Appeasement and the Road To War The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 The Origins of the Spanish Civil War Aims: • • To understand the political instability which existed in Spain in the 1930s. To identify how the civil war began and who the two opposing sides were. A Brief History of Spain During the 1500s Spain was the world’s strongest power. Spanish Empire covered most of South and Central America. Spanish language and religion was imposed on these colonies. By 1800s Spain had lost most of her colonies and become a third-rate power. Catholic Church have always had a powerful influence in Spanish Society. Between 1923-1931 Spain was a military dictatorship under General Primo De Rivera. A Republican Government Spain became a republic under Manuel Azana in 1931. A number of reforms were introduced which threatened landowners, the army and the church. Spanish Fascism In the 1930s support for Fascist ideas was evident in many European countries. In 1933 the Falange Esapnola – Spanish Fascist party was formed. It sought one party rule and wanted Spain to have a strong authoritarian government. It wasn’t a racist party but believed in loyalty and obedience to the Catholic church. War Begins On 17th July 1936 a group of army officers led by General Sanjurjo led a coup d’etat in Spanish Morocco (tried to seize power) Sanjurjo was killed in a plane crash and replaced by General Francisco Franco. The coup failed and three years of civil war followed. The Opposing Sides Righteous Republicans Liberals, Socialists, Communists, Basque and Catalan Separatists. Groups with differing aims but they all believe that Spain should remain a democratic country. Nasty Nationalists v The armed forces, large sections of the middle and upper classes, the Catholic Church, the Falange (Spanish Fascist Party). Groups who all feel threatened by democracy. The Opposing Sides REPUBLICANS NATIONALISTS Democracy Dictatorship Supported By: Supported By: Soviet Russia International Brigades Italy Germany Non-Intervention Britain and France Key Terms LEFT WING • • Democratic government More government control of the economy Left Wing=Republicans RIGHT WING • • Strong, authoritarian government Government should not interfere in the economy Right Wing=Nationalists Progress of the Spanish Civil War September 1936 Republicans held all eastern and southern Spain, including the two key cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Nationalists have just over half of Spain, in the south, west and North West Progress of the Spanish Civil War March 1937 Nationalists capture land in the North but fail to capture Madrid in the winter of 1936-1937. During the summer of 1937, Guernica is heavily bombed by the German Condor Legion By the end of 1937 the fighting has reached a stalemate. Progress of the Spanish Civil War July 1938 Nationalists capture the Basque lands in the North. Nationalist advance in the east cuts off Republican controlled areas. Progress of the Spanish Civil War February 1939 Barcelona was captured by the Nationalists in January. Madrid fell at the end of March 1939 and the Civil War was over. Foreign Intervention Aims: • • To examine the motives behind foreign intervention. To identify what types of aid was provided for both sides in the SCW. The Nationalists Italy • 40-50,000 troops • Tanks, artillery, aircraft Germany • Junker planes airlifted Spanish troops from Morocco. • Condor Legion – 600 aircraft/200 tanks. Played major role in bombing of Guernica 1937 • 16,000 ‘military advisers’ Motives Behind Foreign Intervention Nationalists ITALY • • • Gain more influence in the Mediterranean Support a friendly fascist Military glory Motives Behind Foreign Intervention Nationalists GERMANY • • • • Testing ground for new weapons Keep Italy tied up in Spain – turn attention to Austria. Secure supplies of war materials Stop spread of communism The Republicans Soviet Union • Military advisers • Equipment – 200 tanks, 1000 aircraft. • Had to be paid for by the Republic. International Brigades • Left wing opponents of fascism • 40,000 in total – never anymore than 15,000 at one time. • Over 2000 British men joined. • 75% casualty rate Motives Behind Foreign Intervention Republicans SOVIET UNION • • • • Not fully committed to Republicans Happy for Germany/Italy to be tied up in Spain. Did not want to threaten FrancoSoviet Pact and lose an ally. Knew GB/France would not tolerate Communist Government Motives Behind Foreign Intervention Republicans INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES • • • • Came from a variety of countries – France, GB, Italy and Germany. Little military training or experience 75% casualty rates Socialists, TUs, Communists Britain and France’s Policy of NonIntervention. Aims: • • Identify the reasons behind Britain and France’s policy of nonintervention. Identify the one time when this policy of non-intervention was not followed. Strategic Importance of Spain If Spain fell to the Nationalists, France would be surrounded by Fascist states. British and French had naval bases both on the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Spain had natural resources e.g. iron ore essential for the manufacture of weapons. The Non-Intervention Committee Set up in September 1936. France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Russia (27 countries in total) agreed not to intervene in the Spanish civil war. Suits both the British and the French. The French want to intervene but can’t. NIC will stop other countries. British don’t want to intervene but cannot publicly go against the democratically elected government of Spain. Why Did France Support NonIntervention? The French were sympathetic to the Republicans however: • • • Political instability in France – scared of a right wing backlash. Concerned that any intervention would split French Cabinet and bring down government. British made it clear they would not be happy if the French got involved. Why Did the British Support NonIntervention? • • • • • Expected Franco to win. Didn’t want to antagonise Mussolini or Hitler. Worried that intervention might cause a general European war. Suspicious of Communist influence in Popular Front Government. Wanted to protect British business interests. The Non-Intervention Committee Set up a naval blockade to stop weapons getting into Spain. By 1937 ‘mystery submarines’ were sinking ships taking supplies to the Republic. Conference was held at Nyon in Switzerland to discuss the matter. British and French navies ordered to destroy submarines or aircraft attacking non-Spanish ships. The ‘piracy’ came to an abrupt end. British Public Opinion Active participation in International Brigades to oppose Franco – only involved a minority of Britons. Conservative dominated National Government advocated non-intervention and had public support behind them. Labour party was divided – some supported neutrality, others advocated help for the Republicans, some supported the Nationalists due to religious sympathies. British Public Opinion The bombing of Guernica in 1937 reinforced the belief that ‘the bomber will always get through’. The government was worried that if war broke out in Europe, British cities would face air attacks that would cause huge death and devastation. Source C is a cartoon by David Low published on 13th January 1937.