"Bashert" by Conrad Singer
Civil War – brief history:
to 1939: A military rising originating in Morocco, headed by General
Francisco Franco, spreads rapidly all over the country, thus starting the
Spanish Civil War.
a number of bloody battles in which fortunes changed from one side to the
other, the 'nacionales' finally prevailed and made a victorious entry into
Madrid (March 28th, 1939).
The tragic death of Calvo Sotelo had the effect of accelerating a military
coup that had been under preparation for a long time. Actually, the
conspirators had been awaiting General Franco's decision to begin the
uprising. On July 18th it spread to other garrisons in metropolitan Spain
and the following day Franco took command of the army in Morocco. The
rising was succesful in Seville (directed by General Queipo de Llano), the
Balearic Islands (General Goded), the Canary Islands and Morocco (Franco),
Navarra (Mola), Burgos and Saragossa. General Yague advanced through
Extremadura and Mola took Irun. By the end of 1936 the Nationalist troops
controlled the greater part of Andalucia, Extremadura, Toledo, Avila,
Segovia, Valladolid, Burgos, Leon, Galicia, a part of Asturias, Vitoria,
San Sebastian, Navarra and Aragon, as well as the Canary and Balearic
Islands with the exception of Menorca. Castilla la Nueva, Catalunya,
Valencia, Murcia, Almeria, Gijon and Bilbao remained in Republican hands.
Republican government formed a coalition Cabinet headed by Giralt which
was succeeded by another one under Largo Caballero. It brought the CNT (Confederacion
Nacional de Trabajo, the anarcho-syndicalist union) into the Cabinet and
moved to Valencia. On September 29, the Junta de Defensa Nacional named
Franco head of the government and commander of the armed forces. To offset
these circumstances, the Republican government created a Popular army and
militarized the militia. Both sides were soon receiving aid from abroad:
the International Brigades were supporting Republican Spain and Italian
and German troops, Nationalist Spain.
Brunete, Quinto, Belchite, Fuentes de Ebro, Teruel, The Retreats and The
Ebro are the battlegrounds of the Spanish Civil War in which over twelve
hundred Canadian soldiers supporting Republican Spain took part. These men
created the most unique military unit in the history of Canada: the
Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion of the XVth International Brigade of the
Spanish Republican Army: 'the Mac-Paps.'
The year 1937 was characterized by fighting in the north of the country:
Guernica was bombed in April, Bilbao taken in June, Santander in August,
and Gijon in October. The reaction of the Republicans was to open fronts
in Guadalajara (March),Brunete (July), and Belchite (August). The Battle
of Teruel was launched at the end of the year.
The Nationalist transferred their efforts to Aragon, recovered Teruel and
divided the Republican zone in two parts after entering Castellon in July
1938. The government replied with the so-called Battle of the Ebro
(July-November 1938) which ended with a Republican defeat and 70,000
Once government resistance was exhausted, the Republican exile began with
many Spaniards fleeing across the border into France. Catalunya fell on
February 10, 1939. Madrid was the only city still resisting, and the
proposals of peace made by its Junta de Defensa (headed by Casado and
Besteiro) were useless. Nationalist forces occupied the capital on March
28, 1939, and on April 1, General Franco officially ended the war.
Courtesy of : www.sispain.org/english/history/civil.html