Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas

The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas is a history describing this conflict that took place from 1936 to 1939. It is considered the precursor to the second world war. The Republicans made up of Communist, Socialists and Anarchists fought the Nationalists the Falange made up of Fascists, Royalists and supporters of the Roman Catholic Church. The story of the conflict is very complex consisting of various political groupings shifting constantly. Thomas provides an excellent narrative that makes the various Machiavellian maneuvers clear and understandable. I'm not an expert on this conflict but I was easily able to follow what was going on.

The support provided by the Italian, German and Russian governments is described. With particular reference to the Condor Legion and Italian ground and naval units. The behavior of the United Kingdom, United States and France is also explained. There is some material on foreign volunteers but it is not mentioned constantly. Only as part of the wider story of the conflict.

This is a big book coming in at nearly 245,000 words. It was originally published in 1961. I'm not sure how much of it has been superseded but it is still a clear explanation of this important 20th-century conflict.

Highly recommended!

Is available through Abebooks.

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