War of Spain
The war of Spain or Spanish Civil war also indicated by Spanish revolution , is a conflict which opposed, in Spain, the camp of the “nationalists” to that of the “republicans”. It was held July 1936 at March 1939 and was completed by the defeat of the republicans and the establishment of the Dictature of Francisco Franco, which preserved the absolute capacity until its death in 1975.
This war was the dramatic consequence, on the long run, of the social unrest, economic, cultural and policies which overpowered Spain since the proclamation of IIe République in 1931. Increasing exacerbation between Spaniards culminated with the riots of Asturies and the destruction of religious buildings and the massacres of Religieux catholics dice February 1936. The assassination of dirrigeant political monarchist Calvo Sotello started military and civil rising nationalist camp on July 18th, 1936.
The nationalist camp federated by the union of the republicans, the monarchists and the nationalist phalanges of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. These divided political sensibilities with the elections of February 16th, 1936 meet to be opposed to the Popular front (frente popular). They named themselves nacionales (“national”), while their opponents called them fascistas (fascistic) or facciosos (“factious”); when the Général Free took their head, one put oneself to also indicate them under the name of “Franquiste S”.
The republican camp was composed as for him of various forces linked against the nationalist face. Many militants resulting from various tendencies (Anarchistic S, Communist S, Democratic S, Socialist S, etc) called rojos (“reds”) by their enemies, engaged at the sides of the honest armed forces towards the Spanish République, some to defend the parliamentary Démocratie and others to try to constitute the alternative shapes of government.
This war took also the form, in certain territories under republican control, of a social Révolution which collectivized grounds and factories, and tried out in particular various kinds of organization of the type Socialiste (constant in particular by anarchistic S).
Particularly violent, and durably traumatisante, the war of Spain is sadly famous like theater of multiple exactions. She saw in particular the first bombardments military on the Civil S, perpetrated by the Nazi Germany and the fascistic Italy combined Franco, the elimination of POUM antistalinien by NKVD, of the spontaneous Massacre S of suspects, men of Église or members of the Middle-classes and leading by anarchists and Communists in the months which Précèdèrent military sedition, while the new nationalist State was built through the Terreur and the systematic purification. In particular, the pro-Franco ones refused all the unfavourable proposals for a compromise and lengthily continued, after their victory, a repression of a rigor and one duration particularly seizing.
This civil war was also the theater of the first steps of the Second world war, the future European belligerents starting to clash there more or less directly: the Germany of Hitler and the Italy of Mussolini gave their support for Franco, while the Soviet Union of Stalin sold weapons to the republicans (while seeking the catch to be able within the Republic). The France and the the United Kingdom chose the non-intervention and the blockade of exports of weapons but let the international Brigades engage at the sides of the republicans.
The war of Spain divided and impassioned the public opinions of the whole world. The engagement of many intellectuals and artists near the combatants, in particular in the international Brigades, contributed to make him very quickly acquire a legendary dimension which perdure still.
Military and political events
Political contextThe Second Republic Spanish was proclaimed in 1931. After the general elections of 1933, the Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (YIELDED), becomes the first party of many elected officials of the Cortes. Having this relative majority, Jose María Gil-Robles the chief of YIELDED, expects to be invited to form the new government but the president of the Republic, Niceto Alcalá Zamora prefers to call upon Alejandro Lerroux (radical) to form a coalition of center right (the bienio negro ) which includes/understands seven minority ministers resulting from the rows from YIELDED. Part of the left threatens to call with the insurrection if form YIELDED it the government. Already, in various places, of the militants anarchist-trade unionists accompanied by some other Socialists declare in zones restricted like villages of the situations of communismo libertario , and started a repression anti-nun. It was in particular the case of Casas Viejas (Cadiz) in January 1933. The CNT also started the December 8th 1933 an insurrection with Saragossa. The country is thus already with half in a revolutionary climate where political divisions are exarcèbent.
In September and October 1934, of the socialist and anarchistic insurrections take place in Catalogne (which briefly makes secession), with Madrid and in the mines of the Asturies. They are regarded by the Communistes as an coup attempt of State similar to that of October 1917 in Russia. The religious buildings are destroyed, organized religious persecutions. To spring 1934, concerned because of the entry envisaged of YIELDED to the government, step however legal, the direction of PSOE directs itself towards a revolutionary strategy of seizure of power. Soviet S are organized in the only ready area, the very working area of the Asturies where the Socialists had obtained their best scores in 1933. The latter Insurrection is sometimes called the “Spanish Commune” or the “Revolution of October” since it culminated in October 1934 when the minors could control a territory of some 1000 square km around Oviedo and in the south of this city. The insurrection is subdued in blood by the troops of Africa ordered by Franco. The agreement between left and right-hand side seems less and less possible: these events polarize the positions and division into two of the country.
The toughening (1935-1936)
The socialist party and its trade union, the UGT, hitherto moderated, change tactic and become again revolutionary. If they are still presented to the elections, they work more in the Social struggles, with the anarchists in particular. The historical context is important to include/understand this attitude: in 1933, Hitler came to seize the power legally, but the chief of YIELDED, Jose Maria Gil Robles, had multiplied the gestures being able to give to believe that it wished to establish a fascistic dictatorship. Socialists and anarchists multiply the calls to the General strike. In October 1934, the workmen of the mines of the Asturies revolt. In Catalonia, where the separatist movement is very strong, the president of the Generalitat catalana states that Catalonia belongs to the Iberian Federal republic. The repression ordered by the government is terrible (: 1000 died: 20000 arrests). From now on, a ditch of blood separates the Labor movement from the capacity in place.
The center right with the capacity, which however sticks to reconsider the reforms adopted by the left between 1931 and 1933, does not reassure its partisans fully. The events of the Asturies increased the anguish to see in Spain a Révolution being connected with the Russian Révolution of 1917. The temptation of recourse to a takeover by force extends, maintained by activism the royalist movements (Carliste S) or new (the Phalange). Both Espagnes from now on are haunted by two great fears: that of the revolution Bolshevik and that of the Fascism. The short victory of a Popular front grouping the whole of the left to the legislative elections of February 1936 is to be replaced in this context.
To the elections of February 1936, the National front dominated by YIELDED gains 33,2 % of the votes and 191 seats (+ 18 centrists) but is preceded by the Popular front which with 34,3 % of the voices gains 254 seats in the Cortes thanks to the arrangements denounced by the president Niceto Alcalá Zamora and with a important Abstention (which though drops some compared to 1933 (90%) the third represents remaining). On the right, it is thought that this left coalition will make a revolution, on the left, one considers that the line wanted to establish a fascistic dictatorship . It should be noted that certain anarchists invited to vote “Popular front”, which constitutes one of the rare exceptions to their principle of abstention to the elections. For the majority, this attitude is not due to a vote of adhesion or a " vote utile" but rather with a tactical vote. Indeed, the Popular front promised the release of all the political prisoners, including 15.000 anarchistic militants and/or anarchist-trade unionists.
The Popular front tries to take again the action of the government of 1931, but the climate is difficult. On a side, part of the people, living very often in situations of great poverty, often implements, of its own initiative, the social reforms promised by the parties of the Frente popular , which are long in coming. Other, notable, industrial or the country easy ones, which has only little confidence in the republican mode or parliamentarism to maintain the order, and are radically Anticommuniste S. the political crimes follow one another, made by the working militia (many massacres of priests) or by the nationalist militia and the reprisals are connected. The State does not maintain any more the order.
The group of generals responsible for the Putsch was formed since 1933 - 1934, and the decision to pass to the act intervened in March 1936. Sanjurjo, in Exile in Portugal since its putsch missed by 1932, was the chief, Mola the organizer, assisted by Cabanillas, Fanjul, Goded and Queipo de Llano. Franco knew upon the departure the project, but hesitated to engage. The assassination by members of the republican security forces of one of the chiefs and deputy of the right-hand side monarchist, Jose Calvo Sotelo the July 13rd 1936, decides it to act. Not without evil, the soldiers obtain the support of the militia carlists and the Phalange.
The military plot
As of the shortly after the elections of 1936 which see the victory of the Frente popular , of the plots appear with the generals Sanjurjo, Mola, Goded, Fanjul, and, less clearly, Franco.
The government has wind of these conspiracies but its only reaction is to move the high ranking officials of the army suspected of plot far from the capital: Emilio Mola is found transferred to Pampelune, Franco with the Canary islands. The first meeting of entreated takes place the March 8th 1936 with Madrid, and the insurrection is planned for 19 or April 20th, under the direction of Sanjurjo, in exile with the Portugal since its coup attempt of State missed by 1932.
But Mola remains in strong position: it was transferred in an area which is probably among more antirépublicaines of Spain and can thus plot with leisure. The June 5th 1936, it works out a first political project based on the disappearance of the republic and the unit of Spain. As of June, the contacts are woven between entreated. The coup d'etat must be delayed because Mola has some concern to be combined the militia carlists of Navarre which require a return to a preserving monarchy.
The assassination of Calvo Sotelo the July 13rd 1936 puts fire at the powders. The soldiers decide to launch the offensive the 17 (to Morocco) and July 18th (peninsula), without real political objective other that the inversion of the capacity of left; the republican form of the State is not disputed yet.
The announced epilog, preparations of a putsch
The electoral failure of YIELDED to the elections of February 1936 had discredited Gil Robles for the benefit of the partisans of the coup d'etat. However, the governments of the Popular front were more moderate than those of the first biennium and had not included socialist ministers.
The new Minister for the War, the general Carlos Masquelet, leaves his colleagues Villegas, Saliquet, Losada, Gonzalez Carrasco, Fanjul, Orgaz and Varela without assignment and moves Goded, Franco and Mola towards other less important stations.
The reaction is not made wait. March 8th, the isolated former generals meet in the residence inhabitant of Madrid of Delgado Barreto, a collaborator of Primo de Rivera. Knowing itself supported by a solid civil base, they decide day of rising, on April 20th, after having left the preparation between the hands of a junta chaired by Rodriguez del Barrio. However, the government discovers the conspiracy and Rodriguez del Barrio, seriously sick of a cancer, fact step back.
In front of this inoperative junta, Mola takes responsibility for its preparation of the putsch, but as he is only one brigadier general, he is made support by the authority of the chief of the conspiracy, general lieutenant Sanjurjo, then exiled in Portugal, which lets it make.
Mola, under the pseudonym of Director , extends its network to the garrisons, helped by the Spanish Military Union (EMU), a military company. As its leaders are only commanders and captains, they cannot affiliate generals, but on the other hand, a great number of members of the staff.
Finally, not only one had collected dissatisfied and enemy soldiers mode, but also a pair of republican generals:
The general Queipo de Llano, irritated because its accomplice Niceto Alcala Zamora has just been relieved and Miguel Cabanellas with which they had evolved to the lerrouxism (political of Alejandro Lerroux), rejoin the opponents with the new government.
On the other hand, Mola does not manage to convince Franco. Four years before, during the summer 1932, at the time of the lawsuit of Sanjurjo for military rebellion and whereas it incurred the capital punishment, Franco had refused to defend it with a cruel sentence: General, you gained the right to die, not to be to you raised, but because you failed . Since then, Sanjurjo hated it. This is why Franco refuses to take part in a plot of which he will become the chief.
However, all entreated hope to persuade it to join the plot. Angel Herrera Oria convinces Juan March (financial Spanish) to deposit: 500000 pesetas with its name in a French bank, an amount similar to that intended for Mola. It finances also the hiring of a British plane ( Fast Dragon ) manually-controlled by a mercenary, the captain Bebb, which Luis Bolín, correspondent of ABC in London, makes send to the Canary islands by order of the journalist and editor of the newspaper ABC , Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena. On the assumption of the rallying of Free to the conspiracy, the apparatus was to be used to transport it to Morocco to replace the general Agustín Gómez Morato, considered honest with the Republic.
In spite of the threats of putsch, the government of the Frente popular does not take any measurement to prevent it, being satisfied to transfer the most compromised generals, like Franco in the Canaries, which did not prevent it from taking part in it.
The missed coup d'etat and stagnation
The coup d'etat, or the Pronunciamiento, begins the July 17th with the Morocco where Franco takes the command of the troops, after being arrived in the plane of the Canary islands via French Morocco, thus putting his wife and her daughter in sure place, in Casablanca. The putsch is diffused through the metropolis as of the following day.
The first official statements of the government, after 12 midnight, want to be reassuring, recognizing only that part of the army was raised in Morocco. In Seville, disarmed workers in vain try to oppose the rising, carried out over there by Queipo de Llano; the government refuses to give weapons to the workers who claim some, threatening to make shoot those which would provide some to them.
The republican government tries a conciliation with the soldiers. The president Manuel Azaña proposes the installation of a government of compromise in the place of the Frente popular : the July 18th, it names Diego Martínez Barrio with the head of the government, but must quickly note the failure of its efforts. Neither on the nationalist side with Mola, nor on the republican side with the Socialist Francisco Largo Caballero, one wants compromise. The warlike exit is inevitable, and as of the shortly after its nomination, Martinez Barrio resigns, replaced by Jose Giral.
The July 17th, with Barcelona, the workers of CNT start to arm themselves, in the arsenals and the shipyards. Their determination makes rock on their side the Civil guard and the Guard of Attack, obliging the soldiers to capitulate in the second city of the country. When the government decides to give weapons to the population, this one, in fact, was already armed.
To Madrid, weapons are finally distributed, there too, with the workmen, but they miss cylinder heads. The population launches however an attack, the July 20th, against the barracks of Montana, and seizes some.
So certain areas fall quickly (Navarre, Castille-and-León, Galicia, Western Andalusia, big cities of Aragon), the remainder of the country remains faithful to the Republic. Madrid, Valence and Barcelona, in spite of the rising of the local garrison, remains with the hands of the republicans, grace in particular to the working militia very quickly mobilized. At the end of one week, the country is cut in two about equal zones: on a side nationalists, other the republicans who preserve the richest and industrial areas.
The revolutionBy trying a coup d'etat, the soldiers thus started the revolution in the country. Seeing the workers out of weapons, many owners flee, or join the camp of the nationalists. In reaction, the working population seizes the companies, 70% of them in Catalonia, 50% in the area of Valence, and founds a control on the others. The peasants collectivize the three quarters of the grounds. The Church having chosen (except in the Basque Country) the camp of Free, its goods become property of the people, the convents become refectories for the militiamans, of the schools, the etc, ballrooms
The legal authorities lost all to be able, do not lay out more any police force, army or justice. At the place, the left sets up bodies of a new capacity, organizes militia to fight the nationalists, reorganizes transport, the provisioning of the cities, transforming factories for the needs for the war.
However, the various parties and organized labor such as the communist , the socialist , CNT and POUM leave in place the government, which little by little reconstitutes an army which will be opposed to the militia and will remove the committees set up by the organized labor. In November 1936, all the ministers, including the anarchists, sign a decree on the dissolution of the militia and their incorporation in the regular police force. Those which refuse to return in the army of the government do not receive any more weapons, which facilitates the victory of the nationalists over several faces; the revolutionary tribunals are replaced by the courts of the preceding mode. Thus, if the energy of the revolutionary left in the first days of rising had held in failure the soldiers, the revolution is disarmed little by little, without no working party really opposing it.
The state of the army the day before the engagements
In theory, the law of 1912 established the conscription and fixed the military service at three years; in 1924, it is fixed at two years, then at one year in 1930. But the cases of exemptions are innumerable and it is very uneven (for example, one can completely legally avoid it with the help of the payment of a cuota ). In addition, the budget allows neither instruction, nor drive, also called are frequently sent in permission of long life.
So in metropolis, in each division of infantry, three regiments out of four are in sleep and the fourth is not aligned on its rights in manpower.
According to S. Balfour, in July 1936, there would be less 16 000 called present under the flags and approximately half will remain faithful to the Republic. However, throughout conflict, it is nearly three million men who are mobilized, sometimes in the camp opposed to their ideals.
The power struggle
The involved forces are balanced at the beginning of the conflict. It seems that at the beginning of 1937, each camp has approximately: 500000 men. The Spanish army, before the war, is rather poor, from its material out of age or by its tactics of another time.
The delivery of the German or Italian weapons allowed a clear improvement of the armament of the nationalist army. The Italian planes appear decisive at the time of the first days of the conflict, while making it possible the pro-Franco troops to cross the Straits of Gibraltar. Foreign firms such as Ford and Texaco will also provide, with credit, trucks and carburizing in significant amounts. Moreover, the nationalists lay out of the troops more aguerries: Moors and the Legion. Stationed in Spanish Morocco, they are ordered by officers who have experience of the colonial wars.
The republicans as for them are gradually equipped with Soviet weapons, but the provisioning poses problem because of the maritime blockade of the European powers, more slackened with dimensions nationalist. Moscow will send also military advisers, primarily used to make function the planes and the tanks, as well as political police chiefs of the Komintern, primarily to ensure repression within the dissenting communist forces, such as the trotskists and the militants of POUM.
The main issues, for the republicans, arise side of the organization. Indeed, it is about a popular army created of all parts, and not obeying the government because based on the idea of a popular defense ensured by each citizen, without centralized command. In front of the failure of this organization, the government tried to create a popular armed in the shape with a national body (in place in spring 1937), with a discipline and a command commun runs. These hesitations reflect the opposition between Communists, holding of an organized army, and anarchists, in favor of a popular defense.
In general, the republican army suffers from a deficiency as officers of active who for chose much to join the nationalist camp. The majority of the buildings of the Navy remained with the hands of the Republic, but the sailors, without their officers, are not able to make a good use of it.
On the military level, the war of Spain shows the following characteristics. It is first of all about a war which, except in its last phase, is held on several faces at the same time. The war comprises on these various faces a succession of phases of movement and long phases of War of position with use of Tranchée S. It should be noted that the republicans, by tactic or by obligation, are often on the defensive, while resisting besides often well. Their offensives are almost always of weak width, badly conceived, quickly stopped even countered, and often result in losses (human and material) important. This situation contributes to weaken the republican camp gradually.
When the war itself starts, at the end of July 1936, all seems blocked but the outside assistance of Germany and Italy, future powers of the Axe, allows the troops of Morocco (most qualified and best trained) taken along by Franco to pass the Straits of Gibraltar the August 5th and to join the remainder of the army and 15 000 carlists taken along by Mola. On the whole: 62000 troops of Morocco were useful in the nationalist forces of which 37 000 are committed in spring 1937. The Moroccan troops progress towards north, by attacking hard the cities and villages met. At the same time, in the north of the country, of the engagements the republicans oppose to the requests carlists, in particular in the Basque Country and near the French border. In the zones controlled by the Republic, of the movements of counter-offensive launch out. Three columns are formed to try to reconquer ground on the nationalist territories; most famous is undoubtedly the “Durruti column”, of the name of its commander, Buenaventura Durruti. In addition, the republicans reconquered Minorque but failed to take the control of the remainder of the Balearic Islands.
In October, Franco must make a strategic choice: with the doors of the capital, he prefers to divert his troops in the south, towards Tolède to go to save the insurrectionists besieged in Alcazar. This leaves time to the Inhabitants of Madrid to organize defense. When the nationalists reach Madrid in November 1936, defense is keen: each street is defended (with the famous slogan of Pasionaria, “¡ No pasarán! ”). Around the capital, several operations have in February place and March 1937, in particular the Bataille of Jarama and the Bataille of Guadalajara. In spite of very heavy losses, the city holds good and in March 1937, the nationalists must go obviously: the catch of Madrid failed.
They thus decide to deal initially with the republican pockets of resistance which are the Basque Country and the Asturies. A first campaign is held around Bilbao, that the republicans surrounded by a “iron belt” which hardly contributed to slow down the nationalists, who manage to take the city on June 19th and to control the remainder of the province in the following days. In August, the combat go in the area of Santander, which fall on August 26th. The Asturies remain alone then in the north of Spain to remain under control of the Republic. This small zone resists a long time but must capitulate on October 17th, thus leaving the entirely main nationalist forces of the Atlantic coast.
Meanwhile, the republicans launch out in other difficult offensives, in particular with Brunete and Belchite, but these fatal combat allow them only one limited progression. In the last days of the year 1937, the republican troops start the combat for Teruel which they manage to take at the time of combat which are held under very hard conditions for the two camps, in particular because of the great cold which reigns in Teruel this winter. This operation however is thwarted and the city is taken again by the nationalists after less than one month. After the resumption of Teruel, the nationalist army continues the offensive and manages to gain the coast, on April 6th, thus crossing into two the territory controlled by the republicans. Those still try to attack at the time of the Bataille of Èbre (starting from July 25th 1938) but it is a new failure: the republicans are constrained to pass by again Èbre at the price of important losses.
Consequently, the fate of the conflict is sealed: the Catalogne is conquered without much resistance in February 1939. In the capital, a coup d'etat anticommunist anarchist - socialist demobilizes resistance: Madrid is tomb with few engagements. The remainder of Spain is removed in the month, the last combat having taken place with Alicante. April 1st 1939, Franco can announce that “the war is finished”.
Violences and executions
The war of Spain was particularly violent, especially at the time of the great battles (Teruel, but especially Bataille of Èbre). But the war was also marked by slaughters apart from the engagements strictly speaking. There were executions, sometimes summary, sometimes organized and even preceded by hasty judgments. At the time of this “revolution” of the atrocities are made of share and others. Bartolomé Bennassar explains as follows: There was well, face to face, two wills of extermination, one more organized, it the true, other more instinctive, one and the other is exacerbated .
In nationalist zone
The soldiers faithful to the government are the first victims everywhere where the rebels seize the power (out of any combat). It follows the massacre of the militants and sympathizers of the trade unions and left organizations starting from lists drawn up in advance. Progressively of the progression of the rebellious troops and the catch of the cities and villages to the whole beginning of the war, the militants and sympathizers of the Republic are systematically arrested, imprisoned or shot. They will be thus tens of thousands of victims which will be carried out summarily
One of the greatest collective massacres takes place the 14 and August 15th 1936 with Badajoz in Extremadure, where many disarmed militiamans are summarily shot, when the nationalists, mainly the units of the Legion, seize the city. This massacre was revealed for the first time by two French journalists and a Portuguese journalist. The assessment at the time is evaluated with 2.000 victims, but it is, according to Hugh Thomas, nearer to 200.
The rallying of the Catholic church and the Christian-Democrats to the nationalists, is explained by the terror of the massacres anti-catholics organized in the zones under republican control.
The end of the war did not mean for as much the return to peace. The executions will continue the following years expressing the thirst for revenge on the winners characterizing the dictatorial mode during long years and misery and terror for overcome. The letters of denunciations are so numerous that the regulation of the not denounced political offenses is brought back from fifteen to two years as of January 1940.
In republican zoneThe massacres of the opponents start at the beginning of the rebellion. The social or political affiliation is enough most of the time in the bill of indictment to justify an execution. It was the case for example for the officers of the garrison of Lérida, the officers of the naval base of Minorque and those of Carthagène. It was also the case for the deputies of right-hand side pursued in republican zone and of which 24 are carried out.
The priests and the nuns are among the other main victims of these massacres, in particular in Catalogne. According to the studies devoted to the fratricidal fury which seized Spain in 1936, more 7 000 monks including 13 bishops, 4 184 priests, 2 365 monks and 283 nuns were assassinated during this period. That is to say 88% of the clergy in the only diocese of Barbastro (Aragon), of which the bishop, Mgr Asensio Barroso, émasculé alive before being assassinated the August 9th 1936. Last nine dioceses lost thus more half of their clergy, the only membership of this last being justiciable to a summary execution. Those which could escape from it found in nationalist zone, or had been able to flee, hide or profit from protections. With these slaughters were added the fires of churches and of Couvent S, the Profanation S of furnace bridge S and Sépulture S. In September 1936, in front of Spanish refugees, the pope Pie XI denounced what it indicated like one hatred of God satanic professed by the republicans .
Starting from the August 23rd, popular courts give a legal formalism to the executions. Commissions of purification are installation in order to count the suspects starting from their antecedents sociopolitic. In Asturies for example, they draw up the lists of the sympathizers of the right parties whose “luckier” is victims of expropriation.
During the summer 1936, in addition to the 7 000 with 8 000 monks, close to 2 000 phalangists are massacred in republican zone, out of any combat, without the legal government not condemning only one moment these crimes committed by its own partisans of the trade-union militia (“the patrols of the paddle”) and without that being in reprisals of shooting of the opposing side. Acts of a great violence will strike in particular the nuns or the young girls of the catholic organizations fallen between the hands from the republicans. The immediate consequence will be the rallying many catholic centrists with the insurgent soldiers.
With Madrid, between 1936 and 1939, according to César Vidal close to 15 000 people would have been shot. Massive summary executions take place to leave in particular the August 22nd 1936, and cost the life several former ministers for the Republic like Jose Martínez de Velasco, Manuel Rico, Ramón Álvarez like with Melquíades Álvarez, chief of the party liberal-republican and Fernando Primo de Rivera, brother of the founder of the Phalange.
From the 2 with the November 6th 1936, five thousand people are shot with Paracuellos and Torrejón de Ardoz, and are buried in common graves. The victims are at the same time prisoners inhabitants of Madrid evacuated of the city, students of a catholic college and the members of easy families of the city. The persons in charge would be, according to certain historians, Margarita Nelken, a socialist deputy, and Santiago Carrillo, which continues to deny the role which is allotted to him in these massacres.
From March 1937, the victims of the massacres of the republicans more will relate to the republican camp itself. Indeed, the tensions with the center even of republican Spain will lead to bloody internal confrontations (on a side anarchists and communist hétérodoxes, other the PSUC - pledged party in the Stalinist USSR), which will lead to the fall of Barcelona. The principal confrontation within the republican camp takes place in May 1937 and leads to crushing by the weapons of the revolutionary current. These internal conflicts which saw the libertarian partisans and those of the working Parti Marxist unification (POUM) massacred by Soviet groups of intervention supported by NKVD explain to a large extent the degradation of base republican, unable to reconquer the ground lost on the nationalists.
The attitude of the foreign countries and interventions
See also: foreign Military aid during the Spanish civil war
The non-intervention of France and the United Kingdom
See also: Non-intervention (war of Spain)
In France, Leon Blum, from any heart with the republicans receives a request for assistance on July 20th, 1936 which he answers positively, but he must go into reverse in front of the opposition of the right-hand side, of the radicals (Edouard Herriot), of the moderate president Albert Lebrun and of the United Kingdom. Finally, the choice is made apply a policy of “non-intervention”, only concept making it possible to associate the British with the payment of the conflict.
British side, the government of Neville Chamberlain and the elites British see Spain as a country in full “communist” revolution (the English refuse to fight for “Spanish Communists”). Moreover, all is made to avoid a conflict with the totalitarian powers: it is thought that while being reconciling with Germany, one can be able to get along with Hitler on his expansionist ambitions.
It is in this context that Leon Blum proposes the pact of non-intervention, signed by the near total of the European countries. A committee is created in London to define the methods of them. Each country is seen charged to prevent the delivery of weapons in Spain: the British must ensure the respect of an embargo on the weapons in the Atlantic, France in the Pyrenees, and Italy on the Mediterranean coast.
France and the United Kingdom however send weapons to the republicans but secretly.
The Italian participation
Italian help with the nationalist camp, limited to the beginning of the conflict, becomes massive as of the end of the year 1936. It materializes by important deliveries of material (nearly 700 planes and 950 tanks) but especially by soldier sending many. The body of the Italian volunteers (CTV) reached until 50 000 men. Contrary to the German troops, the Italians are well integrated in the engagements after its defeat into Bataille of Guadalajara.
Mussolini seems to more send its troops with an aim of reinforcing its radiation that by ideological affinity with the nationalists, because even if Fascism shared its socialist inspiration with Franco, this one had a definitely catholic connotation, that Mussolini did not have. It is thus the occasion for him to carry out a propaganda of international width. It has also economic interests (the Italian weapons are sold to the nationalists) and strategic (Utopia of a seizure on the Mediterranean). Mussolini also hoped to place an Italian regent on more or less most of Spain.
In March 1938, the Italians bombard Barcelona, stronghold of the Spanish republicans. Some 3 000 dead and many casualties raise the indignation of the international community. The pope Pie XI goes until protesting at Mussolini.
The German participationThe brother-in-law of Free, then admiror of Goering, request of the assistance to the Nazi Germany so that Italy does not have the seizure on Spain
The Nazi Germany takes part in the conflict at the sides of the nationalists by engaging 10 000 men with most extremely of the conflict, but they are primarily technicians and instructors, few soldiers. The rare forces of combat are limited to some companies of tanks and the planes of the Légion Condor. Hitler makes use of this war to test the new material and also gains there on the economic plan: indeed, it negotiated in exchange of its assistance the control of the Spanish mining companies. Among the striking facts of the German envoys in Spain, the bombardment of civilians with Guernica, on April 26th, 1937, precedes the strategies of the all-out war to come. After this event, condemned by a good part of the international community, the German assistance is reduced.
Other assistances with the nationalistsThe nationalists also obtained the assistance of the Portugal of Salazar which will send a legion of 20000 men (called Viriatos ). However the assistance of Portugal will stop there. The Sanjurjo general who was in exile in Portugal was not authorized starting from an official airport. Its plane had to take off of a private ground and was crushed in an end grained timber of track. Sanjurjo found death in this accident. The pro-Franco troops not being authorized to return in Portuguese ground, found enormous difficulties to cross the collars of Somosierra and Guadarrama defended hard by the republicans. This passage was facilitated by the desertion from a company of civil guards whole. One can also note the more anecdotic reinforcement of the 600 Irish of the Légion Saint-Patrick.
The participation of the Soviet UnionThe USSR intervenes timidly in favor of the republicans, in particular via the Komintern, in the name of the fight against Fascism.
Many war leaders of the Republic, the Pasionaria, or To list, did not seem sponténément, but were trained in the USSR after the failure of the first revolutionary movements before the war, where they found refuge.
Stalin deliver many modern weapons (tanks and planes) but requires n the other hand that the gold reserves of Spain held by the Republic " are put in sécurité" in the USSR where they will remain there after the end of the war and will never be returned.
The USSR sends few men (only 2 000, for the majority of the advisers) and the deliveries of weapons are irregular and the difficult routing towards certain areas.
After the Agreements of Munich, the Soviet assistance decrease quickly.
The Soviets encourage and support also the international Brigades and seek to eliminate the Marxist nonStalinist (mainly in Catalogne) and the anarchistic.
International BrigadesSee the detailed article international Brigades.
At the sides of the republicans, volunteers come from the whole world, whose majority of French, often of the Communists, Marxists, Socialists or anarchists, but also of the more moderate antifascists, engaged in groups which took the name of international Brigades.
Before even the constitution of the international Brigades, foreigners took part in the Colonne Durruti; Simone Weil is an example.
Other assistances with the republicans
The Mexico sends some weapons to the republicans.
Behaviors of the Nations Only Mexico and Portugal will have a control corresponding to their official language.
With the passing, one can note that the governments which helped the republicans were justified by economic issues or policies that by a possible sympathy or compassion, towards the torn Spanish people. Contrary, the many volunteers, coming from about fifty countries which were committed supporting the republicans, did it, in a vast majority, pushed by a generous and fraternal ideal.
With regard to the economic considerations: the telephone was American; the copper mines, the trade of cork and the water conveyances of the big cities were English; the French had copper mines, but especially the mines of money and important participations in the mines of coal. The Belgians made structural timber trade, in the tram and railroads; the Canadians provided most of electricity. Then… The sale of weapons is a very lucrative trade.
The political considerations are longer and more complexes to be included/understood: Three countries will bring of the assistance to the nationalists. As men and weaponry for Germany and Italy, as men only with regard to Portugal.
July 18th, 1936, the coup d'etat of the generals is far from being a victory. The following days will reign an indescribable confusion. The situation is so dubious that the two involved forces will turn to the foreigner to require of the assistance.
Free which had been repatriated Canaries by a private British apparatus, thus addresses itself to England, but England, which sees Germany making troop movements towards the Rhine, wants to engage officially neither for a party, nor for another. What will not prevent it from “operating” sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left, during all this war. Free wants to then address itself to France, but he learns that the Blum Government is already in negotiation with the Republican Government. There remains to him nothing any more but Italy and, why not, Germany? In the other camp one as realizes, as one does not have the hardware requirement. the Spanish army misses of very to launch out in operations of scale. And even if the Navy and aviation remained republican side, practically all the executives are at the adversary, were assassinated, or do not inspire any confidence to them. A few hours will separate the distress calls from the belligerents towards the adjoining countries or “friends”. But the republicans are Frente Popular, Jose Giral is socialist, in France the Government is Popular front and at its head another Socialist: Leon Blum. It seems natural that he apprehends with sympathy and comprehension the problems of a government “brother”. But there are especially the troop movements German and Italian which worry Paris, just like they worry London. Although one cannot with what leave it yet, one lends to the rebellious generals fascistic ideas. (One refuses to believe that this conflict, at the beginning, is only purely Spanish) the fear of being encircled by three of the same States tendency pushes Blum and its team towards the Republicans.
But, in Paris, the Spanish embassy is favorable to the nationalists. At once the ambassador warns his colleague in London. Dice on July 21st the English Government is with the current of the intentions of France. For Sir Anthony Eden, Foreign Minister, realities must pass before the feelings. With its opinion, in Spain, the wrongs are shared, anarchy in the worst direction of the term for the ones, had created a situation which was not bearable any more and it was necessary that explodes; the coup d'etat placed the other camp in the total illegality. To condemn the ones would be to exclude the different ones! Eden requires a meeting with France and that the President of the Council itself assists to with it to speak about Spain. Leon Blum and his Foreign Minister Yvon Delbos thus come to London to intend itself to say that one should not especially count on England for any participation in the civil war of Spain. The morning already the London newspapers had published articles saying clearly that the Government of London condemned the attitude of the French government. Winston Churchill even, although savagely opposed to him to Germany and Italy, wrote with the ambassador of France, Corbin, to require “an absolutely inflexible neutrality”. England will never vary in this official attitude, even if one finds many English in the international Brigades.
In France thus, officially, Leon Blum hesitates. All its foreign politics is closely related to that of England and it is that, on Spain, there is a total difference in opinion. And here is that the French press of right-hand side breaks out. The Left applauds, the Line is indignant, the Center does not come to a conclusion, but proclamation its concerns about the future of France. The staff expresses his more sharp reserves to be stripped of a material which will make him fault in the event of conflict with Germany. The political climate is tightened. The President of the Republic Albert Lebrun convenes the extraordinary Council of Ministers in which it solemnly will reject his actions with Leon Blum: - “What you want to do, which you started to do, can have repercussion infinite. That is likely to mean either the external war, or the interior revolution. ” - But at the conclusion of this Council of Ministers, it was nevertheless decided that one will send weaponry while making believe that it proceeds of Mexico, while contradicting vigorously that France is implied in this traffic. The trains charged with weapons will circulate the night. The recruitment of volunteers will be done under cover of political parties or governmental organizations. Then, if one does not do it by the official way, one will do it in catimini. And here is how France will have, during all this war, triple attitude. 1: A media language of complete neutrality. 2: Sales or supplies of more or less secret weapons as well as the recruitment of volunteers. (Of the influential characters give an opinion for the Republic publicly). 3: Sales of weaponry by private companies, with the Nationalists with the most total hypocrisy of the State which will pretend anything to see.
Dice on July 24th, 1936 two trains of bombs and grenades are charged on Ciudad de Tarragona via Barcelona. Always the 24, twenty planes take off of Stamps towards the south. The 26 and 27 of important loadings of machine-guns and their ammunition will cross, during the night, the borders of Cerberus and Hendaye. A few days later ten bombers, twelve fighter plans, about fifteen transport will be delivered to the Republicans. But by France will also forward, all kinds of weapons sold by traffickers come from all countries. Pierre Cot, Andre Malraux and Josip Broz, which will become the Tito marshal, will be the principal organizers of this traffic.
During this time Yvon Delbos makes vote a “national convention of noninterference” which is proposed to the other European countries then! The French staff will say later: - “We let leave only the old cuckoos” -.
Of Moscow, Stalin, also solicited to him by the Spanish Republicans, thought: Spain counts to in July 1936 only three thousand communist members. This distance country does not interest it. It is only one month later, when it includes/understands the interest as it can draw, as well on the national plan as international, than it will change opinion and will begin a blackmail with the weapons. But, immediately, it is devoted to scientists calculations. He thinks that a Nationaliste victory would encircle France by three countries with fascistic tendency, and especially that could help Germany if an aggression against Russia took place. It is necessary, consequently to prevent this victory, but, on another side a communist victory would alarm France and Great Britain and could even involve a world war. Moreover, one should not waste its weapons and, it is not necessary, either, that the Republicans gain the war too quickly…. and even it is not necessary that they gain it whole! Consequently, Stalin also, will send weapons in Spain only in calculated quantities and will play on several tables.
Besides ideas even more tortuous are lent to him, which would be those to slip towards alliances with the lines and the fascists. Plans whose apotheosis would have been the pact germano-Soviet of 1939. Later, very an other reason will push Stalin to be made last this civil war more the possible for a long time: to make as much as possible spend military material in Germany in order to weaken it to the maximum. But for the moment, and whereas it is on the point of making a new purging among the old Bolsheviks, it meditates on what will be its strategy in Spain. For the anecdote, it is necessary nevertheless to speak about some measurements that it will take immediately: It cuts off a sum from the wages from the workmen “to help” their Spanish comrades. More seriously, it sends in Spain the chief of the Italian Communist party Togliatti, French Jacques Duclos, another Italian, Vidali and Hungarian Ernö Gero, in order to reinforce the Comintern, but more especially so that they espionnent and eliminate the Communists tempted to follow Trotski. In addition, and in guarantee, it is made deliver 510 tons of gold in ingots of the reserves of the bank of Spain and the loadings of jewels by the republican government. This gold will never be returned to Spain.
In Italy, on July 22nd, 1936, at Rome two representatives of Free arrive. They are received by the Foreign Minister, the count Ciano, (son-in-law of Mussolini). The minister does not engage, but promises to consult. Twice Mussolini refuses the required support. It is not that the 24, by learning that Blum helps the Spanish Republic, that it will grant the assistance the rebellious generals. But he also, was devoted to scientists calculations. Firstly, the fact that one comes to request his assistance flatters it. Secondly, he thinks that its ambition to dominate the Mediterranean would be facilitated by the recognition, at the end of a war which he would have contributed to gain, of “new Spain” to which one lends ideas semi-fascists. Then the victory of this “new Spain” would oblige France to divide its troops between the two borders and would prevent it from receiving reinforcements of Morocco. It has just made the conquest of Abyssinie (Ethiopia) and this triumph is assembled to him to the head. Spain makes it possible new to him to put forward its personality. The official language will be that it is absolutely necessary to make stopping with Communism, whereas its invectives had been always addressed to the “declining democracies” (France and Great Britain) However it would have authorized this assistance to Franco only unwillingly and under the insistence of Ciano.
The war of Spain will have an unexpected consequence: the bringing together of Hitler and Mussolini, whereas the Duce had always been wary of Hitler like plague.
Always on July 22nd, Franco sends two emissary towards Germany carrying a letter intended for Hitler to in person ask for to him ten of planes of a maximum capacity. In Germany, the Foreign Minister, Dieckhoff and another minister von Neurath declare themselves opposite with any delivery of weapons because of the serious consequences which it could have on the German colony, very important in Spain. The chief of the Nazi party and the Admiral Canaris, chief of the Secret services are there, on the other hand, completely favorable. Goering, chief of Luftwaffe, insist at Führer with these arguments: Free is in Morocco, it will not be able to make pass its troops since the Navy remains with the hands of the Republicans. It is absolutely necessary to prevent a new advance of Communism. It advances then another reasoning: it is necessary to aguerrir its very young Luftwaffe.
But, later, one will find in the secret files of Third Reich, of the evidence that transactions took place at the beginning of the month of August 1936 between the Républicain government of Giral and the organizations hitlériens for the purchase of bombs and planes. Thus, just as the Blum government in France, Hitler sold weapons and to the Nationalists and to the Republicans! With the Company of the Nations, will be held many meetings. Each time, the meetings was surging, the ignited speeches. Between groups of different opinions one exchanged invectives, insults, threats, then one made statements full with good intentions to the press ..... And all the countries hastened anything then to make or make the opposite of what they had just proclaimed.
September 29th, 1938, Daladier returns from an International Conference held in London. French accommodates it in triumph and it finishes in apotheosis by depositing a spray of flowers on the tomb of the Unknown soldier. It is there that it is turned over towards its principal private secretary and says to him: “These imbeciles do not know what they applaud. One comes, quite simply to make gift of Czechoslovakia with Hitler and to release “loosely” both Spain with their fates! ”
When all is lost, that the republican troops are in full rout, in Valencia, Alicante, Gandía, Cartagena, Almería of crowd bind themselves in the ports, hoping to be evacuated towards the foreigner. The approach of the Nationalists causes scenes of panic and there is even ten suicides: England had promised boats, but the boats are not there; France estimates that it had made some enough, and is satisfied to accommodate those which arrive, almost miraculeusement, until its coasts or those of North Africa. In Perthus one parks as one can the 500.000 refugees behind barbed wires; the American company Midatlantic which had required to be paid in advance, was not it, then it simply puts at the service Nationalists. Mexico and the USSR accommodate the refugees who ask it, but Stalin will make assassinate all Spanish who is not agreement with his policy. December 12th, 1946 is held the general meeting with UNO and the “Spanish business” is with the day order. Following the vote, Spain is excluded from all the organizations concerned with the United Nations. Spain is a vast field of ruins: The cities, the factories and almost all the means of productions are destroyed as well as the majority of the hospitals and of the schools, the best men are died, mutilated or in exile and UNO imposes a total economic blockade. The historians calculate that this embargo will have caused between 300000 and 600000 died in the most stripped population.
Consequences of the Civil war
The assessment in victims
The figure of the victims remains difficult to quantify. The sources miss sometimes, that is to say that they were not made up, are that they disappeared. When they exist, they are often handled or shown to be it, and are the subject thus still sometimes of controversy. In the two camps, one could speak about a million about dead (enormous figure for a country of 26 million inhabitants), but this figure largely is regarded as exaggerated. Currently, the most serious estimates vary between 380 000 and 451 000 died of the direct consequences of the war.
The following figures are thus estimates to be taken with precautions:
- : 100000 with: 285000 dead soldiers with the combat (direct military losses)
- : 10000 with: 150000 dead civilians of the bombardments
- : 40000 with: 200000 executions in nationalist zone
- : 20000 with: 86000 executions in republican zone
- : 30000 with: 200000 executions by the pro-Franco government between 1939 and 1943
The only battle of Èbre would have made close to: 60000 victims.
It is necessary to add to these figures the surmortality due to the famine or the epidemics but the figure of these victims (estimated at: 330000) remains difficult to establish.
Refugees and exiled
See also: Refugees and exiled war of Spain
The war involved important shifts in population, often decided in precipitation without precise project for the displaced persons.
So some of these displacements were done inside Spain, the war especially led Spaniards to leave their country, often in a provisional way, sometimes in a final way.
The first months, even the first days of the war see the beginning of the exodus: since the Basque Country, republicans leave the country for the France; in Catalonia, they are people being wary even hostile towards the republicans who leave, by boat, towards Marseilles or the Algérie. Thereafter, of many people, republican for the majority, left Spain. The destinations were varied, but it is France which was selected, the three other large countries of Exil or refuge being the the United Kingdom, the Mexico and the the USSR. In France even, in fact the departments of South-west, near Spain accommodated the most refugees, with a strong Spanish immigration in the towns of Bordeaux and Toulouse, where resided already of the Spaniards. The other departments of the coast Atlantique (Loire-Inférieure in particular) were also concerned, as well as the Massif Central, the Rhone delta and the Paris region. The reception of the newcomers was very different from one place to another: sometimes they were well received and were the subject even of actions of solidarity, sometimes they were looked with mistrust even hostility in France in crisis marked by certain forms of Xénophobie. This emigration towards France knew an important movement of acceleration during the battle of Èbre and in the following months, in a movement called the retirada (retirement). In March 1939, the number of Spanish refugees in France was estimated at 440 000 people (according to the information of Valière at the French government, March 9th, 1939). In front of such an surge, the French authorities were overflowed, and some of these refugees were gathered in concentration camps (term employed officially at the time). This episode had a strong repercussion in imaginary Spanish republicans, leaving the memory of a country little opened to the republicans antifascists.
The departure of Spain of all these people was not always final. Some even, during the war, did nothing but pass by France to leave the Basque Country, occupied by the nationalists, and to return by Catalonia, still held by the Republicans. However, the majority of those which left the country there did not return before the end of the civil war. Certain refugees are turned over in pro-Franco Spain, in particular when the mode softened, others awaited the democratic transition. Actually, for many Spanish republicans, the installation abroad became final, but these families have the memory of the civil war.
In 1939 - 1940, much of republicans requires to engage in the foreign battalions of the French Army, in spite of the mistrust of the French officers towards these “Reds”. Thereafter, they are numerous to join French resistance, the maquis (one speaks about: 60000 Spanish men of the maquis in South-west in 1944) and the Free French Army. At the time of the Release of Paris, the first detachment of the army Leclerc to enter Paris is a Spanish section.
Among the figures of the republican emigration, Jorge Semprún.
February 16th: Electoral victory of the Frente Popular.
- July 17th and military July 18th
- Putsch, carried out by Free, Mola and Queipo de Llano; they control the army of Africa to the Spanish Morocco, Seville, Cadiz, Cordoue, Algésiras, Pampelune, Valladolid, Burgos.
- the Prime Minister Santiago Casares Quiroga resigns.
- July 19th
- the putschists are joined by the garrisons of Salamanque, Segovia, Cáceres, Oviedo, Saragossa and of the Galicia.
- Formation of the government of Jose Giral, with representatives of the moderate left.
- July 20th
- Failure of nationalist rising with Madrid and Barcelona.
- Died in an air crash of the general Jose Sanjurjo, organizer of the putsch.
- July 23rd: Installation of the Spanish Junta nationalist to Burgos.
- July 24th: Beginning of the assistance of the France with the Spanish Republicans.
- July 30th: Arrived in Spain of the first Italian planes and German who will take part in the transport of the nationalist troops above the Straits of Gibraltar since the Morocco.
- : Leon Blum proposes non-intervention in Spain.
- August 4th: Army of Africa started from Seville
- August 8th advances: France closes its borders with the Spain.
- August 14th: The colonel Juan Yagüe takes Badajoz, thus operating the junction between the nationalist zones of North and the South.
- 18 - August 19th: Federico Garcia Lorca is shot by anti-republicans, in Grenade. It was 38 years old.
- September 4th: Catch of Irún by the nationalists.
- September 5th: Largo Caballero Prime Minister.
- September 9th: Conference of London on non-intervention in Spain.
- September 27th: The nationalist army reached Tolède and puts an end to the seat of Alcazar by the republicans where the colonel Jose Moscardo had cut off himself since July 22nd.
- In September: The Komintern approves the creation of the international Brigades in Spain.
- October 1st
- the general Francisco Franco is named by the junta of Burgos, chief of the national government.
- the Basque Country vote its autonomy.
- October 22nd: Authorization by the republican government of the creation of the international Brigades.
- November 4th entered of CNT the government Caballero.
- November 7th: Beginning of the nationalist offensive on Madrid.
- November 18th: Official recognition of the nationalist government by the Italy and the Germany.
- November 23rd: End of the Battle of Madrid, Franco gives up attacking Madrid face, the nationalist offensive failed.
- December 17th: Pravda announces that in Catalogne, the “ cleaning of the trotskystes and the anarchist-trade unionists already began ” the agents of Stalin will carry out these purgings.
- February 8th: Catch of Malaga by the Italian task force.
- March 8th: Battle of Guadalajara, defense of the Italian forces in the sector of Madrid (8 - March 18th).
- March 18th: Encircled nationalists with Guadalajara
- March 19th: The Mola general starts his offensive in North.
- April 19th: Decree transforming the Phalange into sole party in the national zone.
- April 26th: Bombardment of Guernica, with the Basque Country Spanish, by the German aviation of the Legion Condor killed, 1.500 civilians.
- May 3rd: Crushing of the anarchistic and Marxist insurrectionists of Barcelona by the republican State, the Cominterns and the Spanish Communist party, opposed to any proletarian revolution in the name of the popular front antifascist. Passivity and collaboration of the anarchists of the government, defeatism of the leaders of the POUM.
- May 17th: Formation of the government Negrín in republican zone.
- June 3rd: Died of the nationalist general Emilio Mola in an air crash.
- June 19th: Fall of Bilbao in front of the nationalist army.
- July 5th - July 26th: The republican army tries an operation of diversion at the time of the Bataille of Brunete, close to Madrid.
- In August, of the communist military units puts an end to the Collectivisation grounds in Aragon.
- August 24th - September 27th: Second operation of diversion of the republicans at the time of the Battle of Belchite in Aragon.
- October 21st: The pro-Franco ones complete the conquest of the republican enclaves of the Atlantic zone. Fall of Gijon and end of the war in North.
- October 28th: The republican government is transferred to Barcelona
- December 5th: Republican offensive with Teruel
- December 19th: The republicans take again Teruel.
- : Free form its first government.
- February 22nd: Resumption of Teruel by the pro-Franco ones.
- March 13rd: The France reopens its borders with the transit of weapons towards the republican zone.
- March 17th - March 19th: The Italy NS bombard Barcelona, stronghold of the Spanish republicans.
- April 5th: The socialist minister Indalecio Prieto leaves the ministry for defense without to have been able to dam up the communist and Soviet influence in the army.
- April 15th: The pro-Franco forces reach the the Mediterranean and cut the republican Spain into two.
- In June, the firm France again its borders with the republican Spain.
- July 24th: Large last offensive republican on the Ebre.
- August: New republican political crisis: the third Negrin government.
- October: Withdrawal of the International Brigades
- October 30th: Pro-Franco counter-offensive on Ebre.
- November 16th: Republicans pushed back on other bank of Ebre.
- December 23rd: Beginning of the pro-Franco countryside in Catalonia.
- January 26th: Fall of Barcelona, the Catalogne fall to the hands from the pro-Franco troops, 450.000 Spanish refugees arrive in France where they will be interned in camps.
- February 5th: Completion of the occupation of Catalonia by the pro-Franco ones (5 - February 10th).
- February 27th: France and the the United Kingdom recognize Franco.
- February 28th: Resignation of Azaña.
- March 5th: Putsch intra-republican of the colonel Casado with Madrid (5 - March 10th).
- March 6th: Escape of the president Negrin and the Spanish communist principal leaders.
- March 26th: Beginning of the rendering of the republican army.
- March 26th: Advances final pro-Franco troops: rendering of the republican armies, falls of Madrid.
- March 31st: The nationalist armies reached all their objectives and occupy the totality of the Spanish territory.
- April 1st: End of the civil war in Spain.
* “historical falsification consists in allotting the responsibility for the Spanish defeat to the working masses, and not to the parties which paralyzed, or purely and simply crushed, the revolutionary movement of the masses. The lawyers of the POUM dispute the fact quite simply that the leaders take some responsibility that it is, in order to avoid having to assume their own responsibility. This philosophy of the impotence, which seeks to make accept the defeats like necessary rings in the chain of the cosmic developments, is perfectly unable to pose, and refuses to pose, the question of the role of factors as concrete as the programs, the parties, the personalities which were the organizers of the defeat. This philosophy of fatalism and the prostration is diametrically opposed to the Marxism, theory of the revolutionary action. ” Leon Trotski in the Spanish revolution (1930-1940) , texts presented by Pierre Broué, Midnight, 1975.
* “I described our armament or rather our lack of armament, on the face of Aragon. There is hardly doubt that the communist retained the weapons deliberately for fear he did not go from there too much to the hands of the anarchistic which later on, would make use of it to achieve a revolutionary goal; consequently the great offensive of Aragon which had obliged Franco to be withdrawn from Bilbao and perhaps from Madrid, was never started. ” George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia .
* “Nobody is placed better than me to know which were your concern during the war and what the Spanish republicans owe you. I never ceased in deprived to restore the facts when the mischievousness or ignorance tried to disfigure the truth; I wonder whether one day I will not have to do it in public, of my alive, since one day my Memories will be published after an ultimate voyage. ” Letter of Juan Negrín with Leon Blum, February 1948, quoted in Leon Blum, head of government, p. 372
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