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What was the British goverments attitude to the spanish civil war

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Initial post: 23 Jun 2013 21:54:11 BDT
The Spanish civil war from 1936 till 1939 is the first war of which I have any first hand recollection, many countries allowed volunteers to fight on both side and apart from the indignation at the bombing of Guernica I cannot recall what our official attitude was.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 21:59:38 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Mar 2014 01:02:22 GMT]

Posted on 23 Jun 2013 22:11:45 BDT
gille liath says:
Neutrality, yes; in practice that favoured the rebels who were supported by Germany and Italy. On the other hand, unofficial volunteer aid, eg the International Brigades, was almost entirely in favour of the democratic govt side. Nobody 'allowed' that, people just went.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:19:57 BDT
I am not really certain which side was which the ultimate winners were of course the supporters of Generalissimo Franco was he classed as rebel ?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:20:59 BDT
gille liath says:

Posted on 23 Jun 2013 22:23:44 BDT
I a surprised we kept out of that war there have not been many wars that we missed out on.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:27:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Mar 2014 01:02:33 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:27:24 BDT
gille liath says:
No, that belongs to the appeasement era - a much more successful foreign policy(!).

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:30:45 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Mar 2014 01:02:48 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2013 22:53:12 BDT
TomC says:
George Orwell gives a very readable account of what it was like to travel to Spain and fight in the trenches (he fought for the Government militia), and also the political background to the conflict.

"Orwell In Spain" is a good collection containing his "Homage To Catalonia" and his essays and some letters relating to his experiences there.

Orwell in Spain (Penguin Modern Classics)

Posted on 25 Jun 2013 16:56:52 BDT
Why, precisely, is recommending a superbly written first-hand account of the Spanish Civil War deemed 'not helpful' by one poster?

Posted on 28 Jun 2013 11:57:16 BDT
In the war in Spain, the British Government supported the aggression by the two Axis powers, plus Portugal.
The Government tried to justify its policy by defining the war as a civil war between 'rival factions.' This analysis deliberately left out of account both the fascist character of the attempted coup, and the aggressive foreign interventions. Although many Spaniards, particularly in the Army, the landowning class, the upper ranks of the Catholic Church and the extreme Right-wing political parties, collaborated with the invaders, it was an unprovoked open war of aggression waged by the invasion forces of three foreign powers, Italy, Germany and Portugal.
The Axis aggression broke international law, including the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Chamberlain himself admitted that the Non-Intervention policy breached international law when he said, "under the cover of international law the opposition desire to intervene on one side." The Covenant prescribed worldwide armed support for the victim of international aggression. Intervention on Spain's behalf, against the Axis Powers and the Quisling Rebels, was obligatory for member nations. But the lie that it was a civil war helped the British Government to get away with sponsoring Non-Intervention, and conniving with the Axis aggression.
Orwell's account is biased and partial. For a far more honest account, read Arthur Landis' book, Spain - the Unfinished Revolution, New York, 1972. Landis was there, fighting for the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigade.

Posted on 30 Jun 2013 09:54:07 BDT
It's worth remembering that Orwell's name was on an NKVD hitlist: had he stayed, they would have murdered the great foe of totalitarianism in the name of Stalin.

Thankfully, like Sovet Communism itself, they failed.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2013 16:00:43 BDT
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Posted on 1 Jul 2013 19:39:16 BDT
Looks like some truths are still too painful to be swallowed, especially by Stalinists.

Posted on 2 Jul 2013 09:27:58 BDT
Abuse, as you know, is no substitute for a good argument.
Surely you wouldn't want to rely on just one person's view of such a complex and controversial event as the war in Spain?
Surely you are still open to new evidence? (If you are a serious debater, that is.)
Have you read Landis' book? If not, that is proof that you are the one who is frightened of the truth.

Posted on 2 Jul 2013 17:27:30 BDT
...and that some people - still - are 'more equal than others'.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 11:32:23 BDT
Ryan, is recycling cliches from before we were born the best you can do?
You haven't answered my question, "Have you read Landis' book?"
You are ducking the challenge, because you are not brave enough to confront the evidence that undermines your cherished beliefs.
I thought that you, as a fellow atheist, would have the courage to challenge your own convictions - but apparently, you do not.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 20:00:30 BDT

Stalin was a genocidal monster, communism failed.

Deal with it.

Posted on 4 Jul 2013 11:42:20 BDT
Ryan, your assertions are out of date, stereotyped Cold War lies, derived from ancient Foreign Office propaganda written by Robert Conquest et al. New research has disproved these absurd lies about 'genocide'. Read Mark Tauger's articles, if you have the courage to investigate the real world.
Professor R. W. Davies pointed out, "Russian historians who have worked in the formerly secret archives peremptorily reject the high estimates of Conquest and others. ... The archival data are entirely incompatible with such very high figures, which continue to be cited as firm fact in both the Russian and the Western media." And in Ryan's well-researched postings.
The purges were a necessary part of the Soviet struggle to prevent World War Two. The Soviet Union knew all too well that Nazi Germany and Japan were preparing to attack and that they had allies within the Soviet Union. As Oleg Khlevnyuk, senior researcher at the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Moscow, wrote, "This operation was conceived as a means of eliminating a potential `fifth column' in a period when the threat of war was increasing ..." Defeating these agents would weaken the Axis drive to war. Of the 1937 purges, Edward Acton wrote, "A proposition currently finding renewed favour among historians is that the overarching motive behind them was preparation for war and an all-encompassing pre-emptive strike against any potential source of internal opposition liable to take advantage of military crisis." There were enemies of the Soviet government who would eagerly have collaborated with Hitler, witness Solzhenitsyn's open admiration of Hitler's ally General Franco. As one Frenchman said, "In Russia they shot the fifth columnists, and in France we made them cabinet ministers." Hitler's fifth columns worked successfully in 16 European countries.
Stalin was our ally in the life-and-death struggle to defeat the real enemy - Hitler. The Red Army played the major part in beating Hitler's armies - 75% of the Wehrmacht divisions were smashed on the Eastern front. What do you say to these facts?
As Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery pointed out, "Russian had to bear, almost unaided, the full onslaught of Germany on land; we British would never forget what Russia went through." (Though Ryan has forgotten, it would seem.)
US General Douglas MacArthur said, "The hopes of civilization rest on the worthy banners of the courageous Russian army. During my lifetime I have participated in a number of wars and have witnessed others, as well as studying in great detail the campaigns of outstanding leaders of the past. In none have I observed such effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counter-attack which is driving the enemy back to his own land. The scale and grandeur of the effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history." But Ryan knows better.
Sumner Welles, Under-Secretary in the State Department, asserted, "The achievements represented by the victorious struggle of the Soviet Union have never been excelled by any other nation. They would not have been possible save through the efforts of a united and selflessly patriotic people." But Ryan thinks Stalin killed the entire Soviet people and that socialism was nothing but a failure.
As Professor Geoffrey Roberts noted, the Soviet view was that "the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition had won the war together, but the greatest contribution had come from the Red Army, which had turned the tide of war in the Allies' favour a full year before the D-Day landings in France. It was the Soviet Union that had largely liberated Europe from German occupation and thereby saved European civilization." But Ryan knows better.
Max Hastings concluded, "It was impossible to dispute, however, that Stalin's people were overwhelmingly responsible for destroying Hitler's armies." But Ryan disputes it.
Professor Chris Bellamy praised "the Russians' record of resilience, fighting spirit, tactical ingenuity and innovation, and operational and strategic leadership." But Ryan knows better.
Professor Richard Overy summed up, "the Soviet war effort still remains an incomparable achievement, world-historical in a very real sense." But Ryan knows better.
What does Professor Ryan Williams have to write in reply?
If during WW2 Ryan had slandered the leader of our ally, he would have found himself in serious trouble.

Posted on 4 Jul 2013 17:27:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jul 2013 17:31:58 BDT
My assertions are true. Your denials are as predictable as they are futile, like the 70s-tinted dreamworld you've been living in. You know. The world in which mass-murderers are 'great patriots', and atrocities, show trials, genocide, famine and the totalitarian obscenity that was the USSR are airbrushed or denied outright; where history and fact are re-written to make them fit a barbarous, failed ideology.

So to repeat the point: deal with it. Hurry up, and you might just beat the Catholic Church in joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

Posted on 5 Jul 2013 10:27:50 BDT
you assert, with no evidence, indeed, against all the evidence I cited, that you are right.
Your argument is now, "I'm right, you're wrong."
No evidence, no argument, just unintelligent abuse, a stream of adjectives to cover an absence of thought.
In fact, your evident bankruptcy proves that you have comprehensively lost the argument.
Your arrogant assertions sound all too like the Catholic Church's approach to controversy!
Your archaic anti-communism is the barbarous relic.
Do you really think that we are living in some capitalist paradise now? Look at the eurozone!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2013 11:32:14 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 26 Mar 2014 23:38:31 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2013 13:03:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jul 2013 13:09:05 BDT
gille liath says:
Dead men don't lead coups d'état.

The idea that this was a preparation for war is hardly justified by the Red Army's catastrophically abysmal performance for the first eighteen months - literally millions of soldiers killed and captured by the Germans. A lot of that was down to poor or non-existent command and control. Only Russia's large population and vast size, along with a more realistic attitude from Stalin, saved it.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2013 13:20:59 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 26 Mar 2014 23:38:40 GMT]
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Discussion in:  history discussion forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  215
Initial post:  23 Jun 2013
Latest post:  29 Oct 2013

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