What role did Germany and Italy play in the Spanish Civil War in 1936?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Spanish Civil War began after the fall of the Spanish monarchy, replaced with the Second Republic in 1931. While tensions and social turmoil already ran rampant within the new republic, the civil war itself began in 1936, when the military revolted against the new government.

What resulted was an...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The Spanish Civil War began after the fall of the Spanish monarchy, replaced with the Second Republic in 1931. While tensions and social turmoil already ran rampant within the new republic, the civil war itself began in 1936, when the military revolted against the new government.

What resulted was an internal struggle between left-wing and right-wing ideologies, which drew the attention of Europe. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany were included among them. Hitler and Mussolini aligned with the far-right Spanish Nationalists and would use this conflict as an opportunity to test the military tactics which would later be used in World War II. Military support from the Germans and the Italians would become critical in ensuring victory for the Spanish far right (who would proceed to set up a dictatorship under Francisco Franco), but it was also critical in the history of the Second World War, as a training ground and a testing ground for the global conflict which was to follow.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both Germany and Italy supported the nationalist, right-wing rebels in the Spanish Civil War.

In the 1930s, rightists in Spain were concerned that Spain was headed towards socialist revolution.  Because of this, the army in Spain and in Morocco (part of which was a Spanish colony) rebelled in an attempt to take over the government.  At this time, both Italy and Germany were, of course, ruled by fascist dictators.  Fascists are to the far right in political terms.  They are very much opposed to socialism and communism.  For this reason, both Germany and Italy sent troops and air forces to Spain to help the nationalists.  They helped to do things like ferrying rebel troops from Morocco to Spain.  German involvement in the war is most connected in history to the use of the German Condor Legion which bombed Spanish cities, the most famous of which was Guernica.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team