, including murdering 20
Protestant ministers. Franco's forces were determined to remove the
"Protestant heresy" from Spain. The Nationalists also persecuted
Basques, as they strove to eradicate Basque culture. According to
Basque sources, some 22,000 Basques were murdered by Nationalists
immediately after the Civil War.
The Nationalist side conducted aerial bombing of cities in Republican
territory, carried out mainly by the
Luftwaffe volunteers of the
Condor Legion and the Italian air force volunteers of the Corpo Truppe
Barcelona , Valencia,
Guernica , Durango , and
other cities were attacked. The
Bombing of Guernica was the most
Red Terror (Spain) "Execution" of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus by Communist militiamen. The photograph in the London Daily Mail
had the caption "Spanish Reds' war on religion".
According to the Nationalists, an estimated 55,000 civilians died in
Republican-held territories. This is considered excessive by Antony
Beevor. However, it was much less than the half a million claimed
during the war. The deaths would form the prevailing outside opinion
of the republic up until the bombing of Guernica.
The Republican government was anticlerical, and supporters attacked
and murdered Roman Catholic clergy in reaction to the news of military
revolt. In his 1961 book, Spanish archbishop Antonio Montero Moreno ,
who at the time was director of the journal Ecclesia, wrote that 6,832
were killed during the war, including 4,184 priests, 2,365 monks and
friars, and 283 nuns, in addition to 13 bishops, a figure accepted by
historians, including Beevor. Some sources claim that by the
conflict's end, 20 percent of the nation's clergy had been killed,
The "Execution" of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus by Communist militiamen
Cerro de los Ángeles near Madrid, on 7 August 1936, was the most
infamous of widespread desecration of religious property. In dioceses
where the Republicans had general control, a large proportion –
often a majority – of secular priests were killed.
Like clergy, civilians were executed in Republican territories. Some
civilians were executed as suspected Falangists. Others died in acts
of revenge after Republicans heard of massacres carried out in the
Nationalist zone. Air raids committed against Republican cities were
another driving factor. Shopkeepers and industrialists were shot if
they did not sympathize with the Republicans, and were usually spared
if they did. Fake justice was sought through a commission , known in
Russia as checas. The
Puente Nuevo bridge, Ronda. Both
Nationalists and Republicans are claimed to have thrown prisoners from
the bridge to their deaths in the canyon.
As pressure mounted with the increasing success of the Nationalists,
many civilians were executed by councils and tribunals controlled by
competing Communist and anarchist groups. Some members of the latter
were executed by Soviet-advised communist functionaries in Catalonia,
as recounted by George Orwell's description of the purges in Barcelona
in 1937 in Homage to
Catalonia , which followed a period of increasing
tension between competing elements of the Catalan political scene.
Some individuals fled to friendly embassies, which would house up to
8,500 people during the war.
In the Andalusian town of
Ronda , 512 suspected Nationalists were
executed in the first month of the war. Communist Santiago Carrillo
Solares was accused of the killing of Nationalists in the Paracuellos
massacre near Paracuellos del
Jarama . Pro-Soviet Communists
committed numerous atrocities against fellow Republicans, including
André Marty , known as the Butcher of
Albacete , was
responsible for the deaths of some 500 members of the International
Brigades. Andreu Nin, leader of the
POUM (Workers' Party of Marxist
Unification), and many other prominent
POUM members, were murdered by
the Communists, with the help of the USSR's NKVD.
Thirty-eight thousand people were killed in the Republican zone
during the war, 17,000 of whom were killed in
Madrid or Catalonia
within a month of the coup. Whilst the Communists were forthright in
their support of extrajudicial killings, much of the Republican side
was appalled by the murders. Azaña came close to resigning. He,
alongside other members of Parliament and a great number of other
local officials, attempted to prevent Nationalist supporters being
lynched. Some of those in positions of power intervened personally to
stop the killings.
Main article: Spanish
Revolution of 1936 Women at the Siege of
the Alcázar in Toledo, 1936
In the anarchist-controlled areas,
Aragon 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 the Soviet-supported communists who, perhaps
surprisingly, campaigned against the loss of civil property rights.
As the war progressed, the government and the communists were able to
exploit their access to Soviet arms to restore government control over
the war effort, through diplomacy and force. Anarchists and the
Workers\' Party of Marxist Unification (Partido Obrero de Unificación
Marxista, POUM) were integrated into the regular army, albeit with
POUM Trotskyists were outlawed and falsely denounced
as an instrument of the fascists. In the
May Days of 1937, many
thousands of anarchist and communist Republican soldiers fought for
control of strategic points in Barcelona.
The pre-war Falange was a small party of some 30,000–40,000
members. It also called for a social revolution that would have seen
Spanish society transformed by
National Syndicalism . Following the
execution of its leader, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, by the
Republicans, the party swelled in size to several hundred thousand
members. The leadership of the Falange suffered 60 percent 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 fighting groups
into the Traditionalist Spanish Falange and the National Syndicalist
Offensive Juntas (Spanish : Falange Española Tradicionalista de las
Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista, FET y de las JONS).
The 1930s also saw
Spain become a focus for pacifist organizations,
Fellowship of Reconciliation , the War Resisters League
, and the War Resisters\' International . Many people including, as
they are now called, the "insumisos" ("defiant ones", conscientious
objectors ) argued and worked for non-violent strategies. Prominent
Spanish pacifists, such as
Amparo Poch y Gascón and
José Brocca ,
supported the Republicans. 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 organizing agricultural
workers to maintain food supplies, and through humanitarian work with
ART AND PROPAGANDA
In Catalonia, a square near the
Barcelona waterfront named
Plaça George Orwell.
Throughout the course of the Spanish Civil War, people all over the
world were exposed to the goings-on and effects of it on its people
not only through standard art, but also through propaganda . Motion
pictures, posters, books, radio programs, and leaflets are a few
examples of this media art that was so influential during the war.
Produced by both nationalists and republicans, propaganda allowed
Spaniards a way to spread awareness about their war all over the
world. A film co-produced by famous early-twentieth century authors
Ernest Hemingway and
Lillian Hellman was used as a way to
advertise Spain's need for military and monetary aid. This film, The
Spanish Earth , premiered in America in July 1937. In 1938, George
Orwell 's Homage to
Catalonia , a personal account of his experiences
and observations in the war, was published in the United Kingdom.
Leading works of sculpture include Alberto Sánchez Pérez 's El
pueblo español tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella ("The
Spanish People Have a Path that Leads to a Star"), a 12.5m monolith
constructed out of plaster representing the struggle for a socialist
utopia; Julio González\'s La Montserrat, an anti-war work which
shares its title with a mountain near Barcelona, is created from a
sheet of iron which has been hammered and welded to create a peasant
mother carrying a small child in one arm and a sickle in the other.
Alexander Calder 's Fuente de mercurio (Mercury Fountain) a
protest work by the American against the Nationalist forced control of
Almadén and the mercury mines there.
As to other works of art,
Pablo Picasso painted
Guernica in 1937,
taking inspiration from the bombing of Guernica, and in Leonardo da
The Battle of Anghiari . Guernica, like many important
Republican masterpieces, was featured at the 1937 International
Exhibition in Paris. The work's size (11 ft by 25.6 ft) grabbed much
attention and cast the horrors of the mounting Spanish civil unrest
into a global spotlight. The painting has since been heralded as an
anti-war work and a symbol of peace in the 20th century.
Joan Miró created El Segador (The Reaper), formally titled El
campesino catalán en rebeldía (Catalan peasant in revolt), which
spans some 18 feet by 12 feet and depicted a peasant brandishing a
sickle in the air, to which Miró commented that "The sickle is not a
communist symbol. It is the reaper's symbol, the tool of his work,
and, when his freedom is threatened, his weapon." This work, also
featured at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris, was shipped
back to the Spanish Republic's capital in
Valencia following the
Exhibition, but has since gone missing or has been destroyed.
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War Timeline
Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon
Isabella's replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy,
abdicates throne ending the short-lived First Spanish Republic
(December) Restoration of the Bourbons
Tragic Week in Barcelona
Military coup brings
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera to power
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera resigns
(12 April) Municipal elections, King Alfonso XIII abdicates.
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic is formed with Niceto
President and Head of State
(June) Elections return large majority of Republicans and
Manuel Azaña becomes prime minister of a
(December) New reformist, liberal, and democratic constitution is
(August) Unsuccessful uprising by General José Sanjurjo
Beginning of the "black two years"
(April) Popular Front alliance wins election and Azaña replaces
Zamora as president
(14 April) During a military parade commemorating the 5 years of
the second republic, Guardia Civil lieutenant Anastasio de los Reyes
is shot in the back by anarchist/socialist agitators. Riots break out
at the funeral
(12 June) Prime Minister Casares Quiroga meets General Joan Yague
(5 July) Aircraft chartered to take Franco from the Canary Islands
(12 July) Assault Guard Lieutenant Jose Castillo is murdered after
he violently put down the riots that broke out at the funeral of
Guardia Civil lieutenant Anastasio de los Reyes
(13 July) Opposition leader Jose Calvo Sotelo is arrested and
murdered by the socialist Assault Guards (Guardia de Asalto),
freemason police officer Burillo also blamed.
(14 July) Franco arrives in Morocco
(17 July) Military coup gains control over Spanish Morocco
(17 July) Official beginning of the war
(20 July) Coup leader Sanjurjo is killed in a plane crash
(21 July) Nationalists capture the central Spanish naval base
(7 August) "Execution" of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus by Communist
militiamen at Cerro de los Angeles in Getafe
(4 September) The Republican government under Giral resigns, and is
replaced by a mostly
Socialist organization under Largo Caballero
(5 September) Nationalists take Irun
(15 September) Nationalists take San Sebastian
(21 September) Franco chosen as chief military commander at
(27 September) Franco's troops relieve the Alcazar in Toledo
(29 September) Franco proclaims himself Caudillo
(17 October) Nationalists from Galicia relieve the besieged town of
(November) Bombing of Madrid
(8 November) Franco launches major assault on
Madrid that is
(6 November) Republican government is forced to move to Valencia
Nationalists capture most of Spain's northern coastline
Battle of Jarama begins
(8 February) Malaga falls to Franco's forces
War in the North begins
Battle of Guadalajara begins
(26 April) Bombing of Guernica
(21 May) 4,000 Basque children taken to the UK
(3 June) Mola, Franco's second-in-command, is killed
(July) Republicans move to recapture Segovia
Battle of Brunete begins
(August) Franco invades
Aragon and takes the city of Santander
(24 August) Battle of Belchite begins
(October) Gijon falls to Franco's troops
(November) Republican government forced to move to
Nationalists capture large parts of Catalonia
(January) Battle of Teruel, conquered by Republicans
(22 February) Franco recovers Teruel
(7 March) Nationalists launch the
(16 March) Bombing of Barcelona
(May) Republican sue for peace, Franco demands unconditional
Battle of the Ebro begins
(24 December) Franco throws massive force into invasion of
Beginning of General Francisco Franco's rule
Tarragona falls to Franco
Barcelona falls to Franco
Girona falls to Franco
(27 February) UK and France recognize the Franco regime
(6 March) Prime minister Juan Negrin flees to France
(28 March) Nationalists occupy Madrid
(31 March) Nationalists control all Spanish territory
(1 April) Last Republican forces surrender
(1 April) Official ending of the war
Ending of General Francisco Franco's rule with his death in
November 20, La Paz hospital, Madrid
List of people of the Spanish Civil War
FIGURES IDENTIFIED WITH THE REPUBLICAN SIDE Politicians or military
Manuel Azaña (Republican)
Santiago Carrillo (Communist)
Julio Álvarez del Vayo
Julio Álvarez del Vayo (Socialist)
Valentin González ("El Campesino") (Communist)
Dolores Ibarruri ("La Pasionaria") (Communist)
Francisco Largo Caballero (Socialist)
Diego Martínez Barrio (Republican)
Juan Negrín (Socialist)
Andrés Nin (Communist)
Indalecio Prieto (Socialist)
Buenaventura Durruti (Anarchist)
OTHERS IDENTIFIED WITH THE REPUBLICAN SIDE (INCLUDING VOLUNTEERS)
W. H. Auden (poet)
Robert Capa (photojournalist)
Dezső Révai (photojournalist)
Pablo Casals (cellist, conductor)
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca (poet, dramatist – assassinated)
Martha Gellhorn (writer, journalist)
Egon Erwin Kisch (writer, journalist)
Pablo Picasso (painter, sculptor)
Rafael Alberti (poet, communist)
Ernest Hemingway (author, journalist)
John Dos Passos (novelist)
Jose Robles (academic, activist)
Laurie Lee (poet, novelist, screenwriter)
George Orwell (novelist, journalist)
Luis Buñuel (filmmaker, close to anarchism in thoughts and
Miguel Hernández (poet)
Pablo Neruda (poet)
Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez (journalist, philosopher)
Žikica Jovanović Španac (Socialist)
FIGURES IDENTIFIED WITH THE NATIONALIST SIDE Military
Millán Astray (Spain)
Francisco Franco (Spain)
Miguel Cabanellas (Spain)
José Sanjurjo (Spain)
Emilio Mola (Spain)
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano (Spain, received money from UK embassy to
Spain joining the Axis in World War II)
Juan Yagüe (Spain)
Hugo Sperrle (Germany)
Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma (Germany)
Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen (Germany)
Mario Roatta (Italy)
Ettore Bastico (Italy)
Pedro Muñoz Seca (playwright – assassinated)
Ramón Serrano Súñer (politician, Franco's brother in law,
favorable to Germans)
POLITICAL PARTIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
POLITICAL PARTIES AND ORGANIZATIONS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
THE POPULAR FRONT (REPUBLICAN)
SUPPORTERS OF THE POPULAR FRONT (REPUBLICAN)
The Popular Front was an electoral alliance formed between various
left-wing and centrist parties for elections to the Cortes in 1936, in
which the alliance won a majority of seats.
* UR (UNIóN REPUBLICANA - REPUBLICAN UNION ): Led by Diego
Martínez Barrio, formed in 1934 by members of the PRR, who had
resigned in objection to Alejandro Lerroux's coalition with the CEDA.
It drew its main support from skilled workers and progressive
* IR (IZQUIERDA REPUBLICANA - REPUBLICAN LEFT ): Led by former Prime
Manuel Azaña after his Republican Action party merged with
Santiago Casares Quiroga's Galician independence party and the Radical
Socialist Republican Party (PRRS). It drew its support from skilled
workers, small businessmen, and civil servants. Azaña led the Popular
Front and became president of Spain. The IR formed the bulk of the
first government after the Popular Front victory with members of the
UR and the ERC.
* ERC (ESQUERRA REPUBLICANA DE CATALUNYA - REPUBLICAN LEFT OF
CATALONIA ): Created from the merging of the separatist Estat Català
(Catalan State) and the Catalan Republican Party in 1931. It
controlled the autonomous government of
Catalonia during the
republican period. Throughout the war it was led by
Lluís Companys ,
also president of the
Generalitat of Catalonia .
* PSOE (PARTIDO SOCIALISTA OBRERO ESPAñOL - SPANISH SOCIALIST
WORKERS\\' PARTY ): Formed in 1879, its alliance with Acción
Republicana in municipal elections in 1931 saw a landslide victory
that led to the King's abdication and the creation of the Second
Republic. The two parties won the subsequent general election, but the
PSOE left the coalition in 1933. At the time of the Civil War, the
PSOE was split between a right wing under
Indalecio Prieto and Juan
Negrín, and a left wing under Largo Caballero. Following the Popular
Front victory, it was the second largest party in the Cortes, after
the CEDA. It supported the ministries of Azaña and Quiroga, but did
not actively participate until the Civil War began. It had majority
support amongst urban manual workers.
* UGT (UNIóN GENERAL DE TRABAJADORES - GENERAL UNION OF WORKERS):
The socialist trade union. The UGT was formally linked to the PSOE,
and the bulk of the union followed Caballero.
* FEDERACION DE JUVENTUDES SOCIALISTAS (FEDERATION OF SOCIALIST
* PSUC (PARTIT SOCIALISTA UNIFICAT DE CATALUNYA - UNIFIED SOCIALIST
PARTY OF CATALONIA ): An alliance of various socialist parties in
Catalonia, formed in the summer of 1936, controlled by the PCE.
* JSU (JUVENTUDES SOCIALISTAS UNIFICADAS - UNIFIED SOCIALIST YOUTH
): Militant youth group formed by the merger of the
Socialist and the
Communist youth groups. Its leader, Santiago Carrillo, came from the
Socialist Youth, but had secretly joined the Communist Youth prior to
merger, and the group was soon dominated by the PCE.
* PCE (PARTIDO COMUNISTA DE ESPAñA - COMMUNIST PARTY OF SPAIN ):
Led by José Díaz in the Civil War, it had been a minor party during
the early years of the Republic, but grew in importance during the
POUM (PARTIDO OBRERO DE UNIFICACIóN MARXISTA - WORKER\'S PARTY OF
MARXIST UNIFICATION): An anti-Stalinist revolutionary communist party
of former Trotskyists formed in 1935 by Andreu Nin.
* JCI (JUVENTUD COMUNISTA IBéRICA - IBERIAN COMMUNIST YOUTH ): the
POUM's youth movement.
* PS (PARTIDO SINDICALISTA - SYNDICALIST PARTY ): a moderate
splinter group of CNT.
* UNIóN MILITAR REPUBLICANA ANTIFASCISTA (REPUBLICAN ANTI-FASCIST
MILITARY UNION): Formed by military officers in opposition to the
Unión Militar Española.
* ANARCHIST GROUPS. The anarchists boycotted the 1936 Cortes election
and initially opposed the Popular Front government, but joined during
the Civil War when Largo Caballero became Prime Minister.
* CNT (CONFEDERACIóN NACIONAL DEL TRABAJO - NATIONAL CONFEDERATION
OF LABOUR): The confederation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions.
* FAI (FEDERACIóN ANARQUISTA IBéRICA - IBERIAN ANARCHIST
FEDERATION): The federation of anarchist groups, very active in the
* MUJERES LIBRES (FREE WOMEN): The anarchist feminist organisation.
* FIJL (FEDERACIóN IBéRICA DE JUVENTUDES LIBERTARIAS - IBERIAN
FEDERATION OF LIBERTARIAN YOUTH )
* CATALAN NATIONALISTS.
* ESTAT CATALà (CATALAN STATE): Catalan separatist party created
back in 1922. Founding part of ERC in 1931, it sided with the
Republican faction during the war.
* BASQUE NATIONALISTS.
* PNV (PARTIDO NACIONALISTA VASCO - BASQUE NATIONALIST PARTY ): A
Catholic Christian Democrat party under José Antonio Aguirre , which
campaigned for greater autonomy or independence for the Basque region.
Held seats in the Cortes and supported the Popular Front government
before and during the Civil War. Put its religious disagreement with
the Popular Front aside for a promised Basque autonomy.
* ANV (ACCIóN NACIONALISTA VASCA - BASQUE NATIONALIST ACTION ): A
Socialist party, which at the same time campaigned for
independence of the Basque region.
* STV (SOLIDARIDAD DE TRABAJADORES VASCOS - BASQUE WORKERS\\'
SOLIDARITY ): A trade union in the Basque region, with a Catholic
clerical tradition combined with moderate socialist tendencies.
* SRI (SOCORRO ROJO INTERNACIONAL - INTERNATIONAL RED AID ):
Communist organization allied with the
Comintern that provided
considerable aid to Republican civilians and soldiers.
* INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES : pro-Republican military units made up of
anti-fascist Socialist, Communist and anarchist volunteers from
Virtually all Nationalist groups had very strong Roman Catholic
convictions and supported the native Spanish clergy.
* UNIóN MILITAR ESPAñOLA (SPANISH MILITARY UNION) - a conservative
political organisation of officers in the armed forces, including
outspoken critics of the Republic like Francisco Franco. Formed in
1934, the UME secretly courted fascist Italy from its inception.
Already conspiring against the Republic in January 1936, after the
electoral victory of the Popular Front in February it plotted a coup
with monarchist and fascist groups in Spain. In the run-up to the
Civil War, it was led by
Emilio Mola and José Sanjurjo, and latterly
* ALFONSIST MONARCHIST - supported the restoration of Alfonso XIII.
Many army officers, aristocrats, and landowners were Alfonsine, but
there was little popular support.
* RENOVACIóN ESPAñOLA (SPANISH RESTORATION) - the main Alfonsine
* ACCIóN ESPAñOLA (SPANISH ACTION) - an integral nationalist party
led by José Calvo Sotelo, formed in 1933 around a journal of the same
name edited by political theorist and journalist
Ramiro de Maeztu .
* BLOQUE NACIONAL (NATIONAL BLOCK) - the militia movement founded by
* CARLIST MONARCHIST - supported Alfonso Carlos I de Borbón y
Austria-Este 's claim to the Spanish throne and saw the Alfonsine line
as having been weakened by
Liberalism . After Alfonso Carlos died
without issue, the
Carlists split - some supporting Carlos' appointed
regent, Francisco-Xavier de Borbón-Parma , others supporting Alfonso
XIII or the Falange. The
Carlists were clerical hard-liners led by the
aristocracy, with a populist base amongst the farmers and rural
Navarre providing the militia.
* COMUNIóN TRADICIONALISTA (TRADITIONALIST COMMUNION) - the Carlist
* REQUETéS (VOLUNTEERS) - militia movement.
* PELAYOS - militant youth movement, named after Pelayo of Asturias
* MARGARITAS - women's movement, named after Margarita de
Borbón-Parma , wife of
Carlist pretender Charles VII (1868-1909).
* FALANGE (PHALANX):
* FE (FALANGE ESPAñOLA DE LAS JONS) - created by a merger in 1934 of
two fascist organisations, Primo de Rivera's Falange (Phalanx),
founded in 1933, and
Ramiro Ledesma 's Juntas de Ofensiva
Nacional-Sindicalista (Assemblies of National-Syndicalist Offensive),
founded in 1931. It became a mass movement when it was joined by
members of Acción Popular and by
Acción Católica , led by Ramón
* OJE (ORGANIZACIóN JUVENIL ESPAñOLA) - militant youth movement.
* SECCIóN FEMENINA (FEMININE SECTION) - women's movement in labour
of Social Aid.
* FALANGE ESPAñOLA TRADICIONALISTA Y DE LAS JONS - created by a
merger in 1937 of the FE and the
Carlist party, bringing the remaining
political and militia components of the Nationalist side under
Franco's ultimate authority.
* CEDA - coalition party founded by José María Gil-Robles y
Quiñones whose ideology ranged from
Christian democracy to
conservative . Although they supported Franco's rebellion, the party
was dissolved in 1937, after most members and militants joined FE and
Gil-Robles went to exile.
* JUVENTUDES DE ACCIóN POPULAR , also known as the JAP. The
fascistised youth wing of the CEDA. In 1936 they suffered a drain of
militants, who joined the Falange.
List of foreign ships wrecked or lost in the Spanish Civil War
* Catholicism in the
Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Falling Soldier
Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
* List of war films and TV specials#
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
List of foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War
List of surviving veterans of the Spanish Civil War
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
Polish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
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* Pacifism in
Spanish Republican Armed Forces
* Art and culture in Francoist
* History portal
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* War portal
* Conservatism portal
* ^ Also known as THE CRUSADE (Spanish : La Cruzada) among
Nationalists, the FOURTH CARLIST WAR (Spanish : Cuarta Guerra
Carlists , and THE REBELLION (Spanish : La Rebelión)
or UPRISING (Spanish : Sublevación) among Republicans.
* ^ Known in Spanish as the Falange Española de las JONS.
* ^ Westwell (2004) gives a figure of 500 million Reichmarks.
* ^ Since Beevor (2006). p. 82. suggests 7,000 members of some
115,000 clergy were killed, the proportion could well be lower.
* ^ See variously: Bennett, Scott, Radical Pacifism: The War
Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915–1963,
Syracuse NY, Syracuse University Press, 2003; Prasad, Devi, War is A
Crime Against Humanity: The Story of War Resisters' International,
London, WRI, 2005. Also see Hunter, Allan, White Corpsucles in Europe,
Chicago, Willett, Clark and Brown, H. Runham, Spain: A Challenge to
Pacifism, London, The Finsbury Press, 1937.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 491.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 488.
* ^ A B C Sandler, Stanley (2002). Ground Warfare: An International
Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 160.
* ^ The number of casualties is disputed; estimates generally
suggest that between 500,000 and 1 million people were killed. Over
the years, historians kept lowering the death figures, and modern
research concludes that 500,000 deaths is the correct figure. Thomas
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War (2001), pp. xviii & 899–901,
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 410–11. Beevor notes that around 150,000
had returned by 1939.
* ^ Payne (2012). p. 231.
* ^ A B Payne (1973). pp. 200–203.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 88.
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 86–87.
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 260–271.
* ^ Julius Ruiz. El Terror Rojo (2011). pp. 200–211.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). p. 7.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 19.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 13.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 21.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 22.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 24.
* ^ Fraser (1979). pp. 38–39.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 24–26.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 15.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 32–33.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 15.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 16.
* ^ Beevor (2006) p. 20-22.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 20.
* ^ Beevor (2006) p. 23.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 38–39.
* ^ Beevor (2006) p.26.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 50.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 42.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 22.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 45–48.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 53.
* ^ Thomas (1961). p. 47.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 61.
* ^ Casanova (2010). p. 90.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 54–55.
* ^ Hansen, Edward C. (2 January 1984). "The Anarchists of Casas
Book Review)". Ethnohistory. 31 (3): 235–236. doi
:10.2307/482644 . Retrieved 13 August 2015.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 27.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 66–67.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 67–68.
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* ^ Cleugh (1962). p. 90.
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* ^ Payne (1973).
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* ^ Thomas (2003), pp. 879–882.
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* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 421–422.
* ^ "The
Roman salute characteristic of Italian fascism was first
adopted by the PNE and the JONS, later spreading to the Falange and
other extreme right groups, before it became the official salute in
Franco's Spain. The JAP salute, which consisted of stretching the
right arm horizontally to touch the left shoulder enjoyed only
relatively little acceptance. The gesture of the raised fist, so
widespread among left-wing workers' groups, gave rise to more
regimented variations, such as the salute with the fist on one's
temple, characteristic of the German Rotfront , which was adopted by
the republican Popular Army". The Splintering of Spain, p. 36–37
* ^ A B Daniel Kowalsky. "The Evacuation of Spanish Children to the
Soviet Union". Gutenburg E. Columbia University Press. Retrieved 16
* ^ "History of the arrival of the Basque Children to England in
1937". BasqueChildren.org. Basque Children of '37 Association.
Retrieved 16 August 2011.
* ^ "Wales and the refugee children of the Basque country". BBC
Wales. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
* ^ Buchanan (1997). pp. 109–110.
* ^ "Los Niños of Southampton". The Dustbin of History. Retrieved
* ^ "Men of La Mancha". The Economist. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 3
* ^ Julius Ruiz (2007). "Defending the Republic: The García
Atadell Brigade in Madrid, 1936". Journal of Contemporary History. 42
(1): 97. doi :10.1177/0022009407071625 .
* ^ "Spanish judge opens case into Franco\'s atrocities". New York
Times. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 92.
* ^ Fernández-Álvarez, José-Paulino; Rubio-Melendi, David;
Martínez-Velasco, Antxoka; Pringle, Jamie K.; Aguilera, Hector-David.
"Discovery of a mass grave from the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War using Ground
Penetrating Radar and forensic archaeology". Forensic Science
International. 267: e10–e17. doi :10.1016/j.forsciint.2016.05.040 .
* ^ Graham (2005). p. 30.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 307.
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 86–87.
* ^ Jackson (1967). p. 305.
* ^ A B Thomas (2001). p. 268.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 98
Paul Preston (19 January 2008). "
Paul Preston lecture: The
Crimes of Franco" (PDF). Retrieved 16 August 2011.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 94.
* ^ A B C Beevor (2006). pp. 88–89.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). p. 89.
* ^ Preston (2007). p. 121.
* ^ Jackson (1967). p. 377.
* ^ Thomas (2001). pp. 253–255.
* ^ Santos et al. (1999). p. 229.
* ^ Preston (2006). pp. 120–123.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 91.
* ^ Balfour, Sebastian. "
Spain from 1931 to the Present". Spain: a
History. Ed. Raymond Carr. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 93.
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 236–237.
* ^ Preston (2006). p. 302.
* ^ Bieter, Bieter (2003). p. 91.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). pp. 82–83.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). p. 82.
* ^ Seidman (2011). p. 205.
* ^ Wieland (2002). p. 47.
* ^ Westwell (2004). p. 31.
* ^ "Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War".
Orpheus.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). p. 81.
* ^ Antonio Montero Moreno, Historia de la persecucion religiosa en
Espana 1936–1939 (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1961)
* ^ Payne (1973). p. 649.
* ^ Bowen (2006). p. 22.
* ^ Ealham, Richards (2005). pp. 80, 168.
* ^ Hubert Jedin; John Dolan (1981). History of the Church.
Continuum. p. 607. ISBN 978-0-86012-092-6 .
* ^ A B C Beevor (2006). p. 84.
* ^ A B C Beevor (2006). p. 85.
* ^ Preston (2006).
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 83.
* ^ A B C Thomas (1961). p. 176.
* ^ Beevor (2006). pp. 172–173.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 161.
* ^ A B C Beevor (2006). pp. 272–273.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). p. 87.
* ^ A B Beevor (2006). pp. 102–122.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 40.
* ^ Payne (1999). p. 151.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 253.
* ^ Arnaud Imatz, "La vraie mort de Garcia Lorca" 2009 40 NRH,
31–34, pp. 32–33.
* ^ Beevor (2006). p. 255.
* ^ Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, El pueblo español
tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella (maqueta) (There Is a Way
for the Spanish People That Leads to a Star ).
* ^ Museum of Modern Art.
* ^ Pablo Picasso.
* ^ SUNY Oneota, Picasso´s Guernica.
* ^ A B Stanley Meisler, For Joan Miro, Painting and Poetry Were
* ^ TATE, 'The Reaper': Miró's Civil War protest.
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FILMS, IMAGES AND SOUNDS
* The Spanish Civil War
* Battleground for Idealists
* Tierra Española (
The Spanish Earth ) by
Joris Ivens , 1937
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War by
Robert Capa ,
* Aircraft of the Spanish Civil War
* Imperial War Museum Collection of
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War Posters hosted
online by Libcom.org
* Posters of the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War from UCSD's Southworth collection
* About the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War – Illinois English Department at the