Why did the Nationalists win the Spanish Civil War?

Nationalists strengths, Republican weaknesses

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  • Created by: Rosa
  • Created on: 24-02-11 09:13

Nationalist Strengths

Political

Military

Economic 

Foreign Assistance

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Political

  • Franco centralized the command of the party: Carlists and the Falange were unified to create the Falange Espanola Tradicionalista party in April 1937
  • Had support from the Church - led to peasant support
  • Used propaganda and terror to control areas under Nationalist control
  • Not undermined by foreign intervention: clear, strong leader
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Military

  • Had a unified command, Franco's leadership accepted by all generals
  • Nationalists were a militaristic party: still had support of army, was a military coup, experienced - Army of Africa
  • Had high quality equipment and communication, island of Gibraltar used as a base
  • Franco had control over German, Italian and Portuguese troops as well as his own
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Economic

  • Had support from the business community and middle classes
  • By September 1936 they had control over main food producing areas
  • In 1937 they gained control of the main industrial areas
  • Able to trade internationally with Britain and USA who gave an estimated $700 million in credit during the war
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Foreign Assistance

  • Nationalists received more aid which was continuous throughout the war and of high quality (from Germany, Italy and Portugal)
  • Germany's airfoce used in airlift from Morrocco to mainland in coup
  • German Condor Legion used in bombing of Guernica - had control of the air from 1937
  • Germany: 10 000 troops, 800 aircraft, 200 tanks
  • Italy: 70 000 troops, 750 aircraft, 150 tanks
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Republican Weaknesses

Political

Military

Economic

Foreign Assistance

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Political

  • Political divisions within Republicans: Communists & Socialists opposed to the Anarchits - May Days 1937: fighting between these two groups
  • Communists and socialists wanted revolution to be postponed until after war
  • Anarchists believed the war could only be won through revolution
  • Caballero's leadership was weak, struggled to maintain a centralized control due to Anarchist dominance in some areas
  • Communists used terror - unpopular
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Military

  • No military leadership or unified command
  • Communists and Anarchists wouldn't work together; Anarchist militias and Basque forces separate from Republican forces
  • No experienced troops, the army was not trusted
  • Reliant on militias until the end of 1936 when the Popular Army was formed
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Economic

  • Collective farming and workers' committees controlling industry and transport but this was not sufficient to support the war efford
  • Production in Catalonia fell by 2/3 between 1936-39
  • Food and raw materials shortages
  • Inflation readhed 300%, wages only increased by 15%
  • USSR was the only country that would trade with them
  • Had to pay for Soviet aid in gold
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Foreign Assistance

  • Republicans only received limited support from USSR
  • No Soviet troops were sent, 1000 aircraft, 750 tanks, some advisors
  • Inefficient, old equipment
  • Britain and France refused to get involved, only sent volunteers in International Brigades (inexperienced, no great impact)
  • Soviets withdrew support in June 1938 - led to Republican defeat
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