This investigation will examine the question: To what extent, did Germany’s assistance to aid the Nationalists between 1936 and 1939 helped contribute to the outcome of the Spanish Civil War? The years 1936 to 1939 will be the focus of the investigation, to allow for an analysis of the reasons and the role of Germany’s assistance and its effect on the outcome of Nationalist effort in the Spanish Civil War. The first source that will be evaluated in depth is Thomas, Hugh Swynnerton’s book The Spanish Civil War, written in 1961. The origin of this source is valuable because Hugh is a British historian and Professor of History at the University of Reading; the written research work focus of Thomas is a comprehensive work on the Spanish Civil War as well as its historical and political developments, and for his work on the Spanish Civil War he was awarded the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award – Prize for Literature, indicating that he is well informed on this topic. Furthermore, the date of the publication of the source, 1961, strengthens its value, as it indicates that Hugh reaped benefits from an understanding of war only after it had happened.
Furthermore, the purpose of Hugh’s book is to give the reader a comprehensive understanding through and of the Spanish politics of the early 1936s that introduced the Spanish Nationalist relationship with Germany’s policies until the war’s conclusion. This is a valuable source since a great period of time is being covered and analyzed, allowing an association to be formed between the events of the Spanish Civil War which lead to its outcome. Hugh’s work is also greatly documented and makes references to other historical works about the Spanish Civil War. In terms of the origin, the source is limited due to the date of publication, Hugh’s book does not cover any new information of the Spanish Civil War.
Moreover, the source is limited in its context in that the information address covers as well periods of the Spanish Civil War from which the topic question is not specifically analyzing, not to mention that Hugh’s work might have provided a slightly biased insight into the Spanish Civil war from the Loyalist side. Lastly, this work is not a documentation by the respective governments involved, but rather an interpretation of the activities of the Spanish Civil War. The second source evaluated in depth is Dante Anthony, Puzzo’s book Spain And The Great Powers, 1936-1941, a fully revised 2007 publication which includes the latest research on the Spanish Civil War, published in 1969. Furthermore, the context is valuable because the book addresses the impact of Germany, the Republican failure, Nationalist success, and foreign interests towards Spain, which this topic closely relates to. The main emphasis of the book is on international relations and therefore, the events taking place in Spain are secondary and superficial. Moreover, Dante A.
Puzzo is a Professor of History at the City College of New York. He attended the University of Chicago in which he received his Ph.D in history, implying that he is knowledgeable and close to the topic.
However, the origin of the source is limited in that Puzzo’s book is a slightly pro-Republican account of the international concern over intervention in the civil war, and may have tended to shape the information according to his views leading to biased writing. The author clearly portrays this as his final point is that the real winner in the Spanish Civil War conflict is Great Britain and who successfully isolated Spain as a possible danger to Europe in the future. Section 2: Investigation Many historians would agree that The Spanish Civil War was not an isolated event. It influenced European politics and international relations to a large extent. Germany’s military and technical aid, diplomatic support, and economic relation with the Nationalist Spain contributed significantly to the outcome of the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939.
In Spain, “neither side in this unfolding conflict felt equipped to fight it successfully.” The Nationalist troops in Morocco led by General Francisco Franco Bahamonde were facing trouble from the start with the lack of communication with other Nationalist forces and had no means to cross the Straits of Gibraltar in order to join other Nationalist forces in an effort to take Madrid. Bringing General Franco to make the decision to seek foreign assistance, as well as General Emilio Mola y Vidal, and General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano y Sierra, of the Nationalist forces.
Hitler decided to support the Spanish rebels under General Franco, who had requested Hitler to send transportation to move his Spanish Legion troops from Morocco to the Spanish mainland. “Hitler responded on July 26, and the following day thirty Junker 52″s arrived in Africa via France and Pyrenees to begin ferrying thousands of Legionaries and Moorish troops across the straits to Seville.”In other words, Franco had no difficulty in crossing the troops over the straits with the aid of the German transport planes. “The Germans also sent some Heinkel fighters and volunteer pilots and mechanics from the Luftwaffe.
” Just with a week in of the nationalist’s request of war equipment they were receiving regular stocks of ammunition and armaments. “Between the end of July and October, 1,936,868 flights were carry and nearly 14,000 men plus artillery and 500 tons of equipment to mainland Spain.” Moreover, Franco in the South Mola in the North were able to led two crucial campaigns favoring the Nationalist forces, which the massive movement could have only been possible by German aid. By the first week of January 1937, United States sources estimated that “5000 Germans mostly aviation service had arrived in Seville, 2500 having been landed invigo” This meant that the troops remaining in Seville could not only establish a base for Franco’s forces but also secure communication with Morocco. Moreover, the Condor Legion, a unit of the German air force, under the charge of Hermann Göring was put in place as well for the aid of General Franco’s Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.
“The Legion consisted of four bomber squadrons (of 12 bombers each) and four fighter squadrons and was backed by anti aircraft and anti tank units. On April 26, 1937, it attacked the Basque city of Guernica with great devastation and loss of life.” The Legion was also put into constant use by the Nationalists since it provided the Rebels with not only advantage in the air, but with tactical support for the Spanish armed forces, making the Spanish military devastating in power, which kept a constant pressure on the opposing side, the Loyalist, since they lack similar source of supplies, making German military aid to the Spanish Nationalist crucial for a Nationalist victory.
The German supply of transport aircraft enabled Franco to airlift his Moroccan troops across the Straits of Gibraltar, an important action that had to be done in order to take a Nationalist victory. In final thought, the large amount of supplies sent by Germany to the Nationalist forces prevented the possibility of the collapse of Nationalist at any given time. The Nationalists also financed their war effort through a great contribution of foreign assistance.
“By January 1937, five months after the start of the civil war, the Rebel government owed a debt of l80 million dollars, most of the debt was for war material imported from Germany.” The German war material also provided the Rebels with enough material to overcome the last defensive position of the Loyalists. If German aid had failed to arrive, the possibilities for Spanish Nationalist victory would have been poor.
In addition to direct military and technical assistance, Germany also supported the Spanish Rebels through diplomatic channels. German diplomatic support of the Rebels was accomplished by causing endless discussion and delay in the London Non-Intervention Committee and thereby reducing its effectiveness. The Committee’s main concern was preventing foreign intervention in the Spanish Civil War, yet, each side in the war received large amounts of war materials. “France on August 1, 1936, issued an appeal to the interested powers for an immediate adoption of a common policy of non-intervention toward the Spanish conflict.
” “In a conversation on August 4 between the German Foreign Minister Baron von Neurath and the French ambassador to Germany, Franc?ois-Poncet, Neurath stated that Germany did not need to make a declaration of neutrality since it did not interfere in domestic Spanish affairs.” Germany continued to find excuses for non-compliance to the French appeal. Yet, by August 24, 1936, Germany agreed to comply to the French embargo appeal since it was becoming dangerous for Germany to not be part of the proposal. Nevertheless, the embargo act for Germany was a hidden pathway in which Germans aided the Spanish Nationalist, while the aid to the Spanish Loyalist forces was disabled.
Germany was secretly aiding the Spanish Nationalist while at the same time publicly taking part with the non-intervention policy, which helped with the outcome of the Spanish civil war victory of the Nationalist. In conclusion, the aid Germany supplied in the beginning of 1936 to support the Spanish Nationalist continued throughout the end of the war. Victory that would have never occur without the diplomatic, economic, and military assistance Germany provided to the war efforts. Although German intervention in Spain was not the only international relations that occurred during the Spanish Civil War, the German intervention for the Nationalist was one that did not join any other international intervention to aid the Nationalists. Germany’s military and technical contribution was far superior than any other power aiding the Nationalist.
At least as important was the economic and diplomatic support of the German to the Rebel forces. Economic support that allowed for the sufficient material to overcome the resistance of the Loyalist forces. Without a doubt if German had failed to aid during the War, the possibilities for Spanish Nationalist victory would have been limited. Section 3: Reflection This investigation has allowed me to develop a skillful ability which is fundamental in the study of history, that of precisely analyzing sources, which often times presents various point of views on the subject being researched, to reach a justified conclusion. I gained an understanding of the methods that may be used by many historians, and I have also gained an understanding of the many difficulties may be encountered by historians during any type of historical investigation.
In history, unlike mathematics or science, there is no definite answer. Making the historical investigation even more challenging, which helped me understand the work of historians and the difficulty they would encounter to reach a definite conclusion for the study. For my historical investigation, I read books by historians specialize on the topic, government records concerning the topic of this study, as well as journals of the subject, all which are sources often times used by historians.
When comparing evidence provided by different types of sources regarding my research question I also became more aware of the how the sources differentiated over the topic of study. Such as Thomas, Hugh Swynnerton’s book The Spanish Civil War, was an extensive book covering all aspects of the Spanish Civil War and Germany’s aid towards Spanish Nationalist forces. On the other hand, Spain And The Great Powers, 1936-1941, Puzzo cover the aspect of Germany and Nationalist Spanish assistant to the victory of the Spanish Civil War. However, this does not mean that all versions of an event are not equally acceptable.