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It must be admitted that the Republican Government of Spain has waged war very ineffectually (Liston Oak, May 1937). Comment.

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Introduction

It must be admitted that the Republican Government of Spain has waged war very ineffectually (Liston Oak, May 1937). Comment. The political and military situation facing the Republic after the military rising of July 1936 was not as hopeless as one is sometimes led to believe. Yet the final result was a resounding and b****y defeat for the forces of the Republic. To some it is easy to place the woes of the Republic squarely on foreign intervention, or in the British and French cases - Non-Intervention. However, it could be argued that the major cause of the collapse of the Republic was the ineffective handling of the war effort by the Republic itself. The start of the military rising was not an example of a well-oiled military plan. The insurrection suffered from poor communication between the conspirators, with Hugh Thomas commenting that 'morale was low.'1 It could be argued that the most important period of the war was the first 48 hours of the rising. The earliest means of suppressing the insurrection open to the Republic, since the reliability of the constitutional forces could not be guaranteed, was a wholesale arming of the trade unions and the left-wing parties. ...read more.

Middle

Among the victims were women in nightclothes and children in pyjamas.13 Reports would also reach other European states of the murder of priests, nuns and the burning of churches. Although Nationalist repression would be as b****y the damage was less of a concern to a military government. The international standing of the Republic would never recover with disastrous consequences for the long-term diplomatic efforts of the Republic. What is clear is that taking quick decisions was never easy in Spain and with the dissipation of authority by the proliferation of committees and workers militia the Republic had difficulty in establishing co-ordinated central control. There was also the conviction among most groups on the left, particularly the anarchists, that military discipline was not something required by a committed revolutionary. The communists disagreed, and as there influence spread with the arrival of Russian military aid the scene were set for what became known as 'the war within a war.' A 'war-inept military and civil leadership - warring political factions',14 these problems typified the early days of the Republic. This division in Republican ranks might not have been disastrous had their opponents also been divided. ...read more.

Conclusion

p55 8 Browne, Harry, Spain's Civil War, p39 9 Hills, G, The Battle for Madrid p56 10 Hills, G, The Battle for Madrid p50 11 The navy's inaction could be explained by the lack of officers and the fact that the German pocket battleships Deutchland and Admiral Scheer were screening the ships transferring the Army of Africa. Beevor, A, The Spanish Civil War, p63 12 Thomas, H, The Spanish Civil War, p227 13 Hills, G, The Battle for Madrid, p44 14 Browne, H, Spain's Civil War, p44 15 Indeed it could be argued that only one military force at that time could manage such attacks, the German Whermacht. It would take several years of war, and many setbacks before the officers and men of the British, American and Russian armies could even come close to perfecting co-ordinated attacking warfare. 16 Ten different calibres: 6.5, 7, 7.62, 7.65, 7.7, 7.707, 7.92, 8, 8.03 and 11mm. Gerald, Howson, Arms for Spain The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War. (London: John Murray 1998) p29 17 Howson, G, Arms for Spain, p29 18 Howson, G, Arms for Spain, p109 19 Howson, G, Arms for Spain, p109 20 The Spanish are credited in inventing modern guerrilla warfare in their successful campaign to evict Napoleon from their soil. 1 John McDowall Spanish Civil War ...read more.

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