No Spanish Civil War in 1936 (my new Timeline)

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

  1. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    Oh, and before I forget: War Plan b. 7 is based in actual spanish plans from OTL to invade Portugal in the Spring of 1941 if Spain entered WWII in the Axis side.
  2. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    First I would like to say it's good to see a TL covering in more detail our corner of the world:).

    It's better drop the Algarve part. Contrary to most of Alentejo, Algarve was not that much of a latifundiary land.
    The socialist (it's better say socialist-minded [1][2]) were very weak outside of the cities, and the communist's stronghold was in Alentejo.

    Most of the Portuguese left and right will be very satisfied by the deposition of Salazar. Since the Spanish 2nd Republic is turning out much more moderate than expected, both the Portuguese opposition as well as the conservatives (and ultra-conservatives) coopted by Salazar[3], will be less fearful of "contamination"[4] and no one will miss Salazar.
    As long as the universal suffrage (for males or for everyone) is implemented, the eventual Portuguese 3rd Republic can satisfy the vast majority of the population.

    In OTL, general Craveiro Lopes (timidly) tried to get rid of Salazar. That was really a nice touch.:)
    The president at the time, general António Óscar Carmona[5], privately will sigh with relief of seeing Salazar removed.

    If you want some opinions about post-war Portugal in this ATL, just drop me a line.

    [1] -even if you include the remnants of the former (Democratic)-Republican Party and its center-left splinter groups, along with the very small (historical) Portuguese Socialist Party[2])
    [2] - Not directly related with the current Socialist Party, and mostly with an intelectual basis.
    [3] - But who privately hated seeing his revolution being hijacked by the clerical fascists and far-right militarists. Even ultra-conservative sectors of the military (with past Sidonist affiliations), and in a higher degree, the liberal-conservative and conservative elements of the regime, disliked the course the 28 May 1926 revolution took.
    [4] - Especially considering that the left was very minoritary (even if we count the Republican opposition of the old (Democratic)-Republican Party - which was a sort of social liberal party).
    [5] - Another conservative coopted by the regime, but who privately didn't like Salazar. Salazar didn't like him either, but since he was very popular in the military, he couldn't remove him. If he says something against Salazar in the middle of this invasion or doesn't appeal to a fierce resistence, Salazar's strength would be even more curtailed.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  3. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    Thank you, although I hope I'll focus more in the general picture as the war advances.

    Thanks for the info; poor Algarve always going together with Alentejo no matter what happens. :D

    Thank you, I thought that there was a communist/socialist movement all over the country, and that Alentejo was only its main bastion. However, bear in mind that portuguese dissidents have been propped up by the spaniards for the last three years.

    It took me a while to find a suitable portuguese politician who could oust Salazar, but Craveiro Lopes is perfect since he's a moderate right winger who owes too mucho to Spain and can be in good terms with Britain.

    Actually, I have some interesting designs for postwar Portugal, although it will still take a while...
  4. Jape Wrestling Impresario

    Feb 26, 2008
    Gorilla Position
    Just on your mention of the National Syndicalists, to my knowledge, the Falange and JONS were united prior to the SCW, they then joined with the Carlists to form Franco's powerbase

    EDIT: Aye, as the Falange of Traditionalists and of the Unions of the National-Syndicalist Offensive or FET y de las JONS, only then to sensibly change, both for political reasons and simplicity, in 1945 to the National Movement
  5. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    No, Falange, JONS and the carlists would unite by a decree in 1937. In TTL, and since Falange is no more since November 1936, perhaps a fringe JONS has managed to survive, although they can't make a lot of noise.
  6. boynamedsue Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Hy Breasil
    According to Spanish wiki Falange and Jons united in 34. In 35 Ledesma left to start his own organisation, a refounded JONS called "la patria libre", with a much more supportive attitude to the trade unions than the Mussolini sponsored falange, and preserving the old JONS' radical anti-capitalism, which was influenced, in turn, by the CNT.

    Ledesma was in Madrid when the army mutinied, and was executed as a fascist. With the mini-coup of TTL, perhaps Ledesma could have condemned the rising? He was certainly a genuine National Sindicalist rather than fascist like Primo de Rivera.
  7. Goldstein By the way, it is Goldstein. Banned

    Jul 25, 2006
    St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, Anglo-Spanish Empire
    Things are getting really interesting now. Keep it on!

    Just one question... what is going to happen with Camilo Jose Cela? Will we have an alternate version of "The Hive"? Or, to the contrary, his debut has been butterflied? Not that it's really important, but I'm curious.
  8. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    Well, I hadn't thought of him at all.

    But I plan to make Where are they now? sections every 5 or 10 years or so, so if you want to see someone featured, just ask and I will try to deliver.
  9. Murazor Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    It might be nice to know the fate of Miguel de Unamuno in this timeline, if only because his "Vencereis, pero no convencereis" is one of the best remembered mottoes of the time. And I have always felt that he was quite courageous considering when and where he said it.
  10. Goldstein By the way, it is Goldstein. Banned

    Jul 25, 2006
    St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, Anglo-Spanish Empire
    Well, I asked because I'm interested in the effects of a surviving republic in what IOTL was the postwar literature, which was very innovative but relied in certain social and intellectual conditions... but if I can do a serious request for a "where are they now?", I'm far more interested in some other man.

    Please, can you show the fate of Severo Ochoa?
  11. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    I guess he'd still leave Spain before the war, but instead of becoming an american citizen and returning only in 1985, he could return to spain during WWII or just later; so yes, I'll feature him in the postwar era.

    btw, I am toying with an idea involving this man and military hardware... :D
  12. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    Pablo Picasso would be interesting too, without Guernica...
  13. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    Funny, I was reading about him and his stupid death right now as I wrote.

    The lack of Guernica was already addressed in an earlier post. These updates are focusing on the war, but the cultural aspects of this timeline are too important to be ignored, so I will focus on them as soon as possible.
  14. boynamedsue Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Hy Breasil
    Where are they now?

    If you're doing Unamuno, then Milan Astray would have to get a mention :)

    Muerte a la inteligencia!
  15. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    Millán Astray is rotting in a military prison at El Aaiun since September 1936. He's lucky enough not to be literaly rotting. Perhaps he will be featured later, though.
  16. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    I am less than happy with today's update and will probably rewrite it. Criticism is definitely more than welcome:

    From My War: reminiscences of the Great Independence War, by Enríque Líster, Ed. Espasa, Madrid, 1969

    … General Rojo accepted the Portuguese surrender that afternoon, after the President had informed him of the terms of armistice. Obviously, the English had exerted some pressure, because they were really lenient. But anyway, I had done my job and whatever happened next was the politicians’ business- something I would experience in my own flesh ten years later. I was very happy with my men, who had done a superb job despite their combat unexperience. I have to admit that I did not trust very much the anarchs[1] , but in the end they fought valiantly.

    …People often credits me with having destroyed the bulk of the Portuguese army in twenty days. That’s a lie: I destroyed it in four days and then spent two weeks mopping up the Alentejo and making my army advance as fast as I could before our Toros ran out of fuel[2]. The Toros[3], these bastards made us won the campaign. They were ugly, bulky, needed an orchestra conductor to properly coordinate the crew, and needed constant maintenance, but the Portuguese had nothing, absolutely nothing that could harm them.

    [1]Those who came from anarchist communes. They still had to serve in the military and were not very trusted by their officers.
    [2]Yes, I made Líster a smug asshole. It’d be too much hero worshipping if I didn’t.
    [3]Bulls. The predictable nickname Spanish crews gave to their B1 tanks.

    From A war to be won, history of the second World War, by Alan Millett; Harvard University Press, 2000

    …While the Spanish army blitzed through the Portuguese plains, Portugal’s colonies also became a front. Macau fell with a purely symbolic resistance to the british in the first day, as did Goa. One week later, Royal Australian Marines would land in East Timor.
    Madeira was seized by anglospanish forces on the 25, while English and Canadians landed in the Azores. It was only in mainland Africa where the Portuguese would achieve their only successes, stopping a French attempt to seize Bissau, and delaying a south African advance towards Lourenço Marques.

    In the end, Portugal ended its brief romance with the axis far better than it could have expected. Its only territorial losses were a couple of border fortresses with Spain, and some adjustments in the Namibian-Angolan border. Macau, Timor, Goa and Cape Verde remained under allied occupation together with Madeira and the Azores, but would be returned to Portugal in 1948.

    …Salazar, after being captured by a british ship, was allowed to exile in Brazil. The new Portuguese government was a fragile coalition of moderate rightwingers, centrists, moderate republicans and socialists; each faction propped by either Britain or Spain. The Spaniards kept an occupation force in Lisbon until Portugal officially declared war on Germany in May.

    …The naval campaign in the Western Mediterranean between the Italian and allied fleets in 1940 saw the largest assembling of warships in these waters since the battle of Lepanto. The Italians, who counted on a fast victory against the Spanish fleet, suddenly found themselves fighting against the Spaniards, the French and the British Mediterranean Fleet.

    ……In January 12, an Italian fleet led by four battleships, among them the Littorio; arguably the most powerful ship in Mediterranean waters at the time,[1] left La Spezia and headed towards Menorca, trying to suppress the Spanish fleet before the French could enter the war. The Italians thought that a fast destruction of the Spanish fleet and a landing at the Baleares would prevent the French and british from intervening. However, the next day, while the Italian ships had just passed through the straits of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia; the Italian fleet was warned that France was about to declare war, and that French capital ships, among them the carrier Beárn, had just crossed through Gibraltar.

    [1]The Italians have had more resources than in OTL, and their naval construction plan is more advanced.

    From The Second World War, by Winston Churchill, 1951

    …During my tenure as Prime Minister in 1939, reinforcing the Mediterranean against the powerful italian fleet had been one of my prime concerns, and my french counterparts also shared these concerns. The Mediterranean fleet had been reinforced with two modern aircraft carriers –The Illustrious and the Eagle [1]-, and our accelerated aircraft building plan had given us enough spare fighter planes to divert to the north African theatre. In January 14, as Iachino’s fleet left La Spezia, the Mediterranean fleet was ordered to proceed to Malta to engage the Italian fleet.

    …Malta’s defenses had been dramatically improved during the past year after years of decay, as the Regia Aeronautica discovered during its first raid in January 19. Malta would prove to be our most valuable carrier, as our planes, together with French ones, used it as a base to harass the Italian convoys. Despite the desperate attacks of the Italian navy and airforce, the maltese people endured two months of siege with valour and determination.

    …While their army smashed the Portuguese, the Spaniards positioned their fleet to protect Mallorca, while the French fleet at Toulon left port and more French ships were hurried from Brest. Meanwhile, Iachino, whose fleet had left La Spezia little after the war declaration, found himself rushing towards Mallorca to wreak havoc on the Spanish fleet before the French reinforcements could arrive.

    [1]The illustrious having been commissioned almost one year in advance respect to OTL thanks to the war footing the allies have had since march 1939

    From The sea campaign in the Mediterranean, 1940. by Antoine Beevorts, Antwerp, 1995

    …The largest naval campaign outside the pacific theater, the battle of the Mediterranean featured a strange mix of WWI and WWII tactics. While both sides relied heavily on their powerful battleships’ firepower to make the difference, in the end air power proved to be decisive to the outcome. One year before the war in the pacific began, this battle in which battleships, submarines and aircraft carriers would compete for dominance in the sea, marked neatly the transition point between the battleship era and the carrier era in naval warfare.

    …After these first indecisive engagements in the first weeks of January, the Italians had finally found a strategy to deal with the threat the joint allied fleet posed. The main force under Iachino would attack the Baleares and try a landing in Menorca, luring the French fleet far from their air cover based in mainland france while the Italians could still use their superior planes based from Sardinia[1] Meanwhile, the rest of the Regia Marina would be deployed around Malta to protect the Italian convoys to Libya and to prevent the british fleet from joining its allies at the Baleares.

    …The first Italian attack on Menorca, by Fiat planes based in Oristano, Sardinia, started on the 29th of January and met with mixed success due to the Spanish fierce resistance. During the past year, the Spaniards had turned Menorca into a second Malta, filling it with coastal and antiair defenses. However, and despite the Spanish airforce causing heavy losses to his planes, Iachino agreed to keep up with the operation.

    …During January and February, the skies over Corsica and Sardinia were scenario of harsh air battles as the French and Italians fought to achieve air superiority.

    …the first battle of Menorca started in January 31 when a Spanish submarine sank an Italian destroyer 100 miles north of the island.

    [1]Which is why they don’t take the more obvious step of invading Corsica.


    Battle results: Tactically Indecisive. Strategic Allied Victory

    Allied losses: 1 heavy cruiser
    3 destroyers
    6 submarines
    7 planes

    Italian losses: 2 cruisers
    9 submarines
    12 planes
    Battleship Caio Duilio damaged

    …despite the morale blow that was the loss of the Spanish flagship ARE Baleares,[1] the Italians had to withdraw without accomplishing their task of destroying the Spanish fleet and deactivating the threat of the French battleships.

    …the battle was a perfect example of how battleship warfare had become a naval version of trench warfare, as both fleets bombed each other doing little damage. However, the Caio Duilio suffered mild damage in its duel with the Richelieu that left it out of combat for weeks. The Italian fleet returned to La Spezia in February 3, losing all hopes to destroy the French fleet in a single combat.

    [1]Poor Baleares, getting the short end of the stick in every timeline.

    From The Desert Fox: Hauteclocque and the North African campaign of 1940, by Ernesto Andújar, Castro Editors, Madrid, 1981

    …In January 1940 the Italian Tenth Army was facing the prospective of a two front war. Despite having received large investments on modernization during the past year, it still was largely a non-mechanized force,[1] whose only advantage over their enemies relied on the force of numbers.

    …despite Italo Balbo’s reluctance, Mussolini pressured him to start a land attack against either Tunis or Egypt. Mussolini’s plan to reach Suez was a crazy utopia, and the invasion of Tunis made a bigger strategic sense: the French had not devoted many troops to that front, and taking Tunis would pose a big threat to the british Mediterranean force that was trying to link up with their allies around the Baleares. Although border raids on both sides had been common, like the british capture of Fort Capuzzo on January 25 or the raid by Italian frogmen of Tunis itself in January 28, but Balbo was preparing a full invasion of Tunis, that would start on the first week of February.

    [1]But more than its OTL version.
  17. Goldstein By the way, it is Goldstein. Banned

    Jul 25, 2006
    St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, Anglo-Spanish Empire
    I'm not very sure about how much of a Franco supporter Dali really was, and I've searched a lot about the subject... But he used the regime opportunistically, that's for sure. Also, he was an anarchist in his youth, but the civil war experience (his house was squatted and his sister was tortured) left him a strong hatred towards leftism.

    Maybe, without a Spanish Civil war, he wouldn't have changed his mind, but I'm not sure: He developed very bad relationships with most of his fellow surrealists, which took marxism as a dogma.

    Because of all that, I think that Dali's ATL life would resemble a lot his OTL life. He will not paint a picture for his admirer, King Juan Carlos I, though.:D

    PS: Dr Strangelove, I don't know almost anything about Juan de la Cierva, but does your comment imply that he's still alive in the 40's? If so, how?
  18. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    De La Cierva died in December 1936 in a plane accident in London, which can be easily butterflied.

    De La Cierva's autogyres were too impractical for a widespread military use (although some were in use in many airforces before WWII), but his investigations in rotary wings were the basis of all helicopter's technology. His FW-61, built in Germany under license in 1936, is considered as the first modern helicopter.

    Now, with De la Cierva alive after 1936, and the spanish government looking after cheap military solutions, a lot of possibilities are opened up...

    I am not talking about Spain mass producing combat helicopters by 1942, of course; but perhaps his investigations can lead to a faster helicopter technology, perhaps with helicopters being more used by the allies in the late war.

    Specially if, with all the weapon selling deals the spaniards have cut with US enterprises, he decides to cut his cooperation with german and british enterprises and starts working together with Sikorsky...
  19. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    I hope you like my suggestions.

    Could you say the territorial changes in detail?
    Both right and left would have some difficulty accepting it, specially in Europe.

    Better make it "The new Portuguese government was a coalition of moderate and conservative rightwingers[1], centrists[1], with more fragile support from moderate republicans and socialists, and tactical support from Catholic sectors and moderate monarchists (apart from the more extreme far-right)."
    On a general basis, the right will lean considerably to Britain, and the left to France and Spain.

    If you plan to make Menorca a second Malta, then you'll greatly diminish [2] the Axis naval and air power in the Western Mediterranean, which could mean the eviction of Axis forces in a shorter period than OTL.
    IMO, considering that British forces will maul Italian Forces in Libya, and if there is no Vichy France in this TL, the main military theatre in North Africa will be Tunisia, but French troops (and probably Spanish troops or even Portuguese or American ones) will retake it given its time. If Rommel goes there it will only slow this outcome.
    I agree wholearthedly with you :)

    [1] - Given the lessons learned from the 1st and 2nd Republics, I believe the democratic right (ranging from ultraconservative to liberal conservative) has learned the lesson and at least temporarily can reenact a moderate form of the Nacionalist Republican Party or on a more stable basis later on, the Liberal Republican Party. There is also the chance of re-forming separately the Evolucionist Party and the Unionist Party, but only if their strength is enough to rule with ease.
    If there is universal suffrage the parties from the right will win easily and in a landslide, even considering Spain's support for the left.
    [2] - Or at least in the worst case scenario (considering greater strength for the italian Navy) weakening in a reasonable degree the Axis naval and air power in the Western Mediterranean.
  20. Dr. Strangelove a very bad, bad person

    Sep 26, 2005
    In Europe, Spain gets the border towns of Freixo de Espada Á Cinta (awesome name, btw) and Miranda de Douro. I also considered to cede Spain the portuguese strip in the right bank of the Guadiana between Mourao and Mertola, purely for aesthetic reasons, but Spain really has no claim to such a big territory. :p

    In Africa the South Africans get a chunk of southeastern Angola (say, the region between Moavinga and the Rhodesian border) in exchange for leaving Mozambique -I guess the portuguese prefer assuring they keep Lourenço Marques in exchange for some square miles of bushland.

    Thank you :)

    My fault, I didn't really mean the spaniards had fortified Menorca to the extent the british did with Malta, but rather that they were trying to make Menorca a natural aircraft carrier just like Malta. The spanish fighters have the exact range to attack western sardinia flying from Menorca.

    As for the rest, I have other plans for the italians and the mediterranean front. :D

    I'll see if I can post an update tonight.