Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Rapid Fire! Spanish Civil War in 1/72 scale - Badajoz, 1936

Badajoz was conquered by the nationalist in their quick summer march of 1936. It ended in a bloodbath where the worst atrocities of the entire war probably happenned. When asked by foreign reporters after the war, general Yague, the commander of the attackers, said something like "what could I do? Follow to Madrid and leave 4000 enemies on my back?". Simple. Apparently the notion of POW was non existant in Yague's mind.

From the two photos above you can see the view the Republicans had of the advancing Moroccan Tabors who were encircling the city from the north heading to the Porta de Carros. The walls of the castle were still from the time of the fierce assault of the British in 1812 against the French garrison of General Philippon.

The steepness of the walls forced the attackers to look for more advantageous points of entrance.

The neighbourhood of  San Roque  was the assembly point of the II Tabor of regulares de Tétuan.

In the mean time,  4th Bandera charged Puerta de la Trinidad, in the south wall. This view is from the outer part.

This view here is taken from the inside of Puerta de la Trinidad. Plenty of information about the construction of this part of the wall but nothing else...

There were two HMG on the walls that poured deadly fire into the ranks of the 4th Bandera but the Legionarios managed to force the gate. 

As usual in Spain these kind of places have no plate, no description whatsoever about the Civil War events.

 History from 1939 up to 1973 was written by the victors who effaced all traces of their blame in the dreadful events of the period, placing the enphasis on the Republican killings of priests and nuns and the destruction of clergy property. The problem is that, while true, the Republic was in power due to an electoral victory of the Frente Popular, and the Nationalists were in fact outlaws that didn`t accept the result of the elections and who chose war in order to change that result. Besides, the killings by the Nationalists amount to the 150.000 (Paul Preston data, and not counting the horrors of Franco's regime up to 1973) and that of the Republicans to 37.000 in their respective areas. 

Even the killings of Paracuellos, in which the Republicans shot several thousand, were made on nationalists military personnel who openly denied to fight for the government of their country - that is, the Republic of Spain - and that would have suffered on those days the same fate in many countries of Europe and the world, as military discipline still predicted death penalty for the military.

In the Calle of San Juan, journalists counted over 300 dead people killed in the next few hours after the Nationalist victory. Rape and theft were also rampant. Badajoz lost 10% of its entire population.

But the worst place was the bull fight arena were the killed may have amounted to several thousands. The inscription read "the hugliest bull fight arena of Spain".

Viva la Republica! You can still read this in some parts of Spain after all those many years. Again no information for a visitor. After Franco, during Filipe Gonzalez long government  and nowadays, even with amnisties, the debate about what to do with the memories and living realities of the Civil War arrived to a dead end and the Spanish people buried the axe a little bit like we, the Portuguese,did with the PIDE agents of Salazar regime.
Is it fair to the memory of the killed?

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