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07-17   Print  E-mail
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The Spanish Civil War began on July 17, 1936...

 as a series of military insurrections throughout the country. Because the Spanish Civil War was the first major military contest between left-wing forces and Fascists, it has been called the first chapter of World War II. The Republicans fought to maintain the Republic while the Nationalists sought to restore the monarchy. Because the Spanish Civil War represented a major threat to international political equilibrium, Americans discussed and watched closely the events of the conflict. Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Spanish soldiers and civilians died from war or war-engendered disease and starvation and thousands of Spaniards became refugees. The situation forced many Americans to question America's post-World War I non-interventionist policy.

The Republicans, or Loyalists, received aid from France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. Sixty thousand members of the International Brigades, some 2,800 of whom were men and women from the United States, volunteered their services. During the war, the Nationalists received troops, tanks, and planes from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Germany field-tested some of its most important artillery in Spain prior to World War II.

In an interview conducted with members of El Club Español (The Spanish Club) in Barre, Vermont, John (née Juan) Bavine puzzled:


 

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