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The Spanish Civil War was a war that lasted from 1936 until 1938 in Spain, Spanish Morocco, the Mediterranean, Spanish Guinea and the North Sea, between the Republicans, supported by the Soviet Union, Mexico, Italy and pro-Communist volunteers from other countries, and the Nationalists, supported by Portugal and pro-Fascist volunteers from other countries.
The war is different from OTL, resulting in a Communist victory due to no support from Nazi Germany or Italy. Portugal provided minimal support, with only a limited number of weapons and supplies being sent to the nationalists from Portugal. Mexico also refused to give more than diplomatic aid and a handful of volunteers to the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union actively backed the nationalists, deploying many military forces and supplying the Republicans with lots of weapons. Italy also backed the Republicans.
The war was also a disaster for the Nationalists for other reasons. Seville, which acted as the capital for the Nationalists, fell to the Republicans due to the extreme Soviet support. The Siege of the Alcazar, a fairly major Nationalist victory, was also stopped due to Soviet support. Finally, the President of Republican Spain was killed in the Civil War, leading to a far more competent leader for the Republicans. Combined, this all added up to Republican victory in the Spanish Civil War.
The Spanish Civil War started in 1936, when, in the Spanish General Election of 1936, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) won. The right in Spain were unhappy with this result, leading up to the July Coup, when some army generals declared opposition to the elected government, which soon evolved into a full-blown civil war. The Spanish Civil War had begun, with the Republican government engaging the unloyal Nationalist rebels.
The Soviet Union was the only nation that was actively involved in the Spanish Civil War, besides Spain itself. The Soviet Union, under Trotsky, was extremely involved in the Spanish Civil War, deploying a large number of troops and supplying the Republican government with weapons. The Soviet Union's support was crucial to the Republican victory, with many people thinking that without Soviet aid, the Republicans would probably have been humiliated in the war.
The Portuguese were scared out of aiding the Nationalists due to the immense Soviet aid. Soviet threats of invasion limited any Portuguese support, with propaganda from the Soviet Union making the Portuguese populace think that if Portugal tried to help the Nationalists win the Spanish Civil War, their forces would be wiped out and Portugal would be annexed by the Republican Spain, the defeat crushing.
Mexico's support for the Republicans was limited. Despite Mexico sending in some ground troops, they did not give much support to the Republicans as they were confident that the Soviet Union could handle it. After the Republicans won, Mexico offered the Republicans an alliance, which they refused, because Mexico gave them little aid and they were in the Americas anyway, which would probably drag Spain into war with an American nation.
Italy also supported the Spanish Republicans, the new Italian government's first ever war. Even though they were only supporting a government in a civil war, Italy was determined to show that they were not weak and deployed many troops to Spain to aid the Republicans. Their close proximity allowed them to easily help the Republicans. Historians are divided on whether or not Italian support was crucial or necessary for a Republican victory.
Course of the War
The rebellion started in Morocco, on the 17th of July, 1936. The rebellion was forced to start a few hours earlier than expected due to the plan being discovered by the Spanish Republican government, although the rebels, not expecting the war to begin at that time, didn't really revolt until the planned time anyway. The plan was relatively unaffected but the Republicans were able to ask the League of Nations for help before the rebellion could actually get underway.
The Soviet Union quickly declared their support for the current Spanish government and originally deployed 10,000 troops, promising that more troops would come to the support of the Republicans. Italy also declared support for the Spanish government but did not send any troops until later. Portugal declared their support for the Nationalists but the Soviet Union publicly threatened them with invasion at the League of Nations. This stopped Portuguese aid but Britain and France condemned the Soviet Unions acts, though they decided to declare neutrality in the civil war, not wanting to aid Fascists or socialists.
The Nationalists soon took Morocco, which caused the Italian government to deploy 30,000 troops to stop the Nationalists taking any of Spain. The Soviet Union also deployed an extra 25,000 troops, increasing the amount of Soviet forces in Spain to 35,000 and, combined with Italy, the overall amount of foreign troops in Spain to 65,000. The Nationalists in the Spanish mainland then revolted, although the only major city they were able to capture was Seville.
Siege of the Alcázar of Toledo
Eventually, the Republican forces engaged the Nationalist rebels in the Alcazar of Toledo. The battle was a symbolic victory for the Republicans because it was the first battle of the Civil War. The Nationalists came close to winning the battle, but they were eventually defeated when a combined force of 15,000 Soviet and Italian troops arrived and defeated the Nationalists. Francisco Franco, a major figure in the Nationalist rebellion, was killed in the Siege, resulting in a catastrophic blow for the Nationalist morale, which boosted Republican morale.
After Morocco had fallen to the Nationalists, they quickly sailed over, on pro-Nationalist navy transports, to the Spanish mainland, ready to help the revolting Nationalists back home. The Army of Africa, led by Francisco Franco, joined the Siege of the Alcazar and almost won it for the Nationalists, before a joint force of 15,000 Soviet and Italian forces destroyed the Army of Africa and killed its leader, Franco.
While the Moroccan forces were mostly annihilated in the Siege of the Alcazar, the 1000 that survived the siege and the following encirclement did help out in the war at other battles and sieges, though their aid was minimal due to the tiny amount of people that survived the devastating event and they had to be assigned a new leader to replace Franco.
Soon after the Alcazar, the Republicans attacked Oviedo, a town that had fallen to the Nationalists in the initial uprising. The battle lasted for just over a month, ending on September 5th with a Nationalist surrender upon arrival of 5000 Soviet troops. The Nationalists held out for a while with US technology. When this was discovered, the Soviet Union was quick to demand the US declare neutrality, resulting in the US being forced to give less aid.
War in the North/Soviet Invasion of Spain
The War in the North, or the Soviet Invasion of Spain as some people prefer to call it, was a large campaign that lasted from April Fools Day 1937, in what many pro-Fascists in other countries call the April Fools Invasion, until August 22nd, with the fall of Valladoid to Soviet troops. It was a decisive and total Republican victory, with 50,000 Soviet troops marching further South after the campaign. This campaign marked the beginning of Adalberto's rise to power, with the battle of Barruelo.
Many Nationalists consider this as the turning point of the war and the time when the "Evil Soviets took control of Spain", pointing out Adalberto would not have risen to power had the Soviets not arrived and that the Nationalists would have beaten the Republicans in the North without Soviet interference. As a result of this, many Fascists in Spain began to hate the Soviet Union.
Siege of Granada
On July 15th, A Republican offensive began with the ultimate goal to take Seville and combined with the victories in the War of the North, force the surrender of the Nationalist rebels. The offensive began with the siege of Granada. The siege was a victory and allowed for the eventual Siege of Seville in 1938. The siege finished on September 26th when, after a heated battle, the Nationalist forces inside the city surrendered.
The defeat of the Nationalists in this battle opened up a possible attack on Seville. The Soviet, Republican and Italian generals agreed for an attack on Cordoba and Huevla, which would make the siege a two-front battle for the Nationalist forces.
Battle of Huelva and Cordoba
The last two battles of 1938, the Battles of Huelva and Cordoba began. Cordoba ended on the 4th of November, with a total Republican victory while on the 28th of December Huelva was taken by Republican forces, the Soviet-Italian naval invasion being a success. With the victory in Cordoba and the victory in Huelva, the Republican generals were confident enough to launch an attck on Seville on January 1st, which would be a victory and result in Nationalist surrender.
Battle of Seville
On January the first, 1938, Republican generals ordered an attack on Seville from Cordoba, Granada and Huelva. The resulting battle resulted in 50,000 deaths, most of them Nationalists and the surrender of the Nationalist rebels to the Republican government. It was the most crucial battle in the war, as the city was the Nationalist capital. Despite the Iberian surrender, forces in Morocco refused to submit to Republican control and demanded independence.
The Battle of Seville was very hard for the Republican forces to win. It was the most well defended Nationalist city in the entire war and was defended by 100,000 Nationalist forces that had retreated from Granada, Cordoba, Heulva and Northern Spain. After five months of bombing, the walls of the city fell and 40,000 Soviet troops marched in, initially being repulsed, though when 30,000 Republicans and Italians stormed the city to aid them the battle soon ended in defeat for the Nationalists.
- 1868: Queen Isabella II overthrown, Bourbon rule ends.
- 1873: The replacement king abdicates.
- 1874: Bourbon rule returns.
- 1909: Tragic week in Barcelona.
- 1923: Military coup brings a general to power.
- 1930: General resigns.
- 1931: King abdicates, President now Head of State, elections.
- 1931: Republicans and Socialists coalition.
- 1931: Manuel Anzana becomes Prime Minister.
- 1932: Military coup crushed.
- 1933: "Two Black Years" begins.
- 1934: Another uprising, which is crushed.
- Popular front wins election, Anzana becomes President.
- Franco arrives in Morocco.
- Army Lieutenant murdered.
- Uprising in Morocco, Fascists take control of Morocco.
- Civil War begins.
- Soviet Union and Italy declare support for Republican government.
- Battle of the Alcazar in Toledo, death of Franco.
- Battle of Oviedo, city falls to Republicans.
- War in the North, Northern Spanish Nationalists wiped out.
- Granada falls to Republicans.
- Cordoba falls to Republicans.
- Huevla falls to Republicans.
- Seville falls to Republicans.
- Iberian Nationalist surrender.
- Morocco invaded, final defeat of Spanish Nationalists.