What if : Hitler support Red Spain in 1936 ?


  • I just read the book “Battle of Spain” by Antony  Beevor, and come to think ; what if Hitler joined the left side ?

    It was not very obvious that Germany should support Franco. Nazy Germany did not have the same fascist system as Mussolini and Franco. In fact Germany had an border issue with Italy in Tyrol, and also towards Austria. It would favour Germany to fight Italians in the Spanish war.

    Also USSR did support the Red Spain, and since Hitler made a Non-Aggression Treaty with Stalin, it would favour Germany to support USSR in Spain, against the capitalist world. In fact, the british Royal Navy did support Franco’s fleet, and closed the Gibraltar strait to republic ships. Also US capitalists like Texaco, Ford MC etc etc did support Franco with supply.

    But the main reason Hitler joined the spanish war, was to get military training and experience. This was his kind of playtesting, and lessons from Spain was later put to good use in the German Panzer divisions and Luftwaffe. But since they was fighting against civialians and anarchists, that did not have any traditional army, the military lessons was weak. If Hitler had supported the Republicians, then the german Condor Legion would have get valuable experience and training against Italian and Spanish Armies and airforces.


  • So what do you think ?


  • I forgott about the gold. In 1936 Spain had worlds 5.th largest gold deposit, and all this was controlled by the republic government in Madrid. Stalin fooled the spaniards to store the gold in Russia, where it would be safe from Franco and the fascists. Butt later Stalin would take the majority of the gold as payment for a few old T-26 tanks and Mosco fighters. This was way over priced.

    Now if Hitler had joined the republicans in 1936, then he would have got all this gold. He would have denied Stalin this gold, and that would have weakened Stalin, since this gold later was used to pay USA for the Lend/Lease stuff, and at the same time strengthen the German military warmaking potencial. As we know, Franco did not pay for his support, since he was broke and bankrupt. Supporting Franco was a burden, butt supporting the republic was high profit.

    When playing A&A, we trade territories because that pays off. Lets say Spain is worth 5 IPC. If Germany takes Spain, they collect the 5 IPC income and at the sime time denye the enemy this income, wich make it a 10 IPC difference. It is obvious that in the real world, Stalin grabbed this benefit, but unlike the A&A games this 5 IPC never poped up again after Franco liberated Spain. So from a gaming point of wiev, Hitler would have been better off if supporting the other side.


  • OK, short answer: Azaña and Negrin could have more success asking aid from Luke Skywalker than from Hitler


  • @Adlertag:

    Also USSR did support the Red Spain, and since Hitler made a Non-Aggression Treaty with Stalin, it would favour Germany to support USSR in Spain, against the capitalist world

    SCW started july 1936 and ended april 1939. Non agression pact was signed few weeks before attack on Poland, so non-agression pact was signed after SCW ended

    Also, there was no “Red” Spain. There was a rebel army supported by Germany and Italy and a legitimate elected government (sadly only supported by USSR). Republic had her flaws, of course, but it was not a soviet puppet (also rebels were not a fascist puppet and Franco did all he wished). If Negrin had to rely so much on PCE, it was because he had so few options after France and UK abandoned the republic, but PCE never had full control, and in fact there were some catholic generals fighting for the Republic as V. Rojo


  • @Adlertag:

    I forgott about the gold. In 1936 Spain had worlds 5.th largest gold deposit, and all this was controlled by the republic government in Madrid. Stalin fooled the spaniards to store the gold in Russia, where it would be safe from Franco and the fascists. Butt later Stalin would take the majority of the gold as payment for a few old T-26 tanks and Mosco fighters. This was way over priced.

    Aztec’s gold … Stalin didn’t fooled nobody. He exploited the fact that republic was hopeless and he was giving them the only option of resistance: it was a few T-26 and fighters or seeing Franco victorious . If France and UK would give aid to Republic from start, no need of Stalin messing and probably Hitler would think twice doing Anschulss, Sudetenland and other stuff


  • @Adlertag:

    Now if Hitler had joined the republicans in 1936, then he would have got all this gold. He would have denied Stalin this gold, and that would have weakened Stalin, since this gold later was used to pay USA for the Lend/Lease stuff, and at the same time strengthen the German military warmaking potencial. As we know, Franco did not pay for his support, since he was broke and bankrupt. Supporting Franco was a burden, butt supporting the republic was high profit.

    Take into account nobody does all just for money, It’s a common error

    It was no profit from a ideological point of view for Hitler aid the republic. And fascism is driven by emotions and not by reason: they would never support a left wing Spain, democratic or commie


  • @Adlertag:

    When playing A&A, we trade territories because that pays off. Lets say Spain is worth 5 IPC. If Germany takes Spain, they collect the 5 IPC income and at the sime time denye the enemy this income, wich make it a 10 IPC difference. It is obvious that in the real world, Stalin grabbed this benefit, but unlike the A&A games this 5 IPC never poped up again after Franco liberated Spain. So from a gaming point of wiev, Hitler would have been better off if supporting the other side.

    Gaming point is more interesting but still irreal. The only scenario I can see Hitler aiding the Republic is if some extreme right win party as carlists or Falange would won 1936 elections and then a rebelion similar to Franco’s one but left wing happened and get the same result than real life (a early stalemate). But in this case I guess UK would also aid the republic just to get rid of a possible commie state. UK did a lot of bad choices late 30’s: they thought commies were more dangerous than fascists when it was the oppositte (remember how badly did soviets against finnish in 1940)

    I doubt a right wing republic of Spain would aid Hitler anyway in 1939. Spain would be surrounded and you can guess the french would toast spanish army, UK taking Canarian islands and such, and If I remember right, Salazar at Portugal was pro-UK (I could be wrong at this point but I think not)

    Another thing is that Spain at that time had a multiparty sistem and I doubt carlists or Falange could win the elections by alone


  • Alternate history is interesting anyway. Simply I think it could not happen the scenario you suggest


  • Any others that have opinions?

    Any ?


  • I dont think it would have mattered either way. gold or no gold. I was always taught that hitler used the spanish conflict to test military ideas (example blitzkrieg). So I dont think it would really change things. Spain was a depleted tired old man after the war. and its a good thing too could you imagine what would happen if there was NO spanish civil war? ugh not fun for anyone. The gold thing is a new caveat. which again makes no difference remember spain plundered teh crap out of south america to get that gold. so I never considered it theres to begin with. Ill gotten gains have ill gotten losses so it isnt a surprise that it was stolen from them serves them right.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    He could never support that. He structured everything he created upon his hatred of the Jews and of Communism and linked them. It was a core belief. If he betrayed even this he would not get anybody to sign the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936. Franco wanted too many goodies from Hitler and he was annoyed, so in 1940 they had a fall out, but with a small token given to Adolf for the Russian front.


  • Yes butt Stalin too hated jews, and that is why he killed Trotskij who was a jew. So let say Stalin and Hitler find out they got a community of interessts in the jewish threat. They did in fact make the non-aggression pact in -39 and split Poland. And before Hitler come to power in -33 German tank crews was trained in Sovjet far east. So lets say Hitler calm down and make a long term strategy, that include cooperation with clever jews like Einstein, and commies like Azana, Negrin and Stalin, in order to beat the western allies first, and deal with the jews and commies later. This is one of the oldest trick in the book, next after making fraud attacks.


  • Stalin killed Trotsky because he was a political rival, in fact the one able of menace Stalin’s position. Jew or not jew was not a important issue, and they colaborated in Russian Civil War

    Another thing: nor Azaña nor Negrin were commies. Azaña’s party, Republican Left, was burguese (maybe near to social-democracy). Negrin was socialist form the PSOE (the current ruling party in Spain now in 2009 by the way), he was not a commie. Even if PSOE was more left wing than now, they were not PCE (the commies), it was a difference and people recogniced it

    Now if you talk of Ibarruri, Juan Díaz or Carrillo, they were commies. Carrillo is still alive by the way and had a important role in Spanish transition to democracy

    And Hitler could not do a calmed strat. The guy was too emotional and dogmatic, unable of doing autocritic, even at inner level. Stalin was as cruel and sadic as Hitler, but Stalin was more open to autocritic at inner level and was less emotional, able of doing long term plans. He was dogmatic, but less than Hitler: Stalin couldn’t see what was Hitler planning but when he saw soviets could lose instead of doing as Hitler (babbling about how the Reich could not be beaten), Stalin changed some of his views and changed his strat

    About no SCW, that would be indeed the better for Spain and for the world, for obvious reason (no destruction of Spain and no training for german army). In fact, even with rebelion, SCW was not a absolute must: if goverment (or Franco) would manage decide the situation early weeks instead of getting a stalemate, most of damage would be canceled (as in 1934). In that case you can bet for a neutral Spain, because it would be so difficult of invade as Switzerland


  • Funcioneta is about 100% right on this whole dam topic


  • @Funcioneta:

    OK, short answer: Azaña and Negrin could have more success asking aid from Luke Skywalker than from Hitler

    In his book “Battle for Spain”, Antony Beevor insist on that Hitler did support both sides in the conflict. He did sell weapons to both Franco and Azana/Negrin. Remember that Hitler used Spain as playtesting.

    The deal was like this: Azana/Negrin purchased weapons from Prodromos Bodosakis-Athanasiakis and George Rosenberg. Bodosakis got the weapons from Josef Veltjens, who got them from Rheinmetall-Borsig, wich was controlled by Herman Goering, and he again was under command of Hitler.
    1 octobre 1936 was the first delivery with “Bramhill” directly from Hamburg. The Brits protested, and from january -37 to mai -38 the German ships would go to Metaxa’s Greece, and from there with hired neutral  ships to ports controlled by Red Spain.


  • @Funcioneta:

    SCW started july 1936 and ended april 1939. Non agression pact was signed few weeks before attack on Poland, so non-agression pact was signed after SCW ended

    HUH ? Where do you got that date from ? The same source that claim it was Germany that started both world wars ? Let me tell you this, Amigo. Franco declared end of the civil war on april 17th 1948, almost 12 years after he started it. Quico, Caraquemada and Massana kept on fighting in the hills as long as 1960. Even today the guerilla blow bombs in Madrid. The civl war never ends, Amigo.


  • @Imperious:

    Franco wanted too many goodies from Hitler and he was annoyed, so in 1940 they had a fall out, but with a small token given to Adolf for the Russian front.

    Octobre 31th 1939 Franco told Junta defence de Nacional that he would build up the army to 150 divisions, and he prepared to attack Gibraltar and French Tangier, and close the Gibraltar Strait.
    Juni 12th 1940, Franco declared that Spain was no longer neutral, but pro-Axis. He talked to Hitler and Ribbentrop, and claimed Morocco, Oran, Sahara and the African coast from Guinea to Niger. He also wanted weapons, ammo, oil and food. Hitler was stunned, but told Richtoffen to get ready to attack Gibraltar in conjunction with Operation Sealion. Butt Raeder shut down the plan.

    Hitler would then talk to Franco on octobre 23th in Hendaye, but Franco’s train got late, and Hitler got pissed off, and talked to Petain the day after, and chosse to cooperate with Vich rather than Franco. In decembre Hitler wanted to attack Gibraltar with 15 divisions in Operation Felix, but Franco said no, and later made a Santa-list of artillery, trucks, trains and supply that he wanted, but it was so much that Hitler got pissed again and told Mussolini to talk with him. BeniTow talked to Franco at Bordighera on february 12th, and now BeniTow got pissed, and almost all cooperation with Franco was closed.


  • Later Franco did send Divicion Azul to fight at Leningrad, but that was all he did.


  • Hitler would have lost all credibility of being an anti-Communist in the NSDAP, and all his followers.

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