- Nov 5, 2009
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The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted coup d'Ã©tat by a group of Spanish Army generals, supported by the conservative Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (C.E.D.A), Carlist groups and the fascistic Falange Española de las J.O.N.S., against the government of the Second Spanish Republic, then under the leadership of president Manuel Azaña.
The Civil War devastated Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939, ending with the victory of the rebel forces, the overthrow of the Republican government, and the founding of a dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco.
In the aftermath of the civil war, all right-wing parties were fused into the state party of the Franco regime.
Republicans (republicanos) gained the support of the Soviet Union and Mexico, while the followers of the rebellion, nationalists (nacionales), received the support of Italy and Germany, as well as neighbouring Portugal.
The war increased tensions in the lead-up to World War II and was largely seen as a possible war by proxy between the Communist Soviet Union and the Fascist Axis of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
In particular, tanks and bombing of cities from the air were features of the later war in Europe. The advent of the mass media allowed an unprecedented level of attention (Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell and Robert Capa all covered it) and so the war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired, and for atrocities committed on both sides of the conflict.
Like other civil wars, the Spanish Civil War often pitted family members and trusted neighbours and friends against each other.
Apart from the combatants, many civilians were killed for their political or religious views by both sides, and after the war ended in 1939, Republicans were at times persecuted by the victorious Nationalists.
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