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#53218 - 10/29/02 07:44 AM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Eddie,

Yes, if Franco had lost, he would probably have been tried as a revolutionary. I believe a lot of his Generals, and even lower officers would have met the same fate. On that I agree.

As the winner, he had discretionary power, but he did not apply it through courts. It was done on what's referred to as "barrel-head" justice, where a person was brought before one of his army officers and the charges read. Then they were sentenced to death without any trial. in his memoirs, one of those officers, a mere Captain, had pronounced sentence on over 300 people in two days. He had them brought forward in groups, and the charges were read as being for all of them, and he'd pronounce them guilty, sentence them to death by firing squad, and order that it be carried out immediately. They weren't allowed to speak in their defense. About half of them were soldiers. He was instructed, by Franco, to execute "anyone" who survived their attack on the town, because they "might be the enemy." He also went on to indicate there wasn't time for any "nonsense" like a real trial. They had to move on.

Italian forces moved into Spain immediately with the air-lift. In the end, there were over 50,000 ground troops alone. They were sent north, and were the troops that united with the Army of Navarre, and Mola's troops from Burgos, to fight the Basques. They were the first troops to enter Guernica, and see the wanton destruction that took place. The earliest troops sent were "Black Shirts" who'd served in Ethiopia.

The Moors were not Spanish citizens. They were a colonial army. Most of them hated the Spanish. Spanish officers led them, not unlike the colonial armies the British had in India, and other nations. They received military benefits somewhat equal to the Spanish soldier, but weren't granted citizenship.

As shock troops, the Moors were fed into battles like cattle to a slaughter, and when they did win battles, they killed everyone, including men, women, and children, when they took a village. The Spanish officers would step aside, allowing it to happen. The Spanish Foreign Legion was made up of mercenaries from around the world, including the U.S. It was a place to hide from the law, just like the French Foreign Legion was. In fact, less than 20% of the foreign legion at that time, was Spanish. The majority of those that were was the Officer Corps. The rest were the dregs of the world.

As for the Republicans, they really weren't any better. A reign of terror began in 1931, and continued on until the Civil War. One of the targets were the Priests. They were blamed for the poor conditions visited on the peasants. It was true though. The Catholic Church owned much of the land, and peasants share cropped. The problem was, the Church took their share off the top, and left the peasants to starve, while Priests lived in luxury, and ate very well.

The only place that Priests weren't slaughtered was in Basque Country. The vast majority of Priests there supported the idea of a Republic.

When Franco's army marched through areas, they killed everyone who was farming the land. Their reason was that the land was "stolen" from the Catholic Church.

Wolf

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#53219 - 10/29/02 10:08 AM Re: Franco
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
Quote:

The Moors were not Spanish citizens. They were a colonial army. Most of them hated the Spanish. Spanish officers led them, not unlike the colonial armies the British had in India, and other nations. They received military benefits somewhat equal to the Spanish soldier, but weren't granted citizenship.
That is esentially incorrect as far as I know. Spanish Sahara (where the majority of the troops were from) was not considered a colony but a province. Their citizens had spanish nationality, the same rights as any other spanish citizens (including a spanish ID card or DNI) and, as any other province, had representation in the Parlament of the dictatorship.

What I'm not sure is since when they were considered spanish citizens. Perhaps at the time of the Civil War they were not yet considered as is.

Fernando

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#53220 - 10/29/02 10:22 AM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Fernando,

They were granted citizenship after the Civil War, for helping Franco win.

Wolf

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#53221 - 10/29/02 11:22 AM Re: Franco
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
Are you sure Wolf? Excuse my dudes but I remember that before 1898 Cuba and Puerto Rico had also the citizenship and had parlamentaries in Madrid, that is the reason I'm not that sure.

It may sound chauvinist (that is not my intention) but Spain has historically tried to integrate its colonies as new territories, in a different way from other powers (England, France, Holland,...).

Fernando

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#53222 - 10/29/02 11:56 AM Re: Franco
Eddie Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1739
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
I haven't read a word on this 'thread' about the Leftist Brigades that fought on the Republican side: the Italian Brigade that fought against Mussolini's Italian Fascist Army at Guadalajara. The 'Abraham Lincoln' Brigade made up primarily of U.S. Socialists and Communists and Brigades from Ireland and the U.K. From what I have read, the Spanish Republic was drifting toward Anarchy and Communism when the Generals decided to 'Make their Move.' The Spanish Civil War was the first armed confrontation (outside of Russia) between those two idieologies. It also became a testing ground to 'blood' the Officers of the German and Italian Armies (in preparation for World War II) and to try out new Strategies and Tactics such as the Blitzkrieg and saturation bombing of cities.

Adolf Hitler wanted Franco to join Germany on the Fascist side in World War II. Franco said: "No!" After meeting with Franco in San Sebastian in 1939, Hitler had some choice words about Francisco Franco: He said Franco was the most obstinate person that he (Hitler) had ever encountered.

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#53223 - 10/29/02 01:19 PM Re: Franco
Cristobo Carrín Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 136
Loc: Asturias
I think I can state firmly that the dwellers of Spanish Morocco were NOT regarded as Spanish citizens: I know it because I read once a speech from Azana, the president of the Spanish republic, where he showed his contempt about Franquist army, since its soldiers were mainly non-spaniards, and he mentioned them. Morocco was a Protectorate, not a Spanish province.
As to the evolution of the Republic, I think the communists didn`t reach great power before the war began; obviously they got profit out of the fact that only Stalin and Mexico supported the Republic. If the US and the UK had helped, maybe the moderate leftists would have prevailed. Azana himself supported capitalism and Parlamentary democracy. It is true anarchists and some socialists were quite crazy, but after the 1934 rebellion was smashed, it was quite unlikely that a leftist revolution managed to attain power. Of course, the right wing, the army, the CEDA and the Falange, had clearly stated that they wanted to retrieve the good, old values of "Eternal Spain". Their "answer" to the "red menace" was ready long before 1936.

Sorry, I forgot writing just one thing in my previous post.
It is an important question indeed if Franco commanded, or not, native soldiers. Since he was just a "puppet tyrant", supported by foreign countries, and his troops were mainly foreign mercenaries, then the so-called "civil war" might be regarded as a simple invasion, which allowed the powers of the Axis to control Spain. Only in Navarra, and some areas in Castile and Galicia, it could be said that Franco was supported by the people. But the peoples of Spain were in the most part, happy about the Republic

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#53224 - 10/29/02 03:55 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Cristobo is correct. The Moors were not Spanish citizens until after the war. Franco said they were only to sway world opinion towards his movement, which was supported by outside nations, not the main body of the people of Spain.

The Lincolns, and Washingtons, of the International Brigades were Americans, mostly Communists and Anarchists. They came mainly from the U.S. union movements throughout the U.S. The make up of the Brigades from around the world was more between those two political beliefs than any other. But, in Spain, not one Communist was part of the Madrid government which ran the Republic. There were Communist parties in some areas which held local offices, but not on a national scale. What was most devastating was that each region wanted to control its own interests through its own political party, and that meant a coalition government had to be formed, for national control.

The Communists gained strength when the only nation that supported the Republicans was Russia. Of course, as you can find in other links, Stalin had his reasons. He emptied the Spanish gold reserve, "protecting it" in Moscow. It was never returned to Spain. It was shown as payment for the antiquated arms that Stalin sent them. Eventually Stalin lost interest in the war, and quit backing the Republic. The Communists gained control with a revolution inside the Civil War. They did it by force, and killed opposition leaders. They did it with the aid of Moscow.

The U.S., UK, and other nations were fed a line of bull about the Republic being Communists. Most of our countries were running scared, thinking that Communism was taking over, even in our own countries. You can understand why there were lots of people who were looking at the move favorably, since the great depression destroyed almost everyone who wasn't upper class.

The "neutrality" that the U.S. and allies instituted was more like a blockade. It was a dumb move on our parts. We should have been there to support, and protect the Republic. Had we done so, some historians believe Hitler wouldn't have had the guts to set his sights on conquering Europe, and the Soviet Union would have never come to be. I think he still would have made the attempt, but have been beaten long before he was, and the USSR wouldn't have existed.

Wolf

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#53225 - 10/29/02 04:03 PM Re: Franco
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
Wolf,
As always - well thought out and well explained. You are hereby the honorary resident historian of MM's board! wink Seriously, you have an educator's gift of explaining the historical perspective.
_________________________
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#53226 - 10/29/02 07:55 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Puna,

Thank you. I don't think I've ever had anyone say anything nicer to me. I've always tried to understand not only the issue but why it exists. We have to see both sides of an issue to judge it fairly.

Wolf

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#53227 - 10/29/02 09:25 PM Re: Franco
toddy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 303
Loc: USA
Quote:
The "neutrality" that the U.S. and allies instituted was more like a blockade. It was a dumb move on our parts. We should have been there to support, and protect the Republic. Had we done so, some historians believe Hitler wouldn't have had the guts to set his sights on conquering Europe, and the Soviet Union would have never come to be. I think he still would have made the attempt, but have been beaten long before he was, and the USSR wouldn't have existed.

Wolf, that's a big historic stretch, to put it mildly. "Protecting the Republic" within the given historic context borders insanity. The US had many other pre-occupations one of which was the political philosophy of isolationism. Spain and its "republic" was as historically far away to the US foreign policy as the moon is the the earth confused

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