The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

A fresh and acclaimed account of the Spanish Civil War by the bestselling author of Stalingrad and The Fall Of Berlin 1945 Beevor'sArdennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulgeis now available from Viking Books To mark the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War's outbreak, Antony Beevor has written a completely updated and revised account of one of the most bitter and hard-fought wars of the twentieth century. With new material gleaned from the Russian archives and numerous other sources, this brisk and accessible book (Spain's #1 bestseller for twelve weeks), provides a balanced and penetrating perspective, explaining the tensions that led to this terrible overture to World War II and affording new insights into the war-its causes, course, and consequences.

Reviews of the The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

Anthony Beevor is a military historian; and his book is mainly a record of armies and battles. Beevor breaks the material into 38 short chapters, focusing his gaze on one aspect, in an effort to do justice to the wars complexity without overwhelming the reader. Meanwhile, France, England, and the United States maintained a policy of non-intervention, while Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia poured troops and military equipment into the country, testing out weapons and strategies that they would later use in the Second World War. Eventually, of course, Franco won. While Franco regulated his wartime economy and made effective military decisions, the republican side was awash in dozens of local currencies, busy worrying about forming syndicates, and preparing for the imminent proletariat revolution. Thus we see the nationalist army consolidating itself under Franco, while the republican side devolved into warring factions, more concerned with their utopian schemes than with winning the war. The extreme left, for its part, after collapsing into mutually squabbling factions, sometimes devolves into the authoritarian pattern as one party emerges as the most powerful and as they lose patience with discussion (which doesnt take long in a crisis). Mi compañero de trabajo, un historiador militar, me recomendó Ángel Viñas; pero sus libros son largos igualmente, y además solo están disponibles en españolespañol difícil. Anthony Beevor es un historiador militar; y su libro es principalmente una historia de ejércitos y batallas. Las fuerzas que desestabilizaron el gobierno y crearon tanta tensión en el país están resumidas rápidamente; y las repercusiones su legado, sus efectos persistentes en la vida política española, su significado más amplio en la historia del siglo veinte todo esto está mencionado, pero no analizado. Tantos actores están involucradoscomunistas, anarquistas, republicanos, sindicalistas, conservadores, falangistas, carlistas, monarquistas, vascos, catalanes, alemanes, italianos, soviéticos, estadounidenses, británicos, francesesque es imposible presentar la guerra como una historia sencilla. Sin embargo, este libro hace lo que he esperado haría: ofrecer un resumen del conflicto, sus causas inmediatas, sus actores principales y el curso de la guerra. Estas son grandes preguntas, que este libro no dirigirse. Para entender el trasfondo histórico y la inestabilidad que siguió a la guerra, quiero leer el libro de Gerald Brenan, El laberinto español. Por ejemplo, cuando los republicanos estaban al mando de Málaga, 1.005 personas fueron fusiladas. En el lado republicano, decisiones militares importantes fueron tomados por razones políticas; la propaganda política fue tan penetrante que los dirigentes se sentían ciegamente seguros que iban a ganar, y actuaron para justificar sus presuntuosas predicciones. Voluntarios valientes llegaron a España desde muchos países, la mayoría para luchar contra los fascistas; sin embargo, su entusiasmo fue malgastado por dirigentes ineptos. Al tiempo de todo eso, Francia, Inglaterra, y Estados Unidos manteniendo una póliza oficial de no intervención, mientras la Italia fascista, la Alemania nazi y la Rusia soviética enviaron tropas y armas a España, probando estrategias y equipo que iban a usar en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En Saint-Cyprien, morían entre 50 y 100 presos cada día, y los otros campos no fueron mucho mejor. Y si los estalinistas hubieran ganado la guerra, no está claro que las condiciones habrían sido mejores. Mientras Franco reguló bien su economía durante la guerra y tomó decisiones militares eficaces, el lado republicano fue inundado por decenas de monedas, preocupado por formar sindicatos, y se preparando para la revolución inminente. El mismo día en que Málaga cayó, cuando tantas personas fueron ejecutadas, en Barcelona el gobierno estaba preocupado por la colectivización de las vacas. De este modo, observamos el ejército se organizaron bajo del mando de Franco, mientras los republicanos dividieron en facciones luchando entre ellos, más centrado en sus esquemas utópicas que ganar la guerra. En la práctica, esto significa que, en competición directa, la derecha extrema va a ganar, por los menos a corto plazo; sin embargo, a largo plazo, su énfasis en autoridad, obediencia y disciplina crea sociedades injustas y pueblos infelices. Supongo que esta es una de las preguntas más viejas de los seres humanos.

"The Battle for Spain", however, suffers from a few serious problems: its choice to be a straight political history and Beevor's writing style. Second, Beevor's style of writing is poor. I would recommend it only as a reference book for those with a deep love of straight up political history writing.

But forces from across the political spectrum took turns weakening the Republic to further their own agenda: the political and social conservatives who wanted to retain the status quo of monopoly of power and privilege; the socialists, the anarchists, and the communists who were intent on destroying the old order and to usher in their own brand of social experimentation, however violent. The virulent and often violent clash of ideologies and personalities eventually consumed Spain in civil war. A number of people who are ignorant of the Spanish Civil War might be tempted to view it in just black and white: the Republic, under a mix of socialists, communists, and liberals, were the good guys, fighting for a dignified Spain of secularism, human rights, and democracy; and the Nationalist rebels under Franco were the bad guys, remnants of the old order who wanted their privileges retained.

Ne verujem da je ijedan rat vredan velikog gubitka ivota, ali kao prva linija odbrane od faizma, ukoliko je postojao rat u kom se vredelo boriti, to je bio ovaj. veku, ali na panski graanski rat sam uvek gledao kao na pravi "sukob dobra i zla". ivela smrt!" Uasa je bilo sa obe strane, ali su nacionalisti to radili efikasnije i sa vie strasti. Gernika je ostala simbol nemilosra faizma, ali je bilo i gorih zloina - u bombardovanju Gernike je poginulo 250-300 ljudi, dok je samu u Malagi nakon zauzea grada streljano 3,000 ljudi, a ukupno oko 16,000 do kraja 1944-te. Svetski rat preko posrednika Sukob ideologija - sa jedne strane socijalizam i tada jo demokratija (kasnije komunizam), sa druge faizam, i to pre nego to je spoznan za onakvog kakvim ga vidimo danas. U to vreme, na zapadu nije bilo simpatija prema leviarima, ali nisu eleli ni kontrolu nacistike Nemake ili faistike Italije. Da li su to bili avanturisti ili ljudi koji su verovali u neto i ta bi trebalo da se desi danas, da se ovo ponovi? Borba protiv internacionalista ('trockistiki faisti', kako su ih nazivali) i anarhista u ideji da se ujedini vlast, preuzme centralna kontrola moda nije bila na nivou Staljinovih istki 1937., ali su metode bile iste, poto su ih vodili kadrovi NKVD. Osetljive teme masovnih ubistava, jo uvek vie desetina hiljada nepronaenih grobnica, kao i razliitih pogleda na religiju i njenu ulogu u ratu, razlog su to u paniji ni dan danas nije dolo do pomirenja. Koliki bi bio uticaj Staljina na tu vladu - da li bi dobili diktaturu poput one u Sovjetskom savezu, ili ipak dravu koja bi bila zaetnik neeg boljeg, "evrokomunizma", kako su ga kasnije nazvali voe panske komunistike partije u egzilu, nakon to su raskrstili sa Sovjetima?

To make matters worse, as is well known, the conflict became the testing ground for Hitler and Stalin to play with their toys of war.

It was a struggle between ideologies, in which both the left-wing Spanish government and the right-wing insurgents committed atrocities on behalf of their opposing visions; a struggle between politicos and propagandists abroad, who invested the civil war with ideological meaning and cast it as (alternatively) a last-ditch defense of Christian civilization or a first stand against Fascism; and finally a bloody struggle between armies and civilians, which killed 600,000 people and ravaged Spain's landscape and economy. Foreign ideologues of the left and right still argue about the meaning of the Spanish Civil War, but Spaniards themselves have only just begun to confront its bitterly-divisive history. After briefly describing the fall of Spain's reactionary monarchy and the turbulent, anarchic history of its Second Republic, Beevor turns to the Army's attempted coup of July 1936, a right-wing response to the election of a socialist-communist government earlier that year. Surprisingly, the Nationalists also enjoyed ample support from Anglo-American politicians and businessmen, who opposed the Spanish Republic's left-wing government and Spanish anarchists' collectivization of farms and factories. Both Soviet advisers and Spanish communists pressured the government to suppress its own left-wing allies, which the Republic, dependent on the Soviet Union for tanks and aircraft, duly did in 1937. While I think Beevor would like to say a plague on both your houses to the Republicans and Nationalists, one must instead conclude from his narrative of the Spanish war, as Timothy Snyder concluded in his study of Eastern Europe in the 1930s and '40s, Better Stalin than Hitler.

The Spanish Civil War is a significant 20th century historical event that is logically obscured by the enormity of the Second World War. My rudimentary knowledge of the conflict led me to simplify it as a war between the Nazi supported Nationalists vs. My search to expand my knowledge of the Spanish Civil War both started and ended with the discovery Antony Beevor's THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN. While Beevor's popularity as an author will no doubt create detractors, he is arguably one of the more trusted modern historians of the World War II era and THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN only bolsters his reputation in my opinion. While it is often stated that the Spanish Civil War was a "proving ground" or a "pre-cursor" to World War II, Beevor clearly supports his belief that it was a world war by proxy. As stated earlier, Beevor takes an all-encompassing approach to the subject with this book, and this should provide insight to most anyone wanting to learn more about the conflict. While THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN does present itself as an authority on the subject by answering many questions and thoroughly illustrating events, it clearly proves the Spanish Civil War was complex and messy affair that even Antony Beevor cannot simplify.

We can find any number of anarchist or Trotskyist reviews of the Spanish Civil War that heap blame on the Russians and the Comintern, and such blame is properly placed. Beevor shows how fascist Italy and Nazi Germany used the Spanish Civil War to test out new weapons like the Stuka fighter plane. Even if the book's main focus is 1937-39, it would be useful to see how the Spanish Catholic-fascists served NATO and CIA interests through the Cold War, only to be undone by the cultural trends of modern secular life.

Beevor's diagnosis can't be faulted: Franco won because he led a professional army, because the democracies did nothing to help the Republic, because the fascists and the communists helped their allies (but the fascists did a better job), because the Republic's defenders were divided between a liberal, social-democratic wing and a millenarian anarcho-soviet wing and they couldn't get their act together, and because the Republican leaders wasted their strenght in battles that couldn't be won, but in which they engaged for political purposes. But if this was the case, how come Spain was quite prosperous in 1975, whereas Romania was bankrupt in 1989? This may be the case, but then he would have to explain why Spain was able to correct its track in the 1960s, whereas the Soviet Union was unable to do so in the 1980s (If the Francoist economy was able to re-generate itself, it must have been because it was capable of re-generation). He downplays the awfulness of a Communist-led Spain assuming that a native form of communism might have developed, and points to the leadership of Santiago Carrillo (who in the 1960s would develop the tenets of Eurocommunism) as a positive sign. There is no reason to assume that they wouldn't have behaved as their fellows did in North Korea or in Eastern Europe.

  • English

  • History

  • Rating: 3.90
  • Pages: 560
  • Publish Date: June 1st 2006 by Penguin Books
  • Isbn10: 014303765X
  • Isbn13: 9780143037651