The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39, was the curtain-raiser to World War II, and the major international event of the 1930s. It was the first great clash of 20th-century ideologies, between the rebel Nationalist army led by General Franco (right-wing, and aided by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), and the Republican army of the government (left-wing, and aided by the Communist Soviet Union and many volunteers from liberal democracies). Three years of widespread campaigns involved the most modern weapons available (submachine guns, mortars, artillery, tanks, and combat aircraft operating in direct support of ground forces). The war was fought ruthlessly by both sides, and when the Nationalists secured victory they installed a dictatorship that lasted until November 1975 - the last such regime in Western Europe.
The Nationalist forces were varied in origin and appearance. Their spearhead was provided by the colonial army brought over from Spanish Morocco - the Spanish Foreign Legion, and Spanish-led Moroccan native regiments. Apart from sympathizers within the pre-war regular army, troops raised in Spain reflected a number of distinct regional traditions and political militias, and included both internal security units and foreign volunteer contingents. Weapons and equipment came from a wide variety of Spanish and foreign sources. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this first part of a two-part study depicts the fighting men of the Nationalist forces that strove to take control of Spain alongside their German and Italian allies.
Read an extract of The Spanish Civil War 1936–39 (1)
Table of Contents
Introduction: historical background/ Chronology of main events, 1931–39/ Franco's Nationalist armies: organization, orders of battle; uniforms, weapons, equipment/ Regional troops: Galicia, Andalucia, Navarra, etc./ Troops from Africa: Moroccan, African nomadic, Spanish Foreign Legion/ Security troops: Guardia Civil, Cuerpo de Seguridad/ Spanish Falange and other political militias/ Nationalist Air Force/ Nationalist Navy/ Foreign volunteers: German Legion Condor, Italian Volunteer Corps, Irish Brigade, Portuguese volunteers/ Select bibliography/ Plate commentaries/ Index