Hello All :
Mr. ljadw posted the following, which I will handle in order:
1 There was no Fascist Victory in Spain : Franco was not a Fascist
If you look like a pig, act like a pig, smell like a pig, and lay down with pigs, people will call you a pig. Franco's
initial support base was the Falange, he staged a military coup, he created a repressive government after the
Civil War was over, and had friendly one-on-ones with both Hitler and Mussolini . That makes him a pig - oops -
sorry, that makes him a Fascist.
2 During the war Franco remained neutral and did not help Germany
During the War, Franco allowed German U Boats to refuel and re-arm in Spanish ports, offered to join the Axis in
June of 1940 after the Fall of France, and sold critical items like Tungsten and Oil to Germany. His government
cooperated with German Intelligence, and he sent a division of troops to fight in Russia ( The Blue Division ). He
become a neutral until AFTER
the U.S. invaded North Africa, and he realized he might be next.
3 The victory of Franco had nothing to do with the outbreak of WWII,which was caused by
the German invasion of Poland. A Communist victory in Spain would not have prevented the outbreak
of WWII .
In fact, Franco's victory freed up Germany to start the war. After the Condor Legionaires returned home, and
the Heer and Luftwaffe had absorbed the lessons learned in the fighting, they were able to wage a modern
combined arms type of war against Poland and later France. Had Hitler and Mussolini been defeated in Spain,
it might very well had deterred them from attacking Poland, as a revitalized France would be more of an enemy
than it was historically.
4 There was no need for the US to support the Spanish Republic : the Spanish Civil War did not
concern the USA.
The United States embargoed shipments of aircraft, machinery, transport equipment, and medical supplies
to Republican Spain while allowing Texaco to ship U.S. Petroleum products to Franco. Had the Roosevelt
Administration allowed shipments to the Spanish Republic, it might have defeated Franco, and one less Fascist
Government in Europe would be a very good thing for the United States, as well as everyone else in Europe....
5 A victorious Spanish Republic would have remained neutral, as did Franco, and would not have
joined the Wallies .Til June 1941.
that Franco was a neutral in the war is just that - a MYTH !
Franco supported the Axis powers up
until it became obvious that they were losing, then , like a good little cowardly fascist, he suddenly turned his
coat and tried to join the Allies. The United States paid him off during the war with oil, which Franco continued
to sell to Germany, and then at the end of the war, we cut him off like a gangrenous wart. Fascist Spain became
a pariah in Europe until the election of Eisenhower, who, over the objection of several other members of NATO,
pushed to have Franco admitted, and restored U.S. aid, mainly in the form of military hardware, to Franco, allowing
him to stay in power until his death.
On the other hand, a Victorious Spanish Republic, grateful for the aid given to them by France in their hour
of peril and desperate need, might very well have been more than happy to send a few divisions to northern
France to fight the despicable Nazis and the hated Fascists..... ( Note: I am using the jargon of 1940 ! )
6 A coalition of Spanish communists with the Wallies was excluded in 1940 .
In 1939, Stalin had informally joined the Axis by signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which allowed for the
partition of Eastern Europe. At that time, the USSR was treated by France, Britain, and the U.S. as an enemy.
The only people who were apologists for Stalin's action were members, either actively or covertly, of the
Comintern and it's fellow travelers. For this reason, anyone who had been associated with the Spanish Republic
was tarred with the brush of Stalinism. And excluded from participation in the war in 1940. Then, in 1941,
Hitler invaded Russia, and things changed. In 1941.
6 The Army of the Spanish Republic was, as the Army of Franco, incapable to fight outside
Spain, and would thus play no role in Fall Gelb/Fall Weiss
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spain was left prostrate and destitute, and misguided Francoist economic
policies did nothing to help that situation. Despite this, they were still able to send a division of soldiers to fight
in Russia until nearly the end of the war. Now, if FRANCE had come into the war from the beginning, and soundly
defeated Hitler and Mussoliini in, let us say, six to nine months, then the Civil War would have been over in the
Spring of 1937, and Republican Spain, without it's Communist dominated POUM, might have been able to turn
things around economically, and put together a few divisions that could be sent to fight in France.
Even without them, the fact is, France had to keep an entire army of about three Corps watching the Pyrenees,
for the same reason they had to watch the Southern Border with Italy, in order to prevent a possible attack
by Franco in the Spring of 1940. But, If Spain was still Republican
, and diplomatically grateful for the French aid that
had saved them from Franco, then it is likely that some or most of these troops could be been re-deployed
into the front between the end of the Maginot Line and the English Channel. Nine divisions of troops is a LOT
7 After its victory in 1939, Spain would be the terrain of a new civil war : communists,
anarchists and socialists would fight against each other . They did so already in the HTL.
After the Victory in early 1937, the Spanish people, seeing how close they had come to a political and
social disaster, experienced a new birth of political tolerance. Leaders of the different factions began
working together in the Cortes General to create a new, United Spain, with improved rights for factory
workers, improved educational opportunities divorced from the control of the Catholic Church, a
re-distribution of the land to the farmers and peasants who worked it, and strove to empower ALL
Spaniards with the political rights and freedoms to openly express themselves politically without resorting
8 The Spanish Civil War did not discredit the French rightists,thus why should this happen in the ATL ?
In point of fact, France was nearly as divided at the outbreak of the WW2 as Spain was three years earlier !
There was at least one French General who openly stated that he would rather serve Hitler than Leon Blum.
The infighting between the left and the right in France paralyzed that nation until the Germans over ran them.
On the other hand, a Victory in Spain, not for Communism, but rather for a more moderate coalition of
Center-Leftists, might create in France a similar period of collaberation between the Left and Center, allowing
them to squeeze the Right wing out of power in time for a defeat of Hitler.
It is a historical fact that Edouard Deladier made the comment in October 1938, "If I had three or four thousand
aircraft, Munich would never have happened. " If France embarked on a program of rapid aircraft construction, concentrating initially on the Dewoitine D500 series in 1936 and 1937, by the summer of 1938, they might have
had as many as 1000 of these fighters, more than enough to intimidate Hitler into staying out of Czechoslovakia,
and thus PREVENTING
WW2. Even if this had not taken place, the subsequent production of the
Morane Saulnier MS406 could have been speeded up, with some 2000 aircraft being available in the spring
of 1940. Finally, the Dewoitine D520 and the Caudron C714 programs could have been streamlined and
accelerated, with perhaps as many as 250 of each aircraft being available when the balloon went up in
May of 1940. This would give the French some 1000 D500s for ground attack, 2000 MS406s as their main fighter,
and some 500 of the new D520s and C 714s coming on line. A luftwaffe facing 3500 single seat fighters would
have a daunting task indeed....
9 What FDR said during the war is for under the bus . He said a lot of things that were for
under the bus, during and before WWII,and he said things that even for the period when he said
such things , were very risky .
What Freewheelin' Franklin was expressing was what we in the United States refer to as, '20 - 20 Hindsight' - The
old saying is, " Everyone has 20-20 Hindsight !" In other words, looking back, allowing Franco to come to power
was a massive mistake.
9 A US intervention in the Spanish Civil War would have created a big uproar at
Capitol Hill,and it would be over for FDR .
I have not, in my post, suggested that Roosevelt intervene in the SCW. My suggestion was, had FRANCE
intervened, it might have saved France four years later in the summer of 1940.
10 A Republican recapture of the Mallorcas was excluded , as the Spanish navy was
no longer operational .
True, but the FRENCH navy WAS OPERATIONAL ! With a half dozen battleships, an equal number of heavy
cruisers, an aircraft carrier, some destroyers, and a few submarines, the French navy might have been able
to prevent the Italians from re-inforcing the Fascist troops in the Mallorcas, and the Republican forces, which
at one point, controlled three of the four islands and part of the fourth, might have been able to finish off
the Fascists, and place the islands under the control of Madrid. If further manpower was needed, then
a few more volunteers could have been loaded onto chartered merchant ships and, convoyed by French
Navy Destroyers and Cruisers, made the quick trip to the Mallorcas, landed the men, and returned
to Spain. The additional manpower, bolstered by a few Renault Ft17s and some of the French 75mm
artillery pieces, could have made quick work of the remaining Fascists on Palma.
Then, with the French putting a couple of fighter squadrons on Palma, and patrolling around them
with a couple of flotillas of destroyers and cruisers to prevent the Italians from doing something stupid,
the Islands could have been held througout the rest of the war. Holding the Mallorcas prevents Mussolini
from flying aircraft to Franco, and the presence of French warships blockading the Spanish coast will
prevent Italian troops being shipped by sea. As a result, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie remains in Italy,
where it belongs......
An early defeat of Mussolini might have blunted his enthusiasm for a Spanish Vacation, and a subsequent
imposition of a French Naval Blockade on the Atlantic Coast of Spain, with the seizure of a few German cargo
ships hauling supplies to Franco might have intimidated Hitler to the point to forcing him to end his attempt
to install Franco into power.
But, we will never know. Because of the cowardice of a few men, and the rapacity of others, ' Man's Hope '
became ' Man's Fate ' .
Paul R. Ward