Franco and the Spanish Civil War

By Filipe Ribeiro De Meneses | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO

The Spanish army and the rise of Franco

The officers who rebelled against the Republic's government in July 1936 had many historical precedents for their actions. It was nothing new for the Spanish army to intervene forcefully in politics. It had done so regularly throughout the nineteenth century, and during the constitutional monarchy the army enjoyed such power and influence that, for the most part, it did not need to make public its wishes in order to see them realized. When it did intervene, either to protect its corporate interests through the Juntas movement of 1917 or, with Primo de Rivera's coup, to put a lid on allegations of corruption and incompetence in the prosecution of the Moroccan campaign, the army revealed openly the extent to which it saw itself as the legitimate embodiment of national interest.

Recent years had not been easy for the Spanish army. Defeat at the hands of the United States in 1898 had left officers with a crisis of morale on their hands and a thin-skinned sensibility that brooked no questioning from any quarter in Spain. This state of affairs was worsened by continual difficulties in Morocco, where a decisive victory that would bring peace to the troubled protectorate seemed beyond the army's ability. Handling such an authoritarian and protective military force was to prove beyond the ability of the Republic's leadership.


2.1

THE SPANISH ARMY FROM MONARCHY TO REPUBLIC

The Spanish army in the first third of the twentieth century saw itself as a caste apart from the rest of society, and without a doubt most of its officers shared a number of basic political beliefs that made

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Franco and the Spanish Civil War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Maps x
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter One - The Origins of the Spanish Civil War 1
  • Chapter Two - The Spanish Army and the Rise of Franco 23
  • Chapter Three - The Course of the War 38
  • Chapter Four - The Republicans' War 59
  • Chapter Five - The Nationalists' War 81
  • Chapter Six - Contrasting Visions of Spain 98
  • Aftermath 119
  • Chronology 125
  • Personalities 129
  • Bibliography 135
  • Index 143
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