No Spanish Civil War in 1936 (my new Timeline)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Dr. Strangelove, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    This is my oldest AH Project: a Timeline where the Spanish Civil War never happened and the weak Spanish democracy somehow managed to survive and did not become a fascist or communist dictature. This is tough, and bordering implausibility, but doable. Three years ago, I wrote a Timeline in with this same idea. The results can be seen here and here. Yes, I already know it sucks, and that saying it is “poorly researched” would be a great understatement, not to mention the wanking tone and the poor english. But there was some potential on the idea of a democratic Spain collaborating with the Allies, so I have decided to start it again from scratch, with a better grammar, non-timeline format, and as little silliness as I can.


    Excerpt from “Francisco Franco and July 1936: myth, truth, agenda”, by Ian Gibson, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona. 1974

    …traditionally overshadowed by the 1934 revolution, the November 1936 Falangist uprising and the Great Independence War[1], the stillborn July 1936 military coup is regarded as an obscure factoid by most historians, interesting only as being the last specimen in a formerly cherished Spanish political tradition; the pronunciamiento, or military coup.
    It has been only after vital files and reports have been declassified that historians have been able to look in detail at the 1936 conspirators’s plans and realize the true extent of their designations to overthrow the Republic’s democratically elected government. Upon reading previously classified documents, ranging from private letters to military trial acts, I have realized that the 1936 conspiration was perhaps the Republic’s pivotal point; the moment where Spain’s still weak and newborn democracy could have been defeated by either fascist or Stalinist[2] totalitarianism. In this book I will try to prove that it is due to this almost unknown conspiracy, and not to the November Uprising, that the united political movement to strengthen the Republic’s democratic leanings which would guide Spain through the War towards today’s prosperity came into being.

    …. He is already widely regarded as a hero due to his actions and death during the War, which somehow compensate his brutal treatment of Asturias’ revolutionaries in 1934, but in this book I will try to prove that his greatest service to Spain was his role on foiling the 1936 conspiracy. It is most surprising that a man with his military conservative background agreed to cooperate with what he saw as a quasi communist government. Let’s face it: Francisco Franco Bahamonde was not the untarnished hero of democracy that propaganda has led us to believe. Even assuming that his actions in 1934 were a consequence of political pressure by Lerroux’ conservative government[3], it is obvious that his unlikely collaboration with the Frente Popular government to foil the July Plot was not due to some idealistic wish to save democracy, but to a very material prosaic wish to gain the government’s favour and be called back to Madrid from the position in the Canarias to which he had been relegated for political reasons.

    [1]This is the name TTL’s Spaniards give to the Second World War
    [2]There is a good reason for Gibson not to say communist, which will become clear as the TL unfolds.
    [3] Francisco Franco and his African troops repressed the 1934 socialist uprising in Asturias against the conservative government with unusual brutality, with cases of rebels being raped, castrated or tortured. In TTL’ Franco is a hero of the Republic, so his actions in the 1934 uprising are usually played down or presented as direct orders of the government.

    Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. June 23rd, 1936.

    Francisco Franco closed the envelope, gave it to his aide with instructions to send it to Madrid and, now alone in his office, started to ponder. He felt now relieved of a great weight. His colleagues were exerting a great pressure on him to join them. Spain was at the brink of disaster, they said. Socialists in the government, widespread violence in the streets, churches being burned, peasants taking over land. Spain was becoming ungovernable, and it was the army’s duty to restore order and save the Republic[1].
    He owed nothing to the new government. In fact, he had every possible reason to scorn the Frente Popular[2]: it was after they won the February election that he had been commissioned to Canarias, an isolated position where he could be kept at bay in case he was up to something. The new president Azaña had decommissioned him from his office at the Zaragoza Academy in 1931. Prime Minister Casares was trying to give his native Galicia an Autonomy Statute that would break Spain even more. He had no reasons to appreciate the elected government.

    But he was a soldier, and no matter how much he could scorn a civilian, leftist government he still felt insecure towards the prospective of outright rebellion. That was why he still hadn’t given a definite answer to the rest of the generals’ clique, even after some of them came to Tenerife to ask him in person to join. He wanted to join them, he wanted to take a decisive pass to save Spain from the spiral of terrorism, Marxism and separatism that it was falling on, but he didn’t like the idea of failing and ending up shot or in exile. He knew that his comrades[3] were starting to think that he was bluffing. He knew that Queipo had mockingly nicknamed him as Miss canarias 1936[4]. That was why he had wrotten that letter to Casares[5] explaining the situation and asking for a settlement. His conscience was now quiet. If Casares gave a positive answer, there was still hope. If he didn’t, he could join the plot knowing that he had done everything he could to settle things peacefully.

    Four days later, a letter arrived to Franco’s office. It had a Prime Minister’ s office letterhead. The same day, Francisco Franco took a plane to Madrid.[6]

    [1]In the first days of OTL’s civil war, the rebels claimed it was just a temporary measure to save the Republic, not an attempt to destroy it.
    [2]The coalition of leftist and anarchist forces that had won the February 17th parliamentary election.
    [3]After Niceto Alcalá Zamora was forced to step down his position as President of the Republic and Manuel Azaña was elected on May 5th, a group of generals including Emilio Mola, José Sanjurjo, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano and others started to plot a military rebellion to bring order to the country, either via a military dictatorship, a fascist regime or a restoration of the monarchy. In OTL the coup led to a 3 year civil war.
    [5]Santiago Casares Quiroga, President of the Council of the Spanish Republic [not to be confused with the office of President of the Republic. He was the equivalent of a Prime Minister]. Despite leading a coalition of all kinds of leftist parties; from center-left to anarchists, he was a quite moderate man.
    [6]This is the POD. In our timeline Franco wrote a letter to Casares telling him that he could quell the army discontent, but Casares never answered and Franco joined the conspiracy in early July. In TTL, Casares gives him a positive answer and Franco is called back to Madrid to discuss matters.

    Excerpt from “Francisco Franco and July 1936: exposing the myth, exposing the truth”, by Ian Gibson, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona. 1974

    ..Franco travels to Madrid on the evening of June the 28th and meets Casares Quiroga the next morning. According to witnesses, they were reunited for more than two hours, but no detailed account of the meeting is to be found. In Casares’ usually detailed diaries, the meeting is sarcastically noted as “June 28th: chatter with Cerillita[1]”, but no further details are given. However, instead of returning to Tenerife that same day, Franco remained in Madrid. The next day, he and Casares would meet again, together with other members of the government. Again, no detailed accounts of the meeting are known, but it could be assumed that a direct link between these meetings and Franco’s designation as Director of the Zaragoza Officer Academy in September 1936 can be drawn.

    ...However, when Franco returned to Tenerife the 1st of July, he still wasn’t sure of what path to take. In a letter he received upon returning, Mola told him that they would keep their plans regardless of his intervention. The letter ends with an ominous insinuation of what can happen to him if the Movement triumphs:

    [letter comes here][2]

    …Rumours of a military coup were, of course, widespread, and a few of them were actually accurate. After all, a military uprising is hardly something easy to disguise. Prior to Franco’s involvement, the government already suspected that some officers might be up to something. In July 9th, General Batet Mestre met with Mola at his headquarters in Pamplona and bluntly asked him if he had something to do with any uprising preparations. Mola denied it. [3]

    …The government’s decision to send Mola to Navarra, which they regarded as a backwater place far from Madrid, had the unintended effect of putting him in the middle of the core of Spanish Carlism. Immediately after arriving to Pamplona in March, Mola started contacts with carlist leaders for their collaboration in an eventual uprising, that he knew couldn’t succeed without support from the carlist militias. However, while Mola wanted a temporary military government under the Republic, the carlists didn’t want anything short of a catholic reactionary monarchy, and that discrepancy made an unpassable rift between Mola and carlist leader José Fal Conde.

    …In early July, military intelligence was aware that some generals were preparing an uprising. The government knew that the likelihood of a coup was very high since election day, but in the first week of July, the government was fully aware that some generals were preparing something.

    …the interception of a letter between Mola and Fal Conde on July 7h gave more substance to rumours. Even when the letter’s content was ambiguous, the fact a General wrote to a carlist leader was worrying enough.

    …In July 11th Franco travelled to Madrid again to meet Casares. The meeting was long and tense. Franco would not return to Tenerife until August when the situation had changed irrevocably.

    Excerpt from Political Violence in the Early Republic, by Juan Casal, Ed. Galaxia, La Coruña, 1993.

    …the murder of Calvo Sotelo was no doubt the worst incident of political murder in a time where there were such incidents almost in a weekly basis. As the leader of the rightist opposition at the Congress, Calvo was despised by everyone in the leftist spectrum, and his aristocratic manners and upbringing, monarchist and reactionary[4] views ,and his oratorical talent only made matters worse. When his body was found in July 14th at a Madrid cemetery, political tension grew to an unbearable level. It is known that the plotters of the July conspiracy took this event as a sign that they had to act immediately…

    Excerpt from “Francisco Franco and July 1936: exposing the myth, exposing the truth”, by Ian Gibson, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona. 1974

    ..the rest is known: In the morning of July 16th, up to 14 generals and dozens of other officers were detained in their headquarters all over Spain by the Military Police and the Guardia de Asalto.[5] Between them were generals Mola, Queipo, Goded, and other members of the clique. Some tried to oppose resistance and there were armed incidents between the military and the MP at Pamplona, Mallorca and Melilla, but by the afternoon of the 16th of July, the conspiracy was beheaded.

    [1]”lil’ match”. Franco’s nickname due to his low height and big head.
    [2]In OTL by early july Franco had finally joined the conspiracy. In TTL, his continued ambiguity and his travel to Madrid have angered Mola, who writes him an angry letter which ironically pushes Franco more to the government’s field.
    [3]This happened in OTL, but on July 16th, when it was too late to stop the uprising. In TTL, with Franco’s information (actually little more than calculated insinuations, but enough to make Casares suspect), the government is already aware that some generals are preparing something by early July.
    [4]In TTL’s Spain, reactionary means anything from the extreme right, not only properly reactionary politics.
    [5]A paramilitary police corps created in 1931. It was seen as a tool of the republicans and leftists and was dissolved in OTL in 1939.

    From left to right: President Manuel Azaña, PM Santiago Casares Quiroga, and generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola.
  2. Karlos Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    Very interesting! I'll be following this!
  3. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    Heh, thank you, finally I get a response. :D

    The first installments will deal with Spanish politics from the time, and I don't think non spanish readers will find them interesting; but from 1937 onward butterflies will start affecting the rest of the world and lead to a changed WWII.
  4. LordInsane Supporter of the Alliance

    Seems interesting. I'll be following this!:)
  5. Geordie NAME OF OWNER Donor

    Feb 12, 2008
    Jarrow-on-Tyne, or Farnborough, Hampshire
    Methinks i shall be watching this one closely.

    Very interesting :cool:
  6. Iñaki Sailing in the Cosmic Ocean of Alternate Earths

    Feb 27, 2006
    This is interesting no doubt.

    So, It is your story!, I read "No spanish civil war" in and I found it interesting and one of the best materiel that one could find in othertimelines (the most part of the timelines in that AH site are a mixture of bizarre, strange and ASB or mad timelines, but there are some timelines that are interesting, this is one of them).

    At the end I found the author of that TL.:)

    Could be for someone the path that Franco has followed in TTL could seem very strange, but as in the case of the paper played by Franco in EdT "A Greater Britain" in fact it is plaussible, Franco seems to want to have an important paper in the history, to be someone important, as shown in OTL where he proved to have a great ability to become the leader of the Rebellion after Sanjurjo death using all kind of strategies, Franco was a man with desire of power and to become an historically important figure, so in TTL he get that with other path of "loyalty" to the republic.

    Invasion, invasion, I listen sound of Rommel tanks in the castillian fields:D
  7. Expat Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Washington, DC
    Great start!

    I read your Morocco war timeline a couple months backed and really enjoyed it, glad to see you're at it again.
  8. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    Disclaimer: this post is incredibly slow and deals with spanish politics of the time, so only spaniards or people with an extensive knowledge of the 2nd Republic will fully appreciate it. However, it is very important to see the political gameplay that prevent TTL's Spain from going the totalitarian road, so I just had to write it. I promise things will get funnier when we make it to 1937 and butterflies start affecting the rest of the world:

    From A military history of Iberia: volume 7, 1898-1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, 1987.

    ..the Great Purge of 1936 in the spanish army was dwarfed by 1937’s Purge in the Soviet Union, but it was still a controversial matter in the years prior and after the Second World War. Opponents of the measure cite that many deposed or executed officers had little to do with the July conspiracy, and that the loss of dozens of experienced officials did a great harm to the Spanish army during the war. On the other hand, it is argued that the new generation of young officers like Enrique Líster, Vicente Rojo, Antonio Aranda or Vicente Asensio[1] that were ascended to higher ranks after the purge, were essential for the much needed modernization of the Spanish Army.

    …after two months, the Madrid Trials ended the 20th of September of 1936. All top officers involved in the conspiracy (Mola, Yagüe, Queipo, Cabanellas, Goded and others) were found guilty of treason and conspiracy and executed at the Alcalá Military Prison the morning of the 21st. Dozens of other officials would be condemned to prison, demoted or exiled.

    [1]In OTL Líster and Rojo fought in the Republican side, while Aranda and Asensio fought for the nationals.

    Excerpt from Political Violence in the Early Republic, by Juan Casal, Ed. Galaxia, La Coruña, 1993.

    …In the afternoon of the 16th of July, a communication of the President’s office confirmed that a military coup attempt had been thwarted by the security forces and that the main leaders were imprisoned and would be judged.
    This enraged the most radical leaders of the right, who expected that the military could stop the Frente Popular government with a full rebellion that would never come. Calvo Sotelo’s murder three days before only added insult to the injury. While the falangists and carlists wanted to go ahead with the rebellion even without support from the army, the more moderate and prorepublican conservatives preferred to fight the Left with its own weapons and called for a strike on the 20th. The strike would have little following and spark riots between strikers and leftist militants. This angered radicals even more, to the point that some monarchists started plotting the murder of a leftist politician in revenge for Calvo Sotelo’s death.


    Francisco Largo Caballero (October 15, 1869 –July 23, 1936) was a Spanish politician and trade unionist. He was one of the historic leaders of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and of the Workers' General Union (UGT).

    … In the elections of November 19, 1933, the right-wing Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA) won power in Spain. The government nominally led by the centrist radical Alejandro Lerroux was dependent on CEDA's parliamentary support. Responding to this reversal of fortune, Largo abandoned his moderate positions, began to talk of "socialist revolution", and became the leader of the left (Marxist and revolutionary) wing of the UGT and the PSOE. In early October 1934, after three CEDA ministers entered the government, he was one of the leaders of the failed armed rising of workers (mainly in the Asturias and Catalonia), which was forcefully put down by the CEDA-dominated government.
    … nicknamed “the Spanish Lenin”, he was murdered in July 1936 by monarchist radicals who wanted to avenge José Calvo Sotelo’s murder 10 days before. His death sparked not only an unseen wave of political rioting, but a government crisis and the secession of the left wing of the Socialist Party.

    Excerpt from A Contemporary History of Spain (1808-2002), by Gabriel Burnsdale, Palgrave Ed. London, 2004.

    …Largo Caballero’s burial put the government in a difficult conundrum. The funeral was used by the most radical wing of the Socialist Party as a political address where the government was asked to take hard measures against the Right. By the beginning of August, the Casares government was under siege from both the right and the extreme left (with the notorious exception of anarchists and some wings of the PCE[1]). If the socialist party withdrew his support, the Frente Popular would fall apart with catastrophic consequences.

    … the Socialist Party was Spain’s largest and better organized party, and that meant that there were plenty of inner factions and rivalries. Largo’s death was a blessing for Julián Besteiro and Indalecio Prieto’s centrist faction, which had been marginalized in the past two years with the radicalization of the Party’s stance. During August, Besteiro and his followers were quick seizing key roles in the Party’s leadership, all while Largo’s wing and the Socialist Youth[2] asked for either greater measures against the right or entering the government[3]. However, with government and congress going on vacation, nothing would happen until September.

    …Azaña had seen the wolf’s teeth with the July plot, and did not want to take extreme measures that would maybe trigger another military revolt. However, he saw that cooperation with all the Left forces was necessary to prevent the government’s strangulation from both sides of the spectrum. By mid-august, he had started talks with the moderate socialist leaders for a new government with socialist presence, and secured the CNT’s shaky support for the Frente Popular.

    …However, this was not enough for the Largo faction, angered at Besteiro’s maneuvers. In a heated debate in early September, the split of the Socialist Party was seen as unavoidable. On September 11th, the secession was formalized at a meeting in Madrid where the Socialist Revolutionary Party of Spain was proclaimed, with Julio Álvarez del Vayo as its leader. In a fortnight, the PSOE lost its most extremist wing and 12 of its 88 congressmen.

    …the new party refused to cooperate with the Frente Popular due to the PSOE’s new entrance in the government, alienating its only natural ally, the PCE. The communist party, on the other hand, did not want to risk a government crisis with the ghost of a military insurrection still haunting the country.

    … In October 1[4], a new government with socialist and communist presence was set up. Casares Quiroga was still the Prime Minister, but socialist Julián Besteiro was the new War Minister and communist military aviator Ignacio Hidalgo de Cisneros[5] the Aviation Minister. The menace of a split of the left in a moment when the Republic seemed weaker was fading.

    …In the extreme right, however, the new government was a nightmare made true. With communists and socialists holding important positions, it was only a matter of time before a Bolshevik Revolution started. In the opening session of the Cortes, the new opposition leader Gil Robles[6] warned that Spain had taken a dark path towards a bloody atheist revolution. However, the Communist Party was too small and didn’t have enough influence in the army to attempt anything yet, while the revolutionary urges of the PSOE had been defused by Largo’s murder and Álvarez del Vayo’s split.

    …regardless, by mid September, and trusting rumours that there were still army officers wishing to attempt a rebellion, carlist, falangist and monarchist leaders started preparing for what would be known as the November Uprising.

    [1]The Communist Party of Spain. Its membership increased from 3000 to 100000 members between February and July 1936
    [2]Which had unified with the Communist Youth in April, creating the Unified Socialist Youth of Spain. Its leader was Santiago Carrillo, who would later become a reputed communist leader and, aged 92, is the only survivor of that generation of politicians.
    [3]The socialist party, despite being a part of the Popular Front and holding 88 seats at the Congress that made it the largest leftist force, didn’t have any seats in the government.
    [4]The same day Franco became Caudillo of (half of) Spain in OTL. In TTL, he must be doing some office work at the Zaragoza Academy.
    [5]HOI2 fans will remember him as the Omar Sharif lookalike that is Rep. Spain’s only aviation tech team.
    [6]Leader of the CEDA, the largest party in the right. He was a staunch conservative and a very devout catholic. Despite this, he thought that his goal of a corporatist, catholic Spain like Salazar’s Portugal or Dolfuss’ Austria could be accomplished within the republican legality. Needless to say, he was the perfect example when the Leftists wanted to point that Spain was in the brink of being taken over by fascism. His electoral slogan of “all the power to the Chief” i.e., him, didn’t help either.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
    From left to right: socialist politicians Francisco Largo Caballero and Julián Besteiro; monarchist leader José Calvo Sotelo, and CEDA leader José María Gil Robles.
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  9. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    This will be my last update for at least a week, I am going on holiday. :cool:

    Excerpt from Political Violence in the Early Republic, by Juan Casal, Ed. Galaxia, La Coruña, 1993.

    …the November Uprising is regarded by most as the pivotal point of the early republic. The damage it did to the extreme right was enough to definitely discard it as a viable government option for Spain; and the dramatic split of the right it caused guaranteed a stable progressive government for the years before WWII.

    …Just like the entrance of CEDA ministers in the government had triggered the 1934 socialist uprising, the entrance of socialist and communist ministers in the Frente Popular government triggered a fascist and carlist uprising. Preparations started by mid September, and by early October, Primo de Rivera had achieved support from both the Portuguese and Italian regimes[1] . He also counted on unreliable information about some army support by officials that had survived the Purges.

    …the 3rd of November, Carlist militias initiated the uprising by seizing key government buildings at Pamplona, Tolosa, Lérida, Huesca, and Castellón. At the same time, falangists rose up in Madrid, Barcelona, Valladolid, La Coruña, and other province cities.

    …just like two years before, the government declared the state of war in Navarra, Madrid and Aragón. The army was dispatched to fight the rebels, while improvised anarchist and communist militias started the fighting on their own.

    … In Madrid the falangists were just not enough, and despite fighting with bravery and seizing government buildings and parts of the downtown, were defeated when the Army resorted to using airplanes and tanks against their positions. Their last stronghold at the Banco de España in Cibeles Square surrendered after three days.

    …In Barcelona and other Catalonian cities, anarchist militias did most of the job without waiting for the government troops. The uprising was over in Catalonia by the morning of the 7th.

    … Just like Asturias in 1934, Navarra became the flashpoint of the 1936 uprising. By November 4, all of Navarra north of the Ebro was in carlist hands, while the government troops at Pamplona endured a siege at their headquarters.

    ...In the morning of November 10, troops led by young general Enrique Líster crossed the Ebro and advanced towards Pamplona. After five more days of fighting they entered the city and destroyed the carlist remnants there. After some more days of mopping up, the November Uprising was over by the 13th.

    …Among the leaders, Primo de Rivera fled to Italy through France, while Fal Conde would die in the fighting.

    …Parallelisms with 1934 were unavoidable. Just like the socialists two years ago, the fascists had tried to rebel counting on a massive army and popular support that never came. The uprising failed quickly in most of the country and only succeeded in a region where it was quickly crushed by the army, led by a young and trusted general (Franco in 1934, Líster[2] in 1936). By trying what the socialists had tried in 1934 and failing just like them, the extreme right had lost all possible credit it could have.

    …the uprising also completely divided the right. Gil Robles, a firm believer that republican legality was enough to drive Spain to the right path, and that the right had a moral superiority over the left since 1934, refused to lend support to the uprising. This not only sent the centrist congressmen towards favouring a greater cooperation with the Frente Popular, but also alienated the fascists, monarchists and other extremists from the more moderate stances. By late November, the left-right fightings in the Congress had been substituted by right-extreme right fightings, and Gil Robles found himself in a very difficult position.

    …the anarchists were now stronger than ever in the Spanish politics. While some demanded that all ties with the Frente Popular were cut to profit from momentum and start the revolution, while formerly radical leaders like Juan García Oliver and Buenaventura Durruti thought that increased cooperation with the government was necessary to be united against any further rightist attempt and perhaps to sneak some measures like land collectivization that they couldn’t have pulled through despite their support to the Frente Popular.

    …all in all, as 1937 started, and despite riots, murders and incidents still happening, it could be said that the worst had passed yet and the Frente Popular government had managed to survive despite all attempts to overthrow it from both left and right.

    [1]More on this in the next instalment.
    [2]Líster was only 29 at the time, so he was not in command, but Vicente Rojo, but his deeds during the brief campaign and his communist ideology were amplified by the PCE’s propaganda machine to make him look like the true hero.

    As 1936 ends, butterflies still aren’t affecting the rest of the world too much. Some thousands of german and Italian soldiers are having their lives in Germany and Italy instead of fighting in Spain; some thousands of people are alive instead of being dead. In Spain, many artists, scientists and intellectuals that had to exile from the war are still in Spain, and the cultural gilded age that the country had been enjoying since the start of the century is keeping on instead of being abruptly halted by war.

    FDR has won by landslide the 1936 election. Japan is planning the conquest of China-one chunk at a time, while in the USSR Stalin is preparing the Great Purge, perhaps now knowing what happened in the Spanish army.
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  10. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    The first one definitely does, the 2nd one... I am still thinking what to do with him. Anyway, as the TL advances and butterflies kick out I will write some "where are they now" to say what famous people are doing in TTL. García Lorca will definitely be there.
  11. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    Yes, commonpedia is TTL's wikipedia analogue, the board software puts a link by default. The text is just copypasta from wikipedia, with changes regarding Largo's date and way of death.

    As for Spain's postwar government, it definitely has a heavy communist influence, but it is not a communist state. The name for Great Independence War is given to distinguish it from the 1808 Independence War.

    But that's still a long way ahead, in fact I am still trying to come with a plausible explanation of how Spain enters the war around 1940. :D
  12. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    I just wrote two very slow and detailed entries dealing with shady politics to make plausible the stability of the frente popular government, so imagine what I will do with something as important as Spain entering the war after one century of neutrality. :p Specially as I am trying to drag them by early 1940.
  13. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005

    Excerpt from New Dark Order: an historical summary on fascism (1922-1950); by Ernesto Guevara. Buenos Aires, 1971.

    … The November 1936 uprising in Spain meant the death of fascism in that country. With Primo de Rivera exiled and most other leaders dead or in prison, Falange Española had effectively disappeared as a mainstream political force.

    …the Uprising also had the effect to trigger the crisis between Spain, Italy and Portugal that would escalate during the later part of the 30’s. Mussolini, after turning Albania into Italy’s puppet and annexing Abyssinia, had turned his imperial dreams towards what he saw as an unstable, isolated neighbour. While Greece and Yugoslavia were protected by Britain and Germany, Spain had few friends and its government displeased Britain and, to a lesser extent, France. By setting up a fascist puppet government and perhaps taking the Baleares as a reward[1], Mussolini expected to show Hitler who was the greatest leader of fascism.

    …Salazar’s Portugal, always weary of its larger neighbour, was very worried by the Spanish developments during the summer of 1936. When the Spanish general Sanjurjo, exiled at Estoril, approached Portuguese officials asking for their support for a right wing uprising in Spain, they were willing to do it, even if Salazar’s traditionalist and corporatist views held important differences with Primo de Rivera’s and Mussolini’s “revolutionary” fascism.

    …After the fascist uprising ended on November 15, proofs of Italian and Portuguese involvement were found by the Spanish government. Not only had many of the falangists used Italian-made weapons, but documents pointing towards Salazar and Mussolini’s support of the fascists were found at Falange’s offices in Madrid.

    Excerpt from A Contemporary History of Spain (1808-2002), by Gabriel Burnsdale, Palgrave Ed. London, 2004.

    …Since the end of the Peninsular War in 1814 and the loss of the empire in the Americas, Spain had adopted a secondary role in the world stage. Not a great empire anymore, and ravaged by endless political and social strife, Spain’s intervention in the world arena during the 19th century were few, small, and usually as a sidekick to France. The disasters of the 1898 war against the United States and the 1920’s war in the Rif only cemented this neutralist position. With the advent of the Republic in 1931, Spain tried to officialise this position and become a kind of a southern Switzerland isolated from the worries of the world. However, Italy’s hostility, and Mussolini’s growing involvement with Salazar’s Portugal put an end to that. In the years between 1936 and 1939, Spain would slowly develop closer ties with France[2] and Great Britain[3] which would be concreted by the 1937 treaty to sell Spain 125 new Renault Tanks and Dewoitine fighters and the 1939 Casares-Delbos treaty that effectively (but not officially) turned Spain into a French (and in consequence British) ally.

    From A military history of Iberia: volume 7, 1898-1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, 1987.

    …in 1936 the Spanish army was in a sorry state of obsolete weapons, inefficient training and low morale. The Purges and the rise of a new generation of new officers, combined by the government’s fear of a new military uprising, changed all that.

    …In a memorandum sent to Council President Casares in January 1937, the new Major General Enrique Líster asked for a greater investment in armoured vehicles and tanks, citing his experiences at Moscow’s Frunze academy as a proof that tanks would gain greater importance in the battlefield [4]

    …During 1937, contracts were signed with American weapons producers to produce their products, such as the Thompson SMG and the Springfield infantry rifle, now that the traditional Mauser rifles of the Spanish army could not be relied upon.

    …After the defeats at the 1898 war, the Spanish navy had become a modest brown water force whose main purpose was to protect the Spanish litoral and the Gibraltar Strait. By 1936, a modest modernization attempt was being made with the building of two heavy cruisers (the Baleares and the Canarias), and the refitting of the old Dédalo aircraft carrier. With the Italian threat, the need for a newer navy arose.

    …Spain was in the same conundrum as Germany regarding the building of a new navy: building a large but expensive surface fleet, or a cheaper submarine fleet? Due to Spain’s limited resources, this choice was easy, and by 1937 a complete submarine construction program was on its way.

    … these ambitious plans to modernize the Spanish armed forces had almost no time to become effective before the outbreak of World War Two, but their limited impact was enough to turn the Spanish army into a force fit to fight in the new total, mechanized war.

    [1]Mussolini actually considered this in OTL and sent a force to seize the islands when the Civil War broke out. Unfortunately for him, the nationals had already seized them when the Italians arrived.
    [2]Specially due to the ideological affinities between Spain’s government and the Blum government in France, also a Popular Front. In TTL, no Spanish civil War means that Blum is not forced to leave office in march 1937, and the Popular Front is still in power in 1939-1940.
    [3]Who are less than happy with France’s friendship with a government with commies and anarchists in its ranks.
    [4]Líster actually studied at the Frunze academy between 1932 and 1935, and it is perhaps not a stretch to think that he could have heard of Tujachevschy’s and Triandafillov’s theories on “deep battle operations” that can be seen as an early soviet version of blitzkrieg.
    nlucasm, TimTurner and PotatoesOfDoom like this.
  14. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    OK, chaps, I have a doubt that could impact greatly the Timeline: since there has been no civil war in Spain, Blum's government is still in office during the worst years of appeasement between 1937 and 1939. Would this government be more active trying to stop Hitler or would things go the way of OTL? Remember that Blum was not only a socialist, but a jew.

    [and in case someone didn't notice, the above post was a new update after returning from holiday :D)
    TimTurner likes this.
  15. Goldstein By the way, it is Goldstein. Banned

    Jul 25, 2006
    St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, Anglo-Spanish Empire
    Great! I've been wanting to read a no spanish civil war TL since I became interested in AH! Very good work so far ;)
  16. Kvasir We shall overcome #EU

    Feb 11, 2008
    Leeds, Yorkshire, EU
    First- Welcome Back!! Hope you had a good holiday :)

    Second- Great Timeline, keep it up.

    Last- No appeasment suggests early war, something Spain would not encourage with such a limited military and an aggressive Italy. But if Spain gets wind of the anti-Jew policies, it could be a passage-way out of harms way, and many of these Jews have some useful added bonuses, if you catch my drift.;)
  17. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    Heh, thank you. I hope I can keep writing until WWII breaks out before exams, you know, break out. :D
  18. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

    Jan 1, 2004
    Florida ,CSA
    butterfly One -- would be Italy having more men and money to put into Italian Africa.
    There would also be more money for Modernization.

    butterfly 2 --Germany will not have the Experience of using Junker dive bombers as Artillery. nor the Pilot training.

    butterfly 3 -- Russia will not have the experience, with the T-26 poor Armour and other problems, this means less capable T-34.

    butterfly 4 -- Russia will not get Spain's Gold.
  19. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    I had thought of 2, but not of 1 and 3, thank you. :)

    but I am really interested about Blum. With him in charge in 1938, would he try to start a war about the Anschluss or the Sudeten? Or would he only start the french buildup to war before OTL, leading to a better prepared french army in 1940?

    Another butterfly from no civil war in Spain: in OTL, Spain's difficult terrain and crappy infrastructures meant that tank warfare had only a very limited impact. French, british and soviet observers took from this the wrong opinion that tanks were not a worthy weapon on their own and that they were only useful as infantry support. Perhaps in TTL, the french command is more receptive to De Gaulle's ideas on armoured warfare and german blitzkrieg is less of a surprise to the allies.
  20. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person Banned

    Sep 26, 2005
    And now a plot twist which I hope doesn't seem too unrealistic. The next update will deal less with spanish politics and more with what's happening in the rest of the world:

    Excerpt from A Contemporary History of Spain (1808-2002), by Gabriel Burnsdale, Palgrave Ed. London, 2004.

    By early 1937, most of the political violence that had put the Republic at the stake in 1934 and 1936 had disappeared. The Madrid Trials and the November Uprising, together with the murders of Calvo Sotelo and Largo Caballero, had acted as a catharsis for the Spanish public. While the strife in the left had ended with the victory of the moderates and the margination of the communists, the right was in total disarray; with Falange having become an illegal party and half of the CEDA against Gil Robles’ legalist stance. The anarchists, on the other hand, were a wild card, but willing to cooperate with the Frente Popular against both the right and the communists.

    …In this climate, calling for new legislative elections was seen as a dangerous move, but President Azaña thought that the radical changes Spanish politics had endured deserved a new Congress[1]. Legislative elections were called for March 1937.

    Excerpt from Buenaventura Durruti and the rise of Spanish anarchism, by Joseph Billings, Oxford University Press. 1976.

    …Anarchist syndicates like CNT had already started cooperation with statalist forces when they asked for voting the Frente Popular in the 1936 election so the right could be dislodged from power. During that year, cooperation between the CNT and the republican government grew together with political tension.

    …the November Uprising showed the force of anarchist militants, as their improvised militias defeated the Falangists in Catalonia and Córdoba before the military could act.

    …Despite the Frente Popular promising a Land Reform to give land to the peasants for the 1937-1939 term, spontaneous occupations of land by anarchist peasants started in May 1936. During the rest of the year and the first half of 1937, large extensions of land in Catalonia, Andalusia, Extremadura and both Castiles would become anarchist communes. While these were illegal, the government could not risk alienating the anarchist forces. Despite the obvious anger it caused among the right, the aristocracy and foreign governments, land communes slowly became a fait accompli.

    …the CNT cells slowly realized that, as heretical as it might have sound at the time[2], the only way they had to keep being an actor in the Spanish political stage was to cooperate with the Frente Popular in a closer way. This was a complete turnaround from its past politics, and during December 1936 and early 1937, debates raged in the CNT cells about how much compromising with the government could be done.

    …As oxymoronic as it might have sounded at the time, an Anarchist Party was not a new idea in Spanish politics: already in 1931, the more moderate syndicalists at the CNT had founded the Sindicalist Party, which in 1936 held two seats at the Congress. But the idea of creating a political party that could act as a link between the CNT and the bourgeois institutions, at a time where anarchists rejected all kinds of collaboration with the state institutions, was too much of a stretch for most sympathizers. The anarchist movement in Spain was in the verge of dissolution, but in the end, promises that it would be a temporary measure and that it would make easier to give recognition to the communes upset the balance. The Party of the Iberian Workers was created in February 1, 1937.

    …Just like its mother organization, the party’s structure was very loosely based on individual cells, and it lacked the pyramidal organization of conventional parties.

    Excerpt from A Contemporary History of Spain (1808-2002), by Gabriel Burnsdale, Palgrave Ed. London, 2004.

    The 1937 election was unusually peaceful as the standards of the republic’s election had been. The new Congress confirmed the hegemony of the Popular Front, the collapse of the extreme right and the ascension of the anarchists, who became the 3rd party of the left after the socialists and Republican Left.

    …Out of 480 seats, the Popular Front carried away 287 (263 in 1936), while the right went down from 156 to 134. The centrist parties resurrected in this election, going from 59 to 76 seats.

    …With 45 seats, the Iberian Workers’ Party became the 3rd largest force in the Popular Front; but the President Azaña, fearing that France and Britain withdrew their support, only gave the anarchists two seats at the new government: Federica Montseny would become Minister of Health, and the first woman to ever hold such an office in Spanish history. The other was be a man who would go from being an illiterate worker and bandit to become one of the great leaders of the 20th century: Buenaventura Durruti Dumange.

    …the process of decentralization that started with the Republic would continue during the years prior to World War Two. If Catalonia had seen its autonomy restored in 1936, the Basque Country would follow in early 1937, and Galicia in September of that same year. By 1938, more Autonomy Statutes for Aragón and Andalucía were being prepared.

    From The Silver Century, by Juan Antonio Ramírez, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona, 2001[3]

    …the Spanish pavilion for the 1937 world fair at Paris was intended as a gesture of propaganda by the Spanish government to show the world the achievements and modernity of the new Spanish state. Designed by the avant garde architect José Luis Sert, its modern design according to the principles of Le Corbusier caused sensation and formed a stark contrast with the heavy, academicist pavilions of Germany and the Soviet Union. By entering the pavilion’s lobby, visitors could see an enormous painting by Pablo Picasso depicting his view of the new Spain.[4]

    …Written in a rush of inspiration in Christmas 1936, Baldosas de tacón was Federico García Lorca’s first incursion away from poetry or theatre. This novella, published in may 1937…

    [1]Contrary to the Spanish tradition of having a bicameral parliament, the 1931 Constitution suppressed the Senate and provided only for a greater Congress of around 480 seats.
    [2]Let’s say Mr. Billings is writing from a TL where anarchism has become a little bit different than in OTL.
    [3]The Golden Century is the name given by art historians to the period between 1520 and 1680 in which Spanish arts and literature reached its height. As an analogy, the period between 1898 and 1936 is considered as the Silver Age of Spanish arts and culture. Without a civil war to grind it to a halt, this new age of splendour of Spanish culture will reach most of the 20th century
    [4]Guess which masterpiece of 20th century painting has just been butterflied away. :D


    From left to Right: Buenaventura Durruti, the spanish pavilion, one of the modern Char B1 medium tanks sold by France to the Spanish Republic in 1937.
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