Weapons used in the spanish civil war

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Knouterer
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 16 Oct 2015 10:29

Photographer Gerda Taro posing with an SMLE, possibly one of those supplied by the Soviets. Magazine seems to be missing.
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 16 Oct 2015 11:42

Another weapon often seen is the "Tigre", a Spanish copy of the Winchester Model 1892. According to Wikipedia, over a million were produced in 1915-1937: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Tigre_(rifle)

The man holding one during the street fighting in Barcelona in 1936, Helios Gomez, was a well-known illustrator. He does in fact look as if he's more used to holding a pencil.
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Ironmachine
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Ironmachine » 16 Oct 2015 13:51

Knouterer wrote:The man holding one during the street fighting in Barcelona in 1936, Helios Gomez,
The photo caption says the picture was taken on 19/20 August 1936. Unless it is wrong, there was no street fighting involved at all, just posing for the photographer far away from any real combat.

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 16 Oct 2015 16:01

Yes I can see that. I would assume that the caption is wrong and should read 19/20 July, because that photo is part of a whole series and on some it certainly looks as if there is some shooting going on.
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Ironmachine » 16 Oct 2015 16:19

Knouterer wrote:Yes I can see that. I would assume that the caption is wrong and should read 19/20 July, because that photo is part of a whole series and on some it certainly looks as if there is some shooting going on.
Yes, the photo can be found in a number of webpages dated 19 July, which makes much more sense.

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 16 Oct 2015 17:42

Another "oddball" weapon used in the SCW, the IBs also had some judging from photos. The Maxim-Tokarev was an attempt to make the Maxim into a light machine gun; it was adopted by the Red Army about 1926 but soon replaced by the much lighter DP. Only a few thousand were made apparently, some were sold to the Nationalist Chinese.
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 16 Oct 2015 17:55

Another, more action-like shot of the same scene in Barcelona, also the work of photographer Agusti Centelles, like the picture of the Maxim-Tokarev.
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Juha Tompuri » 16 Oct 2015 19:53

Knouterer,

According to the Forum rules, sources of the photos posted should be mentioned.

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 17 Oct 2015 08:21

Well Juha, the photos by Centelles are all over the internet - just google "Agusti Centelles" - and reproduced in many books, several of which are on my shelves, so I don't see that it makes any difference where exactly I took them from.

The photo of Gerda Taro is by her companion Robert Capa and again can be found on the internet without any difficulty, for example here:
https://yossarianblogdotcom.wordpress.c ... erda-taro/


The picture of the miIiciana can be found here, for example, but no indication of origin or ownership, sorry: http://sociologiadelturismoyalgomas.blo ... izada.html
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Juha Tompuri » 17 Oct 2015 11:06

Knouterer wrote:Well Juha, the photos by Centelles are all over the internet - just google "Agusti Centelles" - and reproduced in many books, several of which are on my shelves.
It is not the job of readers to try to search the sources.
Knouterer wrote:so I don't see that it makes any difference where exactly I took them from.
According to the Forum rules it does make difference.

Here some basic guidelines, that we moderators have created here on the posting of photos to the Forum:
Guidelines for posting photographs
The administration appreciate that many of the discussions require illustrations, including period photographs. At the same time, we would like to maintain the high quality that the Axis History Forum is known for. Therefore, we require that our members list the source of the photographs they post. The required information depends on the source of the photograph.
  • Books and magazines: The author and title of the book. Page number is also preferred, but not required.
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Regards, Juha

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Stephan » 17 Oct 2015 17:10

Ironmachine wrote: Regarding the battle you mention, the only one that can fit that depiction is the battle of Guadalajara. Unfortunately (for the Republicans), no Italian division was completely annihilated there, nor was there a general "run for your life" flight with everybody dropping weapons. Despite the descriptive excesses of the Republican propaganda, Republican official reports on the capture of Italian materials show that the booty they managed to capture was really poor. Although there are some differences in the numbers, they did not capture enough weapons to arm even an infantry battalion and an artillery battalion. In fact, it seems that the Spanish units operating on the CTV's flank captured more weapons than the Italians lost.
Yes, it was the battle of Guadalajara, beginning on 8 march 1937. So you say the Italian losses werent at all 5 thousand man, and no full 2 divisions republicans armed from their left over gears?? Barely two battalion worth? All this mostly a propaganda tale, apparently cited here and there?
It think it was also Possibly it was some misunderstanding / faulty rewriting somewhere. If they had a great vicory as the reports told, it "should" be 2 divisions worth, not barely 2 battalions, no?
Its easy to overinterpret, even withouth propaganda lies.

Anyway, one of the experiences was the italians werent as effective as they was meant to be. Fullly trained soldiers and officers, fully equipped, having also tanks, while republicans had almost none, 4 italian divisions + one spanish-marockans, against 3 government divisions (as this book tells), and they were forced to retreat.

Maybe it was so as you say. The internationals experiences as closely described in this book, were grim, with considerable losses, quite a few apparently fell dead or wounded, some taken prisoner too..

Pity on a good story!

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Ironmachine » 17 Oct 2015 20:45

Stephan wrote:So you say the Italian losses werent at all 5 thousand man, and no full 2 divisions republicans armed from their left over gears?? Barely two battalion worth? All this mostly a propaganda tale, apparently cited here and there?
Yes, it is a propaganda tale. Italian losses, though they differ from source to source, can be put as about 1,500 dead, 4,500 wounded and 350 POWs; republican losses were slightly higher. Italian material losses are again difficult to ascertain. I used data from Martínez Bande, who studied the Republican official reports. Michael Alpert, for example, in Aguas Peligrosas, says that Italian losses were "35 guns and mortars, 225 machine-guns and submachine-guns, 822 rifles and 67 trucks"; as these are Italian losses, it doesn't mean that all were captured or, if captured, they were in working order. Anyway, not much more that a pair of battalions could have been equipped with the captured material. It would have been impossible to arm a pair of Republican divisions. Anyway, if a couple of Republican divisions had been armed with Italian material, there would be abundant graphic evidence, and there isn't.
Stephan wrote:It think it was also Possibly it was some misunderstanding / faulty rewriting somewhere. If they had a great vicory as the reports told, it "should" be 2 divisions worth, not barely 2 battalions, no?
Its easy to overinterpret, even withouth propaganda lies.
Well, the Republicans managed to stop the CTV offensive and then pushed it back, but they were unable to recover all the terrain they had lost. How this could qualify as a great victory can give us an idea about the expectations that the Republicans had.
Stephan wrote:Anyway, one of the experiences was the italians werent as effective as they was meant to be. Fullly trained soldiers and officers, fully equipped, having also tanks, while republicans had almost none, 4 italian divisions + one spanish-marockans, against 3 government divisions (as this book tells), and they were forced to retreat.
We can conclude that "this book" is also a propaganda tale.
[*]The Italians were not "fully trained soldiers and officers", and in fact they had less combat experience that most of the Republican troops involved in the battle.
[*]The Italians were fully equipped, but the Republican troops were also well equipped.
[*]"Having also tanks, while republicans had almost none": OMG! I do not know whether to laugh or to cry! The Italians had about a battalion of CV.33 vehicles; you can call them tanks, but they were only machine-gun armed. The Republicans had two battalions of T-26 tanks. So actually you could say it the other way around: the Republicans had tanks, while the Italians did not have any vehicle worth of that name.
[*]"4 italian divisions + one spanish-marockans, against 3 government divisions": Just 4 Italian divisions plus smaller units (the Spanish unit, which was a brigade, not a division, operated independently against other Republican troops), against 3 Republican divisions plus smaller units. But that doesn't really tell us the truth, because the Republican divisions were bigger that the Italian ones. In fact, for the whole battle the Republican had a slight numerical superiority, about 40,000 Republicans against 31,000 Italians.
[*]Something this book forgets completely is that the Republicans had complete air superiority during the battle, because the weather precluded the activity of the Italian air forces.
[*]"and they were forced to retreat". For what's worth, it should be noted that the Italians retained the control of a big part of the area they conquered in their initial advance. The Republicans never reached the original frontline.
So perhaps it was not that the italians weren't as effective as they were meant to be, but that the expectations about their performance (both theirs and those of others) were disproportionate.

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Knouterer » 19 Oct 2015 21:25

Ironmachine wrote: ]
In fact, a very important number of captured weapons used by the National side came from ships captured while sailing towards Republican ports. This has the additional advantage that the weapons were ready for use, unlike most of those captured on the field, which may need a heavy work on collection, transport to depots, repairs and classification. The Republic failed completely in this field.
Most of the Spanish Navy sided with the Republic - otherwise the Nationalists would not have needed German planes to ferry troops across from North Africa. I believe the (relatively small) Nationalist Navy captured four or five ships carrying arms for the Republic - but what exactly was in those ships?
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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Juha Tompuri » 19 Oct 2015 22:35

Weapon deliveries: S.S. Yorkbrook and its cargo
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5969&hilit

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Re: Weapons used in the spanish civil war

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Oct 2015 10:53

Knouterer wrote:I believe the (relatively small) Nationalist Navy captured four or five ships carrying arms for the Republic - but what exactly was in those ships?
I don't know the number of ships captured by the National Navy while carrying weapons. As as whole, they captured more than 300 ships (sources differ somewhat), but of course most of them did not carry weapons.
Examples of ships captured carrying weapons (only part of the loaded goods are mentioned):
Sylvia: 5,000 Chauchat light machine guns, 10 x 75,5mm guns, 100 x 81mm mortars...
Hordena: 22 Aero A.101 planes, 22 million rifle cartridges...
Mar Cantábrico: 8 planes, 18 guns, more than 12 million rifle cartridges,...
I can post a much more detailed list of the military cargo of these boats if you are really interested.
Besides, other captures yielded equipment that, while not literally weaponry, contributed greatly to the war effort "at the front".

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