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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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  #1  
Old 29 May 15, 11:05
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Republican Armoured Buses and Lorries

.The Spanish Civil War saw a plethora of armoured buses and lorries of many different designs. Most of these were produced and used by the Republican forces. In almost all cases they were ineffectual and a major waste of resource that could have been put to other military use. One of the enduring myths of this war is that the Nationalists prevailed over the Republicans in a large part due to the superior armoured forces supplied by the Germans and Italians. In reality the Soviet tanks supplied to the Republicans were far better being faster, better armed and more heavily armoured than the best of the German tanks provided (the Panzer Mark II) and the Italian tankettes were of little use at all.

Whilst individual Republican tank crews were often both capable and confident the deployment and tactical use of these armoured forces was singularly inept.

Despite the technical superiority of the Soviet supplied tanks the Republicans continued to produce a motley collection of home grown armour. Some of these vehicle were very crude slab sided armoured sheds on wheels, but others had a degree of streamlining.

Many of the improvised armoured vehicles were produced by one of the complex series of political alliances that made up the Republican cause. This was the CNT-FAI (Confederation National del Trabajo - Federation Anarquista Iberica) that could be described as a grouping of anarchist organisations (if this is not an oxymoron). The CNT-FAI had its own militia forces and set up a number of factories to convert lorries and buses into armoured vehicles for these units. CNT-FAI regarded themselves as only in temporary alliance with the other Republican forces (dominated by the Communist and Socialist factions) and looked past the end of the civil war to a point when they would be vying for power against them. They tended to overlook the paltry detail that they had first to beat the Nationalists (a failing common to many elements of the Republican alliance). The CNT-FAI may well have been attempting to create its own armoured force to balance those units equipped with the Soviet tanks whose allegiance was with the Communist and Socialist factions.

There appears to have been little standardisation or consistency in the design of these vehicles (well after all these were anarchic factories) and no thought seems to have been given to petty considerations such as maintenance in the field. As a result there was a remarkable absence of inspection and access hatches to the engine, drive and suspension. This meant that even the smallest adjustment or repair was impossible without removing the entire armoured super structure. Photographs of CNT-FAI workers assembling an armoured bus similar to the hippopotamus shaped vehicle of which I have attached a drawing suggest that this would not have been easy as the construction techniques shown resemble those used in building horse drawn coaches whose bodywork is not intended to be disassembled. Considerable skill, time and effort must have been needed to produce curved armour – one wonders why they bothered. The result of this stunning oversight was that when such a vehicle suffered even a minor breakdown it was usually abandoned. Despite this the CNT-FAI factories made no change to their designs (the faction appears to have had structural problems in recognising problems, learning from them and making appropriate adjustments in general). The vehicles themselves were too heavy for the Spanish roads of the time and frequently became bogged down or suffered mechanical or suspension failure. They were too slow and cumbersome to avoid enemy gunfire and the Nationalists learned very quickly how to use artillery fire to take them out. The ultimate verdict on worth of these vehicles is provided by the Nationalist’s attitude to those that they captured, they made no attempt to use them themselves but merely scrapped them as quickly as possible.
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Last edited by MarkV; 29 May 15 at 14:14..
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  #2  
Old 29 May 15, 11:10
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Interesting.

But pay the extra fee and get your return key activated. That solid block of text is a little rough to read.
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Old 29 May 15, 12:43
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Interesting.

But pay the extra fee and get your return key activated. That solid block of text is a little rough to read.
I think you'll find there are paragraphs
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Old 29 May 15, 13:55
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
One of the enduring myths of this war is that the Nationalists prevailed over the Republicans in a large part due to the superior armoured forces supplied by the Germans and Italians. In reality the Soviet tanks supplied to the Republicans were far better being faster, better armed and more heavily armoured than the best of the German tanks provided (the Panzer Mark II) and the Italian tankettes were of little use at all.
Er. First thing, I didn't know that that was an enduring myth at all.

Secondly, yes, the Russian tanks were better armed, armored, and some of them were faster (the BTs) while others were slower (the T-26s). However, ending there fails to consider their main shortcoming in comparison with the enemy armor: the lack of reliability. The BTs were of the first series and their powerful, airplane engines tended to overheat and seize (or go up in flames outright). The T-26s bogged down easily and had tread woes.
Couple that with crews of iffy training, and maintenance problems, and you see what I mean.

Thirdly, the quintessential tank that the Germans provided was the Pz I. The Pz II has been claimed to have come to Spain; some sources deny that. If it really came, it would have been in very small numbers.

Fourthly, the Pz I and the Italian CV 33 of course were of little use at all if facing enemy tanks. But the problem is that if no enemy tanks were present - which was often the case -, then what would be present? Infantry. With few if any AT guns. With no mines. No AT rifles or other infantry anti-tank weapons. No real training for AT combat. A MG-armed tankette is exactly designed with this sort of enemy in mind, and they worked well - often. When they did not, was due to terrain/obstacles, or to training problems on the friendly side, too (tankers and infantry were often not trained to cooperate).
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Old 29 May 15, 13:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I think you'll find there are paragraphs
Not really apparent.

Throw some spaces between them. Much easier to read that way, and therefore much more likely to be read..
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Old 29 May 15, 14:12
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Not really apparent.

Throw some spaces between them. Much easier to read that way, and therefore much more likely to be read..
Not so easy if you prepare your post in Word and then paste it in - the forum software removes your spacing etc.
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Old 29 May 15, 14:18
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Not so easy if you prepare your post in Word and then paste it in - the forum software removes your spacing etc.
Go in afterward and insert spacing. That's how I do it.

Another point is you seem to be make declarative threads. That's fine, but usually threads are presented in the form of a question or opinion so as to draw a response and begin a discussion.
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Old 30 May 15, 06:20
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Not so easy if you prepare your post in Word and then paste it in - the forum software removes your spacing etc.
For longer postings, I've used Notepad and Word and have found the former to be more forum friendly.
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Old 05 Jun 15, 10:49
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For reference of anybody feeling curious about these vehicles, a good combination of search terms is "tiznaos" and "guerra civil". "Tiznao" means "blackened", and one assumes these vehicles were often not overly clean. Or maybe it's the color of those handicrafted plates.

A somewhat less improvised vehicle, an armored car built in the local Hispano-Suiza factory and called Autoametralladora Chevrolet 1937, was employed by the Nationalists when they captured it; and, indeed, it remained in service with the Ejercito de tierra even after 1939.
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Old 26 Oct 16, 22:37
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Here are some pics of the improvised armoured vehicles aka tiznaos.


























Last edited by Reimnitz; 27 Oct 16 at 01:13..
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Old 26 Oct 16, 22:50
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Old 26 Oct 16, 22:51
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Armoured car of apparently Russian origin captured in Spanish Civil War.

I say apparently because it says 'Hispano Suiza' on the plaque above the drivers slots.


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Old 26 Oct 16, 23:37
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This image is actually from Germany and shows a vehicle used by the Freikorps.
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Old 26 Oct 16, 23:50
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This image is actually from Germany and shows a vehicle used by the Freikorps.
Sorry about that. Should've paid better attention to the pic details. Thanks for catching it.
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Old 27 Oct 16, 00:06
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Sorry about that. Should've paid better attention to the pic details. Thanks for catching it.
No problem and great selection

think the last image you posted may be a version of a Hispano Suiza 3t6

See third post on this page :http://mundosgm.com/guerra-civil-esp...l-espanola/15/
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