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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Spanish Civil War

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Spanish Civil War This forum is for discussion of the Spanish Civil War. , this sub-forum appears in the World War II section because Spain was both a training ground for and preview of what was about to break loose in Europe.

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  #16  
Old 27 Nov 15, 13:58
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Originally Posted by Bill Brown View Post
I am new to this forum, but I have been fascinated by the Spanish Civil War for more than 60 years
Edited to remove personal attack on poster.
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and I have hundreds of books on that topic in my personal collection. IMHO Paul Preston's books are the best in English
Paul Preston is a big pile of manure, he is a leftist opportunist and a crappy historian and an outright liar whose claim to flame is to have written a shoddy biased biography of Franco on demand for a leftist crowd.

There have been fine biographies of Franco written by foreigners decades ago like those of Hills and Crozier.

One has to wonder at the continual smearing of Franco and the nationalist side of the Spanish Civil War, 40 years after Franco's death. Why such insistence in rewriting history? Despite what Goebbels said, repeating a lie does not make it a truth.

Hugh Thomas was reasonably acceptable, but still slanted to the left, he wrote a general history of the war in the 60s , but was riddled with inaccuracies and factual errors, and was superceded by others research, even in his own time . Beevor is a mediocrity. A hack for hire, not a real historian, anyone familiar with his WWII books will know what to expect of his book on the SCW.

About the only British historian writing on the period that is acceptable is Raymond Carr, but the trouble is that there are no good British historians of Spain's history. Period. No exceptions.

It seems to be the same case with Russia. And probably other countries as well. It seems to be an inherent problem in the British mentality.
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Last edited by CarpeDiem; 27 Nov 15 at 16:00..
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  #17  
Old 02 Dec 15, 06:13
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Originally Posted by Nikki View Post
I agree, Paul Preston is very knowledgeable on the Spanish civil war. I highly recommend his book: The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain
I think that should be handled with caution. The data provided is generally considered accurate, but the conclusions are questionable. Both sides did indeed commit mass murder and countless war crimes, with the Francoists being surely the worse of the two sides; but Preston concludes it is legitimate to speak of extermination and genocide, without actually providing clear evidence of intent, without which I doubt you can have even attempted extermination.

Apart from that, naturally the book came under much criticism by extreme rightists in Spain because it's a blatant violation of the unspoken "pact of forgetting"; with the Amnista law of 1977, the idea was not to turn up the stones conveniently hiding the grisly remains of the Nationalists' butchery. That was challenged only in 2007 by the law for historical memory. While those physically committing the murders were by then, nearly 70 years after the events, mostly dead, their ideological heirs are still around, albeit in small numbers, and they don't like to be reminded of all of that.

All in all, by all means read the book for the facts, but make up your own mind and your own conclusion as to whether Franco and his henchmen really intended to carry out extermination or genocide, or merely tens of thousands of political murders and other crimes. That will also largely depend on your own definition of what an extermination, genocide, or attempted genocide are, of course.
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  #18  
Old 27 Oct 16, 00:05
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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I think that should be handled with caution. The data provided is generally considered accurate, but the conclusions are questionable. Both sides did indeed commit mass murder and countless war crimes, with the Francoists being surely the worse of the two sides; but Preston concludes it is legitimate to speak of extermination and genocide, without actually providing clear evidence of intent, without which I doubt you can have even attempted extermination.

Apart from that, naturally the book came under much criticism by extreme rightists in Spain because it's a blatant violation of the unspoken "pact of forgetting"; with the Amnista law of 1977, the idea was not to turn up the stones conveniently hiding the grisly remains of the Nationalists' butchery. That was challenged only in 2007 by the law for historical memory. While those physically committing the murders were by then, nearly 70 years after the events, mostly dead, their ideological heirs are still around, albeit in small numbers, and they don't like to be reminded of all of that.

All in all, by all means read the book for the facts, but make up your own mind and your own conclusion as to whether Franco and his henchmen really intended to carry out extermination or genocide, or merely tens of thousands of political murders and other crimes. That will also largely depend on your own definition of what an extermination, genocide, or attempted genocide are, of course.

Point well made. The crux of the Spanish Civil War is that it was hard for one to know which side is the 'good' side. It's easy to paint the Fascists as the bad guys, but if the "Republicans" had succeeded in suppressing the rebels, chances are one the first post-war casualties would've been representative democracy. Certainly none of the anarchists or communists cared about the Cortes, and the left wing Socialists, led by Largo Caballero, talked of overthrowing democracy at every turn.
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Old 14 Jan 17, 23:04
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An enjoyable yet handy novel set in the Spanish Civil War

Arturo Perez-Reverte has just published an historical fiction cum Noir genre novel entitled "Falco"(accent on the last syllable). In a nutshell: Hardboiled Spanish naval academy failure turned gunrunner has returned to Spain where he works undercover as a nationalist Naval intelligence operative. His latest assignment is to take a team of young Falangists to Alicante where they will spring Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the Falangist Party, from a Republican prison and get him aboard a waiting German warship. There are lots of twists and turns in this novel from one of Spain's most successful novelists, and Perez-Reverte does a first rate job of making both sides human. In Spanish, and highly recommended for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Spain of this period.
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  #20  
Old 29 Jan 17, 20:21
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Please allow me to recommend the following book:

FRANCO'S FRIENDS: HOW BRITISH INTELLIGENCE HELPED BRING FRANCO TO POWER IN SPAIN by PETER DAY

Very disturbing to find the British M16 playing a major role in the fall of the Spanish Republic and supportive of a fascist insurrection. These British element would again appear in yet another civil war, that being the Greek Civil War, immediately after WW2. Once again, they supported a fascist movement to dominate power. Can we see the pattern here? Note also the USA power elites were taking notes and began actively to engage their own military/intelligence assets working with the British starting in Greece. It lead to an inspirational event, in a wicked sense, into the birth of the CIA.
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Old 08 Feb 17, 06:36
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Originally Posted by Bo Archer View Post
These British element would again appear in yet another civil war, that being the Greek Civil War, immediately after WW2.
The Greek Civil war had already begun during WWII, in 1943, when the Communist ELAS attacked the other partisan movements which were fighting the Nazis but which were not Communist-inspired, backed and funded. The ELAS succeeded in entirely wiping out the EKKA, an active but very small partisan movement having a Republican background. The Communists did not manage to destroy the much larger EDES, also Republican as to politics, but operating almost only in the Epirus. They managed to neutralize it, though.

Indeed, the following year (1944) Greece was attributed to the British sphere of influence to the tune of 90% (yes, Churchill and Stalin did actually haggle over percentages of influence in several countries!). Stalin, instead of complying, tried to push the envelope in Greece. It was a way to test the Western determination to enforce the agreements, not to mention the long-term Russian push towards a foothold on the warmer seas. He thought he had fairly good chances given that the Communist partisans were strong (also thanks to their pre-emptive strikes against any future opposition as mentioned above), and the King not very popular.
He discovered the British were serious enough.
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Old 09 Feb 17, 22:20
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Thank You! I will somewhat agree with your post cited above. However I feel I must address some areas lacking context which could lead our visitors to a misunderstanding caused by your design. I am not trying to distract from the thread but bear with me.

You fail to disclose that all progressive groups (types of communists and republicans) were initially in alliance in a type of popular front against the German Nazi occupation. All had initially full British support in all resources. The ELAS communist movement was popular and most powerful insurgency. At one time, they controlled three fifth of the country. The Greek insurgency were united on one point and that was they were nearly all anti monarchist and against the return of the King (unless a popular vote in support of the return of the King).

It would be Tito and the neighboring communist nations that gave support to the insurgency. Stalin was grossly indifferent and happy with his understanding agreement with Churchill over divide their sphere of influence. I blame the British for the Civil War due to their policy to impose the monarch upon the Greek people at gunpoint and the their violence upon the leftists and anti monarchists. The EKKA had a tiny army and were seen as a British front working against the leftists which is why they were destroyed. The Greek Left were abandon by Stalin, Tito (later), and the West to die a heroic death by criminal murder, torture, incarceration, and exile. Glory! Glory!
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Old 14 Feb 17, 05:29
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Yes, the accusation of being traitors, collaborators of the enemy, or at least pawns, is a standard excuse by the Communists in this time frame to get rid of competitors. Since this is the Spanish Civil war subforum, one only has to look at what happened to the POUM.
Closer to home (for me) is the Porzs massacre, when a number of leaders and common partisans of a Catholic, monarchist local formation where slaughtered by Communist partisans under an entirely fake accusation of collaboration with the Fascists.
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