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The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War

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Published by Javed Saumtally

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Published by: Javed Saumtally on Feb 24, 2011
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The Spanish Civil War

Background to the Spanish Civil War
Spain was a “fractured” country. - There were divisions in all the regions.  Regionalism + Localism  Many areas of Spain were divided: Basque, Catalan, and Galician’s.  Their differences were:  Linguistic  Historic  Economic  Spain’s economic situation overall was STRONG  However there were areas were this was different  Their industrial and agricultural production was POOR.  Agriculture was either: o Small, peasant landholders o Vast estates. The political Spectrum  The Conservatives had the LANDOWNERS, CHURCH, ARMY  Half the land was owned by 50,000 people.  Catholic Church had a    Especially EDUCATION 


The other side of the spectrum believed in: - Regionalism influenced the formation of political and ideological movements. The ANARCHO SYNDICALISM: political doctrine that advocates replacing central gvt with decentralised worker control based on a trade union model. - Movement strong in POOR, RURAL areas : e.g. Andalusia - This rvln was to come about by a combination of:  SPONTANEOUS ACTION  CREATIVE POTENTIAL - This was NOT only the left wing ideology. Marxism + Socialism had been struggling for support from the late 19Century. The parties were arguing with each other; - Marxist fractured - Stalinists feuded with Trotskyites - Socialists argued with Trade Unionists o When Civil war came about; there was an

 

array of different views+ parties.

Immediate Causes: the failures of the Second Republic + the Popular Front  April 1931 – support for monarch had disappeared. - Arm withdrew its support:   King exiled - June - General election was called. The New Gvt. o New legislations passed: o Agricultural

o Protected people from evictions Reduced army influence: . There was a lack of faith in the democratic system: .The gvt could NOT BE TRUSTED. The national police rebelled in Aug 1932 under Gen. .Made them retire. There were more strikes: .Democracy could not prevent freedom in Spain   Popular Front was used There was a lack of Stability: .left-wing parties co-operated more organisationally  A defensive strategy designed to prevent the rise of the extreme right. o This revolt a response to avoid Germans o Resist Hitler 2yrs earlier.RARELY agreed on what they wanted! . The Popular Front and the Generals’ Uprising  1936 – Spanish politics swung back to the left.    The opposition was infuriated by these decisions Opposition Azana’s gvt.Right-wing coalition came to power. Sanjurjo. To others.Instability .Reverse + ignore Azana’s reforms.More serious revolt in Asturias     .  Used in France and known as the Popular Front. The new gvt started to undo what the previous gvt had done: .   Parties still had political + ideological differences. .FAILED    Crushed by Moroccan troops. it was confirmation that the radical left in Spain had abandoned the constitution and could not be trusted.FAILED  Easily crushed   Shows the opposition to the new Gvt in Spain.Allowed organised military rebellion.  1936 Elections: . The parties disagreed + agreed with many things: . Both interpretations show a lack of faith in the democratic system.  This strategy learnt from the mistakes and infighting that characterised the left in Germany as Hitler rose to power. o Labour o Anti-clerical legislation. 1933 – Strikes + disturbances continued November 1933 – New elections – .Gave officers pensions early .Agreed: on what they DIDN’T WANT  .strategy by Comintern. 2 .

.Barcelona  Anarcho-syndicalists fought against 12.Conservative elements: The Nationalists    3 . Made up of units that REBELLED in July 1936 .Nationalist  mobilised over a million men . EARLY ON: Republican gvt in Madrid failed to act fast enough to crush the revolt.HOWEVER the senior officers + higher ranked troops  LOYAL.But as the crisis grew it eventually supplied them with weapons.Barcelona remained loyalist Spain. . . Junior officers were at the centre of the rebellions: . o E.  THEY HAD BEEN WARNED    The gvt had insufficient equipment to crush the rebellion.They did this before the civil war . The Combatants and international Reaction The Republicans      The military were loyal to the gvt: .      Led by Goded + Mola + Franco  Aided by Spanish troops in Morocco.Helped greatly to their successes of the Nationalists.  However they were BRAVE and ENTHUSIASTIC Ideological.They had “stocked” up. The forces were weak and lacked military training and leadership. Falange Introduced conscription in the areas they controlled.HOWEVER the RB (republicans) compromised that. Republicans kept control of the Madrid and the east of the country. increase in forces  There were around 300.Workers got weapons – acted defensively against the opposition . 000 soldiers.  THIS WAS EXPLOITED by THE NATIONALISTS.Goded was a prisoner of the Gvt.000 men at any one time.Increased by VOLUNTEERS from Right wing organisations. Gvt on its own was weak. political and strategic differences made co-operation between the militias very difficult.Kept control with the help of other organisations  Because the army was not organised enough to do that job. Moroccan troops  most experienced in the Spanish army .g. . The militias managed to arm themselves with the army’s weapons.Most soldier would help the Republic The army units would have to get the LOCAL political leaders  EXECUTE THEM  Hand over the town to nationalists  ONLY if the rebellion gained momentum.Supported by the Catholic Church . The gvt were reluctant to arm them .  LOT OF FORCES End of the war: . . General Goded asked the rebels to surrender . .

Nationalist win = German access to Spanish resources.RB had NO air force to counter-act it. material + personnel November 1936 –Mussolini + Franco had a secret agreement. 20 German transport planes given to Franco  Based in North Africa Hitler wanted to stop spread of communism in Europe to. . .  Especially it went on until 37-38. . .Financially supporting the monarchists. .000 German personnel were in Spain. However we can see that he got involved to benefit from their instability.         German Support Franco wanted German support as early as 25 July 1936 The German leader agreed.Co-ordinated by Comintern.0000 men in Spain . The non-intervention policies stopped official aid to Republicans AND made it ILLEGAL for volunteers to travel to Spain and fight for the Republicans.   They were scared of land seizures by the Republicans. 5000-10000 at any one time . 12. Germans provided the Nationalists with:  Artillery  Small arms  Tanks  Vehicles.Contributed to the nationalist victory.  Saw the war as a defence of democracy.     Italian Support     Before Civil war – Mussloini was involved in Spain. UK + USA  had Non-intervention Hoped for a nationalists win. the brigades were folded into the more regular RB army.As she was on the south of France.  Landowners  The international brigades.  Especially arms production.  Organised by National communist’s organisations.  They then enlisted into one of numerous international brigades. o DID not stop 30.Helping the nationalist consisted of:  Militia volunteers  Regular army units 4 .  Because of the possible threat of communism + spread. . General Franco  Leader of the national forces.  Represented countries all over the world.Against AUTHORITARIAN fascism. In the war – pledged more aid.  Aircraft The aircraft gave the nationalist a major advantage. Eventually. .000 people smuggling in to help the RB.Mussolini would receive Spanish support in case of a war with France .In return for a sizeable increase in aid to the Nationalists They had around 70.

.5yr plans . . The Acts did NOT include OIL The Progress of the war      There was no quick end to the rebellion. The Western Democracies and Non-intervention  The western democracies decisions were due to their domestic + foreign policies . Republicans relied a lot on USSR support.g. . . .They were cautious  Because the UK – an ally did not want to be dragged into conflict with Italy  Therefore a conflict with Germany!  The creation of the non-intervention committee. Each side took their opportunity to settle their differences.NOT BY THEIR support for either side. They had to pay for the equipment with Spain’s gold reserves.Trade unionists.Ignored by GER/ITA/USSR. .Clergy .  Non-intervention severely damaged the republicans Neutrality Act: Number of laws passed by US Congress which sought to establish the USA as a formally neutral country.Contributing in a number of IMPORTANT battles:  E.  Popular front Gvt in France would have been a natural ally of their counterpart in Spain.Unlike the Germans/Italians who were paid via credit Most of the tanks + planes were from Soviets.  BUT did sell oil to the Nationalists. Republicans were generally defensive. Brigades controlled by Soviet Officials. Guadalajara Soviet Support        Stalin had a geographical disadvantage Didn’t know whether to lead eth forces of world socialism and a distrust of the soviet and anarchist elements in Spain.Falange members Nationalists: .USA refused to sell arms.Communists .Purges October 1936 – Soviet Material in Spain to bolster the Republican forces.  5 .Political / personal enemies  violent retribution . Domestic Issue were on Stalin’s mind .  This was not in the neutrality act  This prevented him selling arms.Barred the sale of arms to either side in the civil war.Anarchists .When one side gained new territory  Increased suffering of the non-combatants Republicans: . .   700 Aircraft 900 Tanks They fought hard and well throughout the war .

Nationalists took their advantage well.  All used in WW2.  First used in SCW..   Used this to launch TWO new attacks on Madrid. Lack of effective central command 2. . . 5.Republicans: gain more experience  Fighting more effectively  Launching offensives of their own The republicans ended up shoot at each other..     FAILED Early 1939  Last republican area fell. April 1937 – German condor Legion launched an air attack on the Basque city.June 1937 – Bilbao (capital of Basque) fell.Carpet-bombing. Lack of support. Ineffective 6.September 1936 Managed to stop a Nationalist offensive towards Bilbao. . There was deliberate killing of civilians to scare the people + creating terror. Political infighting 3. . Working Class:   6 . . Republicans didn’t. .Carpet – bombing the city.  .000 people died. AS the was went on: . 8. Franco’s army was strengthened by the arrival of more Italian + German troop + materials. The west: . Nationalists were experienced – Republicans were not.<SPANISH CIVIL WAR IS OVER> Why they lost: 1. There was severe damage to infrastructure  Would take years to rebuild. Spanish Civil war likened as the “dress rehearsal” of WW2.BUT Madrid _ Valencia remained February 1939 – UK + France recognize the Franco regime the legitimate gvt of Spain. Republicans surrendered on 2nd April 1939. Insufficient arms +material 4. November 1936 – attack on Madrid.Tried to reconnect the above areas with control. . airpower etc. ! FAILED       Why the republicans LOST    Republicans lost lots of territory October 1937 – reduced to large territory to the south and east of Madrid.The citizens fled to countryside where they were met by machine guns The Basque region held out against the nationalists until June 1937.War was a dispute between the forces of repression versus freedom.    July 1936 –April 1939  500. Nationalist had lots of support 7.Both of which Basque region was targeted by the Nationalists. Aftermath and Significance of the war.  Much smaller land in Barcelona Ebro Offensive – July – November 1938 – .

Enabled Franco’s regime to survive until 1970.East + South . - 7 . The war brought fascism to Frances borders: .Fascists access to Atlantic Franco then left the Germans + Italians . Struggle against expansionary communism and the particular brad of economic + proprietary authoritarianism.  War was about landed/industrial interests versus the workers + trade unionists.Became declared enemies .

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