Tank Combat in Spain

Armored Warfare During the Spanish Civil War 1936–1939

Anthony J Candil

This book covers the deployment of tanks during the Spanish Civil War, how they fought, and the lessons derived from their use in that conflict.
Date Published :
May 2021
Publisher :
Casemate
Illustration :
Over 60 photos in 2 photo sections
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009704
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$34.95

Overview
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Although Spain had been for many years on the periphery of the great affairs of Europe, within a few months of the Civil War breaking out in 1936, three out of the four major European powers—Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union—decided to intervene. Spain turned out to be the perfect proving ground to carry out controlled, realistic experiments with live weapons and troops. This book covers the theories of the three main contributors that provided armor to the warring parties in the civil war, how those contributions shaped combat, and how the lessons learned were then applied to tank combat in World War II.

The use of tanks in the Spanish Civil War wedded traditional war to modern technology. The fighting in Spain did not offer any easy answers, however, to the question of infantry-armor cooperation, primarily because the tanks supplied were not very worthy and had been supplied in small numbers, even though the Republicans organized an ‘armored division.' The situation for the tanks on the Nationalist side was so bad in practical terms that they reused captured Russian armor in their units. Tank employment in Spain did offer many lessons, but the lessons did not always lie in what was done or accomplished but precisely on what was not done and was not accomplished.

About The Author
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As a senior Armor officer in the Spanish Army, Anthony J. Candil had direct experience of the struggle of the tank concept in Spain, not then to replace the horse anymore, but to establish the armor as the primary combat arm in mobile warfare, and to create an armored corps within the Spanish ground forces.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Preface

A QUICK APPRAISAL OF THE MILITARY OPERATIONS

FOREIGN INTERVENTION

Part One: The Background

The beginning: the early days of tanks in the Spanish Army

Organization and structure of Armor in the Spanish Army on the eve of the Civil War

Part Two: Foreign Aid Arrives

Soviet Participation

The Italian aid and the Volunteer Corps

Germany enters the arena

Part Three: Balance of Forces

Organization and Structure of the Nationalist Armored Forces

Organization and Structure of the Republican Armored Forces

Part Four: Operations

The Opening Rounds: Blitzkrieg “Franco’s style”

On the Move: Republican armor always “not enough” Stalemate and Attrition

The End: The Battle of the Ebro and the Catalonia offensive

Antitank warfare

Logistics

TANK MAINTENANCE ON THE NATIONALIST SIDE AND THE SERVICE FOR WAR EQUIPMENT RECOVERY

TANK COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT IN THE PEOPLE’S ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

A KEY FEATURE: THE REPUBLICAN TANK SCHOOL AT ARCHENA

Part Five: Aftermath

The Experience Reconsidered: Conclusions

A Reappraisal on the Equipment and Armament

SOVIET EQUIPMENT

ITALIAN EQUIPMENT

GERMAN EQUIPMENT

A SPECIAL CASE: CAPTURED RUSSIAN TANKS IN SERVICE WITH THE SPANISH NATIONALIST ARMY

RESUME OF TANKS SUPPLIED BY FOREIGN POWERS

Epilogue

Gallery

Spanish pre-war equipment

Italian Aid

German Aid

Russian aid

Russian tanks captured by the Nationalist Army

Additional Bibliography and further recommended reading

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