The Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
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© Cor Faber en Ellen Bijma
Collection
Over time, I have collected the necessary things. This includes coins, models of war equipment and so on. Below is an overview of it.
From August 1936, shortly after the outbreak of the uprising, the transport of Moorish soldiers from Morocco to mainland Spain was first done by ship. However, that turned out to be too dangerous: after all, you could send a few thousand of those soldiers to the bottom with a well-aimed shot. And so Hitler was asked to send planes. That became the Junker 52 aircraft. In total, some 80,000 of those soldiers were brought to Spain to fight on Franco's side.
Part of the German Condor Legion, these Messerschmitt BF190E. They were decorated with nationalist markings on the wings and tail. In this way, Germany could deny having anything to do with it. Due to the non- intervention pact, it was not allowed to send aid to Spain in any form. Germany's presence in Spain was simply ignored. They did not want to offend that country and thus provoke a conflict.
A Russian Polikarpov SPB, nicknamed “Katiushka”. Just as the German planes bore nationalistic markings, these planes carried Spanish Republic markings. This for the same reasons as Germany: the involvement was not allowed to be discovered. Needless to say, like the German involvement it was an open secret. From 1936 to 1937, Russia delivered about 70 of these bombers.
In 1917 the first tanks rolled off the production line. About 4,500 were produced and many countries bought them. They served for a short time during the First World War. It was a model for the later modern tanks: the driver in the front and a gun turret on top. It wasn't much more than a two-person harness with caterpillar tracks. My grandfather smuggled 32 of them from Poland to the north coast of Spain (see Journey to the Spanish Civil War ). The Netherlands purchased one for testing purposes at the time. A copy is still present in the war museum in Overloon .
In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Country tried to gain independence. An important step in this was having your own money. Here you see the 1 and 2 peseta coins. The Basque name of the region appeared on these coins: Euskadi. Banknotes were also issued, but it was going too far for the government to put that Basque name on it as well. The coins were minted in Belgium.
A 25 centimos coin issued by Franco already during the Spanish Civil War. Although the year 1937 is on the coin, the coin was not actually issued until the following year. The symbol on the coin appears to be that of the Falange fascist party. However, they copied it from the coat of arms of King Ferdinand of Aragon, at the end of the 15th century.
In 2016 I was in Spain in Tolosa, 60 kilometers south of San Sebastian / Donostia. My grandfather spent a month in prison in that town in 1937 under appalling conditions. In 2005 the building was converted into an international doll museum. The headmistress Idoja then pushed back a nail from one of the cells as a memento. I was allowed to hold it for a while and then she said I could take it with me. To everyone else it might just be a rusty piece of metal, to me a thing of historical and personal value. In the municipal archives I saw the building plans for the prison. They were from 1851 - so this nail is also minimal.
The Battle of the Ebro began on July 24, 1938. The nationalists had succeeded in breaking through to the Mediterranean Sea, dividing the republican territory in two. The intention was to reverse this. It failed miserably. Franco had, among other things, opened the locks of the Ebro near the Pyrenees, so that all temporary bridges of the republicans were swept away and advance became almost impossible. On November 26 it was clear that it had failed and it was ultimately the death blow for the republic: 4 months later the republic capitulated.