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 :
April 2021
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
Over 60 photos in 2 photo sections
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009704
Pages : 264
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$34.95
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Overview
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"...offers important insight into the employment of tanks during the war, lessons learned (or not learned) by the participating armed forces..." — Globe at War

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

REVIEWS
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"...belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the military history of the Spanish Civil War or armored warfare more generally."

- Michigan War Studies Review

"Many theories on modern armored combat had their origin in the Spanish Civil War...This knowledge would soon be used to great effect in World War II."

- Military Heritage Magazine

"...offers important insight into the employment of tanks during the war, lessons learned (or not learned) by the participating armed forces..."

- Globe at War

"...recounts in considerable detail how Germany, Italy and Soviet Russia intervened in Spain, supplying troops and equipment to the warring sides."

- ARMOR Magazine

"The strength of Tank Combat in Spain is the military, tactical, and technical detail that the author provides."

- History: Reviews of New Books

"Making use of resources in Spanish and Italian hitherto largely overlooked by writers on the subject, defense analyst Candil, a former Spanish armor officer, has produced the first book-length treatment of the role of armor in the Spanish Civil War. He gives us both an excellent look at how tanks were used, and a fairly even-handed treatment of the war itself."

- StrategyPage

"…an interesting and well-rounded account of the beginnings of tank-on-tank warfare. Definitely recommended."

- Miniature Wargames

"It is even more interesting to read and learn about tanks during the Spanish Civil War from an author who was a Senior Armor Officer in the Spanish Army. This is a valuable book not only for modellers, but for history fans who want to know more about this conflict."

- DetailScaleView

"...a worthwhile investment for any wargamer with an interest in the period and might cause some to rethink their assumptions on armour and its use."

- Wargames Illustrated

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