Free Essay

The Spanish Civil War

In: Historical Events

Submitted By simreetgarewal
Words 5653
Pages 23
Nazi Germany and the Spanish Civil War

Continuity in Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Tom Goldstein

Professor Herf
May 15, 2001
The Spanish Civil War (1936-9) was a very important event during the tense1930s in Europe. Although it did not make World War II inevitable, it increased the likelihood of a general war a great deal. The war had a tremendous impact on Spain itself, leaving much of the state’s economic and social infrastructure in ruins and leaving thousands dead. But the war also saw involvement from other European states as both sides of the conflict – the Right-wing Nationalists and the Left-wing Republicans (a.k.a. Loyalists) – requested and received foreign aid not only in terms of financial assets, but also in terms of war material and troops. Adolf Hitler’s Germany was one of the foreign countries most involved in the conflict, contributing economic loans as well as several thousand troops to the Nationalist cause. Hitler’s involvement in the Spanish war was consistent with a larger Nazi foreign policy aimed at diverting British and French attention from Central and Eastern Europe so that he would be unhindered in his plans for eastern expansion. However, the ramifications of the Spanish war for the rest of Europe were great in other ways. The Spanish Civil War was a major contributor to the hardening of the division between the democracies (Britain and France) and the dictatorships (Italy and Germany). Germany also gained the valuable raw materials from Spain that it needed for eastern expansion and the accompanying possibility of war. The Spanish Civil War also undermined British and French credibility to Hitler, emboldening him to make more dramatic eastern expansion moves. Furthermore, the war helped drive the USSR away from Britain and France and was one of the reasons why Stalin reluctantly concluded that an accommodation with Hitler was necessary. In all these ways then, the Spanish Civil War was a major step toward World War II. In order to understand more thoroughly how the war did this, I will first will explore the background of the Spanish Civil War as well as present a general survey of the progression of the war, highlighting the role that foreign nations - and particularly Germany – played. Then I will consider the larger background of Europe in the 1930s in relation to Hitler’s broad foreign policy goals. Finally, with the context thus set, I will discuss the implications of the Spanish Civil War as a component of Hitler’s broad foreign policy goals and its ramifications for the peace of Europe.

The Spanish Civil War Understanding the Spanish Civil War in regard to its place in a larger European context requires first understanding the war itself. The war, after all, was caused mainly by internal forces, not external ones, although external forces certainly played a part. Spain since the nineteenth century had been struggling with its fall as a great power and the ensuing social tension that this fall had caused. In the early twentieth century it was economically backward and in many ways highly traditional.[1] Spain remained neutral in World War I, causing many both inside the former world power and abroad to see the state as internationally insignificant. Furthermore, the war exacerbated social and political division within the country, and despite modernizing efforts during the reign of Dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-30), in the words of historian Tom Buchanan, “Spain was an anachronism.”[2] In 1931 King Alfonso XIII, along with the entire Spanish monarchy was overthrown and a Republic was installed. Yet political tensions reemerged as liberal politicians desiring to modernize Spain encountered stiff resistance from traditional elements in society such as the military, the Catholic Church, and large landowners. By 1936 the electorate was virtually split down the middle, and the leftist Popular Front coalition (including Socialists, Communists, liberal Republicans) barely defeated rightist parties in the elections that year. After their narrow electoral victory, the Popular Front attempted to instigate more social reforms. Disappointed with rightists’ failure to gain power through political means, the army, under Generals Sanjurjo, Mola, and Franco, led a rebellion of “Nationalists” in July against the Republic.[3] In short, the Republic failed, and as a result, both sides requested help from abroad. The three generals, though, were actually not all in Spain at the start of the rebellion. Sanjurjo was in Portugal, and was killed in a plane crash en route back to Spain before any major military action could occur. Mola, meanwhile, had raised 6,000 troops in Pamplona in eastern Spain, but still needed Franco’s Army of Africa, which was stationed in Spanish Morocco just across the Straits of Gibraltar. The Army of Africa was Spain’s most effective fighting force, but because the Spanish Navy had remained loyal to the Republic, Franco, with only a small number of transport aircraft, could not get his troops to mainland Spain.[4] Franco first turned to Italy for help, requesting its assistance in transporting troops. Italy declined for the moment, leaving Franco to try to obtain German help. Franco knew that getting Germany to provide transport aircraft would not be easy. In order to improve his chances of obtaining German aid, Franco contacted Johannes Bernhardt – a German businessman living in Spanish Morocco at the time and a member of the Auslandsorganization (AO – the Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party). Franco convinced Bernhardt to try to persuade the German government to send the Nationalists ten transport aircraft and then sent Bernhardt to Bayreuth, where Hitler was attending the annual Wagner festival. Using his AO contacts, Bernhardt was able to win an audience with Hitler, where he pleaded Franco’s case to the Fuehrer and gave him a letter written by Franco himself (in Spanish, no less – Hitler had to have it translated). After spending some time deliberating and going over the latest reports on the Spanish situation, Hitler concluded that because of the danger that would ensue if a Communist government prevailed in Spain, Germany should aid the Nationalists, and promptly sent Franco twice the requested number of transport aircraft.[5] Germany soon became much more involved in the Spanish conflict. It proceeded to set up HISMA (Compañía Hispama-Marroqui de Transportes) soon after the July 1936 decision to send aid to Franco. HISMA was a company based in Spanish Morocco, set up as a cover for Germany to give arms to Spain in exchange for Spanish goods and raw materials. Although such economic support proved important, Germany made a more lasting impression when it committed 3,786 men, 37 officers, and 92 planes to what became known as the “Condor Legion.” The Condor Legion was sent to fight in Spain in November 1936 and did not return to Germany until after the fall of Madrid, leading to the end of the Spanish Civil War in March 1939.[6] The Condor Legion had a decisive impact on the outcome of the war, providing air support with which the Republican forces could not compete. Furthermore, Germany backed Italian intervention in the Spanish Civil War, hoping to drive a wedge between the democracies and Italy, and thus prevent a recreation of the Stresa Front, which Britain, France, and Italy had formed in 1935 to oppose German rearmament.[7] By aiding and encouraging Italian support for the Nationalists, Hitler hoped that the tension already existing between Fascist Italy and the democracies would be exacerbated because Britain and France were against a Nationalist takeover of Spain and foreign intervention altogether in the conflict. Italian support for the Nationalists thus defied British and French aims. Mussolini, for his part, desired not only to expand his influence in the Mediterranean but also, like Hitler, to stave off Communism in Spain. Soon after conflict broke out in Spain, Italy was sending Franco troops in addition to material, and Italian submarines began attacking neutral shipping in the Mediterranean.[8] Germany also used the Spanish war as a chance to improve its image with the democracies. Because the Spanish Communist Party was a prominent part of the Republican coalition, and because the Soviet Union became the only nation to give outright support to the Republicans, the Germans used their Propaganda Ministry at full force to pose as the ‘defenders of Western civilization’ against the Communists.[9] Furthermore, Soviet policies in Spain toward its own Republican allies became increasingly radical, leading to major fracturing within the Republican forces as the Communists attempted to wrest complete control of the situation in Barcelona from their allies, in 1938, with the Nationalists closing in on the city.[10] The resulting civil war within the civil war was marked by great atrocities committed by the Communists, and the Germans were very quick to bring attention to those acts. Thus Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels painted the Communists as ‘barbaric’ while painting the Germans as ‘honorable.’ As Guernica in 1937 was to prove, this latter point, of course, was not the case. Yet Goebbels still attempted to, and no doubt did, convince many Germans and some non-Germans that the Nazi government was indeed the ‘defender of civilization.’ Indeed, many in Britain and France became even more suspicious about the Communists because of the Spanish Civil War. Even Winston Churchill, by no means a supporter of Fascism, seemed to place greater blame on Communists for starting the war, as he stated in a July 19, 1937 House of Commons speech: It is well known that ordinary guarantees for safety and order had largely lapsed in Spain, that it was not safe for people to go out at night over large areas, that murders and outrages were rife, and that constitutional parliamentary government was being used as a mere mask, a screen, to cover the swift, stealthy and deadly advance of the extreme Communist or anarchist factions, who saw, according to the regular programme of Communist revolutions, the means by which they could obtain power. It was when confronted with a situation like that that this violent explosion took place in Spain.[11]

Even if Hitler could not convince the democracies that Germany was free of barbarism, they could at least drive a wedge between the democracies and the Soviets, preventing the recreation of the alliance that hampered German war plans in World War I by forcing a two front war. Morever, by alienating the two sides, Hitler could more freely pursue an eastern expansion policy – the democracies, he surmised, would now care little if Germany wrested hegemony over Eastern European from the ‘barbaric’ Communists. Both Germany and Italy maintained an official position of “non-intervention,” however. Indeed, most of Europe desired to stay out of the conflict altogether. Wary of being dragged into another protracted war like World War I, Britain and France, despite sympathizing with the Republicans, took the lead in establishing a Non-Intervention Agreement that was eventually signed by 17 countries including Germany and Italy. To the democracies, “War was seen as a mindless and unnecessary stampede to destruction,” according to historian Willard Frank.[12] Britain and France hoped to discourage German and Italian participation in the conflict through non-intervention, which entailed prohibiting arms sales to either Republicans or Nationalists, although one could still trade non-militarily with either. Britain and France favored such a policy despite the fact that it soon became obvious that Germany and Italy were practicing anything but non-intervention in Spain. Still, neither Britain nor France called the dictatorships’ bluff, with ominous consequences for the future. Thousands of people from all over Europe (including Germany) did volunteer in the so-called “International Brigades” which fought for the Republicans during the war. These people often claimed to have a sense of duty to fight a war against injustice, and many in fact were Communists.[13] Although their impact was decisive in defeating the Italians at Guadalajara in 1937 and in preventing Republican collapse for several years, their presence was no match for the combined German and Italian military and economic aid to the Republicans.[14] Indeed, as witnessed by Britain and France’s contribution of its citizens to International Brigades despite official non-intervention policies, the democracies were deeply divided over the Spanish war. The Great Depression had already stretched social cohesion thin, and the added weight of the decision over the Spanish Civil War began to take its toll. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, for example, forced Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden to resign as a result of disagreements over Spain. Eden favored being tough on the dictatorships while Chamberlain favored staying uninvolved and ‘ignorant’ of Fascist intervention in the hopes of not antagonizing them into provoking a general war. The democracies appeared weakened, especially in France, and Hitler took note of this.[15] Britain and France did attempt to curb Fascist intervention on behalf of the Nationalists in one way, though. Alarmed at Italy’s wanton submarine warfare on neutral shipping destined for Spain, Britain and France coordinated Naval policies in the Mediterranean in order to hunt down “pirate” submarines in the Nyon agreement of September 1937. Even though it was common knowledge that the submarines were Italian, the democracies still refused to openly accuse the Italians of intervention. Britain in particular still hoped for rapprochement with the Italians, hoping to recreate the Stresa Front against Germany. As a result of the British and French crackdown, Italian ‘piracy’ stopped, but attacks on neutral shipping were picked up again this time by German aircraft, against which the British and French were largely powerless.[16] Furthermore, Germany made use of two incidents to “justify” their intervention should anyone challenge them. On May 29, 1937, the battleship Deutschland was mistakenly attacked by a Soviet bomber who thought it was a Nationalist cruiser. Hitler cried for vengeance and ordered the shelling of the port town of Almería, killing 24 civilians. As a result of the Deutschland incident, Germany and Italy walked out of the Non-Intervention conference, despite the fact that the British cruiser Hunter had been hit by a German mine earlier in May and no major repercussions occurred. The second incident occurred on June 15, 1937 when the German cruiser Leipzig claimed a submarine fired upon it, although no real evidence existed to back up its claim. Nonetheless, Hitler demanded international naval action be taken against the Republic.[17] Yet these incidents were far from the most notorious things the Germans did in Spain. Perhaps the most infamous incident concerning German involvement in the Spanish Civil War was the use of explosives and firebombs on the Basque city of Guernica on April 26, 1937. As part of a massive Nationalist campaign to split the Republican controlled area of Spain in half, the Condor Legion in spring 1937 launched an attack on the Basque province of northeastern Spain. Aiming to prevent Republican troops from retreating through Guernica to their strongpoint at Bilbao, the Condor Legion attacked and destroyed 70% of Guernica. The attacks came in the middle of the day when many people were at the city’s market, and hundreds of civilians were killed as a result.[18] There has always been a debate as to whether the civilians were attacked on purpose or whether, like the Germans claimed at the time, bad weather and wind had caused their bombs to miss their primary target – a bridge outside the city. Historian Peter Monteath explains: Had the stone bridge been the sole target, then incendiary bombs would not have been used, nor would the machine gunning have take place . . . And had the bridge, which survived the attack unscathed, been the only target, then [the German commanding officers] would hardly have described the raid as a complete success.[19]

This incident lives in infamy, and although not terribly symbolic of German foreign policy up until this point, it began to foreshadow the civilian terror bombing that became a staple of World War II. The Guernica incident was also indicative of a radicalization in German policy in Spain that saw a parallel in Hitler’s decision that year to prepare for the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, as revealed in the Hossbach memorandum.[20] The Nationalist campaign of 1937 was successful. By Spring of 1938, the Nationalists had split Republican Spain in half, reaching the Mediterranean on April 15. Yet victory was elusive for the exhausted Nationalists due to a temporary regrouping of Republican forces in the summer of 1938. With German and Italian support in hand, Franco slowly began driving the remaining Republican armies into France in what quickly became a bloody war of attrition. On March 5, 1939 the Republican government fled Madrid, and after an intense battle for the city, Spain’s capital fell on March 28, effectively ending the Spanish Civil War.[21] In order to understand what place the war had in Hitler’s overall foreign policy goals, I will now explore what those goals were.

Hitler’s Foreign Policy The basic goal of Hitler’s foreign policy as outlined in Mein Kampf and subsequently carried out in the 1930’s was German expansion to the east and the (re)incorporation into the German Reich of all ethnic Germans, particularly those Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. On the very first page of Mein Kampf Hitler declares, “German-Austria must return to the great German mother country . . . One blood demands one Reich.”[22] Regarding the need for expansion in the east, Hitler writes, “Only an adequately large space on this earth assures a nation of freedom of existence [his emphasis] . . . If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.”[23] Driving this goal was Hitler’s belief in the supremacy of the German or Aryan race. He writes, “He [the Aryan] is the Prometheus of mankind from whose bright forehead the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times.”[24] Hitler also held the conviction that Germany would need to expand to be able to accommodate a growing German population.[25] The east was a logical choice for Hitler given the other driving force of his ideology – racism predicated on hatred of Jews, Slavs, and Communists. To Hitler, the supremacy of the Aryan race required the elimination of all competing races, and the race that was the most threatening to the Aryans was the Jewish race, which Hitler compared to “parasites.” [26] To him they were the lowest race imaginable. According to Hitler, the Jews were bent on world domination and their heartland was Communist Russia – indeed, he often referred to Communism as “Jewish Bolshevism.” He therefore warns, “Do not forget that the international Jew who completely dominates Russia today regards Germany, not as an ally, but as a state destined to the same fate.”[27] Thus, expanding eastward not only allowed Germany to accommodate its population, it also allowed the German race to eliminate its largest threat. To accomplish eastern expansion, Hitler’s foreign policy in the 1930s was geared first toward annexing Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia and Poland. Achieving this would be no easy task at a time when Britain and France were wary of a German military revival following the horrors of World War I. Therefore, at first Hitler proceeded cautiously, testing the waters slowly. He then became increasingly defiant and strong willed after gaining more confidence that the democracies would not interfere with his policies. One of the first major foreign policy moves Hitler made was announcing German rearmament in 1935. This caused concern among Britain, France, and Italy, who subsequently formed the Stresa Front against Germany. Although the Stresa Front amounted to hollow threats, Germany was wary of its isolation; the next time, Hitler would act more cautiously.[28] In 1936, Germany remilitarized the Rhineland, violating the Locarno Treaty of 1925. Yet Hitler this time had chosen to wait until Britain and France were distracted – a theme that would be repeated – with Italy’s war of conquest in Ethiopia. Britain and France were indeed caught off guard, and internal division and fear of war caused them to refrain from action against Germany.[29] Then later that year in July, Franco asked Hitler to send him transport aircraft so that he might be able to move his troops from Spanish Morocco to Spain. Hitler saw an opportunity to divert the democracies’ attention from Germany for the time being and he also saw the threat of having a pro-Communist government in Spain in the event that Franco could not send his troops to combat the Republican forces. This latter development would make the Fuehrer’s expansionist goals difficult to achieve. He also saw an opportunity to gain raw materials from Spain that Germany would need if it were to launch a war. Hitler therefore sent his first shipments of aid to Franco that same month.[30] Germany’s involvement in Spain lasted until the end of the war in 1939. During that time, Hitler began accelerating events in Europe. In March 1938 he annexed Austria outright, and in October of the same year at the Munich Conference he forced the democracies to allow him to annex of the Sudetenland. In March 1939, Hitler invaded and annexed the remainder of Czechoslovakia despite agreeing at Munich not to do so. At this point the last significant population of ethnic Germans not living in Germany was in Western Poland. It was thus Poland to which Hitler turned his attention. In response, Britain and France pledged to guarantee Polish independence, now realizing the shortcomings wrought by their appeasement policy in terms of European security.[31] Furthermore, it was Poland that Hitler, acting on his foreign policy goal of eastern expansion, invaded on September 1, 1939, starting World War II. Nazi foreign policy in the 1930s is marked by continuity despite its diversity – all was done as part of a plan to gradually move Germany into a position where it might expand eastward. With its intent to prevent a hostile Communist government in Western Europe, to distract the democracies from Central Europe, and to obtain raw materials from Spain, Nazi Germany’s participation in the Spanish Civil War fits into this pattern. Not all historians agree with this assertion, however. The “Functionalist” school of Nazi historians contends that Hitler had no coherent foreign policy throughout this period. They emphasize what they see as a decentralized foreign policy decision-making process that involved multiple Nazi organizations competing to get their agenda across. Hitler, they say, did not act alone in determining foreign policy. As historian Wolfgang Schieder concludes in regard to Spain, “The German decision to actively support the rebels in Spain offers a positively ideal example of how the polycratic power-structures of the so-called Fuehrer-state also influenced foreign policy,” as he cites the role played by the AO, the Foreign Ministry, and Deputy Fuehrer Hermann Goerring, who also headed the Ministry of the Interior.[32] Furthermore, even if he did make the decisions by himself, there is no relationship between Hitler’s actions in Spain and his overall foreign policy goals – he merely reacted to opportunistic situations quickly and crudely. Again, Schieder notes, “Hence Hitler’s foreign policy cannot be understood exclusively as the realization of long-term programs, nor can it be explained as the product of a goal-less nihilism.”[33] The Functionalists thus regard German involvement in the Spanish Civil War as having little to do with any coherent goal in terms of an expansionist policy. Yet evidence suggests that, at least relating to German intervention in Spain, these claims are wrong. To take the first point – that of polycratic decision-making – the Foreign Ministry played no role in Hitler’s decision to intervene in Spain, and was in fact surprised by his decision. Goerring was not even present at the meeting where the decision to intervene in Spain was made. And although the AO did play an important role in bringing about German intervention, it was not a decision-making role. Furthermore, Hitler’s actions did have coherency in terms of a larger foreign policy – his decision to involve Germany in the Spanish Civil War does fit in as part of a larger Nazi policy of Eastern European expansion. With a pro-Soviet bloc in Western Europe, Hitler could not have as free a hand in the east. Moreover, Hitler took a good deal of time when considering what to do with Spain – he reviewed the latest reports from the Iberian Peninsula very carefully before agreeing to intervene.[34] Thus when the Spanish Civil War erupted, Hitler already had an idea of what to do.

Impact of the War on European Peace The Spanish Civil War had important consequences for all of Europe. The conflict further contributed to the polarization of Europe. Italy drew closer to Germany as a result of the conflict, and Britain and France drew closer together as well. Italy suffered several military setbacks in a war to which they were committed but increasingly wished they could withdraw. This commitment, along with those setbacks, made Italy even more dependent on its one ally, Germany.[35] Britain and France drew together as a result of their common desire to maintain non-intervention and also through their joint naval program to stop Mediterranean ‘piracy.’ As historian Willard Frank concludes, “After rather chilly relations during the Ethiopian crisis, the Spanish war brought out the similarities between Great Britain and France.”[36] All hopes for resurrecting the Stresa Front were dashed by Italy’s insistence on intervening in the conflict and Britain and France’s determination to stay out. Italy, by committing a large number of troops, played right into Hitler’s hands as Mussolini isolated the British and French, leaving Germany as his only real ally. Another important consequence of the Spanish Civil War was to drive the Soviet Union further from the democracies. The Soviet Union was the only country to support the Republicans outright against the Nationalists, and the lack of support from Britain and France helped convince an already paranoid Stalin that the democracies were merely trying to turn Hitler eastward. Indeed, he had called on them several times to invoke the League of Nations principle of collective security, with no reply. The Soviets were also left out of the Nyons Conference on policing the Mediterranean, to their annoyance.[37] Furthermore, anti-Communism rhetoric was used throughout the war by many parties, further alienating the Soviets and helping Stalin decide that he needed to reach an agreement with Hitler – better to trade Eastern Europe for peace with Hitler than to face him in war alone. As a result of the Spanish war, Germany also obtained valuable raw materials from Spain. Germany had been deeply concerned about its lack of raw materials, and by striking a trade agreement with Franco by which Germany received raw materials for German military equipment and personnel, it was able to obtain a crucial safeguard in case Hitler’s plan of eastern expansion led to war. These agreements were discussed at the beginning of German involvement in 1936, and then codified in three July 1937 treaties.[38] Of particular interest to Germany was Spain’s pyrite mines because that mineral was used to furnish iron and copper, and was also used in many chemical industrial procedures that Germany considered critical.[39] The Spanish Civil War caused Britain and France’s credibility to decrease in Hitler’s eyes. The democracies looked weaker than ever because despite common knowledge of German and Italian involvement in Spain, neither Britain nor France had challenged the dictatorships’ pledge to remain non-committed.[40] Hitler was beginning to see that he might have his way with the democracies. Therefore, an emboldened Hitler began accelerating the pace of his expansionist policies. This development helped lead to the Austrian and Sudeten annexations of 1938, the outright annexation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the invasion of Poland in September 1939, which set off World War II.[41]

Conclusion The Spanish Civil War was important not only to Spain but also to the whole of Europe. Germany’s involvement in that war was crucial to helping Franco’s Nationalists claim control of Spain. Despite some historians’ views as to a functional foreign policy, the evidence suggests that involvement in Spain was perfectly consistent with Hitler’s foreign policy goal of distracting Britain and France and driving a rift between them, Italy, and the Soviet Union, all while Hitler was making plans for eastern expansion. The result of Germany’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War was just that – Britain and France, although drawing closer together themselves, moved further away from Italy and alienated the Soviet Union. Both Italy and to a lesser extent the USSR were subsequently drawn toward Germany. Furthermore, the Spanish Civil War and Britain and France’s Non-Intervention policy led Hitler to begin to believe that he could manipulate the weak democracies to achieve his foreign policy ends. This led to an acceleration of his plans for Eastern expansion, which in turn helped accelerate Europe’s movement toward World War II. Bibliography


Azzi, Stephen Corrado, “The Historiography of Fascist Foreign Policy.” The Historical Journal Volume 36, No. 1 (1993): 187-203.

Frank, Willard C., “The Spanish Civil War and the Coming of the Second World War.” The International History Reviews Volume 9, No. 3 (August 1987): 368-409.

Monteath, Peter, “German Historiography and the Spanish Civil War: A Critical Survey.” European History Quarterly Volume 20, No 2 (1990): 255-283.

Monteath, Peter, “Guernica Reconsidered: Fifty Years of Evidence.” War & Society, Volume 5, No. 1 (May 1987): 79-104.

Monteath, Peter, “Hitler and the Spanish Civil War. A Case Study of Nazi Foreign Policy.” Australian Journal of Politics and History, Volume 32, No. 3 (1986): 428-442.

Place, T. Harrison, “British Perceptions of the Tactics of the German Army, 1938-40.” Intelligence and National Security, Volume 9, No. 3 (July 1994): 495-519.

Whealey, Robert H., “Economic Influence of the Great Powers in the Spanish Civil War: From the Popular Front to the Second World War.” The International History Review, Volume 5, No. 2 (May 1983): 229-256.

Whealey, Robert H., “Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels Looks at the Spanish Civil War.” The Historian, Volume 61, No. 2 (1999): 341-360.


Buchanan, Tom. Britain and the Spanish Civil War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972.

Howson, Gerald. Arms for Spain: The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

James, Robert Rhodes, ed. Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963: Volume VI, 1935-1942. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1974.

Noakes, J., and Pridham, G., eds. Nazism, 1919-19-1945: Volume 3: Foreign Policy, War and Racial Extermination: A Documentary Reader. Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 1994.

Proctor, Raymond L. Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the Spanish Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.

Stoakes, Geoffrey. Hitler and the Quest for World Dominion. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986.

Weinberg, Gerhard L. The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-1939. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Whealey, Robert H. Hitler and Spain: The Nazi Role in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1989.
[1] Monteath, “Hitler and the Spanish Civil War, p.430.
[2] Buchanan, Tom. Britain and the Spanish Civil War (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p.14.
[3] Ibid., pp.15-17.
[4] Gerald Howson. Arms for Spain: The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), pp.9-16.
[5] Monteath, “Hitler and the Spanish Civil War,” pp.431-436.
[6] Robert H. Whealey, Hitler and Spain: The Nazi Role in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1989), p.8.
[7] J. Noakes, and G. Pridham, eds. Nazism, 1919-19-1945: Volume 3: Foreign Policy, War and Racial Extermination: A Documentary Reader (Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 1994), p.664.
[8] Whealey. Hitler and Spain, pp.9-14.
[9] Robert H. Whealey, “Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels Looks at the Spanish Civil War.” The Historian, Volume 61, No. 2 (1999), p.348.
[10] Gerald Howson. Arms for Spain: The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), pp.242-245.
[11] Robert Rhodes James, ed. Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963: Volume VI, 1935-1942 (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1974), p.5874
[12] Willard C. Frank, “The Spanish Civil War and the Coming of the Second World War.” The International History Reviews Volume 9, No. 3 (August 1987): 373.
[13] Buchanan, pp.122-123.
[14] Whealey, Hitler and Spain, p.57.
[15] Frank, pp.374, 386-387.
[16] Ibid., p.393.
[17] Ibid., pp.380-381.
[18] Peter Monteath, “Guernica Reconsidered: Fifty Years of Evidence.” War & Society Volume 5, No.1 (May 1987): 93-100.
[19] Monteath, “Guernica Reconsidered,” p.95.
[20] Whealey, “Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels Looks at the Spanish Civil War,” p.353.
[21] Gerhard L. Weinberg. The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-1939 (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp.159-161.
[22] Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), p.3.
[23] Ibid., pp.643,654.
[24] Ibid., pp.290.
[25] Ibid., p.643.
[26] Ibid., p.305.
[27] Ibid., p.661.
[28] Noakes and Pridham, p.664.
[29] Ibid., p.669.
[30] Peter Monteath, “Hitler and the Spanish Civil War. A Case Study of Nazi Foreign Policy.” Australian Journal of Politics and History, Volume 32, No. 3 (1986): 439-440.

[31] Noakes, p.738.
[32] Monteath, “Hitler and the Spanish Civil War,” p.439.
[33] Ibid., p.439.
[34] Ibid., pp.439-440.
[35] Frank, p.379.
[36] Ibid., p.406.
[37] Ibid., p.397-398.
[38] Whealey, “Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels Looks at the Spanish Civil War,” p.352.
[39] Whealey, Hitler and Spain, p.75.
[40] Frank, p.391.
[41] Ibid., p.408.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Spanish Civil War

...Webquest – The Spanish Civil War • When did the Spanish Civil War take place and why and how did it start? - 1936 to 1939 between the republicans supported by democrats and communists, and Francisco Franco who was supported by conservative and the catholic church to a certain extent. - Economically, the country had been deeply hit by the Great Depression after the wall street crash, in 1929 the military dictatorship that had ruled Spain since 1923 collapsed and in 1931 the republicans came to power. Which followed a period where the two political rivals both had periods where they had the power as the elected government. So the country was divided and unstable that in 1936 the army rebelled and forcibly removed the Republicans from power. so the civil war ensued. - The war began after a declaration of opposition by a group of generals of the Spanish R.A.F. (Republican Armed Forces) • How did the war end? What was the result? - The better organized and better equipped Nationalist forces won the war after Madrid was captured in March 1939. Hitler's position in Europe was now more powerful, since had another potential ally in the right-wing dictator of Spain, General Franco. - The participation and co-operation in the civil war strengthened the bond between Italy and Germany, as a result the Rome-Berlin Axis was formed. Italy and Germany were then firm allies. • What/whom was the POUM? - What/whom was the POUM? - The Workers' Party of Marxist aunification,......

Words: 432 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Spanish Civil War

...The Spanish Civil War was a war of tremendous impact both on Spain as well as the world. There is no doubt that the large propaganda effort by both the Republicans as well as the Nationalists affected the war effort on both sides. However, the different sides have drastically different ways of going about to promote their side in the war. The Republicans used “Spanish Earth” while the Nationalists used “Heroic Spain”. Each of these propaganda films had different and unique features that made them stand out differently from each other. “Spanish Earth” used a more calm and peaceful approach in order to bring popular support over their side. They had multiple images of various villagers hard at work. This promotes an image of a devoted and dedicated group of citizens for the Republican Spain that could be used in order to create a new Spain. I think this approach works well for convincing neutral members of society to come join the Republican side because everyone in Spain would have wanted a solid group of citizens as a foundation to rebuild Spain, but this approach would have never worked to convince any of the Nationalists to defect to the Republican side. Nationalists would have hated the idea of a “common person” having a role in the Spain’s society, which was the one of the primary reasons that they rebelled under Franco in the first place. “Spanish Earth” definitely has a more passive undertone than the Nationalist’s propaganda film with large crowds of soldiers......

Words: 295 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Spanish Civil War Essay

...The Spanish Civil War rose up out of heavy unrest that can be traced back centuries. After the conclusion of the First World War and a slowing of global immigration, workers all over Spain became increasingly militant because of deteriorating conditions. Strikes and uprisings could be found everywhere, and the Spanish government was having a hard time keeping the violence under control. In 1923, Miguel Primo de Rivera assumed power by means of overthrowing the state; he is considered the first modern dictator of Spain. As the unrest and violence continued, Primo de Rivera was forced to declare a state of war in an attempt to “halt any unrest or protests” (Beevor 136). Industrialists and the liberal middle class welcomed Primo de Rivera’s assumption to power because he had a conservative stance, a concern with improving Spain, and he came at a tense time for Spain (Beevor 137). However, the peace and welcoming did not last long. It began in Catalonia when the Catalans began to develop a dislike toward Primo de Rivera’s rule because he did not deal with union leaders to their liking. He, also, enjoyed attacking all aspects of Catalan nationalism (Beevor 140). But, the unrest did not stop there. It grew as Primo de Rivera stretched his influence...

Words: 1919 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Spanish Civil War Propaganda

...Ben Hayward Propaganda Poster Analysis 11/05/13 Propaganda, by definition is an illustrated idea, fact, or allegation that is deliberately spread to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause. Throughout the Spanish Civil War the Republican, and Fascist parties created and distributed a plethora of propaganda. Spanish homes, institutions and buildings were covered in various parties’ propaganda that depicted both the heroes and villains of the Civil War. The emergence of these propaganda posters was a direct result of the fascist takeover the government. The posters served as a visual representation of party affiliation and their goals pertaining to the war. This poster that I present above on the first page represents the Anarchist’s party and their revolution in Spain. More specifically, the column de hierra, or otherwise known as the “Iron Column” was a militia column of the Anarchist ideology. This column was a subset of Militias Confederal and represented the Spanish Republicans. In my analysis of the poster, I will point out the symbolism of the color scheme and the figures represented in the poster as well as the text presented in the poster. The color scheme in any propaganda poster is vital in evoking the direction and intent of the artist’s poster. Also, colors can show viewers of the poster what party is affiliated with them. The red coloring in this poster exhibits the Anarchist party’s colors and distinguishes itself from the dark coloring of the...

Words: 804 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Outbreak of the Spanish Civil War

...Nationalist forces as being evenly balanced at the outbreak of Civil War in 1936? The outbreak of Civil War, in July 1936, was due to the murder of Sotelo by a PSOE supporter on the 13th of July. Sotelo was murdered in retribution of the armed action taken against the Asturias rising in which 3,000 miners were killed and another 35,000 were taken prisoner. At the outbreak of war both the Republicans and the Nationalists were fairly evenly balanced, however taking into consideration: Territory and population; industry; armed forces and organization I am going to evaluate which side was stronger in July 1936. The territory in Spain was split at about two-thirds to the Republicans against one-third to the Nationalist. The population was also split in favor of the Republicans with a difference of two million; the nationalist had a population of eleven million and the republicans had a population of thirteen million. However in spite of having control of the majority of the population and land the government could not simply overlook the fact that, in only a few days, they had lost one third of Spain to the rebels. Part of the reason for the Nationalist gain in the country was that a large portion population was in favor of the rebels. The Republicans had control of Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao. By having the capital and also two other major cities put the Republicans in good stead as they occupied the heart of the Spanish economy. Where as the rebel Nationalists had......

Words: 1078 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Role Of Propaganda In The Spanish Civil War

...When it comes to the Spanish civil war, republican forces “battled fascists and some Basques sided against the fascists” (White, 2014 p.147). They used the civil war as an excuse to fight for autonomy. The leader of fascists forces Francisco Franco, achieved victory in 1939, in which he forcibly campaigned against the Basque national identity. Francisco incorporated completely the Basque region into Spain, and even banned its language and their expression of national culture. Not only that but parents were actually forced to give their children Spanish names, and priests could not refer to the Basque region. These rules were applied to the entire Basque religion. The Spanish civil war was one of the bloodiest civil wars. Propaganda was...

Words: 261 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

“Analyze the Causes of Either the Spanish Civil War or the Korean War.”

...“Analyze the causes of either the Spanish Civil War or the Korean War.” The Spanish Civil War is a classical example of a country changing from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy to a republic. This process was done through many different phases and most importantly through corruption and appealing speeches. I will throughout this essay closely examine some of the most important causes of the Spanish Civil War. Write about the weaknesses of the government and the unstructured Spanish army: • Explain why the why the elections in Spain were corrupt o The rich had the power o The party leaders were easily manipulated by the wealthy. • The government was also weak because the king was allowed to interfere in the progress of electing a new prime minister o Builds on the corruption part above o King had a lot of power • No difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals o No difference means it was only a matter of the party leader to convince other to support them o Weakness is that Spain could only go in one direction with two parties with the same goals and ideology. • Explain how the army had lost support o Army known to be violent o Too many officers and people with power o They changed the system in Spain from a absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy The powerful Catholic Church linked to the weaknesses of the government • Explain the how the Catholic Church influenced the education o They were against modernization......

Words: 526 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

In Spain In Our Hearts, Americans In The Spanish Civil War

...In Spain In Our Hearts, Americans In The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, author Adam Hochschild describes the escapades of Americans during the Spanish Civil War. For three years during the 1930's the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world. Volunteers flooded into Spain to help its democratic government fight off a right-wing coup led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. It was a shockingly brutal war, but it was soon overshadowed by the world war that it helped introduce. Today it is remembered through just a few classic accounts: Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, George Orwell's memoirs, Robert Capa's photographs. But in Spain...

Words: 286 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

How Did Langston Hughes Tell The Horrors Of The Spanish Civil War

...The British public received quite the introduction to the Spanish Civil War through its coverage in leading newspapers, such as the Spector, Manchester Guardian, and the Times. These newspapers offered various alternative perspectives based on their political affiliation and stances towards the war. For example, The Manchester Guardian tended to take an anti-Franco approach towards their coverage, but they provided accurate news about the events in Spain. Despite various opinions among leading newspapers, Britain's Conservative led government favored Franco's Nationalist to that of the Spanish Republic because of their economic in the mining regions of Spain; yet, England also wanted to avoid a full-scale war with Germany and Italy. Thus,...

Words: 852 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

In What Ways Can the Representation of the Family in Nada Be Read as a Microcosm of Spanish Society in the Immediate Post-Civil War Era?

...Assessed Essay In what ways can the representation of the family in Nada be read as a microcosm of Spanish society in the immediate post-Civil War era? Carmén Laforet's first novel, “Nada” is set in the war torn city of 1940's Barcelona, and depicts the aspiration of a young woman arriving to the city. This protagonist, Andrea, has her dreams quickly shattered as she witnesses, from the shadows, the chaos and mental and physical torment within the house. The novel is loosely based on Laforet's own experiences, her circumstances are very similar to that of Andrea; in the novel Andrea expects to find joy and love within her grandparents house in Barcelona, as she lived there as a child, however her hopes of this are quickly shattered,“cuando yo era la única nieta pasé alli las temporadas más excitantes de mi vida infantíl...¿todo esto podíá estar tan lejano?” (p22) Even though, taken literally, the narrator is reminiscing over earlier, happier times spent in the house, it echoes memories of Spain in general before the Civil War. Laforet herself was born in Barcelona and both Andrea and Laforet moved away as children and returned during the early 1940's in their late teens to study at the University of Barcelona. From this, Laforet experienced the struggles of post-war Spanish society first hand and evidence of this pervades the novel, drawing a picture of the times, which are not only represented in the city, but almost metaphorically in the household in which the......

Words: 1598 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

“Surrealist Artists, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso Were Clearly Influenced by Their Experiences of the Spanish Civil War” to What Extent Is This Statement Accurate?

...“Surrealist artists, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso were clearly influenced by their experiences of the Spanish Civil War” To what extent is this statement accurate? The rise of a revolution in 1930 Spain provoked artistic nightmarish visions in many European artists. Individual Surrealist artists responded differently, some abandoned peaceful propaganda for weapons and violence, while others, like Joan Miró, involved their artistic innovation directly in the service of the war efforts. However, artistic expressionism was the main forum by which Surrealist artists such as Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso expressed their opinions and depictions regarding the Spanish Civil War. The artists explored diverse views of fascism, death, despair, desire and hope through intricately detailed paintings heavily influenced by the war. 1930s Spain was deeply politically divided between the Nationalist and the Republicans. Generals Franco and Sanjujo led the Nationalists, right wing, with the support of the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia. Whereas the Republican parties, left wing, led by Azana were supported by the cities of Cadiz, Saragossa, Seville and Burgos. Nationalists embodied monarchists, landowners, employers, the Roman Catholic Church and the army, whereas Republicans consisted of the workers, trade union, socialists and the peasantry. The Great Depression took a heavy economic toll on Spain causing the collapse of the military......

Words: 2063 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Spanish Civil War

...SPANISH CIVIL WAR – WEAKNESS & COLLAPSE Introduction: The second republic was formed after the dictatorship under Primo de Rivera (1923) and the abdication of the King. The republican leftist government was established in 1931. It inherited the poor economy courtesy of the Great Depression, so naturally unemployment rates were high and wages were low. Ideological differences between various political groups were in existence due to the radicalized time, however not to the extent as in most other European nations at the time as Spain was not as heavily involved in or impacted by WWI. On top of this, Spain had been rife with regional, economic, and social conflict for decades. These factors, although minor in the context of the causes of the Spanish civil war, were important secondary factors that worked in tandem to exacerbate the internal political conflict that preceded civil war. The primary cause for the weakness of the Second Republic was its divisive constitution (Decemeber 1931). The constitution played a large role in weakening the government because it exacerbated the existing divisions within the nation and appealed only to a minority. It was perceived as elitist and angered multiple political and social factions, polarizing Spanish politics. This polarization of factions brought on the collapse of the Republic. Argument #1: The leftist government failed to mature due to the lack of popular and political support for the constitution of 1931 and its......

Words: 1903 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Spanish Civil War: Article Analysis

...In this article, Robert Gilman discusses a phenomenon that emerged in the Basque region of Spain in the years following the Spanish Civil War. Specifically, he refers to the innovation of the Mondragón Industrial Cooperatives. In this region, there has been significant social innovation which, according to Gilman, renders “Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, and all the squabbles between these ‘isms’, crude, irrelevant and obsolete” (Gilman, 1983). He compares the rest of the world (in the context of 1983) to Mondragón as if Mondragón had discovered a life-changing technology and the rest of the world is still years behind. The roots of this social innovation trace back to 1941, when Father Jose Maria Arizmendi moved to Mondragón, having been...

Words: 836 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Germany Paper

...FHP Draft When American schoolchildren are educated about Europe between the years 1936 through 1975, they are taught about the aftereffects of World War I and about World War II. Europe, in high school history classes, ceases to exist after 1945 and the close of World War II unless, of course, one is learning about the Cold War and the Berlin Wall may be mentioned. They do not learn, however, that World War II era Spain—because Spain was neither an ally or a foe during the war—went through enormous conflict of its own. The three-year Spanish Civil War and the fascist dictatorship that followed are largely kept out of the American history books. Yet, the world is privy to much of its legacy through literature, art, film, and personal memory. Spain certainly remembers three hellish years of war and thirty six years of repression under Generalisimo Fransisco Franco, but how is General Franco remembered by the rest of the world? What legacy did he leave internationally? 2 It is a confused and varied one: to those closest to him he was a husband, father, and statesman; to Hitler, he was an obstacle on the road to world domination; to the Jews who fled from Hitler he was a hero; but to the many Spanish minorities and to his opponents in the Spanish Civil War he was a monster. The answers to the questions posed are addressed in a variety of sources. One of these sources is the book Hitler Stopped by Franco,......

Words: 2730 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Izquierda Republicana

...------------------------------------------------- Spanish Civil War (incidents) – Izquierda Republicana (1937) Izquierda Republicana 2013/1/12 Editorial Denny Kim The ‘Spanish Civil War’ was an outcome of a polarization of Spanish life and politics that had developed over previous decades.  Which perhaps was predictable, the “pendulum of Spanish electoral politics swung back to the left” [1] in 1936. Spanish Left-Wing party adopted and practiced electoral strategy called ‘Popular Front’ (strategy of electoral cooperation of unification of vote; thus defeating right-wing parties) supported by ‘Comintern / Communist International’ in France [3]. The practice of ‘Popular Front’ was an effort to prohibit extreme-right from taking power. On the other hand, the Right -Wing formed a ‘National Front’ coalition in response, which caused more polarization. As a result, the socialist withdrew their support for the ‘Popular Front’ as protest of its moderation. Hence, public disturbance occurred sooner soon started spiraling the country out of control. Nevertheless in 1936, February, the first general election of the ‘Second Republic’ was “called to restore order” [1]. The Left-Wing Popular Front coalition won and gave a majority to a coalition of the Republican Left IR (Izquierda Republicana). Out of 13.5 million Spanish populations, over 9,870,000 participated in the election. There were 4,654,116 votes for the ‘Popular Front’, whereas there were 4,503,505 for National......

Words: 574 - Pages: 3