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The Spanish Civil War: When Two Tribes Go To War.


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Uranprojekt #1 Posted 22 October 2015 - 04:08 PM

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Introduction
 

The Spanish Civil War, known simply as "Guerra Civil" in Spain, began in 1936 after years of civil unrest which culminated in an attempted coup d'état by officers in Spain's Republican Army. The coup was not entirely successful in achieving its goal of overthrowing the Spanish Republic and a civil war lasting 2 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and 1 day quickly broke out. From the 17th of July, 1936, Spain was divided into Republicans and Nationalists, each with their respective supporters, who fought bitterly until the Nationalists could finally declare victory over the Republican government on April 1st, 1939 (how's that for a bad April's Fool Day joke?). This victory led to a period of dictatorship in Spain under General Francisco Franco, who had risen to the leadership of the de facto Nationalist government which was formed during the war, until his death in 1975.

 

In this article, I will cover the cause of this war, list some of the key figures and groups that supported the two warring factions.

 

Before I get started, I'd like to make a small distinction. The Spanish nationalists weren't fascists like their compadres in Italy and Germany. The Spanish nationalists were similar to the Italian and German fascists but were known as Falangists which was the nationalist political movement in Spain which combined nationalism with traditional monarchist sentiments.
 

Historical Background to the Conflict

 

Spain had been in a lengthy period of political turmoil before the civil war began, long before the war began. The turmoil can be traced back to mid way through the 19th century when Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon was on the throne. Much like the 1930's, there was a lot of civil unrest and tension in Spain during Queen Isabella's reign. This unrest and tension eventually brought her reign to an end when she was overthrown in 1868 following widespread riots in multiple large cities across Spain. Queen Isabella was succeeded by King Amadeo I but his reign was not to last long, growing pressure from Spanish conservatives forcing him to abdicate in 1873. King Amadeo's abdication allowed for the creation of the First Spanish Republic but this new way of rule was not to last long, after only a year the Republic was overthrown by a successful coup led by General Arsenio Martinez-Campos y Anton. King Alfonso XIII rose to the throne and established a new period of Spanish monarchy. This period of monarchist rule lasted until 1931 when the government of General Miguel Primo de Rivera, who had come to power after a successful royal-sponsored coup in 1925 against the then government in power, fell after he lost the support of the army. Municipal elections were quickly held after the fall of Rivera which Spanish anti-monarchist conservatives won in a landslide victory. King Alfonso XIII was forced to abdicate and flee to Portugal to live in exile, leaving the door open for the creation of the Second Spanish Republic.

 

A New Government with the Same Old Problems 

 

The Second Spanish Republic was not popular amongst the religious and monarchist Spaniards who accused the new Republican government of religious persecution. The religious people in Spain felt the Church was being persecuted after the government's slow response to a wave of anti-clerical violence which was sparked by an attack on a taxi driver outside of a club in Madrid with pro-monarchist ties in May, 1931. In June and July of the same year, violence rose after a series of strikes organised by the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo were brutally suppressed by the Civil Guard, Assault Guard and the Army.

 

The following months and years saw an increase in civil unrest as the result of controversial government policies, such as the confiscation of land from aristocrats by the government, and events such as the Casas Viejas Incident. This incident refers to bloody response by the government to a march by workers through the streets of Casas Viejas, a small agricultural village in Andalusia. In January,1933, a demonstration by workers in the village led to two members of the Civil Guard being injured (to my knowledge, there is no record of how the Civil Guardsmen were injured) which prompted the government to send in more Civil Guard troops and the Assault Guard. With the Civil and Assault Guards entering the village, some of the more radical workers that had been part of the march opted to resist arrest and barricade themselves in a house in the village which led to a standoff and small firefight breaking out. Troops from the Civil and Assault Guards set the house on fire to drive the workers out and arrested the survivors. The Guards then searched the village and arrested anyone found to be in possession of a gun. In total, including the survivors of the fire, the Guards arrested 24 people. Those 24 people were marched through the ruins of the burned house, lined up in the garden and shot. Now, the Casas Viejas Incident isn't the only event of this type to occur but I would prefer not to describe any similar occurrences in detail as I feel that the Casas Viejas Incident demonstrates the brutality I mentioned earlier.

 

Two Tribes Go To War

 

Key Republicans

 

Manuel Azaña - Second President of the Second Spanish Republic, in office 1936-1939.

Santiago Casares Quiroga - Prime Minister at the outbreak of the civil war, in office May 13 1936 to July 19 1936.

Juan Negrin - Prime Minister at the end of the civil war, in office May 17 1937 to April 1 1939.

 

Key Republican Political Groups

 

Popular Front - Main Republican political party

Confederacíon Nacional de Trabajo (CNT) - National Confederation of Labour

Federacíon Anarquista Ibéria (FAI) - Iberian Anarchist Federation

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) - Republican Left of Catalonia

Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) - General Union of Workers

Estat Català (EC) - Catalan State

Euzko Gudarostea (EG) - Basque Army

Partido Galeguista (PG) - Galicianist Party

 

Foreign Supporters of the Republicans

 

USSR

Mexico

International Brigades (IBs) - The IBs were unaffiliated foreign supporters of the Republican government.
 

Key Nationalists

 

General José Sanjurjo - Original leader of the coup in 1936, Sanjurjo was already living in exile in Portugal due to a previous failed coup attempt in 1933.

General Emilio Mola - Chief planner of the coup, Mola was serving as military commander of Pamplona prior to the beginning of the coup in 1936.

General Francisco Franco - Eventual leader of the Nationalist forces during the war, Franco was serving as the commander of the Spanish Army of Africa prior to the beginning of the coup in 1936.
 

Key Nationalist Political Groups

 

Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (Falange Española de las JONS) - Spanish Phalanx of the Unions of the National-Syndicalist Offensive, often shortened to just Falange. This was the main nationalist group in Spain, it shared similarities with the Italian and German fascists but had a more religious and monarchist sentiment than the fascist groups in Italy and Germany.

Carlists - Traditionalist pro-monarchy group.

Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA) - Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right Wing Groups.

Alfonsists - Pro-monarchy group supporting the return of King Alfonso XIII to the throne.
 

During the war, in 1937, the Falange and the Carlists merged in order to give the new de facto nationalist government more power, following the merger the Falange became the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista.

 

Foreign Supporters of the Nationalists

 

Kingdom of Italy (including, but not limited to, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie)

Nazi Germany (including, but not limited to, the Condor Legion)

Portugal

Unorganised foreign volunteers

 

The Coup Begins

 

The coup began on 17/18 July, 1936, but the men behind it had been planning the coup since the spring of 1936. The politicians in government were thought to be too weak to rule by many officers in the Republican Army and it was the perceived weakness that brought about the planning of the coup.

 

The government, however, was suspicious of the Republican Army (not a surprise considering that there had been at least three coups since the time of Queen Isabella II) and started shuffling things around to try and defeat any potential coup plans. The government had General Mola moved from his post as head of the Spanish Army of Africa to the command of the military district of Pamplona. General Franco was removed as Chief of Staff and shipped off to the Canary Isles. The government also had known civilian opposition arrested and imprisoned, civilian opposition such as the Falange leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera (yes he is a relation of the former leader of Spain Miguel Primo de Rivera, José is the son of Miguel). This government plan to disrupt the coup didn't quite work, in fact it backfired somewhat. Transferring Mola to Pamplona brought him back to mainland Spain and put him into a better position to plan the coup. Franco's transfer to the Canary Isles a mistake as it put him closer to his coup role which was to take over command of the Spanish Army of Africa, a post he had held briefly in 1934, the army that was considered Spain's best fighting force.
 

By mid-1936 the coup was late in the planning stage and all the conspirators needed was a catalyst. That catalyst came on July 12, 1936, in the form of a murdered policeman. Lieutenant José Castillo of the Assault Guard was murdered by a member of the Falangists as he left his home to begin night duty. Retaliation was swift with men from both the Civil and Assault Guard, led by Captain Fernando Condes who was a close friend of Lt. Castillo, arriving at the home of prominent far right politician José Calvo Sotelo. The guardsmen led Sotelo to a waiting police van under the pretence that they were taking him for interrogation. Instead of taking Sotelo for interrogation, the guardsmen executed him and delivered his body to the Madrid municipal undertaker. A day later, on July 14, the bodies of Castillo and Sotelo were buried in a Madrid cemetery. Fights between the Assault Guard and Nationalists militiamen broke out in the streets near the cemetery which resulted in four more deaths. The coup planners now had their catalyst...
 

The coup began in the then Spanish protectorate of Morocco on July 17. Taking Morocco was relatively straightforward for Franco, the country fell to his Spanish Army of Africa within a day without much bloodshed, only 189 people were killed by Franco's troops. The taking of Morocco was easy due to a few contributing factors. To begin with, the Spanish Army of Africa was more like a mercenary force than a professional army and their loyalty was easily bought. The non-Muslim contingent were simply bought, the Muslim troops of the SAoA were told that the Spanish Republic were planning to outlaw their religion. Most of the officers in the SAoA already supported the coup so they took little convincing to join the overthrowing of the Republican government.
 

The coup on the Spanish mainland was not so straightforward. The coup in Spain itself began a day after the uprisings in Morocco but didn't go almost as well as the Morocco uprisings did. Some smaller towns and cities fell into Nationalist hands quite quickly but the major cities stayed under Republican control. The uprisings spread like wildfire and people over Spain were soon ready to take up arms and begin fighting for their chosen side. By July 20 the Nationalists had failed to take Madrid and Barcelona but did succeed in taking Majorca. It was on this day that the original coup leader, General Sanjurjo, died in a plane crash as he returned to Spain from his exile in Portugal. General Mola also died in a plane crash roughly a year later which allowed Franco to install himself as leader of the Nationalist forces.
 

The war would swing in the favour of either side multiple times over its course but the Nationalists generally had the upper hand throughout the war. The biggest issue that the Nationalists had was taking Madrid. Franco's forces attempted to take the capital on three separate occasions, finally succeeding on the third attempt.

 

As much as I would love to talk about the events of the war in greater detail, I simply don't have the space to do so and I would rather not split the article in two so I will condense the article down to the following; the war was bitterly fought by both sides and was not free of atrocities. Both the Republican and Nationalist armies committed war crimes as did their allies in combat. The war would eventually conclude with the Nationalists winning several large battles coupled with the Republican government collapsing in on itself. On April 1, 1939, Franco would announce the end of the war and declare the Nationalists the new rulers of Spain. See the spoiler below for an image of the letter Franco wrote declaring the end of the war (translation below the image).
 

Spoiler

 

That concludes this (hopefully) not-too-long look at the Spanish Civil War. As always, please leave any questions, comments or corrections you have below and I will do my best to answer/respond in a timely fashion.

 

Thanks for reading, have a nice day!


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I write things, things which can be found in Historical Discussions. Things like this article on the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 and this article on the Spanish Civil War.

 

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Uranprojekt #2 Posted 22 October 2015 - 04:13 PM

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There seems to be some funny formatting going on here which I have tried to fix but the forum just refuses to allow me to do so. Unfortunately, I'll have to leave the funny formatting as is and simply apologise for it.

 

Sorry for the funny formatting.

 

Edit: I think I've fixed the funny formatting, if it still looks odd please let me know.


War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

 

I write things, things which can be found in Historical Discussions. Things like this article on the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 and this article on the Spanish Civil War.

 

To those of you who don't molest the English language, I salute you. For everyone else, there's this handy link; http://www.reverso.n...elling-grammar/


Sqn Ldr B #3 Posted 22 October 2015 - 10:39 PM

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Nice stuff, a great read! It's kinda hard to actually believe that in the 30s European countries were still having civil wars and sorting out the way of government they'd have henceforth; most of Europe had sorted that all out in about the 1500/1600s. England had it's civil war in the 1600s, the French had their revolution in the 1700s, the Germans had got rid of their monarchy at the end of The War, and the Russians had sorted their communism thing out. Even most of Eastern Europe had got it all worked out and were living mostly in peace. But the Spanish ended up just fighting and bickering for a very long time and still never got it all sorted until 1975.

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Uranprojekt #4 Posted 22 October 2015 - 10:56 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 22 October 2015 - 10:39 PM, said:

Nice stuff, a great read! It's kinda hard to actually believe that in the 30s European countries were still having civil wars and sorting out the way of government they'd have henceforth; most of Europe had sorted that all out in about the 1500/1600s. England had it's civil war in the 1600s, the French had their revolution in the 1700s, the Germans had got rid of their monarchy at the end of The War, and the Russians had sorted their communism thing out. Even most of Eastern Europe had got it all worked out and were living mostly in peace. But the Spanish ended up just fighting and bickering for a very long time and still never got it all sorted until 1975.

 

Spain was probably one of the most turbulent places to live in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Politically speaking, it was certainly the most unstable country in Western Europe during that period.

 

If I'm honest, I believe that Spain did manage to sort itself out after Franco came to power. I don't support the fact that Spain was a dictatorship for some 30 years but the instability in the country was largely put to rest following the nationalist victory in 1939 and subsequent abstenance from WWII. There was, of course, disdain amongst the people that a nationalist was in charge, no leader can ever make all of their people happy, but Spain found itself in an era of relative peace (compared to period between the 1860's and 1939) once Franco assumed leadership.


War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

 

I write things, things which can be found in Historical Discussions. Things like this article on the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 and this article on the Spanish Civil War.

 

To those of you who don't molest the English language, I salute you. For everyone else, there's this handy link; http://www.reverso.n...elling-grammar/


Matthew J35U5 #5 Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:20 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 22 October 2015 - 05:39 PM, said:

Nice stuff, a great read! It's kinda hard to actually believe that in the 30s European countries were still having civil wars and sorting out the way of government they'd have henceforth; most of Europe had sorted that all out in about the 1500/1600s. England had it's civil war in the 1600s, the French had their revolution in the 1700s, the Germans had got rid of their monarchy at the end of The War, and the Russians had sorted their communism thing out. Even most of Eastern Europe had got it all worked out and were living mostly in peace. But the Spanish ended up just fighting and bickering for a very long time and still never got it all sorted until 1975.

Seeing as how prior ~1800 only Britain was kind of a democracy*, and today, nearly all european countries are democracies, I think I'm going to disagree with your assertion that most of Europe had determined their form of government in the 1500/1600's, and it hasn't changed since. 

The other example that would come to mind would be Germany changing from a kind-of-liberal-democracy to a dictatorship in the same time period. 

Maybe you were trying to imply something different?

*I'm calling Britain "kind of" a democracy because the majority of people living in the British empire had zero influence on the British parliament, and the majority of people living in Britain didn't have the vote at the time either. I'm also excluding France because it only started becoming a democracy in the 1790's, and then turned back into a monarchy quite quickly. 

Also, good article Uranprojekt. :)


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Sqn Ldr B #6 Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:24 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 22 October 2015 - 11:20 PM, said:

Seeing as how prior ~1800 only Britain was kind of a democracy*, and today, nearly all european countries are democracies, I think I'm going to disagree with your assertion that most of Europe had determined their form of government in the 1500/1600's, and it hasn't changed since. 

The other example that would come to mind would be Germany changing from a kind-of-liberal-democracy to a dictatorship in the same time period. 

Maybe you were trying to imply something different?

*I'm calling Britain "kind of" a democracy because the majority of people living in the British empire had zero influence on the British parliament, and the majority of people living in Britain didn't have the vote at the time either. I'm also excluding France because it only started becoming a democracy in the 1790's, and then turned back into a monarchy quite quickly. 

Also, good article Uranprojekt. :)

 

Yeah, I don't quite know what happened there now. I put 1500/1600s intending to find more examples, but it turns out 'by about the end of WW1' would be a more appropriate description.

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Matthew J35U5 #7 Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:35 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 22 October 2015 - 06:24 PM, said:

 

Yeah, I don't quite know what happened there now. I put 1500/1600s intending to find more examples, but it turns out 'by about the end of WW1' would be a more appropriate description.

 

If we're ignoring the 40 odd years following WWII, then yes. 

Maybe we want to narrow our definition from "any change in the form of government", which really happened all the time, to something specific about how the Spanish Civil war was a rather dramatic, bloody, and drawn-out change in the form of government? If we limit ourselves to just civil wars, the number of things we're looking at goes down considerably, and I think better reflects your intent. 

KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Party Poison91 #8 Posted 23 October 2015 - 08:56 AM

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Wasn't the Spanish civil war the first time tactical bombing was used? I know it was something like that.
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Sqn Ldr B #9 Posted 23 October 2015 - 09:11 AM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 08:56 AM, said:

Wasn't the Spanish civil war the first time tactical bombing was used? I know it was something like that.

 

I know it was the first time terror bombing against civilians was used, at Guernica.

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Uranprojekt #10 Posted 23 October 2015 - 10:03 AM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 08:56 AM, said:

Wasn't the Spanish civil war the first time tactical bombing was used? I know it was something like that.

 

Tactical terror bombing against a civil population, yes. It was perpetrated by the Condor Legion and was just one example of how the Spanish Civil War was a testbed for strategies and tactics that the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe would go on to employ during WWII.

 

I had intended to cover how the Spanish Civil War was a sort of precursor to events that would transpire a mere few months after Franco's victory but I was worried that doing so would make the article longer than the forums would allow so I cut it. I'm thinking about covering the "Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe Test Facility: Spain" as an add-on to this thread at a later point. Go over the Condor Legion, and the CVT's (that's the Italians), involvement in the conflict. I may not cover the CVT though, it depends on what material I can find.


War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

 

I write things, things which can be found in Historical Discussions. Things like this article on the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 and this article on the Spanish Civil War.

 

To those of you who don't molest the English language, I salute you. For everyone else, there's this handy link; http://www.reverso.n...elling-grammar/


Party Poison91 #11 Posted 23 October 2015 - 12:15 PM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 23 October 2015 - 10:03 AM, said:

 

Tactical terror bombing against a civil population, yes. It was perpetrated by the Condor Legion and was just one example of how the Spanish Civil War was a testbed for strategies and tactics that the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe would go on to employ during WWII.

 

I had intended to cover how the Spanish Civil War was a sort of precursor to events that would transpire a mere few months after Franco's victory but I was worried that doing so would make the article longer than the forums would allow so I cut it. I'm thinking about covering the "Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe Test Facility: Spain" as an add-on to this thread at a later point. Go over the Condor Legion, and the CVT's (that's the Italians), involvement in the conflict. I may not cover the CVT though, it depends on what material I can find.

 

Wasn't it also the first time German and russian tanks came up against each other?
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Sqn Ldr B #12 Posted 23 October 2015 - 12:16 PM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 12:15 PM, said:

 

Wasn't it also the first time German and russian tanks came up against each other?

 

I think so. The Germans supplied the Pz. I and the Russians supplied the T-26.

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Uranprojekt #13 Posted 23 October 2015 - 12:41 PM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 12:15 PM, said:

 

Wasn't it also the first time German and russian tanks came up against each other?

 

Yes, it was also the first time that German and Soviet aircraft met in battle as well. I'll have to look up the first time German and Soviet tanks met but I think, if I'm remembering this correctly, that the first time German and Soviet aircraft met was over Madrid. The Condor Legion were bombing the city practically unopposed for about a week until one day, the Condor Legion were moving towards Madrid to conduct a bombing campaign when Republican Soviet-built aircraft appeared to cut them off before the bombers reached the city.

 

I'll add here that the German and Soviet aircraft weren't typically flown by Spanish pilots. The German aircraft, more so the modern aircraft, were mostly flown by the Condor Legion and thus had German pilots whilst the Soviets sent pilots along with the aircraft they delivered to the Republicans.


War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

 

I write things, things which can be found in Historical Discussions. Things like this article on the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 and this article on the Spanish Civil War.

 

To those of you who don't molest the English language, I salute you. For everyone else, there's this handy link; http://www.reverso.n...elling-grammar/


Party Poison91 #14 Posted 23 October 2015 - 01:14 PM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 23 October 2015 - 12:41 PM, said:

 

Yes, it was also the first time that German and Soviet aircraft met in battle as well. I'll have to look up the first time German and Soviet tanks met but I think, if I'm remembering this correctly, that the first time German and Soviet aircraft met was over Madrid. The Condor Legion were bombing the city practically unopposed for about a week until one day, the Condor Legion were moving towards Madrid to conduct a bombing campaign when Republican Soviet-built aircraft appeared to cut them off before the bombers reached the city.

 

I'll add here that the German and Soviet aircraft weren't typically flown by Spanish pilots. The German aircraft, more so the modern aircraft, were mostly flown by the Condor Legion and thus had German pilots whilst the Soviets sent pilots along with the aircraft they delivered to the Republicans.

Interesting. I didn't know about the aircraft. What kinds of tanks and planes were used?


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Sqn Ldr B #15 Posted 23 October 2015 - 01:25 PM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 01:14 PM, said:

Interesting. I didn't know about the aircraft. What kinds of tanks and planes were used?

 

For the Russian supplied ones used by the Republicans, there were T-26s and for aircraft Tupolev SB bombers, and Polikarov I-15, I-16 and I-153 fighters. Also a very very wide range of other aircraft was employed by the republic, including at least 2 Hawker Furies, and a few Douglas DC-2 requisitioned from civil services and used as bombers. For the Nationalists, supplied by the Germans, there were typically Pz. Is, and for aircraft there were the Ju-52 transport/bomber, the Hs 123 dive bomber, Dornier Do 17 bomber and the Heinkel He 70 fast bomber. For fighters there were early model Bf 109s, usually the A/B/C variants. Heinkel He 51 fighters were also used. Henschel Hs 126 recce aircraft were also supplied. It was also during the Spanish Civil War that the early variants of the Heinkel He 111 bomber and Ju 87 Stuka were employed.

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Party Poison91 #16 Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:27 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 23 October 2015 - 01:25 PM, said:

 

For the Russian supplied ones used by the Republicans, there were T-26s and for aircraft Tupolev SB bombers, and Polikarov I-15, I-16 and I-153 fighters. Also a very very wide range of other aircraft was employed by the republic, including at least 2 Hawker Furies, and a few Douglas DC-2 requisitioned from civil services and used as bombers. For the Nationalists, supplied by the Germans, there were typically Pz. Is, and for aircraft there were the Ju-52 transport/bomber, the Hs 123 dive bomber, Dornier Do 17 bomber and the Heinkel He 70 fast bomber. For fighters there were early model Bf 109s, usually the A/B/C variants. Heinkel He 51 fighters were also used. Henschel Hs 126 recce aircraft were also supplied. It was also during the Spanish Civil War that the early variants of the Heinkel He 111 bomber and Ju 87 Stuka were employed.

 

Damn.
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Sqn Ldr B #17 Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:30 PM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 02:27 PM, said:

 

Damn.

 

Yeah, it was basically a testing ground for everything the Luftwaffe was to use in WW2. They found the Ju-52 wasn't as good a bomber as they'd hoped, that the Bf 109 was godly compared to Russian biplanes, and that the He 70 was no good because it kept going on fire (partly due to the fact its airframe was made of a magnesium alloy, a fact the Germans overlooked for some reason).

Edited by Sqn Ldr B, 23 October 2015 - 02:31 PM.

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Party Poison91 #18 Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:39 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 23 October 2015 - 02:30 PM, said:

 

Yeah, it was basically a testing ground for everything the Luftwaffe was to use in WW2. They found the Ju-52 wasn't as good a bomber as they'd hoped, that the Bf 109 was godly compared to Russian biplanes, and that the He 70 was no good because it kept going on fire (partly due to the fact its airframe was made of a magnesium alloy, a fact the Germans overlooked for some reason).

 

All that testing and preperation and they still couldn't beat the RAF. 
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Sqn Ldr B #19 Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:44 PM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 23 October 2015 - 02:39 PM, said:

 

All that testing and preperation and they still couldn't beat the RAF. Silly Huns.

 

That's because the RAF aren't a bunch of Russian farmers or people that go to sleep at 4 o' clock. 

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Sqn Ldr B #20 Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:46 PM

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Actually, that said, they did learn a lot of valuable things that proved helpful in their advance across Europe. The Hs 123 was found to be an exceptional dive bomber, and was used in the assault on France. Even in Russia, the ground troops felt unsafe when they withdrew the Hs 123, and their commander contacted the Luftwaffe and had it brought back into service because it was so helpful to the troops. They even preferred it over the Stuka.

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