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The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (1982)

by Antony Beevor

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,712317,905 (3.89)64
"When the first version of this book was published in 1982 under the title, The Spanish Civil War, Gerald Brenan described it as 'by a long way the best, and fairest and the most accurate book upon it'. Over the intervening years, a huge amount of new material has appeared in Spain and from documents finally emerging from Russian, German and other archives. Antony Beevor's Spanish publisher persuaded him that the time was right, with the approach of the war's seventieth anniversary, to rewrite the book taking advantage of the new information and reinforcing it with new research." "Antony Beevor charts not only the course of the war in a fresh light, but illuminates the vicious infighting on both sides. The hopes and fears of a whole generation foundered in disillusionment and despair at the cruel war which destroyed the Spanish Republic."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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English (24)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
A plenty complicated mess... I don't know my way around Spain or Spanish politics of the 1930s, and this book is filled with places and people and parties. Still, Beevor manages to tell the story in a way that didn't confuse me too severely... though I am plenty overwhelmed. The whole thing is horrific. What multiplies the horror... what would a civil war look like in the USA at this point? We don't seem too far from the conflicts of Spain, I hate to say.

The main thread here seems to be how the communists took over the Republican side. Could the Republicans have won? Beevor doesn't indulge much in what-ifs. Only the USA might have supplied them with armaments that could have been effective against the Germans and Italians. There is so much pro-Fascist sentiment here in the USA.... well, the Japanese pushed us... yeah one fascinating facet here, how the constant appeasement pushed Stalin into the alliance with Hitler.

I wish the Spanish Civil War was any kind of thing unto itself. Look at the 17th Century, the 20 years war. Yeah the US Civil War was not any pretty thing. We really are a miserable species! ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Sep 6, 2020 |
Adquirido em Jan/2008
  Nagib | May 30, 2020 |
Battle for Spain. There is a heartbreaking grim reality in this long read. The reader will lose track of the many factions killing one another in the late 1930s Spain and the reasons why. It changes from day to day and week to week. The factions regularly change their names and sometimes their allegiance. After a while I was not sure who was killing who or why. The book demonstrates it must have been the same for the poor misguided persons taking part in the fighting with medieval religious brains and modern weaponry. ( )
2 vote Novak | Nov 9, 2019 |
If people are allowed to have a “favourite” civil war then my favourite would be the Spanish Civil War. This is especially true now that I realise that the War of the Sicilian Vespers was not a civil war (or about Vespas for that matter). The Spanish Civil War captures the attention more than other civil wars and Beevor has written an account of that war that, in my mind, is not matched by any other war history.

Beevor takes us on a tour of Spanish history leading up to the 1930s, and explains why such a destructive war could take place. He describes darkly humorous moments of history as well events that will haunt you long after you put the book down. He introduces us to the few heroes of the war (Dr Marcel Junod for one) as well as its many villains (Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, the non-interventionist west et al.) and its turning points. In the end you can only think of “what ifs?” and marvel at Franco’s journey from Fascist pariah to key western ally.

I’ve been holding off reading other books by Beevor for fear they would suffer by comparison with “The Battle for Spain” but I’ve finally taken the plunge and am reading “Stalingrad”. Wish me luck. ( )
1 vote MiaCulpa | Jan 15, 2016 |
Antony does it yet again, an excellent book exploring an often confusing subject. He shows us the layers of conflict between the varying factions involved and the exploitations by outside powers. Highly recommended. ( )
  Luftwaffe_Flak | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beevor, Antonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sené, Jean-FrançoisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Gonzalo Pontón with all my gratitude for his help
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"A civil war is not a war but a sickness," wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. (Introduction)
On an unsurfaced road in Andalucia or Estremadura, one of the first automobiles in Spain has broken down.
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Wikipedia in English (117)

498 Spanish Martyrs

Adolfo Prada

Alhama de Aragón

Alsedo-class destroyer

André Marty

António de Oliveira Salazar

German involvement in the Spanish Civil War

Gonzalo Queipo de Llano

Gustavo Durán

History of Barcelona

History of Málaga

History of Seville

Pyrkal

Ramon Vila Capdevila

Republican faction (Spanish Civil War)

Revolutionary Catalonia

Robert Hale Merriman

Sania Ramel Airport

"When the first version of this book was published in 1982 under the title, The Spanish Civil War, Gerald Brenan described it as 'by a long way the best, and fairest and the most accurate book upon it'. Over the intervening years, a huge amount of new material has appeared in Spain and from documents finally emerging from Russian, German and other archives. Antony Beevor's Spanish publisher persuaded him that the time was right, with the approach of the war's seventieth anniversary, to rewrite the book taking advantage of the new information and reinforcing it with new research." "Antony Beevor charts not only the course of the war in a fresh light, but illuminates the vicious infighting on both sides. The hopes and fears of a whole generation foundered in disillusionment and despair at the cruel war which destroyed the Spanish Republic."--BOOK JACKET.

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