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Andalusia and the Spanish Civil War – Part 3

The third and concluding part of our series to see the effect that the Spanish Civil War had on Andalusia and other Spanish states ends with the conclusion of the war. Certain towns and areas declared themselves partisan to one side or the other, and the demographics of political ideology was becoming regional.

General Franco

General Franco rose to be the Nationalists supreme leader, and his plan was to transport his Moroccan Legionnaires into mainland Spain to assist his cause. His greatest boon was that Socialist Germany decided to side with him for the conflict, and they assisted with the transportation of these troops by loaning him twenty transport planes. This, in turn, bolstered the general’s standing and political power in the conflict.

Andalusia

Andalusia

The eastern part of Andalusia was soon in the control of Franco’s Nacionalistas and the region was in complete domination by Franco’s troops. The advance of these troops to Madrid was halted by the Republican forces and there was a sort of stalemate. At this point of the war, other nations around Europe started to back one side or the other and the conflict grew out of proportions. Portugal, Italy and Germany all sent troops and planes to help Franco’s cause. The seventy thousand Italian troops on the ground in Spain were claimed to be just volunteers, according to the Italian leader Mussolini. Russia decided to aid the Republicans, and it was sort of political chess move by the soviets, they really didn’t assist with troops but sent valuable equipment and military advisers. The Nationalists soon moved out of Andalusia, north towards Portugal, and took Badajoz in a fierce battle. However, the famous old city of Toledo was too tough to crack for the Republicans, as the people retreated into the old Alcazar fortress and defied the onslaught. Franco marched to rescue Toledo and freed the inhabitants from the siege.

The End of the War

Towards the end of the war in 1937, most of the worst fighting was now in northern Spain by the coastal towns and cities. The city of Barcelona was taken by the Communists in an opportunist move that saw the Republicans being ousted. Finally, in the spring of 1938, the Nationalists pushed through the defenses of Aragon and took the east coast of Spain. And in December of the same year, Franco and his troops marched into Barcelona and deposed the Communists. The final actions of the war took place in 1939 in Madrid, the Nationalists marched into the capital and the war was over. Franco would remain in power for another thirty-five years and his rule forged modern day Spain as we know it today. Vast areas of the country had to learn to live together once again, and regions such as Andalusia who had been under Nationalist control since the outset of the war were considered to have Nationalist political views and quite radical. The political landscape of Spain had been altered dramatically by the Spanish Civil War, regions and towns that happened to come into the control of one side or the other were considered ardent supporters of their political beliefs even though this was far from the truth.