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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Spanish civil war   Wed 25 May 2016, 22:33

After some hour work to edit a message my message is gone when I returned to my screen and the ominous sentence "No post specified" appeared. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
And it is not the first time that arrives Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

In bad mood I start again.
Before starting my comments I give my links to not lose again my message...
http://www.rtbf.be/tv/thematique/documentaire/detail_retour-aux-sources-la-tragedie-des-brigades-internationales-en-2-volets?id=9300152
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POUM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War
http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/spanish-civil-war
https://www2.bc.edu/~heineman/maps/SpCW.html
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42660.The_Battle_for_Spain



Yes nad now already bedtime on the European peninsula...till tomorrow...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Thu 26 May 2016, 09:53

Paul, just a suggestion but I've got myself into the habit, just before pressing send, of always highlighting the whole post and just doing ctrl-c ... so that if it does not actually send it's still there in temporary memory on the PC. Although anything long or containing links I've usually typed out in Word or Wordpad first.

Of course I don't always follow my own advice and often forget to copy .... and those occasions are always the ones when I get "no post specified". Grrrr indeed!
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Thu 26 May 2016, 21:20

@Meles meles wrote:
Paul, just a suggestion but I've got myself into the habit, just before pressing send, of always highlighting the whole post and just doing ctrl-c ... so that if it does not actually send it's still there in temporary memory on the PC. Although anything long or containing links I've usually typed out in Word or Wordpad first.

Of course I don't always follow my own advice and often forget to copy .... and those occasions are always the ones when I get "no post specified". Grrrr indeed!

 Thanks Meles meles for your recommendations;

Your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Thu 26 May 2016, 21:32

Seeing the documentary on the French language Belgian television about the "Tragédie des brigades internationales" and although I had a fair knowledge of the Spanish Civil War I learned a lot about the Communist interfighting as with the Communist/Anarchist POUM.
http://www.rtbf.be/tv/thematique/documentaire/detail_retour-aux-sources-la-tragedie-des-brigades-internationales-en-2-volets?id=9300152
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POUM

And the "no specified post " appeared again, Meles meles... Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

To be sure I start a new message

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Thu 26 May 2016, 22:08

In the time on the old BBC board we had also a discussion about the Spanish Civil War and after some 8 pages there was woman, who said: you know nothing about that war, it was too complex to be easely analysed. The split between the factions even superposed by other splits which occured even in opposed factions. The lady was claiming that she spoke by het rememberance of her Spanish parents...
And as I listened to the documentary that seems to be true, especially in the Communist camp,where there was a lot of infigthing due to the domination of the Stalinist Communists only organizing along the directives from Moscow. And then when with the accords of Munich Stalin saw that the Western democracies would do nothing to counter the Fascist tide from a Hitler, he let the Spanish Nationalists without support making all the political murders within the Communist Spanish parties in vain. As one sees it the Nationalist party of Franco seems a lot more coherent and focused on their aim of conquering the power over the whole of Spain.

One aside about the views of the Bolsheviks, the Reds in the in between the war period in Belgium. I learned these views through my parents, who lived in that period in the North of Belgium...
There was quite an abhorrence of the Communists in that time, even in such manner that most people understood that the Fascist parties came up as an opponent to those Bolsheviks, who had commited that many atrocities and who were the clear counterparts of the liberal society that they had know in Belgium until that time. And even in the Fifties when I was growning up, that same feeling was still prevalent. At least in our regions and perhaps feeded by propaganda...

All that to say that one can understand the hate between the two factions of the Spanish civil war. A fight for supremacy of the old guard of the traditional Spanish world over those godless Bolshevists. A fight of the good against the evil. And of course these Conservatives were strengthened by the other Fascist examples that they saw in the neighbourhood...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Fri 27 May 2016, 14:41

Thankyou so much for the YouTube Paul, I’d never encountered that series before. I see that is was a 1983 Granada production, and in style it reminds me of the excellent 1974 "World at War" series produced by Thames Television. ITV (a British umbrella organisation for a group of independent TV companies) didn’t half produce some cracking good history documentaries, didn't they? No cgi, no over-acted reconstructions, nor any fatuous celeb presenters bouncing around like glove-puppets … just the measured tones of a narrator; clear, simple explanatory maps; lots of original photos/film footage; and an emphasis on the words of those people that were actually there at the time. I’ve watched the first episode … still five to go.

But thankyou also because, though I now live in French Catalonia just adjacent to Catalunya … I’m rather ashamed to admit that I have only the barest knowledge about the Spanish civil war. Although a part of France since the mid 17th century, the region where I live essentially identifies itself as Catalan. The Catalan language is taught in schools (as a second language after French) and is widely spoken generally, and of course many families actually resettled here from Spain around the time of the civil war. Locally, in 2009, the 70th anniversary of the "retirada" (the retreat or evacuation) was remembered in a big way. The retirada followed the final nationalist capture of Catalonia and the fall, after a desperate fight, of the last republican-held cities of Barcelona and Girona, and resulted in many thousands of refugees crossing into southern France. Most of these came through the few roads and passes into the French department of the Pyrénées Orientales, where I now live.

Somewhere I’ve got the 2009 special edition of the local Newspaper, "L'Independent", which printed lots of photos from the time. I’ll try and dig it out. But here’s one of the classic, oft-reproduced, iconic images from the time.



The Garcia family fled from Spain by the mountain pass that crosses into France (at 1500m) above Prats-de-Mollo. On 8 February 1939 the Dutch photographer, Roger Violet, took this photo of Mariano Garcia-Bamala, supporting his 6 year old daughter Alicia, who’d lost her left leg during the assault on Barcelona. The image has been reproduced many times, and it's also recently been rendered into a bronze sculpture, that stands in the village of La Vajol, not far from the E9 autoroute ... and so is yet another frontier marker on that particular route (see P's borders thread).



.... But I digress.

The French départments bordering NE Spain were initially overwhelmed by the numbers, and in the Pyrénées-Orientales numerous impromptu refugee camps sprang up on the deserted sandy beaches just over the frontier (at Argelès, St Cyprian and Barcarès). These soon turned into semi-official camps when first the local, then regional, then state, authorities moved in, desparately trying to provide food and medicine, to arrange for separated families to be reunited, and to find families and towns elsewhere in France who could help accommodate the huge numbers. Inevitably the French army was deployed to secure the frontier, to dis-arm the republican soldiers, to keep order, to forcibly separate men from women and children, to enforce de-lousing regimes etc, ..... and to generally try and protect France against all the communist agitators, fascist agitators, common criminals, chancers, smugglers, spies, spivs, ... and everything else the paranoid French government feared might be coming over the border.

But by September 1939 France found itself at war with Nazi Germany, and the French government, fearing communists and fascists alike, turned the refugee camps into "internment centres". Then France fell, the camps came under the control of Vichy France, and they became "prison camps". Eventually Germany took over the whole of southern France, the beach camps were broken up (1942) and all occupants were transferred to a regional, purpose built camp, located next to what is now Perpignan airport. From there the majority of the remaining inmates, their numbers augmented over the past couple of years by local political prisoners, jews, gypsies and other undersirables, were shipped off to concentration/extermination camps in Germany.

As with many aspects of its 20th century history France’s actions and inactions in regard to the Spanish civil war are often "problematic" to modern eyes (and I do mean that as an observation rather than as a criticism). But during the 1930s successive French governments - some lasting just days, others barely a few hours - struggled to hold the country together, as conflicting political parties repeatedly tried and failed to gain a concensus. There was a general fear of getting dragged into the Spanish civil war, and though the parties of the Left feared the rise of a fascist Spain, they feared antagonising the emerging fascist Germany too ... and while the Right hated the communists, they too feared France's age-old foe, Germany. I think that France, just like Spain, was in real danger of tearing itself apart. Some French support was given to the Spanish republicans - France allowed arms shipments from other countries through its territories - but she largely refused to supply arms herself. In the end though, once Barcelona had fallen, France, like Britain, was forced to accept the practical realities of the situation, and so officially recognised Franco’s Spain.

.... But sorry, those are all my own, rather parochial comments, mostly relating to the aftermath of the Spanish civil war as seen from southern France. As I say, I do really need to educate myself, and so am looking forward to the rest of that documentary series.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Fri 27 May 2016, 21:52

Meles meles,

".... But sorry, those are all my own, rather parochial comments, mostly relating to the aftermath of the Spanish civil war as seen from southern France. As I say, I do really need to educate myself, and so am looking forward to the rest of that documentary series."

"rather parochial comments"
No, no Meles...more of that...I am really interested...

When you describes the France from in between the wars you certainly have a point.

From my nearly 9 years on French historyboards I can say that I know something about French history and especially about the Thirties and WWII, and from all what you describes I can't but fully agree with you. As the gap between right and left movements...

And yes I read also about the Spanish refugees...in a rather indirect way...
I read the memories of a young soldier, who became later a correspondent for a local paper from Bruges. In fact his memories were spread over six! books...
After the 18 days campaign in Belgium, some Belgian soldiers moved straight across France till they were blocked in the South of France I suppose in the region that you mentioned. And they stayed there for more than a year under Vichy France. But as I read it, the Belgians were rather well incorporated in French families, especially on farms, to work on that farms. And they had enough food. At the end some pavement company from Bruges, who owned several trucks, was able to organize a trip to the South of France to evacuate the Belgian refugees. But now I remember that the author spoke also about the Spanish refugees, who were interned in camps and it seems that they were very bad treated and sometimes the Belgians shared a bit from their food with this poor people...

Kind regards and again thanks for your parochial stories...

Your friend, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 29 May 2016, 13:02

Further to my post above, this again refers to matters at the very end of the civil war, and only really to the republicans and refugees that escaped into France in 1939 ... but Paul, you did ask.

These are a few of the photos that were published in the special supplement to "L'Independent" newspaper (Perpignan) on 20 Feb 2009, to commemorate La Retirada. The original photos are probably held by the regional archives office at Perpignan. As reproduced (by L'Independent) they didn't have much in the way of captions nor dates, so all the following comments/captions here are entirely my own:


Refugees fleeing into France (probably late January or early February 1939). This is the coast road between Cerbère (on the frontier) and Banyuls-sur-Mer about 20km further into France. I know it well, and frankly the view looks exactly the same today ...  the road is no wider, and the rail track is still just two lines ... although now, unlike then, the lines continue via a tunnel and link up with the Spanish rail network, and so these days it's a major international freight route. But in 1939 there were no through trains. 



Again almost certainly taken in the first or second weeks of Feb 1939, and I'm guessing this was taken on one of the tracks across the mountains somewhere near St Laurent-de-Cerdans or Prats-de-Mollo ... French soldiers searching refugees and dis-arming republican soldiers, before letting them proceed.



In the early days the refugees established impromptu camps on the deserted sandy beaches at Argeles, St Cyprian, and Barcarès ... all three places are now popular tourist resorts but then were just small fishing villages surrounded by mosquito-infested marshes, brackish lagoons and the wide empty Mediterranean beaches. 



But in September 1939 when France declared war on Germany, these impromptu refugee camps became "internment camps", for Spanish nationalists and fascists alike, plus any other "undesirables" of dubious loyalty. With the arrival of these regimented huts also came barbed-wire and watch-towers.

Eventually the beach camps were broken up and all the remaining inmates were transferred to Camp Joffre at Rivesaltes. This had been built in 1938 as a military base, but in 1940 was converted into an internment camp. But being conveniently close to the railway line into Perpignan, under Vichy France and then Nazi Germany, it eventually became a prison camp/concentration camp for the whole region, and finally the local transit centre for onward travel, one-way only, to the camps in Germany.

Incidentally the camp at Rivesaltes, Camp Joffre (Maréchal Joffre, a hero of WW1, was born in Rivesaltes) continued in use long after the war. During the 1962 Algerian war it functioned as a POW camp, and then after the war it was used as a resettlement camp for the Harkis (Algerian troops and their families who had remained loyal to France during the Algerian war of independence). Then in 1986 it was again pressed into use as a detainment centre for illegal immigrants entering France from Spain or directly from North Africa. As such it was only shut down in 2007. The site was then taken over by the regional government, who, after much prompting by various local groups, finally agreed to restore some of the remaining 1940s barracks.

These restored buildings are now the focus of a museum and memorial dedicated to both the Retirada and the Holocaust.

Kind regards, groetjes, et meilleurs voeux,

MM


Last edited by Meles meles on Mon 30 May 2016, 00:05; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 29 May 2016, 21:31

"Further to my post above, this again refers to matters at the very end of the civil war, and only really to the republicans and refugees that escaped into France in 1939 ... but Paul, you did ask."

Meles meles, yes I asked...and I am so gratefull to read about these camps...I am quite interested in all these stories...in fact I am interested in all events related to history Wink ...even in history "in statu nascendi"...comtemporary history you would say?

Your friend, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 29 May 2016, 21:55

And I did some research in Google maps, Meles meles, to better see the geograpical locations we are talking about. Yes the surroundings of Perpignan...thanks to the names of the cities you mentioned...and yes Camp Joffre at Rivesaltes...
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_de_Rivesaltes


And about the memorial:
http://www.memorialcamprivesaltes.eu/

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 29 May 2016, 22:06

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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Thu 02 Jun 2016, 15:20

Further to my comments above about the Retirada, I’ve been doing some more reading ... mostly local printed stuff.


Following Franco’s final assault on Catalunya about half a million people, refugees and retreating republican soldiers alike, fled over the frontier into France during February 1939. My feeling is that the French government, post Munich Agreement, still had a head-in-the-sand attitude, and so had made absolutely no serious provision for this, far from unexpected, event. They were thus simply over-whelmed by the ensuing humanitarian disaster. The population of the Pyrénées-Orientales Department alone more than doubled in a week, and although generally the local populace seems to have been sympathetic, accommodating and desperate to help their fellow Catalans, nevertheless large refugee camps had to be hastily established throughout the region just to cope with the numbers. The French state was quick to secure the borders but was somewhat slower in dealing with the humanitarian side. The celebrated Catalan cellist Pao (Pablo) Casals, already living in exile in France, was one who threw himself into organising local humanitarian assistance. He wrote (February 1939):

"Shortly after arriving at Prades, I visited some of the concentration camps - there were a number nearby, at Rivesaltes, Vernet, Le Boulou, Septfonds, Argelès - where the Spanish refugees were confined. The scenes I witnessed might have been from Dante's Inferno. Tens of thousands of men and women and children were herded together like animals, penned in by barbed wire, housed - if one can call it that - in tents and crumbling shacks. There were no sanitation facilities nor provision for medical care. There was little water and barely enough food to keep the inmates from starvation. The camp at Argelès was typical. Here more than a hundred thousand refugees had been massed in open areas among sand dunes along the seashore. Though it was winter, they had been provided with no shelter whatsoever - many had burrowed holes in the wet sand to protect themselves from the pelting rains and bitter winds. The driftwood they gathered for fires to warm themselves was soon exhausted. Scores had perished from exposure, hunger and disease. At the time of my arrival the hospitals in Perpignan still overflowed with the sick and dying."


It seems that most women, children and the aged were moved out of the camps within two or three weeks, once local and regional humanitarian societies had got involved (that's from several survivor's statements as reported in a Spanish/Catalan TV documentary). Nevertheless this was too late for many: one of the memorials amongst the dunes at Argelès-sur-Mer alone lists the names of a hundred or so children who died there. The civilians were either redistributed to other camps in France, or to various requisitioned or voluntarily-offered hotels, warehouses, chateaux etc, mostly in the southern half of the country but in some cases far away in the north and north-east of France (then two day’s rail travel away). The disarmed republican army, together with most men of military age, however, remained interned in the vast camps on the Mediterranean beaches, which for several weeks were still little more than barbed wire compounds without shelter, water or sanitation. As a result some 11,000 men died from dysentery and other diseases, untreated battle injuries, and exposure. The camps were guarded mostly by colonial troops from Senegal and irregular Sipahis from North Africa, who, unused to the bitter conditions, suffered almost as much as the men they were guarding.


A Moroccan cavalryman stands guard at Argelès.

Meanwhile the vast plain surrounding the French military base just outside Perpignan, Camp Maréchal Joffre, was covered in armoured vehicles, guns, trucks, private cars, carts, bicycles, horses, mules, oxen and all the other transport and equipment that had been abandoned by the Republican army and refugees.

The first camp at Argelès had insufficient capacity, and so it was soon followed by others further along the beaches at St Cyprien (5km), and Barcarès (about 25km away to the north). Like Argelès these were both ancient villages, originally built on islands amongst the brackish lagoons and reedy marshes, well behind the deserted sandy beaches where the camps themselves were located. I used to live in St Cyprien: just on the edge of the old village. The surrounding fields (its all pasture, no crops) are barely above sea level, and while in summer they are nowadays covered with campsites, in winter they're frequently flooded. The well in our garden had permanent water just 2m down, which when we had it tested, was inevitably of rather poor quality contaminated by surrounding run-off and only good for watering the garden. Not surprisingly in 1939 the camp at St Cyprien - separated from the village by foetid, mosquito-infested marshes but still just downstream of the main centre of habitation - suffered a disproportionate number of deaths through disease. When I lived there (around 2005), in the next street to our own was a small park, barely bigger than the suburban gardens surrounding it, which, amongst the leaning pines and oleanders, had a large memorial. From memory it says that the park was on the site of a cemetery for the the nearby refugee/internment camp (probably the cemetry was located there as it was on slightly higher ground and above the water table). There are no individual grave markers, nor names given on the memorial, so I guess it was simply a mass grave (though doubtless, knowing French bureaucracy, the names of those interred there were recorded). Due to its insanitary conditions and the resulting prevalence of disease, the St Cyprien camp was shut down in the Autumn of 1939, but the camps at Argelès and Barcarès - now furnished with lines of regimented wooden barrack buildings, standpipes for water, trench latrines, and with the security bolstered by watchtowers - remained in use for several more years.


The camp on the beach at St Cyprien, March 1939.


An overall view in Feb 1939. The Argelès camp is in the fore and middle ground (divided by the prominent stream), the St Cyprien camp (not yet established) will soon be located at the top-right about 1km beyond the second stream (which is actually quite a big river, the Tech). The medieval villages of Argelès and St Cyprien are both just out of sight over to the left, being built on higher land than the shifting marshes and dunes along the seashore (for example the mouth of the River Tech still regularly moves from one year to the next, sometimes suddenly shifting by 500m or more over just a few weeks).

By July 1939 about a third of all the refugees in France had been persuaded to return to Spain … where many were immediately imprisoned and some were summarily executed. Many others were transported from France to Mexico, South America, the USSR and other host countries. Of those that remained in France, the men of military age were incorporated (sort of) into the French army, which was now starting conscription of Frenchmen.

Many of the battle-hardened republican veterans joined the French Foreign Legion. About half of the French troops deployed at Narvik (Norway) in Spring 1940 were actually Spanish. Others fought in the defence of France itself. Several hundred Spanish Republicans were taken off the beaches at Dunkerque by the Royal Navy in the final hours, members of a French army labour battalion who had taken up arms in the rearguard and fought with great valour against the Germans for a couple of days. Once landed in England, they were put into a heavily-guarded camp near Bournemouth by a nervous British government in case they started spreading bloody revolution and bomb-throwing among the genteel people of that town. They were transferred later to join several thousand French troops at Trentham Park in the Midlands, where they met up with the mostly-Spanish 13th Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion, just back from Narvik. After a week or so, France having now capitulated, there was a proposal to move the 13th half brigade to French Morocco - which occasioned an immediate strike among the Spaniards, who feared that once they got there the Vichy authorities might herd them across the border into Spanish Morocco. So the Foreign Legion brigade, now under Allied command, instead ended up in Syria fighting Vichy French forces - including a lot of fellow Legionaries. They then went on to fight with distinction alongside the British 8th army against Rommel, notably at Bir Hakeim, west of Tobruk, in 1942.

These Spanish troops had good reason to be worried because the Vichy government later washed its hands of the Spanish republicans who had been serving as troops in northern France and who had been taken prisoner by the Germans. This allowed the Germans to declare them illegal combatants not covered by the Geneva Convention, and so send them off to Mauthausen. Of the 9,000 Spanish prisoners of the Germans less than 2,000 survived the war. A similar fate awaited any Spanish republican soldiers that were still interned at Argelès and Barcarès. First under the Vichy French and then (after 1942) directly under the Nazis, the beach camps were broken up and their occupants, now including jews, gypsies, communists and all other "undesirables", were transferred to Camp Joffre adjacent to Perpignan. From there they were steadily shipped off to the main French concentration camp a Drancy, or direct to Mauthausen in Germany. A lot of veteran republican soldiers also served in the local French resistance, particularly as many had family and useful contacts just over the border in neutral Spain.

Those Spanish republican soldiers that had escaped after Dunkerque and Narvik and had joined the Free French forces, later served under General Leclerc, and many of the "French" forces that liberated Paris in 1944 had originally been Spanish republicans. It has also been estimated that about 20% of the current population of the Pyrénées-Orientales department can trace a descent from someone that fled from Catalunya during La Retirada.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Fri 03 Jun 2016, 19:14

Thank you very much Meles meles for your well documented message about the Retirada. I read it all in detail.
Excuses for replying that late, but yesterday the whole evening doing research for the Tripartite negociations of August 1939 between Britain, France and the Soviet-Union...
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=39163&start=15

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 19 Jun 2016, 13:38

I finally finished watching that ITV series, "The Spanish Civil War"  ... and that's not meant negatively, it’s just that a lack of time meant it took so long to watch the whole series. I thought it was very good, generally unbiased and even-handed in its handling of the issues, whilst not glossing over either controversies or atrocities. Thank you for posting it.

You mentioned discussions about the Spanish Civil War on the old BBC boards. Yes, I remember those, and as I recall there was a lot of discussion about whether Britain and France should have done more to support the Republican side, or indeed that they were both actually on the wrong side. I think it is certainly true that support of Britain and France for what was the legitimate democratically elected Republican government, might have given the fledgling Spanish democracy the boost it desperately needed to suppress the strongly conservative aristocratic and militariststic factions. But Britain and France chose to either act neutral and pressure the League of Nations into declaring an international blockade to prevent support getting to either side, … or in Britain's case actually colluded with the Nationalists. I was previously unaware that it was British Secret Intelligence, MI5, that flew Franco, in a British registered civilian plane, from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco so that he could start the military coup (Franco’s Moroccan troops were subsequently flown to mainland by the Luftwaffe).

I’m not sure about Britain, but in France, despite there being a lot of sympathy to the Republican cause, I think there was an over-riding fear that any French support might well either lead to direct French military involvement (and after the horrors of WW1 France in the 1930s, despite having a huge army, tended to be very Pacifist), as well as concerns about antagonising France’s old foe Germany. Before watching that series I did not fully appreciate just how strongly socialist was the Republican side. In Republican controlled areas of Spain the communists transformed the ancient aristocratically-owned haciendas into community-owned farms, and in the cities of Catalonia factories were run by workers' cooperatives, with wages paid as an allowance of food, clothing, housing etc. Moreover when the Anarchists gained control of Barcelona they proposed to abolish all money, wealth, property-ownership, rank (both civil and military) and indeed all central government … and they only failed to do so simply because, being anarchists, they didn’t believe in any government at all, and so refused to take any central control.

Faced with extreme anarchist actions like that, I can fully understand the reticence of even the most left-wing of France's governments to getting involved (even the USSR baulked at giving support to the Anarchists). Throughout the 1930s France was itself continually struggling to balance both the far right and the far left, so although many might have favoured the Spanish Republican cause, I don’t think any French government could have seriously contemplated getting involved.

Had they done so remains of course a big historical "what if". Had they got involved in July 1936 they might have nipped Franco’s coup in the bud or pre-empted any military involvement by Germany and Italy … and the subsequent Republican Government would not have been so reliant on Soviet aid, and so on brutal communist politicians (like Negrin) who perverted and poisoned the Republican movement. But it might also have caused France itself to completely implode into its own civil war, no?
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Spanish civil war   Sun 19 Jun 2016, 21:48

Thank you very much, Meles meles, for your equilibrated (oops, I see now that that word don't exist in English Wink ...), your balanced message (as usual...)


I just wanted to reply to your first paragraph before I read your second about France.

Yes I had the impression, that in the Anglo-Saxon world, but I can be wrong, there was a kind of a myth (propaganda?)
about the brave struggle of the "legal" government against the Nationalists...and indeed a lot of the foreign contingent were from Anglo-Saxon origin, including writers as Orwell and Hemingway...today the people from artist business seems also left orientated...

But I have again the impression of what I read that in France, and I can again be wrong, that the separation between right and left was much bigger than in the UK?

But you answered, nearly the same as what I wanted to pretend, based on 8 years of reading French history fora...
"Throughout the 1930s France was itself continually struggling to balance both the far right and the far left, so although many might have favoured the Spanish Republican cause, I don’t think any French government could have seriously contemplated getting involved."
It was not that severe as in Germany but the division was nearly as nasty...

"Had they done so remains of course a big historical "what if". Had they got involved in July 1936 they might have nipped Franco’s coup in the bud or pre-empted any military involvement by Germany and Italy … and the subsequent Republican Government would not have been so reliant on Soviet aid, and so on brutal communist politicians (like Negrin) who perverted and poisoned the Republican movement. But it might also have caused France itself to completely implode into its own civil war, no?"


"But it might also have caused France itself to completely implode into its own civil war, no?"

You can be right. In fact after all what I read on the French messageboards, but again I can perhaps misinterpreted the information...
I will start a thread about the question on my French messageboard to see, what they think about it. Compared with Historum it is a better guided board. Although also with some 13 thousand members, the discussions are more balanced and polite and many contributors, in fact some five that I know Wink , are also on Historum.

Kind regards from your friend, Paul.
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