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#53228 - 10/29/02 09:49 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

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

Our isolationist views had nothing to do with the issue. Behind the scenes, we were hoping that the Nazis would turn east and attack Russia and destroy Communism. We insisted on neutrality for that and one other reason. We had Fascism surfacing in the U.S. It had nearly caused a civil war in our own country just four years earlier.

As a democracy/republic, we had an obligation to support another republic at least in principle for their fight. Had we done that, the French would have continued supplying arms & munitions to the Republic, and Great Britain would have taken an active role in keeping the waterways and transport lines open to the Spanish Republic. The U.S. swung its weight to stop that from happening. We were wrong in our stance. We sold out the very principles we stand for as a nation. Like it or not, that's the way it went down.

Wolf

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#53229 - 10/29/02 10:22 PM Re: Franco
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
Wolf,
I agree with Puna your historical insight is concise and your overview of the situation is visionary.

Would you recommend one good book to read on the Spanish Civil war that encompasses both sides of the argument. I know there will be others on this Board who will appreciate it as well!
_________________________
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
--St. Augustine (354-430)

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#53230 - 10/30/02 05:51 AM Re: Franco
Eddie Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1739
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
Cristobo Carrin writes:
Quote:
... 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.
I see you like those terms like "puppet tyrant" and "foreign mercenaries."

Those "foreign mercenaries" you keep referring to were members of the Spanish military - soldiers in the Spanish Army. I sincerely doubt that the pay of a Soldier in that army would have been sufficient to recruit real "mercenaries."

Franco was not the Numero Uno. At the time of the invasion he was definitely not what one might call a 'rising star' in the Spanish Army ('rising stars' didn't get posted in command of a Moorish unit in North Africa - he was on somebody's s**t list, as it is called in the military). He was following the lead (orders?) of Generals in the north of Spain when he led those troops in their invasion of the Spanish Mainland on July 18, 1936. His ascendancy in the Military was more or less by 'default' as those Generals were killed off or became incapacitated.

Wolf writes:
Quote:
As a democracy/republic, we had an obligation to support another republic at least in principle for their fight. ... We were wrong in our stance. We sold out the very principles we stand for as a nation. Like it or not, that's the way it went down.
Look at it from a broader perspective:

It was 1936. The U.S. was still in the midst of a deep, dark Depression. Leftist movements were trying to take advantage of that situation before President Roosevelt's 'New Deal' policies could be implemented. There was a lot of anti-Franco sentiment and a great deal more popular support in the U.S. for the 'Reds.' That also drew a lot of its support from the Communist movement in the U.S.

Hitler was making warlike noises in Europe. The Brits (Chamberlain) had pretty much backed down in Munich.

So the U.S. 'on its knees' economically. It was being assaulted by leftist (and communist) movements. Russia was seen as a 'Hungry Bear,' waiting for an opportunity to devour the United States. When Russia came out on the side of the Republicans, the Republicans became 'friends of our enemy.' Bringing up the old expression: If you are a friend to my enemy, you are my enemy. That might be an ideological explanation for our failure to support the Republican government. Or might it be just because they were known as Rojos (Reds).

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#53231 - 10/30/02 10:49 AM Re: Franco
Cristobo Carrín Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 136
Loc: Asturias
Eddie Wrote: I see you like those terms like "puppet tyrant" and "foreign mercenaries."

Those "foreign mercenaries" you keep referring to were members of the Spanish military - soldiers in the Spanish Army. I sincerely doubt that the pay of a Soldier in that army would have been sufficient to recruit real "mercenaries."

Well, I DON`T think the ideal of the Crusade was enough to recruit the highlanders of Kabilia to join Franco. The pay, in the fascist army, was said to be several times higher than that in the Republican side. The Moors, also, felt appealed by the chance of looting and raping. It`s obvious they, and the legionaries as well (not the Italians nor the Germans) were at first part of the Spanish army, but I think they were not any longer that, since they invaded Spain. They were trying to conquer Spain, they did not fight under the flag of any foreign country... What can we call them? Mercenaries, obviously.
Franco was named general in 1926, being the youngest European general of his time. See
http://www.artehistoria.com/frames.htm?http://www.artehistoria.com/batallas/personajes/7139.htm
You say he was not the leader of the rebel plot, therefore he didn`t lead the rebellion, nor had any kind of popular support. Therefore, he had not power of any kind, he wasn`t even able to support his own troops (he was not that rich) What was he, then? A puppet in someone else`s hands. All his life he knew who was the master, and never dared to defy the people who placed him in power.
It is an interesting point that the American government simply had no choice due to the internal fascist trends, on supporting the Republic. I guess here we are too used to believe the "Americanos" are almighty and thus, only do what they want to do. In any case, that does not explain why the Allies didn`t deliver Spain of fascist yoke after WWII, in spite of French complains in the UN. Instead, a terrible blockade was set and many Spaniards died by starvation or freezing. It reminds me the current situation in Irak...

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#53232 - 10/30/02 01:22 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

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

there are a lot of books out there that tell the story of the Spanish Civil War, the problem is, they are either offered from a left or right wing point of view. Very little is offered that goes past political lines. Here's a few books I would recommend;

Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
Republic of Egos, Michael Seidman
Madrid 1937, letters from the Abrahan Lincoln Brigade
Fireflies, Ana Maria Mutate (translated to English)
Arms For Spain, Gerald Howson
Spain Betrayed, (Purported to be inside info from Moscow) Some of it may very well be true.
To Tilt At Windmills, Fred A. Thomas (British)
Deadly Embrace, Sebastian Balfour (Interesting reading, Morocco and civil war) It serves to set the stage for the Moors involvement.
Defying Male Civilization, Mary Nash

Most of them can be found in public libraries, so I wouldn't recommend buying them. After these, there are others, and they will point you in directions that are interesting.

Wolf

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#53233 - 10/30/02 01:48 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

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

Franco was actually the top dog amongst the Generals. He was the youngest General in all of Europe by 1923. There were five of them who stood out most. Francisco Franco, who was sent to Morocco to command troops as a sort of exile, Emilio Mola, who had a force of 6,000 men organized in Pamplona, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano who captured Seville with just a couple of hundred men, and Sanjurjo who was actually exiled to Portugal in 1934. Sanjurjo died enroute home, where he would help in the insurrection. Juan Yaque, who captured the two Spanish cities in Morocco for the revolution, and went on to fame when he was given the nickname of "The Butcher of Badajos." A title he well deserved, as he left a trail of murder everywhere he went, during the war. Of the five, only Franco had a force large enough, and capable enough, to attack his own nation. He was also the man who handled all advanced arrangements with Italy and Germany for the assault. He was in charge, even though there were questions as to whether Mola or Sanjurjo would have been, had they not died.

The "new deal" policies had already started. They began right after FDR took office in 1933. In fact, there is historical retrospect that is known as the "first hundred days in office," when FDR had over a dozen laws enacted that would help to ease the US out of the depression. Since he used his weekly "fireside chats" to tell people about the plans, it was difficult for congress to go against his wishes, since people believed what he was doing was in their best interests.

There's no doubt that Russia coming to the aid of the Spanish Republic swayed American interests away from supporting them. What should rankle us most is the fact that we claimed neutrality, then allowed companies like Ford and what would become Texaco to openly trade with Franco during this time. Texaco was fined $22,000 for illegally trading with Franco, but made millions in the process. On the other side of the coin, we stopped any support from getting to the Republic.

Where the biggest misconception is falls into the category as to what socialism meant in Spain in 1936, and Communism. Socialism was more along the lines of the Democratic party in the US than it was a Trotsky or Lenin philosophy. Like you said, just yell "RED!" and Americans would run to defend the cause against it, even though we were finding socialism essential to gain ground against the depression. After all, what is social security other than a socialistic program?

Cristobo,

How can you possibly compare the situation with Iraq as anything similar to the Spanish Civil War. That's not a reach, it's absurd. There are no comparisons you can legitimately make and never will be able to make. You're just adding your own personal agenda to the discussion with that comment.

Wolf

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#53234 - 10/30/02 04:12 PM Re: Franco
Cristobo Carrín Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 136
Loc: Asturias
Wolf:
Of course, I was just expressing my personal opinion. I think I stated it clearly.
I know history never repeats exactly the same situation, but I can`t help thinking there are lots of similarities between the behavior of Western powers in those days and now. I know supposedly there are many good reasons to block Iraq, and all that, but...well, maybe I am too cynical. It sounds like sheer propaganda to me. Wolf, I see you have read a lot about history. You know things are never "so" clean.

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#53235 - 10/30/02 04:40 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

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

If you intend to draw a parallel between the two situations, you have to spell out why they are similar, not just say they are. That's not drawing comparisons whatsoever. Truth is in discovery of facts, as we both know.

I'm anxious to see where your conclusions have come from.

Wolf

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#53236 - 10/30/02 04:50 PM Re: Franco
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
Prof Wolf writes:

Quote:
Where the biggest misconception falls into the category as to what socialism meant in Spain in 1936, and Communism. Socialism was more along the lines of the Democratic party in the US than it was a Trotsky or Lenin philosophy
One of the classic textbooks dealing with the Spanish Civil War - the name of which I can't recall at the moment but it's usually on the top of every list - does state this loud and clear.

I think the text I'm referring to is by Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War
When I took the course - years ago - I remember some classmates being a bit taken back by that concept and a very adament professor explaining just so.
_________________________
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#53237 - 10/30/02 04:56 PM Re: Franco
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 313
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
Fantastic thread!

Eddie, I think you have hit the nail on the head with your posts.

Wolf, my favorite historian of Spain is from your neck of the woods, Stanley G. Payne. I have encountered a great link with the complete text of his A History of Spain and Portugal Vol.2 . chapters 25 and 26, it gives a nice overview of Spain during the Civil War.

Stanley Payne

Payne has written several voulmes on Spanish history, unfortunately this is the only one I could find on the web. If you are researching Spanish history, his texts are a must.

Saludos,
Shawn

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