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Last updated:15 August 2018

Spanish Civil War

Help spain poster

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

January 2017: Clem Beckett

Items relating to the life of Oldham International Brigade volunteer Clem Beckett, marking the performances of the play Dare Devil Rides to Jarama at the Library.

August 2014: Autographs - and a link to Indian independence

Autograph album"Long Live Indian Independence". With these words the men of the British Battalion of the XV International Brigade in Spain greeted the visit of Jahawarlal Nehru and V. Krishna Menon.

July 2009: Land and Freedom

Cover of the final draft script of Land and Freedom by Jim AllenJuly's object was the screenplay of Land and Freedom, by Jim Allen chosen by Jane Taylor, Librarian.


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.