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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spanish Civil War
Antony Beevor's (AB) book on the Spanish Civil war is excellent background reading on this rather tragic event in Spain's History. AB goes through every single detail of the war.

He starts off with describing the development of Spain right up to the `Rising of the Generals' in 1936 and follows this up by going through the various factions involved. There is...
Published on 24 Nov. 2006 by Thomas Koetzsch

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some effort at impartial judgement
It is hard to avoid a history of this war becoming a recitation of war crimes. Beevor tries to describe the misconduct of all participants fairly, but an anti-Franco posture is built into almost all of us, and that has long led to the left getting an easy ride.
Seeing the civil wars in Iraq and Syria today gives a better insight into why Britain and France chose...
Published 20 months ago by R. Harrison


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPANISH CIVIL WAR, 1 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
I have not read it all yet, but it is showing how the different factions in Spain fought for their side. It is very moving and harrowing at times, but something I think everyone should read. It compares very easily with the war in Syria and in the Middle East in general.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Based on his earlier book, 29 Dec. 2013
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K. D. Evans "kd evans" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
I cannot comment on the book, having not read it but it really should be more obvious here and on the dust jacket that this is a work based on his earlier book - The Spanish Civil War (written 1982).That information can be found in the publishing details within the book but it needs to be more obvious. I bought it as a present for my husband who has many of Beevor's other books and has enjoyed them very much. He thinks he will still be interested to read this revised version but I am not sure I would have bought it had I realised.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, 4 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
The writter has given to as a well written history of spanish Civil war. He gives to as the story which
took place on the battlefields and what is more important behind the courtains where politics play with destiny of Spain.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Nov. 2009
By 
R. Fowkes "Roger Fowkes" (Northamptonshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
What more can be added to the rave reviews of this book? Especially telling are the Spanish reviews quoted inside the cover. Objective, well written, excellent. I especially appreciate, as here, good maps.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the Battle for Spain-the Spanish Civil War 1936-9, 18 Mar. 2013
By 
Peter Ellis (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
This must be the worse book that Anthony Beevor has ever written. The detail per page is so mind bopggling that I do not believe that anyone can absorb it. I was no clearer as to the causes save that a revolt led by the officers attempted to overthrow the lawfully elected republican cortes and eventually succeeded. The number of people and events is too much to absorb and is truly staggering.

What does shock, but this is by the standards of today, is that there was open and overwhelming support for the fascists led by Franco and that was the reason they got all the military support they needed, whereas the republic lagged behind hopelessly, their only friend being Russia.

One is quite shocked by the attitude of the British government which while supposedly neutral was almost openly in support of the fascists, Anthony Eden the foreign secretary being one in particular. This they did while in fear of Germany and Italy.

The big problem for the Republic was that no-one really knew who was in charge, and being elected by PR there were communists in the government along with socialists and others.The fact that one government after another fell because they invariably upset some section of the community was undoubtedly the reason for the uprising.

It seems that late in the day they got Largo Caballero but it was too late.The forces that they eventually got at their disposal were international without a proper leader and undisciplined. The Republic never made their case sufficiently to the democracies that the rule of law should prevail, and get the necessary support. Doubtless it was a largely unfounded fear of communism that did for them.

It seems to me the Spanish got what they deserved. They forced King Alphonso to abdicate. When they got an elected republic they spent their time striking and demonstrating and eventually bringing down every elected government.It is not surprising that the republic seemed like the weimar republic and could not cope. Its citizens never gave it a chance.

Instead there followed three years of civil war, and the massacres of their own people are truly horrific. Was it really necessary for all this to take place? And what did Spain get for all this? A dreadful totalitarian regime sympathetic to the nazis that kept them back decades from progress.

One could cry for all those lives lost needlessly.

Perhaps people are too in awe of Anthony Beevor's reputation to tell him the truth that the book is unreadable and instead pour praise on him where maybe they feel they ought to.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Time Coming, 7 Dec. 2010
By 
J Y Kelly (Kingston, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
Beevor's account of the background to what became known as the Spanish Civil War makes the whole thing seem inevitable: inevitable that the industrial workers and left intellectuals would attempt to break the hold of landowners, church and military, and inevitable that the forces of reaction would resist vigorously and, ultimately, successfully. I saw an exhibition of Civil War posters in Seville a few years ago, and what was striking was the ragbag of organisations on the republican side compared with the clear singleness of purpose of the nationalists.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service, 29 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
Bought as a present. I can't vouch for the writing/telling of the events, but was chosen by the recipient. thanks for the service.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 27 Nov. 2012
By 
J. F. Whitfield "regulator" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
It is difficult to comprehend how the author is able to manage the amount of detail presented.
Thoroughly interesting read.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 24 Feb. 2014
If you want to read a book giving the communist version of what happened during the Spanish Civil War then this is the book for you, if however, you would like to read an objective book about this period save your money and buy a book by Stanley G.Payne !
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of two States, 6 Dec. 2013
By 
Thomas Dunskus (Faleyras, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
This review is based on the Cassell edition of 2002.

Beevor's book is a highly readable and detailed account of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. It not only describes its military aspects but also provides the reader with a good description of the rifts that had been running through Spain in all directions - religious, political, regional - ever since the Carlist wars two generations earlier and which caused the mayhem in the first place.

To understand the situation obtaining at the time, the reader may want to look also into other books on the subject, such as Stephen Koch's "Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Murder of José Robles" or Norman Lewis' "The Tomb in Seville", because it is important to realize that Spain's internal strife did not start with Franco's coup and that, in spite of the elections in the early part of 1936, the country was extremely unstable on many levels.

Once the fighting had started, it quickly became a conflict between the Bolsheviks who essentially dominated the republican government and had been quick to eliminate all possible competitors - Anarchists, Trotskists, Clericals etc. - on the one hand and Franco n the other. Seen in this light, there is a question which imposes itself but is not treated by the author: how are we to judge the outcome of the conflict when all the hurly-burly was done in the Spring of 1939?

What would Europe have looked like in the 1940s (or later) if the "Republicans", i.e. the Reds, had won? The Soviet intervention did certainly not come at the spur of the moment, but was part and parcel of Bolshevik world-wide strategy; France, at the time, was shuttling back and forth between a communist-led popular front and the Conservatives and there was a good chance for an alliance of communist forces across the Pyrenees, which would have brought the remainder of Europe into a very dangerous situation; the Soviet Union would have gained a strong foothold in the Mediterranean, from Gibraltar to Suez and would have acquired bases on the Atlantic from Dunkirk to Bilbao.

It is difficult to condemn Franco for the punishments he meted out against his enemies after his victory, because the premeditated and politically motivated massacres committed by the Republicans, as early as November, 1936, at Paracuellos and elsewhere - to say nothing of Catalonia - demonstrate what would have happened in Spain if Franco had not carried the day. Clearly, though, aside from such aspects, it seems to me that the material conditions obtaining in Spain, say, in 1950, were a great deal better than those behind the Iron Curtain, even in countries like Czechoslovakia which was essentially untouched by the war.

While the Soviet Block fell apart under its own weight, Franco prepared Spain for a better future by opening the way for a return to a modern democratic state and by stepping down when the job was done.

Addendum, 18 June 2014

Ocasionally, the internet presents some surprising items of background information. In this particular case, it is the Wikipedia entry on Major Hugh Pollard which reads:

[...]

Major Hugh Bertie Campbell Pollard (born London[1] 6 January, 1888: died Midhurst district[2] March, 1966) was an author, firearms expert, and a British SOE officer. He is chiefly known ... for the events of July 1936, when he and Cecil Bebb flew General Francisco Franco from the Canary Islands to Morocco, thereby helping to trigger the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War."

Pollard was a member of the British Embassy staff in Madrid throughout WW2, working under Sir Samuel Hoare, the British ambassador.

Now, we all know that Franco's soldiers were flown from Morocco to Spain by the Germans, but it does come as a surprise that, quietly, in the background, other forces were at work as well. In the 2002 edition of the book available to me, it is stated on p. 80 that the plane was a (presumably British) aircraft chartered in London and that it had an English pilot, but no mention is made of any SOE personnel on board.
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The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor (Paperback - 24 May 2007)
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