The Spanish Passion

Wargaming the Spanish Civil War 1936-39

Rob Anderson

This is a wargaming guide to the Spanish Civil War. The book covers the armies of both sides and different nationalities which came to the assistance, including the Italians, Russians, Germans, and mixed international volunteers.
Date Published :
February 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Helion Wargames
Illustration :
70 illustrations and 8 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804510117
Pages : 72
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The Spanish Civil War is often seen as a socialist against fascist war, but this is not always the case. The people living in Spain during the 1930’s had more to them than either being left, or right wing and it is a misconception to put them in “boxes” for ease of simplicity. Spain was not only a hotbed of political ideals during the period but also a place of religion and the old way of Spanish life. When the Republican Government got into power all these conceptions were thrown into the melting pot and what came out was a modern war, the like of which had never been seen.

This war was seen as a testing ground for some of the major powers at the time and their influence would be revisited during World War Two. Saturated bombing, tank tactics and new weaponry were used to an extent never seen before in Europe and would dictate the future. It was the scene of some horrendous atrocities which would only be overshadowed by the next major conflict. Many lessons were learned, including the large movement of troops in a short period of time (the Army of Africa to Spain by the Condor Legion and the Italian Air Force) or how to defend areas against modern weapons (the Republican Army around the University in Madrid). There were also tactics used from the previous World War including trenches which were employed to hold up the advancement of troops and still showed they were necessary even against more modern armies.

As in any civil war the uniforms, other than those of the international participants, were similar on either side at the beginning of the conflict but as time went on there became differences following the aid from “sponsor” countries. Together with these changes the appearance of other armies in Spain led to a myriad of varied uniforms and weapons which are included in the book.

The war lasted for just under three years with numerous large battles taking place, some of which are regularly written about, but in addition there are even more smaller fights which took place. Most of the smaller actions lend themselves to time limited wargames which are playable in one session each, giving the players an achievable objective.

The gaming side of the Spanish Civil War has given us numerous figure manufacturers over the years and in addition to this an abundance of information both English and foreign language for everyone interested in the period to read and gain useful information from.

About The Author

Rob Anderson was born in Sunderland in 1965. After a short period in light engineering, he joined Northumbria Police in 1985, retiring after 30 years’ service. He has always had a keen interest in military history following the influence of his family’s involvement in armed conflicts since before World War One. He has been a keen wargamer since the age of 11 and combined local history and gaming with his first real interest of the English Civil War and 17th Century Wars. In 1992 he started Outpost Wargames Services with a family member, later leaving to start Reiver Castings and Northumbrian Painting Services in 2004, which became a full time occupation upon retirement. Research is a major part of the manufacture of wargaming figures and as such he has a substantial library for different periods including Spanish Civil War.

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