The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 when army officers attempted to overthrow the democratic Republican government. They were only partly successful, the country was split in half and bitter civil war ensued.
Thousands of foreign volunteers (International Brigades), including many from Britain and Ireland, came to the aid of the Republic.
The Nationalist forces, led by General Franco, were supported with troops and arms by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. In the first months of 1939, Nationalist forces overwhelmed the remaining Republican forces, finally taking Madrid, and the war ended. In the aftermath tens of thousands of Republicans were executed or imprisoned.
Franco remained in power until his death in 1975. Within a few years Spain had transformed itself into a modern democracy and surviving Republican exiles returned. A Socialist government was elected again in 1982.
Related Objects of the Month
August 2014: Autographs - and a link to Indian independence
July 2009: Land and Freedom
Resources relating to the Spanish Civil War and International Brigades at the Library
Material on the period, much of it archival, forms one of the most extensive and interesting collections in the Library. The collection consists of books, pamphlets, journals, archival material, artefacts and tape recordings.
Click here for further details about the types of material held at the Library relating to the Spanish Civil War and International Brigades
Click here for details of 'From Manchester to Spain' by Bernard Barry. A booklet about the men and women of Greater Manchester who helped the Spanish people in their fight against fascism.