Essay: Was the Spanish civil war a preamble to WWII?

Essay by VicenteCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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The Spanish Civil War was fought in 1936. It was a war that divided the country and unified its citizens to fight for their ideals and beliefs. There were two sides in the war, the Republicans and the Nationalists. The Nationalists were led by General Franco and were known as the rights, and the Republicans were led by Azana and were known as the lefts. The Spanish Civil War took place right before World War II and was fought for the similar reasons as to why World War II was fought, fascism versus democracy. Many believe that because of this, the Spanish Civil War was a precursor to World War II. With the facts and data that are out there for scholars to read, it is not a fact that the Spanish Civil War was a precursor to World War II. However, the Spanish Civil War was used as a training camp for the Axis power, it was fought for similar ideas as those of Hitler and Mussolini, and most important, many countries around the world were directly involved in the fighting during the Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Civil War began with a military uprising led by General Franco. Franco was not exactly a fascist; he was rather an authoritarian conservative. He mainly used the army and the Catholic Church as his bases of support and not the parties and paramilitary organizations. However, he accepted help from fascists Mussolini and Hitler. In Hitler's case, there were several incentives from getting involved in the civil war. First, there was the chance to experiment with terror bombing on civilian populated cities that Hitler would later use against Warsaw, Rotterdam and London during World War II. Second, Germany had a program to re arm and prepare for an upcoming war.