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KIRKY 04-08-2011 17:31

Civil War
Any one know any history about this area in Civil War?

andrew711 04-08-2011 17:59

Mallorca was Nationalist.
An airstrip was built on what was the old golf course in Alcudia, and the German Condor Legion, which bombed Guernica, was based in Puerto Pollensa.

Harters 04-08-2011 18:57

Surprisingly, the island was Nationalist as Andrew says. Surprising because much of the rest of the Catalan speaking area was for the Republic. Maybe it's something about islands - the Canaries were also strongly Republican but that may have been because of Franco's base there.

Some info here on the major battle of the war:
Battle of Majorca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google also turns up a report on recent discoveries of mass graves:
Euro Weekly News | 1,188 Civil War victims buried in 22 mass graves | Mallorca | News | The Largest English Language Newspapers in Spain

Whilst there might have been initial political support for the fascists, you have to wonder how well it went down with the local population later when the Nationalists suppressed the Catalan langauge and its Mallorcan dialect.

There's a very attractive Nationalist memorial in Palma. That's "very attractive" for those who like war memorials (which is me and Kirky for two).
The Crucero Baleares Monument | Mallorca Daily Photo Blog

KIRKY 04-08-2011 20:24

Thanks guys , hard to imagine such terrible times in a beautiful place.

Smiddy 04-08-2011 21:35


Originally Posted by andrew711 (Post 62791)
Mallorca was Nationalist.
An airstrip was built on what was the old golf course in Alcudia, and the German Condor Legion, which bombed Guernica, was based in Puerto Pollensa.

That's interesting and a pivitol event in world history, the first time planes had ever been used to bomb a civilian population.

As far as fighting goes i think there was a landing at Porto Cristo and not much more.

Tommo 05-08-2011 09:35

Civil War
In the past I have spoken to a few locals about the civil war. All were strongly anti fascist and told me of atrocities carried out by the nationalist rebels. They were also very resentful of Franco's imposition of Castillian Spanish and how they were not allowed to speak Mallorquin at school, or in public. It was only used at home. Perhaps surprisingly to us British, some of these people are even now only in their late thirties.
The island was taken for the rebels by General Manuel Goded. The Republicans launched an unsuccessful amphibious assault in the Porto Cristo area. This force of 8,000 was led by Captain Alberto Bayo.
Just as a matter of interest the islands of Ibiza and Menorca were Republican. Indeed should you ever visit the cathederal in Mahon, see how dark the inside is. This is because all the glass was removed during the war to prevent injury. Menorca was the last place in Spain to surrender to the fascists at the end of the war and the fort of La Mola, at the entrance to Mahon harbour was used to imprison political prisoners, even upto the late 60's.
On a very sad note it is reported that there are 22 mass graves containing 1,188 bodies on Mallorca from the war. This is from an article in Euro Weekly news Mach 2011.
Sorry if I've droned on a bit but I've always been interested in the Civil War.

KIRKY 05-08-2011 13:23

Tommo, I agree it is very interesting but hard to find a good read on the War. I remember reading once that bones sometimes come up around Porto Christo beach from the War.

Harters 05-08-2011 15:49


Originally Posted by Smiddy (Post 62804)
the first time planes had ever been used to bomb a civilian population.

Actually not so. Bombing of civilian targets started during the Great War - firstly by the Germans using Zeppelins. By 1915, it was a reasonably well established practice by British, French and German air forces using planes - although, then as now, terror bombing of civilian targets was usually palmed off as "accidents" where bombs missed an industrial or military target.

Smiddy 05-08-2011 17:27

Thanks for that, Harters. I was just going from memory, but it will be a stange feeling looking out across the bay now knowing that the Nazi pilots were having practice runs for a much bigger stage.

Harters 05-08-2011 17:57

The bombing in the Great War was nowt in comparison with Guernica. We do well to remember the horrors that man can inflict on man.

tibbles 05-08-2011 18:56

Just read civil war posts and yes it will certainly make me stop and think when I look out over PP bay next month - my husband has been reading about the island in general and mentioned the civil war - when will wars stop - watching tonight's news, not anytime soon. Life's not a rehearsal - so we're looking forward to another few days in PP. Tibbles

Hasta septiembre mis amigos !

Deanscroft 06-08-2011 16:40

Sometime ago (possibly in the 70´s) Granada television produced a 6 part documentary series `The Spanish Civil War´. At the time it was available on two VHS videos with an accompanying book. I have the book but have never been able to find copies of the videos.

Harters 06-08-2011 21:15

Videos seem to be available on YouTube, Deanscroft.

pescador2009 06-08-2011 23:15

If you want to know more about the Civil War in general and Guernica in particular try reading "Guernica" by Dave Boling and published by Picador.
It is a fictionalised account of the atrocities and described as 'An epic storey of love, family and war'. The book has been compared with 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' and 'The English Patient' - both of which were made into very sucessful films. It is set in the Basque town of Guernica at the time of its destruction by the Luftwaffe on the eve of World War 2. Picasso, who painted the famous 'Guernica' painting also 'appears' in the book. There are/were earlier posts on this forum (some while ago) on the subject of the Civil War.
I believe the Granada Television series, mentioned above by Deanscroft and Harters, was narrated by ex-Tory MP Micheal Portillo whose Father - a University Professer in Salamanca (if I remember correctly) - and Uncle were on opposite sides in that terrible conflict.
Another good read is "Ghosts of Spain" by Giles Tremlett, described as 'Travels through a country's hidden past'. (over 400 pages and took a while to get into - but very detailed). Also described as 'essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Spain'.

Tommo 10-08-2011 14:29

Kirky, my son studied the Spanish Civil War at uni. I'll ask him to recommend a good book on the subject if you like. Regards, Tommo.

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