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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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  #31  
Old 02 Feb 13, 15:37
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
As was the Italian navy.
It's a lesser known fact that German U-boats as well as Italian submarines were active during the Spanish Civil War.
Interesting article here:
http://www.uboat.net/articles/59.html
There was even a faintly farcial "Neutrality Patrol" to look for "Pirate Submarines," composed of Italian, French, British, and German ships, led by the Deutschland. Her captain sent a signal that said it would be nice if such cooperation were to become more common.
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  #32  
Old 02 Feb 13, 16:22
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I'm not that certain that absence of foreign involvement would have made that much difference. What i have understood (please feel free to correct me) is... That army on the mainland Spain split pretty much half and half with Nationalist gaining larger share of equipment. African Army went with Nationalists. Airforce didn't really matter since they were small and obsoleted to begin with. Republicans gained larger share of the Navy but Nationalists gained the best portion of the Navy. In addition Republicans 'cleansed' quite a bit of the officers which put a severe dent in the capabilities of the military assets they had acquired.

Now then, it looks like stalemate to me on the mainland. Except that without foreign blockades nothing could have prevented Franco just sailing to Cadiz & Sevilla. Which would have stacked the odds quite a bit against the Republicans. What i perceive from that is a quite a bit longer war, and where some of the terrors of WW II era warfare would have been avoided (like Guernica) both nationalist and republican terror (neither side played it nice) would have likely lasted longer and resulted in possibly even larger number of victims instead.

While the war would have likely lasted longer and the end result could have respectively been less certain i believe the nationalists would have won the war in the end. That is assuming total foreign non-involvement to the war.
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  #33  
Old 02 Feb 13, 20:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeltaja View Post
I'm not that certain that absence of foreign involvement would have made that much difference. What i have understood (please feel free to correct me) is... That army on the mainland Spain split pretty much half and half with Nationalist gaining larger share of equipment. African Army went with Nationalists. Airforce didn't really matter since they were small and obsoleted to begin with. Republicans gained larger share of the Navy but Nationalists gained the best portion of the Navy. In addition Republicans 'cleansed' quite a bit of the officers which put a severe dent in the capabilities of the military assets they had acquired.

Now then, it looks like stalemate to me on the mainland. Except that without foreign blockades nothing could have prevented Franco just sailing to Cadiz & Sevilla. Which would have stacked the odds quite a bit against the Republicans. What i perceive from that is a quite a bit longer war, and where some of the terrors of WW II era warfare would have been avoided (like Guernica) both nationalist and republican terror (neither side played it nice) would have likely lasted longer and resulted in possibly even larger number of victims instead.

While the war would have likely lasted longer and the end result could have respectively been less certain i believe the nationalists would have won the war in the end. That is assuming total foreign non-involvement to the war.
You are quite possibly right, my only argument on the subject was having the Germans and Italians on your side must have been a big plus towards who was going to win.Don't you think? lcm1
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  #34  
Old 03 Feb 13, 02:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
You are quite possibly right, my only argument on the subject was having the Germans and Italians on your side must have been a big plus towards who was going to win.Don't you think? lcm1
Certainly. The foreign help changed pretty much the whole nature (but in my opinion not the result) of the war.
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  #35  
Old 03 Feb 13, 21:45
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Certainly. The foreign help changed pretty much the whole nature (but in my opinion not the result) of the war.
See your point Vael: lcm1
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  #36  
Old 04 Feb 13, 03:15
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The foreign intervention actually had marginal effect on the final outcome.

The notion that without the Condor Legion, Franco would have been stuck in Spain, is simply false. The operation airlifted some 15,000 men in all. They were crack units, thus very welcome to the Nationalist forces that were already in Spain, but one division doesn't make the difference between being in the motherland or stuck in the colonies.
The Regia Aeronautica also airlifted troops for Franco, again not in significant numbers.

The Republic controlled most of the navy, yes. In theory, they should have been able to bottle the African troops. In practice, they weren't. The Kriegsmarine and Regia Marina involvement took place later and it was mostly aimed at blockading the Soviet supplies.

Certainly the presence of the German and Italian full units, and the help by Portuguese "volunteers", helped the nationalists. The Soviet supplies and military advisor, however, together with the true volunteers from all over the world, offset this, if not entirely, at least to a significant extent.
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  #37  
Old 04 Feb 13, 03:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
The foreign intervention actually had marginal effect on the final outcome.

The notion that without the Condor Legion, Franco would have been stuck in Spain, is simply false. The operation airlifted some 15,000 men in all. They were crack units, thus very welcome to the Nationalist forces that were already in Spain, but one division doesn't make the difference between being in the motherland or stuck in the colonies.
The Regia Aeronautica also airlifted troops for Franco, again not in significant numbers.

The Republic controlled most of the navy, yes. In theory, they should have been able to bottle the African troops. In practice, they weren't. The Kriegsmarine and Regia Marina involvement took place later and it was mostly aimed at blockading the Soviet supplies.

Certainly the presence of the German and Italian full units, and the help by Portuguese "volunteers", helped the nationalists. The Soviet supplies and military advisor, however, together with the true volunteers from all over the world, offset this, if not entirely, at least to a significant extent.
Must differ with you on this point, the outside help may not have made any differance to the ultimate result, but to have the Luftwaffe learning their war techniques overhead must have accelerated the final outcome. lcm1
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  #38  
Old 04 Feb 13, 21:49
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One Civil War that is forgotten too often is where the communists lost. Had the war gone another direction, Spain would have probably become a battleground after the end of WW2, like Greece.

The importance of the war itself was mostly in exhausting Italy's strength. After their intervention, they were in no state to fight anyone.
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  #39  
Old 05 Feb 13, 03:51
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One Civil War that is forgotten too often is where the communists lost. Had the war gone another direction, Spain would have probably become a battleground after the end of WW2, like Greece.

The importance of the war itself was mostly in exhausting Italy's strength. After their intervention, they were in no state to fight anyone.
So and so. From the point of view of expenditure, the Spanish Civil War was a bad investment, but much worse had been the Ethiopian war, and the place continued to gobble money 1936-39 because of the Italian effort to develop it.

From the point of view of personnel losses, the Spanish battles weren't all that bad.

From the point of view of existing equipment, certainly thousands of tons were sent there and used up, or, at the end of the war, just given over to the Spaniards. The question is how important the equipment would have been.
L3s? If the Italians had come out of Spain without even one of those sardine cans, it might have been much better; a faint possibility would have existed that they would have decided they were obsolete. probably not, knowing how the dictatorship, the generals, and the industry worked; but the possibility would have existed.
By way of comparison, the Italians phased out the old crappy 65mm infantry gun with the Spanish Civil War, sending lots of them there, and introducing the new 47mm AT gun. They had planned to do that anyway, but the Spanish Civil War emptied the armories of those old 65mms.
So you have to assess every piece of equipment. It was a pity to give away the 100mm guns, for instance.

A final note is about fuel consumption. I have read a military history magazine article complaining about the fuel burned by the Italian submarines in blockading the Soviet supplies. That was fuel that could have come in handy later, that's true, but I have my doubts that even a lot of missions by subs burn up comparable amounts to those that are needed for a sortie of the major warships.

---

I'd also question your assessment about the post-war possible developments. If the Republic (not "the Communists", you know) had won, then in 1945 that would have been the lawful government in power. The only way for the place to become a battleground would have been an invasion by the Western Allies - unlikely, against a neutral but friendly government.
Alternatively, the step needed would have been that after the Republic wins, the Germans invade France and continue into Spain. In that case, Spain and its colonies would have become a battleground during WWII, not after it.
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  #40  
Old 05 Feb 13, 04:19
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Well, I am not sure if the Spanish civil war exhausted Italy. Italy just wasn't at the time truly industrialized country - more like developing agricultural country and its industrial capability & capacity were respectively rather poor. Also Italians - or rather Mussolini - did not really appear to take heed from the lessons of the Spanish civil war.
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  #41  
Old 27 Mar 13, 18:43
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In the final look, how much aid did each side get?
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  #42  
Old 30 Mar 13, 21:04
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In the final look, how much aid did each side get?
From the very beginning Italy supported the rebels, and appeals were made to Hitler by the insurrectionists for aid. Aeroplanes were supplied along with pilots and instructors. The Condor Legion was directed by a von Richtofen, the cousin of Manfred of WWI fame. Italy sent Ansaldo tanks and amoured vehicles and Fiat aircraft to Spain to help Franco's insurrectionists. Britain threatened France with the cancelling of her alliance, if she supported the Republican government.

When Franco's troops took Irun on the French border the survivors lamented at the trains of military supplies lying in sidings just across the border. Which the French dared not release, even though they had been paid for, because of fear of losing their alliance with Britain. This from The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas, The Passionate War by Peter Wyden, Mexico and the Spanish Republicans by Lois Elwyn Smith and The Spanish Republic and the Civil War by Gabriel Jackson. Further references available on request.
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Last edited by Nickuru; 30 Mar 13 at 21:11.. Reason: syntax
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  #43  
Old 01 Apr 13, 19:12
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Originally Posted by Nickuru View Post
From the very beginning Italy supported the rebels, and appeals were made to Hitler by the insurrectionists for aid. Aeroplanes were supplied along with pilots and instructors. The Condor Legion was directed by a von Richtofen, the cousin of Manfred of WWI fame. Italy sent Ansaldo tanks and amoured vehicles and Fiat aircraft to Spain to help Franco's insurrectionists. Britain threatened France with the cancelling of her alliance, if she supported the Republican government.

When Franco's troops took Irun on the French border the survivors lamented at the trains of military supplies lying in sidings just across the border. Which the French dared not release, even though they had been paid for, because of fear of losing their alliance with Britain. This from The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas, The Passionate War by Peter Wyden, Mexico and the Spanish Republicans by Lois Elwyn Smith and The Spanish Republic and the Civil War by Gabriel Jackson. Further references available on request.
In addition to those, I particularly like Arms for Spain: The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War by Gerald Howson
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  #44  
Old 03 Apr 13, 13:48
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I completed an honors project in college about the Civil War. From what I learned, I believe that the fascists wouldn't have been successful in their coup without Nazi suppliers.
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  #45  
Old 04 Apr 13, 03:39
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I completed an honors project in college about the Civil War. From what I learned, I believe that the fascists wouldn't have been successful in their coup without Nazi suppliers.
That is what you would read. The assistance of Nazi Germany is widely documented in English, especially the aircraft contingent. The Italian contribution was much greater, but gets scant mention.

http://www.belliludi.com/sullivan_english.html

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