Spanish Civil War

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Oak of Guernica

The Spanish Civil War (July 18, 1936April 1, 1939) was a war in which the Spanish General Francisco Franco and his troops successfully took control of Spain. A lot of different groups worked together with the Spanish Republic (the government of the time) to stop him, including socialists, communists, anarchists, and other leftist groups. The fascist governments of Germany and Italy provided troops and supplies for Franco, while the communist Soviet Union sold the Republican forces weapons. Lots of people from other countries volunteered to fight against Franco (sometimes against the orders of their own countries), including people from the United States, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and many other countries. These groups were known as the International Brigades. The war ended April 1, 1939 when the last of the Republican troops gave up. Franco became the ruler of Spain until he died in 1975.

location of Guernica

Half a million people died in the war, and many atrocities were committed by both sides. The most famous was the bombing of Guernica. On April 26, 1937, Guernica was bombed by Legion Condor, supported by Hitler's Nazi regime. It was the first time that large civilian casualties resulted, the destruction received wide media coverage and created a public perception of German involvement which persists to this day.

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General map of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939).
     Initial Nationalist zone — July 1936      Nationalist advance until September 1936      Nationalist advance until October 1937      Nationalist advance until November 1938      Nationalist advance until February 1939      Last area under Republican control Solid blue.png Main Nationalist centres
Red-square.gif Main Republican centres
Panzer aus Zusatzzeichen 1049-12.svg Land battles
Vattenfall.svg Naval battles
Icon vojn new.png Bombed cities
City locator 4.svg Concentration camps
Gatunek trujący.svg Massacres
Red dot.svg Refugee camps