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Spanish civil war
Transcript of Spanish civil war
July 1936-April 1939
Type of War
This war can be seen as a civil, limited and total war.
Civil war- Conflicts fought between two factions or region of the SAME country, the warring sides clashing over ethnic, religious, political or ideological issues. Also civil war combatants can be identified as either incumbents or insurgents
In the case of the Spanish civil war, the two factions were referred to as republicans and nationalists and were clashing over political, ideological and religious issues.
The political issues faced in the Spanish war included the extent in which the Spanish army was to be used, as well as the economic issues of spain and the struggle between the centralists state, Catalonia and the Basque provinces, which wanted independence
One of the major religious issues that caused the Spanish civil war was the power of the church
The major ideological issue that the Spanish Civil war faced was that between the fascist right wing and communist left wing republics
Type of War Continued
Limited war-War that is not total. It is limited by the weaponry used, by geographic location or by its impart on the country fighting war.
The Spanish civil war was considered a limited war for those European powers in which supported the Spanish by limiting their involvement in the war and the fact that it was only limited to them by being in Spain.
Types of Wars
Total war- A war in which a state uses all its human and material resources
The Spanish civil war was considered a total war because it was fought by the Spanish in their own land, not limited to another area, it used all of its people as seen in the Alcazar even the women and children were willing to fight. and also, once it began both sides used up all their military and political uses.
Origins of War
Political instability; in the 19th century Spain had struggled between periods of conservatism and liberalism.
From 1871-1931 Spain was a constitutional Monarchy ( King was head of state and had a prime minister who commanded a majority in parliment, referred to as the Cortes, which was really only held by the wealthy oligarches)
In spain the Catholic church was powerful
and in charge of education and in elements
of the economy. The Church used its power to
support CONSERVATIVE social/political/economic
The church was rich because of donations
from the clergy. This ment the church defended rights and status of the clergy, thus causing resentment amoungst the poor.
economic long term causes
Agricultral workers were a key to the discontent which lead to the civil war, this was because Agricultre was a main area for economy and employment. The problem with this was that there was never enough fertile land, and only seasonal employment. This caused a huge gap between the rich and poor. Causing a north versus south.
Also industrially there was need for industrialisaztion and reforms. This rarly occured because of poverty.
ALTHOUGH! there was a quick economic boom due to WWI neutrality.
Role of the regions
Another cause of tension was the struggle between the centralist states, Catatonia and the Basque provinces. Thee Catalans and the Basque had their own Separate languages and cultures as well as their own economies and churches.
There were many different political groups that apposed the status quo in spain.
PSOE (Spanish Social Party) had grown in urban
areas in the late 19th century, but had minimal impact. THE UGT ( General Union of workers) was also a socialist lead, and was a lot more "visible as they organized strikes and protests in urban regions.
Also due to the bolshevik revolution a small communist party had emerged in Spain. All of these liberal and socialist parties became a major role in the civil war but couldn't decide on how reforms should be made.
Another party that was huge was the anarchists. As well as the crazy FAI ( Spanish Anarchist Federation)
King Alfonso was not a modernizer, and due
to the spanish defeat in Morocco and the WWI
depression, he did not resist the coup of primo Rivera. Prime attempted to establish an authoritarian right wing regime. Caused the gov't to gain huge debt and thus 1931 he resigned for government, giving birth to THE SECOND REPUBLIC!
Short Term Causes
According to "a modern History Review" in 1931 nobody beilieved that war was inevidable except some lunatic right wing parties, which were the very small minority.
April 1931-November 1933
This became the reign of the left
wing government, which had won
by its promise to modernize Spain, thus declared a new constitution in which Manuel Azana was President.
Azana basically attacked all the right
wing republics ideas and manifestos,
which included The church,Army and
landowners. In response the Right wing
created CEDA( Spanish Confederation of
the Autonomous Right) which arguablly resembled
Germany's Nazi Party.
November 1933-February 1936
During the 1933 elections the republic swung to the right and CEDA made its founder Gil-Robles war Minister.
The 2 Years that the right ruled was
referred to as the "black Years" as the right
basically undid any effort the left made during the land redistribution Programme and other reforms
Then came the asturian Miners Uprising
The political response to the right republic was divided. Caballero Suggested that CEDA was the "Spanish Nazi Party" and resolved that the left should seek a "soviet style solution". Causing Gil-Robles to shift to Authoritarian control.
In the elections of February 1936 the "popular Front" became vicorious.
The General idea behind the popular front was to redo the left republics reforms, which upset the right
Anarchist Vs. CEDA
The left's Victory in 1936 threw CEDA into turmoil, and thus Gil-Robles began to use his funds to support a coup to overthrow it.
NOT only was Gil-Robles planning this
but also an extreme nationalist group of junior officers and senior Africanista began the idea as soon as the popular front won, these officers included Mola and Franco.
Azana knew that there were plans for a coup and
thus began moving key millitary figures to remote posts, but the plans were already made to occur on july 18th 1936, conspirators met with fasist falange group and the carlist.
When the plans of the coup were discovered, it initatied a day eaarlier on the 17th, from morocco, which then spread to the mainland, and was successful in taking nothern spain and parts of Andalusia, although it failed in the main industrial areas and rebels were unable to take Madrid, this is due to the fact that over haft the army stayed loyal to the republic
Although the nationalists made gains in the
first weeks of the war, the republic still maintained control of the major cities and key industrial areas, as well was Spain's gold reserves and important elements of the Military, and most of the Airforce and Navel stayed loyal.
one of the reasons why the Spanish civil war
was so intense, comes from foriegn intervention
Britain took the lead in establishing the NIC (non intervention Committee). Britain's main fear was that its would become a general European conflict. Although 3 of the key members of the NIC went against it ( Italy,Germany and USSR).
On July 20th the Coup leader Sanjurjo is killed on a plane crash, leaving command split between Emillio Mola in the north and Franssico Franco in the South.
On July 21st the Nationlists captured the
Spanish Naval base located in Ferrol (North Western Spain).
Also from July to Septemeber, The nationalists undertook the Campaign of Gipuzkao ( Under Mola's order)
Gipuzkao was a Republican held province in northern Spain, the conquering of Gipuzkao by the Nationalists occured by 2 different areas. First capturing Irun then san Sabastian
In late July Malo's northern forces were running low on ammunition. Thus Franco met with Malo and dilivered ammunition to the northern Nationalists.
The campaign was initially conceived by General Emilio Mola as an advance to Irún, to cut the northern provinces off from France, and to link up with the Nationalist garrison in San Sebastián that was to have seized that city.
On Augest 26th the assult on Irun occured,causing a bloody massacre on both sides and on septemeber 3rd the nationalists took control. (soon after a bunch of anarchist burned the city down),
On sepetember 13th the nationalist took
control of San Sabatation, which lead to an advance right to the border
The Nationalist conquered 1,000 square miles of terrain and many factories. Furthermore, they cut loss the Basques from the "friendly France". Then, Indalecio Prieto (Republican minister of defense) sent the Republican fleet to the northern ports in order to prevent a rebel blockade.
Republican government under Giral resigned on 4 September, unable to cope with the situation, and was replaced by a mostly Socialist organization under Largo Caballero. And on the 21st Franco was named Chief Millitary Commander.
On the 27th of September Franco had another
great victory in which the nationalist troops relieved the Alcazar in Toledo.
The Alcazar showed great resilience of the nationalists as they were able to withstand 8,000 members of the republicans( which consisted of FAI,UGT and CNT members) with only 800 civil guards,100 military members, 6 cadets and 200 right wing civilians.
The attack went on for over
a month and still the nationalists kept
a hold of the Alcazar, and eventually support troops came from the nationalist (African army) as promised by Franco.
In october Franco's nationalist force
attempted to attack Madrid, but was easily resistented, this was mainly due to the arrival of the international Bragrades. ALthough the republicians were shifted to Valcina from Madrid. This having failed, Franco began to attack Madrid from the air as well as encicle all the territories around Madrid in the next 2 years
With a swelling of Italian and Spanish colonial
forces (from Moracco) Franco then tried again at capturing Madrid in January-February but again FAILED.
Also in mid January the Battle of Malaga started
From March 8-11th the majority of the attack was coming from the Nationalist offensive. The major strategy used in this conflict was the blitzkreg, unfortunately this did not work and through the republican counterattacks from March 11-16th saw 5000 causalites to the Nationalists. This battle was really the last victory seen by the republicans.
In mid march the "war in the North" began.
This saw many Nationalist victories and began
Basques suffered most from the lack of a suitable air force on 26 April, the Condor Legion bombed the town of Guernica, killing two to three hundred. The destruction had a significant effect on international opinion and The Basques retreated.
April and May saw infighting among Republican groups in Catalonia. The dispute was between an ultimately victorious government – Communist force 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 on Huesca failed similarly.
In early July, despite the earlier fall in June 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 had led to an advance of 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi), and left 25,000 Republican casualties
The Battle of Teruel was an important confrontation. The city, which had formerly belonged to the Nationalists, was conquered by Republicans in January. Franco troops launched an offensive attack which lead to the recovery of 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 suing for peace in May, but Franco demanded unconditional surrender; the war raged on.
In July, the Nationalist army pressed southward from Teruel and south along the coast toward the capital of the Republic at Valencia, but was halted in heavy fighting along the XYZ Line, a system of fortifications defending Valencia
The XYZ Line, or was a system of fortifications built during the in order to defend the capital of the Republic in Valencia, Spain. Unlike the Maginot Line, or the Iron Belt of Bilbao, which were expensive systems of fortifications and bunkers made of reinforced concrete, the XYZ Line was a simpler system of defenses in depth consisting of trenches and bunkers that took advantage of some of the most difficult terrain in Spain to the north and northeast of 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.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 Catalonia
Tarragona fell on 15 January, followed by Barcelona on 26 January and Gerona on 2 February. On 27 February, the United Kingdom and France recognized the Franco regime.
Only 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 Negrin and formed a military Junta, the Council of National Defense (Consejo Nacional de Defensa or CND) to negotiate a peace deal. Negrin fled to France on 6 March, but the Communist troops around Madrid rose against the Junta, starting a brief civil war within the civil war.
On 26 March the Nationalists started a general offensive, on 28 March the Nationalists occupied Madrid and by 31 March they controlled all the Spanish territory. Franco proclaimed victory in a radio speech aired on 1 April, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.
Also Britain's Non intervention policies were very limited and seemed to favour the nationalists, as they focused on preventing aid to the republicans. In December of 1936 they signed a trading agreement with the rebels. The USA did the same allowing trade with the texaco oil and General Motors companies.
The french favoured the Republicans
but its support was very inconsistent. This
was because of the very split ideals the french had.
It would not be in french intrest to have a right-wing
regime on its borders as it already had Italy and Germany. Although French politics were just as polarized in France, causing them to fear of a revolt if France fully entered the Spanish Civil war. Although France mainly organized the International brigades.
Like France the Spanish Civil war caused a great dilemma for Stalin
The emergence of another Facist state would strengthen Hitler's position in Europe.
A republican victory could panic Britain
and France into an alliance with Germany against the threat of communism
Thus initially he welcomed the NIC, but seeing how Germany and Italy were breaking it, he went on to give international volunteers to Spain as well as Russian weaponry. He withdrew October 1936 and withdrew soviet support to the Nationalist in 1936 after the Munich agreement was signed
Germany was very cautious when
the appeal from help came from the rebels.One of the major reasons for support came from Hermann Goring, as he wanted to test out his Luftwaffe in live conditions. Also Hitlers assistance would give him
access to many raw materials.
Hitler did not want the war to last long
as well as only wanted to give limited aid, although
Germany was a member of the NIC it supplied the Nationalists through Portugal. And the German Luftwaffe was the major contributor in the bombing of Guernica
Italy gave the most assistance of all the forign
powers, Mussilini wanted to be involved for many reasons:
Involvment would be inline with his anti-communist/socalist outlook and pro facist stance
Mussolini wanted to enhance his influence
as a key power in the mediterranean to the other powers of Europe.
A facist vicory would prevent left-wing France
influnced in spain,causing the encircling of Facisim
The Italians sent over 70 000-75 000 troops as
well as tanks,planes and weapons. THe planes bombed spainish cities while the navel fleets secured Italy from other foriegn help.
Portugal was an important part of the foreign contribution to Franco's victory as it was the only foreign force not compromised by the NIC and thus became a medium in which Germany and Britain were able to help the nationalists, although Portugal did send 20 000 troops to Spain.
Condor legion-Consisted of 3 squandrons of Ju-52
bombers, as well as 3 squadrons of Heinkel He 51 fighters
Two armored units under the command of Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma, with 106 Panzer Is, were also operational.[