Was the Contribution of Foreign Powers to Franco's Victory in the Spanish Civil War Exaggerated?

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Druga Gimnazija Sarajevo-IBO

Javier Ochoa
Spanish Civil war
To what extent was the contribution of foreign powers to Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War exaggerated? Word count : 1800

Plan of investigation3

Summary of evidence3-5

Evaluation of sources 6-8



List of sources11

Plan of the Investigation
The Spanish Civil War(1936-39), was a military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country, resulting in a civil war with a lot of foreign support thus being accause of World War 2. The war increased tensions in the lead-up to World War II and was largely seen as a possible war by proxy between the Communist Soviet Union and the Fascist Axis of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany while giving the Nazis the chance to practice using the new Luftwaffe planes. This study will seek to answer the question: To what extent was the contribution of foreign powers to Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War exaggerated? I chose this question because its part of the history of my country as well as a very important event a priori to World War 2.

Summary of evidence
The Spanish Civil War began with a military coup. The coup of 17–18 July 1936 was an old instrument being used for a new purpose. The military coup against the Republic began on 17 July 1936 among elements of the colonial army based in Spanish North Africa (Morocco). The captaincy of the Nationalists was gradually assumed by General Franco, leading forces he had brought from Morocco. On Oct. 1, 1936, he was named head of state and set up a government in Burgos. Though 27 countries, including Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy, signed a Non-Intervention pact in September 1936, the war soon took on an international element. Hitler supported Franco’s rebellion and justifying it by saying that he was he was attempting to save Europe from "communist barbarism". After the non-intervention pact he disguised his aid by sending it through Portugal. About 40,000 foreigners fought in the International Brigades on the Republican side, and 20,000 others served in medical or auxiliary units. The international brigades came from over 50 countries, they were recruited, organized, and directed by the Comintern, with headquarters in Paris. The Nationalists used Spain as a testing ground for new methods of tank and air warfare. The Republicans were sent material mainly by the Soviet Union, and the volunteer International Brigades also joined the Republicans. some Americans did take part in the fighting. The Abraham Lincoln Battalion was established by those wanting to fight for the Republic during the war. Americans also defended the Soviets such as the American ambassador to Madrid sought to refute both the erroneous Franquista propaganda claims of Soviet shipments: ‘’ Up until that time [October 1936] I invariably asked war correspondents from the front about foreign war material, and, without exception, they all said they had seen many Italian and German planes, tanks, guns, and soldiers, but they had not seen any Russian material. The amount of material bought in Russia has been grossly exaggerated. None appeared until four months after the planes, tanks, and even soldiers sent by Hitler and Mussolini were notoriously in Spain.’’ Britain and France remained theoretically neutral, though in practice Britain was more neutral to the Nationalists than it was to the Republicans. By November 1936 the Nationalists had advanced to the outskirts of Madrid.On March 7 a civil war broke out in Madrid between Communist and anti-Communist factions. By March 28 all of the Republican armies had begun to surrender, and Nationalist forces entered Madrid on that day.

Evaluation of Sources
Source No.1

Origin: David Low (England) (1891-1963) at Evening Standard, 17 Aug 1936 Purpose: The purpose is to show the new armada Spain had especially after Germany and the...
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