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THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR



THOUSANDS OF SPANISH TROOPS DIE IN THE THREE YEAR WAR
"After three long years of civil war in Spain, General Franco and his forces have taken control of the Country."


The war is over. The Spanish Loyalists (the preservers of the Republic) have fallen to the military forces of the Nationalists (the fascist political entity fighting for a change of government). General Francisco Franco has led his forces to victory and the old Republic of Spain has been abolished. The Nationalist now must start the rebuilding process after the longest, bloodiest war in Spanish history. The history of this war has shaped the country into what it is today.

The monarchy in Spain had ended during the early 1930's, now a Socialist Republic ruled the country. During the elections of February in 1936, the group of socialist, known as the Popular Front, won a narrow victory over the Fascist party. The Fascist party, intimated by the Popular Front's power, began preparation for war.

In July of 1936, the Spanish army units, stationed in Morocco, started a revolution against the government. Much like what Mussolini did in his rise to power, the Fascist party formed terror squads to justify their desire to install a new authoritarian government. After a few short months of fighting the Fascist, known as the rebels, controlled one third of Spain.

By this time, the revolution had become a full-scale civil war. At this point, the rebels had a problem, because their supply of troops was blockaded in Morocco. Adolph Hitler, in Germany, and Benito Mussolini, in Italy, separately decided that they would provide transport to Franco's troops, in hopes of setting up a Fascist government in Spain. The Soviet Union aided those in the country fighting to save the Republic, they were known as Loyalist.

Franco's forces now advanced rapidly north toward the Spanish Capital, Madrid. On September 21, 1936, the rebel leaders appointed Franco the leader of the new Nationalist State, which the rebels had formed. At this time, Franco slowed the war effort to help secure his own political power, but it also gave time for Madrid to fortify against attack. By the end of November, Franco realized he had been defeated. His delay for political power had lost him the Capital, for now.

On January 26, Barcelona, another large city in Spain, fell. The commander of the Republican Army in Madrid now realized that the slaughter of the Spanish people must end. He revolted against the Republican Government, and tried to negotiate for peace with Franco, but the talks failed. The Republican Army now faced Civil War within Civil War (between the Spanish Government and the Republican General in Madrid), and the troops on the front lines, began to surrender. Franco marched into a silent Madrid on March 27, 1939. After three long years of Civil War in Spain, General Franco and his forces had won the country.

Under Franco's new rule, the country began to prosper once again. Reminiscent of Mussolini's take over in Italy, the country's economy grew rapidly and there was a higher living standard. During World War II, Franco stayed mainly neutral, but favored the Axis powers (the group of world powers composed mainly of Germany, Italy, and Japan). They even sent troops to Germany on one occasion. But, the country was too war ravaged to have a large impact on the war.

After the war, Spain was politically isolated. After the Korean War, the United States resumed relations with Spain. After the death of Franco, in 1975, the country became a Socialist Republic. After the deaths of many brave men, the country was finally at peace with itself.

By Brian "The Chipmunk" Bos

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