The Spanish Civil War

Which war was fought between 1936 and 1939?

And the answer: the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Civil War divided the country between the Republican government and rebel forces known as the Nationalists. The Nationalists were assisted by Italy and Nazi Germany, while the Republicans received support from the Soviet Union and Mexico. Upwards of one million Spaniards died, and the war came to an end just as World War II was beginning.    

Photo credit: public domain. 

The 19th century was a turbulent time for the Spanish. Numerous coups and uprisings saw an exchange of power between the monarchy, a republic, and back again to a monarchy. These complications continued into the 20th century, but with the addition of a military dictatorship placed in the hopes of combatting communism in the 1920s.

However, the Spaniards were still hungry for change. As support waned for Prime Minister Miguel Primo de Rivera, many Spanish welcomed a second republic led by Niceto Alcalá-Zamora in 1931. As the world plunged into an economic depression, the Socialist party lost the election in 1933, consequently spurring massive worker strikes throughout northern Spain. When Francisco Franco sent in troops to calm the storm, the division only deepened. After a century of uprisings in the country, rebellion finally took the form of warfare on July 18, 1936.

Soon, with the help of forces like Hitler, Mussolini, and Salazar, the civil war quickly turned into a testing group for fascist troops, and became a wider international struggle. The fight between fascists, communists, and liberals meant that nations in Europe and overseas had grounds to chip in on their respective interests, thus aid and supplies flowed in from America, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. By the time the dust settled in 1939, Spain had fallen under the brutal dictatorship of Franco, and the world braced for World War II.

Learn more about the Spanish Civil War below.


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