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SCW. Conduct. People. The Nationalists. Gen. Fransisco Franco Leader of Moroccan troops – very competent Hated by Left for role in Asturian revolt Was sent to Canary islands as an internal exile by Popular front gov. Gen. Mola

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The nationalists
The Nationalists

  • Gen. Fransisco Franco

    • Leader of Moroccan troops – very competent

    • Hated by Left for role in Asturian revolt

    • Was sent to Canary islands as an internal exile by Popular front gov.

  • Gen. Mola

    • Nominally senior to Franco, second only to Sanjurjo among plotters


  • Largo Caballero

    • Replaced giral as PM, also became War minister

  • Juan Negrin

    • Made PM in may 1937, tool of Communists

  • Manuel Azana

    • President at start of war, lacked any real authority

  • Andres Nin

    • Leader of POUM, jailed and executed by gov after may revolt

  • Luis Companys

    • Catalonian leader – formed coalition of POUM and CNT

  • Indalecio Prieto

    • Socialist leader rival of Caballero


  • Hugo Sperrle

    • Comander of Condor Legion

  • Wolfram von Richthofen

    • Sperrle’s Chief of staff

  • Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko

    • Soviet consul general to Republicans

  • George Orwell

    • Most famous member of International Brigades

The beginning
The beginning

  • July 17th several Generals attempt a coup against government

    • In response to actions of the Popular front government and political assassinations

  • Franco in Canary Islands Flies to Morocco

    • Assumes command of Spanish army there including the feared Riffians

The coup fails
The coup fails

  • Many garrisons refuse to participate

  • Anarchist, marxist and militias defeat rebels in Barcelona, Madrid and in southeast

    • Republican govt initially hesitant to give arms to militias because of radical activities

  • Navy remains under Republican control

    • Franco’s army stuck in Morocco

  • Coup leader Sanjurjo killed in plane crash


  • As many as 50,000 people killed as each side kills the supporters of the other side

  • Militias on each side responsible for most of killings on republican side

    • Anti-clerical violence is the most reported

    • Has very negative impact on support for republicans outside of Spain

  • Carlists and Falangists killed more people

Foreign involvement
Foreign involvement

  • Franco unable to move troops from Africa

    • appeals to Hitler and Mussolini

    • Airlift begins in late July

  • France stops arms sales to Republicans Aug 28

    • Non-intervention policy begins

    • Nominally accepted by Ger., Itl. and Port.

    • Some in British govt fear communist influence

Reasons for non intervention
Reasons for non-intervention

  • GB

    • Fear of communists and anarchists

    • Many in British gov think nationalist victory would be better

    • Don’t want to spark confrontation with Ger. And Italy

  • France

    • Many of the same domestic political probs as Spain – fear of rightwing revolt

    • Following GB lead in international affairs

International brigades
International Brigades

  • Idea of French Communist party leader

  • Organized by Comintern

  • Volunteers from Communist parties around the world

  • Brigades from all over the world

    • 2 from US

    • Orwell part of British brigade

  • Withdrawn in Nov 1938

Consolidation of leadership for the nationalists
Consolidation of leadership for the Nationalists

  • Sanjurjo killed in Plane crash

  • Jose Primo de Rivera executed in nov 1937

    • Leader of Falange

    • Was in prison at beginning of war

  • Carlists join rebellion early on, form own militias

  • FET formed by Franco in April of 1937

    Mola killed in Plane crash in June 3 1937

    - last rival to Franco

    Franco assumes control as sole leader of Nationalists in Oct 1937

Division among the republicans
Division among the Republicans

  • Largo Caballero finally made PM in sept 1936

  • Basques form own Government

  • Anarchists control Generalidad in Barcelona

  • Communists demand positions in Government for Russian aid

  • Spanish gold reserves sent to USSR for safe keeping

Nationalist offensive against madrid
Nationalist offensive against Madrid

  • Franco aims for a quick end Nov 1936

    • Moroccan troops under Yague storm from SW to outskirts of Madrid

    • Several Southern cities fall to Nationalists

    • Stand off at Toledo relief of Alcazar by Nationalists

    • Republican Forces Hold Firm, Mostly Union Militias, and International brigades

Franco takes his time
Franco takes his time

  • Reorganizes Army

  • Decides to take territory a little at a time

  • Moves to the North to secure access to mines

  • Condor Legion tries out new Tactics on Guernica in April 1937

Crisis in barcelona may 1937
Crisis in Barcelona May 1937

  • Communists demand central authority

  • Telephone exchange in Barcelona taken by Communists

  • Fighting breaks out between Anarchist militia units and Communist controlled army units

  • Anarchists crushed

Republican offensives
Republican offensives

  • Assault upon Brunette successful

  • Attack on Teruel not

Communist s war 1937 1938
Communist’s war 1937-1938

  • Caballero ousted May 17

  • Dr Jose Negrin forms Government with majority of Communist ministers

  • Secret police formed to root out oppsition

  • POUM leaders arrested

  • Supplies only given to Communist officers

  • Republican Capitol moved to Barcelona

Crumbling of the republic
Crumbling of the Republic

  • Mar 1938 Nationalist offensive in Aragon drives to Med by Apr 15

  • Republic split, tries offensive along Ebro River but held back

  • Stalin getting nervous about Hitler, Russian support wanes

  • International Brigades withdrawn in Nov

Fall of barcelona
Fall of Barcelona

  • Nationalist offensive begins in Dec 1938

  • Barcelona captured by Jan 26th 1939

Surrender of madrid
Surrender of Madrid

  • Communists ousted from Republican Government Mar 10

  • Negotiations for term fail

  • Last loyal units surrender Mar 31,1939


  • 600,000 dead

    • Franco Signs Five year friendship treaty with Hitler, stays neutral during war

    • Purges of suspected Republican Supporters kill as many as 200,000

    • Guerrilla warfare lasts for several years

    • All separatist movements crushed, totalitarian regime established until 1975 when Franco dies.

Fundamental issues
Fundamental Issues

  • Why, despite its achievements, did the Second Republic prove so unstable?

  • Could democracy have survived or was it doomed from the start?

  • Was a dictatorship the only form of government possible in a society so divided?

  • If it was primarily an international war, why did countries choose to involve themselves, or not, as the case may be?

  • Were there ideological principles or national interests that determined their course of action?

  • Was it a chance for the European powers to rehearse their positions and test their weapons prior to the greater conflict to come?

Military significance
Military significance choose to involve themselves, or not, as the case may be?

  • Airpower

    • First use of air tranport to move army- tremendous boost to Nationalists

    • Guernica – very influential although overblown- more propaganda than reality

      • Germans became overconfident on abilities of Luftwaffe – don’t develop strategic bombers

      • Provides impetus for the development of RAF defenses – Radar and Spitfire developed

  • Italian soldiers perform very poorly as many as 60,000 Italian “volunteers” serve in Spain

  • Both SU and Germany gain technical knowledge on mechanized and air warfare

  • German and Soviet limit personal to technical advisors or pilots –they gain experience – served as training ground

International impact
International impact Italian “volunteers” serve in Spain

  • USSR decides it cant trust Western LDs

    • Forms Non-aggression pact with Germany

    • Felt that West was trying to drive Hitler against USSR

    • Gave up on cooperation with west

  • Germany and Italy drawn closer together

    • Form Pact of Steel aka Rome-Berlin Axis