The Spanish Civil War 1936-39

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In view of the relative importance of international factors in deciding the outcome of the conflict, and the impressive range of competing ideologies on both sides, we will also be discussing whether the conflict was an essentially Spanish phenomenon, or part of the wider European conflict.


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Finally, we will take a look at the extraordinarily long dictatorship that continues to cast its shadow over Spanish society and politics today. We will examine its changing face over time, in an attempt to explain how Franco managed to retain absolute power until his death. Find us Contact us.

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Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War, Please note that this course has started and enrolment is no longer possible. To apply for this course, please enrol on the programme above, and then select the courses you wish to study. Container Course content In July a military coup attempted to end the young Spanish Republic, which had given rise to a huge array of hopes, fears, crises and conflicts.


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General enquiries University of Cambridge - International Programmes. Institute of Continuing Education. Britain remained uninvolved. Under these circumstances Franco was bound to win, especially given the aircraft of the Condor Legion which, for example, destroyed the Basque city of Guernica in April We consider why the Nationalists won the war. Franco refused to ally with Hitler in World War 2, despite a bruising meeting at Hendaya in , and by he had wholly distanced himself from the Axis powers. Yet the regime remained authoritarian until the end, with a highly influential Roman Catholic Church.

Spanish Civil War - People's History Museum: The national museum of democracy

This course is suitable for all: some prior knowledge would be useful but is not essential. The course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.


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There will be discussion opportunities during the course. His professional career was spent teaching History in state and independent Secondary Schools, finally as Head of the History Department. Germany and Italy sent troops, tanks, and planes to aid the Nationalists.

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The Soviet Union contributed equipment and supplies to the Republicans, who also received help from the Mexican government. During the first weeks of the war, the Popular Front government of France also supported the Republicans, but internal opposition forced a change of policy.

About 40, foreigners fought on the Republican side in the International Brigades largely under the command of the Comintern, and 20, others served in medical or auxiliary units. By November the Nationalists had advanced to the outskirts of Madrid. They laid siege to it but were unable to get beyond the University City area. They captured the Basque northern provinces in the summer of and then Asturias, so that by October they held the whole northern coast. A war of attrition began. The Nationalists drove a salient eastward through Teruel , reaching the Mediterranean and splitting the republic in two in April In December they moved upon Catalonia in the northeast, forcing the Republican armies there northward toward France.

By February , , Republican soldiers, together with an equal number of civilians, had fled across the border into France.

Franco & the Nationalists - The Spanish Civil War (4 of 6)

On March 5 the Republican government flew to exile in France. On March 7 a civil war broke out in Madrid between communist and anticommunist factions.

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By March 28 all of the Republican armies had begun to disband and surrender, and Nationalist forces entered Madrid on that day. The number of persons killed in the Spanish Civil War can be only roughly estimated. Nationalist forces put the figure at 1,,, including not only those killed in battle but also the victims of bombardment, execution, and assassination. More recent estimates have been closer to , or less.

Hamletism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–39

This does not include all those who died from malnutrition, starvation, and war-engendered disease. The political and emotional reverberations of the war far transcended those of a national conflict, for many in other countries saw the Spanish Civil War as part of an international conflict between—depending on their point of view—tyranny and democracy , or fascism and freedom, or communism and civilization. For Germany and Italy, Spain was a testing ground for new methods of tank and air warfare. For Britain and France, the conflict represented a new threat to the international equilibrium that they were struggling to preserve, which in collapsed into World War II.

The war also had mobilized many artists and intellectuals to take up arms. Spanish Civil War. Article Media. Info Print Cite.