The Spanish Civil War

 The Spanish Civil War was fought from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939 between the Republicans, who were loyal to the established Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, a rebel group led by General Francisco Franco. The Nationalists prevailed, and Franco ruled Spain for the next 36 years, from 1939 until his death in 1975.

The war began after a declaration of opposition by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces, under the leadership of José Sanjurjo, against the elected government of the Second Spanish Republic, at the time under the leadership of President Manuel Azaña. The rebel coup was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right, monarchists such as the religious conservative Carlists, and the Fascist Falange.
The coup was supported by military units in Morocco, Pamplona, Burgos, Valladolid, Cádiz, Cordova, and Seville. However, important cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Málaga remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided. The Nationalists, now led by General Francisco Franco, and the Republican government fought for the control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and soldiers from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Soviet Union and Mexico intervened in support of the "Loyalist", or "Republican", side. Other countries, such as Britain and France, operated an official policy of non-intervention. However, a large number of foreign volunteers from countries across the world (including Britain) joined the so called "International Brigades", fighting for the cause of democracy, on the side of the Republicans.

The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937. They also besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. Capturing large parts of Catalonia in 1938 and 1939, the war ended with the victory of the Nationalists and the exile of thousands of left-leaning Spaniards, many of whom fled to refugee camps in southern France. Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a fascist dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime.

The war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired, and for the atrocities committed by both sides in the war. Organized purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces to consolidate the future regime.

Model 26 helmet used by both Republican and Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War

These are effectively propaganda material of the Republican (Communist) and Nationalist (Monarchist / Fascist) causes. Although they appear to be small posters they are in fact all serrated into 10 ration coupons for commodities such as salt, sugar, beans, garlic, bread, flour, onions, chickpeas and lentils.

The Republican posters proclaim "Tanks are the vehicles of victory", " Popular Front" and "the International Brigades". The Nationalist ones feature Heinkel 51 and Dornier 17 aircraft of the German Condor Legion and "Get ready the Regiment Alejandro Farnesio of the Legion" promotes the 4th Regiment of the Spanish Legion which was one of 4 regiments of troops flown from Africa to Spain at the commencement of the war.


1936 Spanish Civil War Victory Medal for General Franco's Nationalist Forces. The medal is struck in Bronze, the obverse illustrating a Winged Victory with the inscription "18 JULIO 1936 ALZAMEINTO" the first uprising of the Nationalists against the Republican government. The reverse illustrating three marching soldiers with the inscription "1 ABRIL 1939 VICTORIA", that date being the end of the 3-year conflict.
Small lapel badge from 1938 promoting the Nationalist cause during the Spanish Civil War. The initials of "DPR" on the badge stand for Dios Patria Rey (God Homeland King).

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