The Spanish Civil War




A civil war is defined as an internal struggle within a country or nation.

The Spanish Civil war was no different. It was an internal struggle in Spain

that began with a military uprising on July 17-18, 1936 and did not end until

March 28, 1939. In february 1936, the leftist government of Spain exiled

Francisco Franco to an obscure command in the Canary Islands. The death of

Jose Calvo Sotelo also had the effect of accelerating a revolt that had been

under preparation for a long time. In July, Franco joined other right wing

officers in a revolt against the Spanish Republic. On the eighteenth of July,

the revolt spread to other garrisons in metropolitan Spain. The following day,

Franco took command of the army in Morroco.


The Republican government formed a coalition cabinet and moved to

Valencia. On September 29, Franco was named the Head of State and

commander of the armed forces. In return, the Republicans created a popular

army and militarized the militia. The Republicans received aid from the

International Brigades; The Nationalists, headed by Franco, were receiving

aid from Italy and Germany. In 1937 the Nationalists made progress. They

took Malaga, the Basque provinces, and the Asturias. Madrid, however, held

out. After an unsuccessful drive into Valencia, Franco moved on and

captured Barcelona on January 26, 1939. By this time, Soviet shipments to

the Republicans had declined severely. This gave the Nationalists a

substancial military edge and many Republicans were divided over whether to

continue fighting. When Madrid fell to Franco's forces on March 28, 1939,

the Civil War was over.