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To What Extent Does Superior Military Organistation Explain the Success of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War?

  • Date Submitted: 02/26/2015 03:49 PM
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To what extent does superior military organistation explain the success of the nationalists in the Spanish Civil War?



military organisation
‘It was a German Mauser dated 1896 - more than forty years old! It was rusty, the bolt was stiff, the wooden barrel-guard was split’

‘It seemed dreadful that the defenders of the Republic should be this mob of ragged children carrying worn-out rifles which they did not know how to use’

‘In practice the democratic ‘revolutionary’ type of discipline is more reliable than might be expected. In a workers’ army discipline is theoretically voluntary’

‘On my second day at the barracks there began what was comically called ‘instruction’. At the beginning there were frightful scenes of chaos. The recruits were mostly boys of sixteen or seventeen from the back streets of Barcelona, full of revolutionary ardour but completely ignorant of the meaning of war.’

‘It was impossible even to get them to stand in line. Discipline did not exist; if a man disliked an order he would step out of the ranks and argue fiercely with the officer.’

the raw recruits were getting no military training that could be
of the slightest use to them.


party unity
conflicting ideologies between republicans -   ‘as time went on, the communists and POUM spoke more bitterly of each other than they did the Fascists.’

Franco established nationalist leader 1st November 1936

foreign aid
international brigade ensured republican victory in battle of Jarama

‘Some of the journalists and other foreigners who travelled in Spain during the war have declared that in secret the Spaniards were bitterly jealous of foreign aid. All I can say is that I never observed anything of the kind’

Nazi bombing on Guernica 1937, air superiority ensured nationalist victory in north





Whilst the Nationalists’ vast superiority in military organisation clearly aided their war effort to a great extent, the eventual Nationalist victory in the Spanish...

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