How The Nationalists Won The Spanish Civil War

One Spanish nationalist said that by 1935, tensions were so high that when someone saw another from the other side walking down the street, they acted as though it had been a demon. So what led to this animosity between two factions in Spain? It was a war seen by the leftist Republicans as a […]

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One Spanish nationalist said that by 1935, tensions were so high that when someone saw another from the other side walking down the street, they acted as though it had been a demon.

So what led to this animosity between two factions in Spain? It was a war seen by the leftist Republicans as a battle for freedom over tyranny, while the Nationalists on the right saw the struggle as a battle between “communism and anarchism versus Christian civilization.”

Watch this extraordinary series on the Spanish Civil War to see a full in-depth view of the causes of the conflict and how it ended.

Overview of the Spanish Civil War:

  • The Spanish Civil War was a war fought between 1936 to 1939 in Spain. The two sides were the left-leaning Republicans of the Second Spanish Republic versus the Nationalists led by Francisco Franco.
  • Spain was neutral during the First World War. After WW1 Spain saw a rise in pro communist activity. At the same time a military coup led to a government led by a military dictatorship, with one leader being replaced by two subsequent leaders.
  • Spain was still a monarchy, King Alfsonso XII caved to pressure for political change by allowing the establishment of a republic in 1931.This decision by the King of Spain led to general elections in April, 1931.
  • Anti-clerical violence and churches being burned by leftist mobs in May, 1931 led to an increasing view among the right that persecution of the Church was imminent under the Second Spanish Republic.
  • The Spanish Revolution of 1936 was a workers party social revolution that took place at the outbreak fo the Spanish Civil War. It resulted in more anti-clerical violence carried out by the leftist factions against Roman Catholic clergy. Some of these killings were incredibly cruel in nature.
  • The Nationalist factions received substantially more foreign support during the Spanish Civil War. Sympathizers and foreign interests joined together forming the International Brigades.
  • A more structured infrastructure which supplied a stable food supply helped the Nationalists seize victory over the Republican factions.
  • The victorious Francoist regime forced anyone on the other side to either be killed or choose exile as part of his cleansing of the country.
  • The Spanish economy took decades to recover.

What Led To The Spanish Civil War?

Spain was neutral during the First World War. After WW1 Spain saw a rise in pro communist activity. At the same time a military coup led to a government led by a military dictatorship, with one leader being replaced by two subsequent leaders.

Since Spain was still a monarchy, King Alfsonso XII caved to pressure for political change by allowing the establishment of a republic in 1931.This decision by the King of Spain led to general elections in April, 1931.

The socialist leaders won many of these elections, prompting him to flee the country.The new government formed the Second Spanish Republic. It was dissolved on April 1939 by the Nationalists and their leader Francisco Franco.

Anti-clerical violence (churches burning by mobs) in May, 1931 and a delayed government response to it led to an increasing view among the right that persecution of the Church was imminent under the Second Spanish Republic.

Picture of a nun murdered by communist and anarchist factions in 1936. (Wikipedia /Public Domain)

In the YouTube series about the Spanish Civil War“, the mobs were burning churches and nobody convened”, one survivor of the Spanish Civil War said.

The Republican government collapsed and in the anarchist controlled area of Catalina, Spain the Spanish Revolution of 1936 began. These were opposed but the Soviet-backed communists over a loss of property rights. The rivaling communist and anarchist factions fought each other for control of areas in Barcelona.

What Was The Spanish Civil War?

The Spanish Civil War was a war fought between 1936 to 1939 in Spain. The two sides were the left-leaning Republicans versus the Nationalists led by Francisco Franco.

Spanish Civil War Nationalist leader Franciso Franco. By Unknown author – Biblioteca Virtual de Defensa: RETRATO DEL GRAL. FRANCISCO FRANCO BAHAMONDE (MUE-120973), CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70812173

General Moscardó was a colonel and military governor during the Spanish Civil War, he is known for defending the Alcázar of Toledo, the highest point of the central province of Toledo, Spain.

Moscardó is known for holding the Alcázar of Toledo against the Republicans’ assault. known as the Siege of the Alcázar. He held out for 70 days.

General Moscardó showing Heinrich Himmler the ruins of the Alcázar. (Wikipedia /Public Domain)

Moscardó’s son was kidnapped by the Republicans at some point during this siege. They supposedly called the colonel and asked him to surrender or his son Luis will be shot. Purportedly Moscardó answered the phone and said, “Commend your soul to God and die like a patriot.” His son then being shot immediately by the Republicans.

How The Nationalists Won The Spanish Civil War

The Nationalist factions received substantially more foreign support during the Spanish Civil War. Sympathizers and foreign interests joined together forming the International Brigades.

The practice of political executions, called limpieza or “cleaning”, were common by Nationalist forces once they captured an area. Both sides were guilty of indiscriminate executions.

A more structured infrastructure which supplied a stable food supply helped the Nationalists seize victory over the Republican factions.

The victorious Francoist regime forced anyone on the other side to either be killed or choose exile as part of his cleansing of the country.

References

Beevor, Antony (2006) [1982]. The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London, England: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-84832-1.

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