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The Crucible of Francoism

Combat, Violence, and Ideology in the Spanish Civil War

Dr. Ángel Alcalde, Lecturer in History at the University of Melbourne, Australia, is a specialist in the social and cultural history of warfare and the history of fascism.

Foster Chamberlin, an assistant professor of humanities at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, specializes in the history of policing and public order in early twentieth-century Spain.

Dr. Francisco J. Leira-Castiñeira, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Santiago de Compostela, is currently a visiting research fellow at the University College Dublin, Center for War Studies.

In the Series
Studies in Spanish History

The July 1936 coup d’état against the Spanish Second Republic brought together a diversity of anti-Republican political and social groups under the leadership of rebel Africanista military officers. In the ensuing Civil War this coalition gradually came under the rule of Generalissimo Franco. This volume explores the hypothesis that the violence and combat experiences of the war were the fundamental ideological crucible for the Francoist regime. The rebels were a group of reactionary and anti-liberal forces with little ideological or political coherence, but they emerged from the conflict not only victorious but ideologically united under the dictator’s power. Key to understanding this transition are the different political cultures of the rebel army, how the combatants’ war experiences contributed to the transformation of diverse rebel groups, and the role of foreign armed intervention.

The contributors examine not only the endogenous Spanish political and military cultures of the Francoist coalition, but also the transnational influence of foreign groups. The roots of Francoist political culture are found in the Falangist and Carlist militias, and Civil Guard units, that lent their support to the military rebellion. The war experiences of conscripts, colonial troops, and junior officers forged the Francoist ideology. It was reinforced by fascist influences and assistance from Germany and Italy, and the lesser-known contributions of Swiss volunteers. At the beginning of the conflict the rebel side was not homogeneous. But it weaved together a complex, transnational web of political and military interests in the midst of a bloody and destructive war, transforming itself in the process to a political and dictatorial platform that was to rule Spain for many years.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-079-8
Hardback Price: £75.00 / $89.95
Release Date: 272 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes






Foreword  (James Matthews)


Introduction (Ángel Alcalde, Foster Chamberlin, and Francisco J. Leira-Castiñeira)

Part I  Roots: Spanish Political and Military Cultures


1. Of Fascist Heroes and Martyrs: Death and Violence in the Falange Española (Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío)

2. The Violence and the Military Heritage of Carlism during the Civil War (1936-1939) (Francisco Javier Capistegui)

3. Roots of the Repression: Rebel Civil Guards in the Civil War (Foster Chamberlin)


Part II The Crucible: War Experience and the Origins of Francoism

4. Between Bārāka and Fascism: How the Africanista and Spanish Fascism was Imposed on Rebel Recruits (Francisco J. Leira-Castiñeira)

5. The Way of the Moroccan: How Cultural Stereotypes Shaped the Use of the Moroccan Troops in the Spanish Civil War (Ali Al Tuma)

6. Vagabonds of War and Bridegrooms of Death?: The Spanish Foreign Legion and the Civil War (Jannis Girgsdies)


7. Alféreces Provisionales: Junior Officers, War Experience, and Francoist Ideology (Ángel Alcalde)


8. Women, Warfare, and Welfare: The Gendered Origins of Francoist Spain (Ángela Cenarro)

Part III  Foreign Intervention


9. Mussolini, Franco, and the Use of Violence in the Civil War (Edoardo Mastrorilli)

10. Forgottent Volunteers:  The Swiss in Franco's Ranks (Franziska Anna Zaugg)


Conclusion (Ángel Alcalde, Foster Chamberlin, and Francisco J. Leira-Castiñeira)


The Editors and Contributors


Review Quotes to Follow

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