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Thread: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

  1. #1
    Elephant CRSP's avatar
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    Default What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    The Spanish Civil War saw the axis powers and the USSR square off in a proxy war. Suppose that it never had happened. Would WW2 have turned out differently? Wasn't the Spanish Civil War a test ground for new German tactics? Would the Germans had been as bold, invading the likes of Poland and France, if their tactics had been untested, before hand?
    Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne blessent mon coeur
    D'une langueur Monotone

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    Maximum Proconsul silenus's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    WW2 would have happened with or without the scrimmage that the Spanish Civil War provided. It might have taken Germany a few weeks longer to conquer Poland, but it was going to happen. Hitler was emboldened by the lack of spine on the part of France and Britain, not faith in German tactics. That the Wermacht and Luftwaffe got in a practice game before the season satrted was just a bonus.
    "The Turtle Moves!"

  3. #3
    Oliphaunt Rube E. Tewesday's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    How about from the Soviet side? Did Stalin learn anything that turned out to be of use down the road?

  4. #4
    For whom nothing is written. Oliveloaf's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    It gave George Orwell some much-needed freelance work.
    "I won't kill for money, and I won't marry for it. Other than that, I'm open to just about anything."

    -Jim Rockford

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    Maximum Proconsul silenus's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Quote Originally posted by Rube E. Tewesday
    How about from the Soviet side? Did Stalin learn anything that turned out to be of use down the road?
    Not really. Soviet support was mainly supplies and armaments. No more than 700 soldiers of the Red Army served as "advisers" during the war.
    "The Turtle Moves!"

  6. #6
    MOON GIRL FIGHTS CRIME Myrnalene's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Quote Originally posted by Oliveloaf
    It gave George Orwell some much-needed freelance work.
    And it was the inspiration for one of the greatest paintings in the world.
    Guernica
    everything in nature is sort of gross when you look at it too closely. what is an apple? basically the uterus of a tree - terrifel

  7. #7
    For whom nothing is written. Oliveloaf's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Quote Originally posted by Myrnalene
    Quote Originally posted by Oliveloaf
    It gave George Orwell some much-needed freelance work.
    And it was the inspiration for one of the greatest paintings in the world.
    Guernica
    Yeah, that's a pretty great painting.
    "I won't kill for money, and I won't marry for it. Other than that, I'm open to just about anything."

    -Jim Rockford

  8. #8
    Oliphaunt Rube E. Tewesday's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Nava's a member here, right? I hope she shows up to give us some actual Spanish perspective. Her story at the other place about how her father?/grandfather? was apparently the only soldier in Franco's army, at least once Franco died, was a good one.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Not a topic I care to discuss much as my own family, as many many others, were caught on both sides of the war. As usually happens in these cases all involved claim to have been in the Right, with little to no shades of gray in between.

    Having said that, I think it is not only a myth but a sheer lie (though one borne out of cretinous historical revisionism) to call it a mere prelude to WW-II for it was much more than that. Instead, and trying to avoid unnecessary romanticisms, I believe it can factually be labeled as the last of the classical European peasants' Revolutions. IOW, much more of a social one, culminating in the few short months that Barcelona became a sort of an Utopian society -- my late Mother was there at the time and her stories of that period have always fascinated me. I simple don't believe that WW-II can be so labeled in its uniqueness. Mind you, Communist historians have also done much to discredit the notion that said short anarchic period was anything but a failure led by illiterate peons; which was hardly the case if you read the history of some of the leaders involved. To this day, it never fails to inspire those that believe such a system could work -- because it the only time when it was actually implemented.

    My own thoughts and analysis of it, remain just that. My own. I only try to provide as objective an account as I can.

    Not as objective is Hemingway's own account in For Whom The Bells Toll, because as I am sure you know he was part and parcel of The International Brigades if in thought only, as his official role was that of a journo. Still, highly recommended if you want to read the other side of the story -- if a bit romanticized, not far from the lofty ideals that halved Spain in two.

    Land of contradictions Spain was and so it remains to this day.
    Most of my time is spent in figuring out ways not to do anything productive. Socialist Hedonism is hard work.

  10. #10
    Oliphaunt Rube E. Tewesday's avatar
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    Interesting post,RedFury. I gotta say, your username would have made a good Anarcho-Syndicalist war cry. (Or maybe it was?)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    In Mien Kampf Hitler tells us exactly what he was planning to do. Spain was a fortuitous happening for him but not necessary for his plan.

    To me, the Civil War not happening turns this "What if". I can't answer but I know what questions we could ask, the 2 big ones being:

    *assuming the Civil War not happening means the Fascist revolt never happens and the Spanish elected government survives*

    1.
    Hi Hitler it is summer and autumn of 1940, you have rolled through Europe beaten France and England is on the ropes. Are you cool with a Red Spain in Europe? Do you need to deal with that before you hit the USSR?

    2.
    Does the Republican Government sit the Big Show out? Especially after the USSR is invaded? What do they do? Is Hitler OK with Republican Spanish interference in Europe? What does he do about it?
    No Gods, No Masters

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What was the significance of the Spanish Civil War?

    jimmmy, 'what if' questions are never easy to answer, and in this case, the possible scenarios are so vast that I wouldn't even attempt to reply.

    I've heard it said many times (with my own father leading the charge) that if it hadn't been for Franco's uprising Spain would have surely turned into yet another Soviet satellite. Personally, I think that's way too simplistic a response for the Republican forces were everything but monolithic in their beliefs. In fact some of the bloodiest battles towards the end of the war were within the two main undercurrents of thought in the Republican side. The communists, along with the Republican Government thought they could negotiate with Franco's Nationalists if only they defeated the anarchists' and POUMists hold of Barcelona and other industrial cities in the north. A mistake to begin with, as Franco was never going to negotiate much of anything, it had a devastating effect on overall moral within the very factions I spoke about. It was all downhill from there.

    I guess the only point I'm making vis-a-vis what Spain could or would have been had the Republicans won, it's actually very hard to decipher.

    OTOH, there's also some validity, I think, to the argument that if western powers (England, France, possibly even the US) had rallied to the defense of Republican Spain, Hitler's Germany might not had reached the military might they did. Kind of a nip in the bud approach.

    Yet another 'what if' we'll never have the answer to.

    Here's an eyewitness account of some the things I wrote about in my posts:

    ...So fierce was the Stalinist terror in the army that it was worse feared than that of the Fascists. This had sharp military effects. Voluntary enlistment fell to nothing. The severest military coercion was necessary to enforce conscription measures. Thousands of young workers, who were eager to enlist in the forbidden militia formations of the Anarchist youth to fight against Franco for the revolution, simply hid from the draft into a republican army where shooting in the back seemed even more likely than in the front...
    The whole article is certainly worth a read: Spanish Militants Describe Escape from Barcelona

    ---

    Rube, afraid my moniker's meaning is rather prosaic, for there's nothing high-minded about being a footy crazed fan of the Spanish NT...whose moniker is, you guessed it! La Furia Roja.
    Most of my time is spent in figuring out ways not to do anything productive. Socialist Hedonism is hard work.

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