What if prompt rightist victory in Spain in 1936?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by raharris1973, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming Spain pulls an Italy, in that she waits until the Summer of 1940 to join after France falls. In such a case, the British Army is far too lacking in forces to conduct such an operation and what they do have is needed to safe guard against the threat of Sea Lion. By the time the British have the shipping and forces to do such is probably early 1941, in which case the Spanish will have been able to heavily fortify the islands; the Brits can still definitely take it, but the resource expenditure is going to mean they have to make concessions somewhere else. Say, for example, they don't reinforce the Greeks come Spring when the Germans intervene there. In that case, it's entirely possible the knock on effects see Barbarossa collapse the Soviets.
     
  2. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    AIUI OTL the British had a blue print for the operation ready and Franco in fact was sure that the first consequences of Spain entering the war would be the loss of the islands...
     
  3. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    When I was a young boy at school I was told what a good man Franco was because he could have taken Gibraltar easily but didn't do it to protect us (here in the north of Spain) from the RAF bombing us...
     
  4. Michele Well-Known Member

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    In theory, yes, because of the air lift. In practice, the attitude of the Nationalists to foreign help was ambiguous, and I bet they would have been more than happy to minimize the foreign intervention if at all possible. They would have paid for any early and limited military supplies, signed good contracts, and called that a day. They would not have had a sense that they "owed" anything more.

    Definitely! And several of the aircraft made emergency landings in French Morocco, thus giving that help away to the whole world.

    Certainly. Defying the Royal Navy, however, even with an almost intact Spanish military, is not prudent. It depends on who is the Caudillo - which probably isn't Franco, with a quick victory.

    OTOH, even without an actual declaration of war, Spain being relatively strong and Axis-aligned, in itself, provides an army-in-being that makes the fall of France even easier. The French have to keep more troops in the South, facing not just the Alps but the Pyrenees too.
     
  5. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    even before WWII (ITTL) Spain would become very important, they become an important arms buyer and could (or not) support the German moves (Austria, Czechoslovakia) and (any) Italian adventures?

    my understanding Morocco and African colonies was a particular interest of Franco? any other leader might be looking to unify Iberia? or otherwise insinuate themselves into Portuguese empire?
     
  6. Michele Well-Known Member

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    They probably could. My doubt is whether the replacement of Franco would think they should. Mussolini did go to war for no compelling truly good reason, yes, but I suspect he was an exception. Real generals, in particular, would be less keen on military adventures than the likes of Mussolini or Hitler.

    I think this sort of thing doesn't belong in that century, in general. By way of exception, if Portugal had gone rabidly Communist and were in the throes of a destabilizing civil war, with Soviet advisors flocking there and fallout across the Spanish border, then... perhaps. In OTL conditions, just no.
     
  7. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    was referencing the chess game prior to WWII, coupled with your point about army-in-being (and their retaining their outsized gold reserves), events other than Spain entering into war.

    where would we rank them ITTL? (if they do not begin infighting) just below the major powers?
     
  8. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    my understanding the Soviets wold have been open to resumed trade with Germany, but backing different sides in SCW kept them at odds (one of the reasons keeping them at odds)

    also that the Soviets were in rather dire straits economically and Spanish gold reserves at least gave them some liquidity.

    ITTL you might have an earlier thaw in German-Soviet relations, the German military would certainly have favored resuming their clandestine cooperation?
     
  9. nbcman Donor

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    Repeating the same incorrect assertions for UK imports in 1939/1940 based on a March 1944 statements from Churchill during negotiations to further restrict oil exports to Nationalist Spain that was trotted out 2 years ago doesn't make it any more true. See this thread where the discussion came up about potash and iron ore imports.

    https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/spain-joins-axis-powers.430535/page-5
     
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  10. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Heck no. Way way below the major powers. Spain has important raw resources, but not all of them, and its industry is tiny, its infrastructures poor, its educational basis very poor.
     
  11. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    so about on par with Hungary, a former grandee? but they did have huge gold reserves
     
  12. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Probably a bit above it.

    Yeah. So if everyone is short on strategic war materials for themselves, you might be able to buy them, but maybe nobody wants to sell. Ditto for industry; you might wish to buy steel-rolling technology or a turnkey ready-to-use mill, from abroad, but most everyone needs that stuff for themselves.
    Over and beyond availability, there's grand strategy. The USA might wish to sell Spain oil, or they might be willing to let a South American country do so - but if Spain is Axis-aligned, then such business will be met with lots of unforeseen difficulties, regardless of the ability to pay.
     
  13. Catsmate Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think this is possible. The Republic fell because of three factors: internal fragmentation and factionalisation, lack of external support (blame Baldwin) and the heavy support for the rebels.

    As historically happened, bad. There are more mass graves in Spain than anywhere outside Cambodia for a reason, and that reason was Franco.
     
  14. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    As strange as it may sound, Himmler, himself, was shocked at the brutality of the repression in Francoist Spain in the immediate post-civil war years, read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Terror_(Spain)#Postwar. It's a pretty bad sign when even the Nazis think you're going too far.
     
  15. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    the Germans accused the Hungarians of "murder tourism" during operations in the Balkans
     
  16. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    No, it's actually from an article produced for the National Bureau of Economic Research, with one of it's authors being a Professor of Economics at Rutgers; the Churchill quote was only cited in order to provide an additional citation. For another reference, albeit not directly from the time of WWII, is this article:

    Now, obviously this is turn of the century, but it does help to create a trend line to compare to the previously cited article and also reveals some important characteristics about the Spanish ore in of itself. As for that older thread in general, looking through my old posts it does seem that I made the mistake of confusing imports as total sourcing, which is false; my much belated apologies on that.
     
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  17. eltf177 Well-Known Member

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    Militarily:

    1) The concept of dive-bombing doesn't get the little testing it did get (there were only three Ju-87's in Spain, first three A-models later replaced with three B-models). I still think Germany will build them though, the dive bombing concept had been tested by the USMC in Central America.
    2) The tankette isn't proven useless, so you'll see a lot more of them running around in 1939-40. Maybe more being built but hopefully those with 37mm cannons capable of destroying other vehicles. The T-25 and BT-5 are already in production so more of those as well?
    3) The anti-tank gun isn't proven to be in the lead, so tank armor may not increase as quickly. This means no French H-39's or R-35's, and certainly not the S-35.
    4) Spain proved that if infantry wasn't trained to work with tanks or tanks not trained to work with infantry you were asking for trouble. The Ebro proved that if neither was trained to work with the other you were asking for disaster. This lesson may or may not get learned by the time WWII breaks out, with heavier casualties in Poland and France.

    If the Soviet/Finnish Winter War of 1939-40 still happens you'll still more than likely get the T-34. And super tanks like the SMK and T-100 still get proved to be a waste of resources so still the KV-1?
     
  18. Catsmate Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. Hundreds of thousands murdered, tortured, experimented upon to find the elusive 'Red Gene' et cetera.
     
  19. NOMISYRRUC Rostrum Camera Ken Morse

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    From the Naval Weapons Website

    38.1 cm/45 (15") Model 1926
    Vickers-Armstrong 15"/45 (38.1 cm) Mark B


    Between 1929 and 1935, Spain purchased eighteen of these guns for use as coastal artillery where they were employed in active batteries for about seventy years.

    Would the Spanish Government have bought more of them if the 1936 coup had been successful? Would HMG have allowed Vickers to sell them?

    AFAIK 8 of these guns were initially deployed in Galicia to defend Corunna and Ferrol. The 10 remaining guns were split between Cartagena, the Spanish Navy's main base in the Mediterranean and Port Mahon on Menorca.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 12:40 PM
  20. pjmidd Well-Known Member

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    What happens is that Spain cripples the Axis war effort as it needs to be supplied with oil/coal/food etc that would have gone to military endeavors, the RN grabs the Canaries as per contingency plan and the blockade is as bad as OTL. U boat bases in Spain don't make much difference as ones in France have the same effect. Net effect probably a bit better for the Axis but not going to change Barbarossa in any meaningful way ( logistic limits don't suddenly change in Russia due to Spain being in the war, still got the choice men or bullets or oil ).