Analyze how the Spanish Civil War aided Germany in developing its international relations and enhancing its war strategies during WWII?
The Spanish Civil War was caused by the political unrest of the 19th Century and the opposing political ideologies of the Communists and Nationalists. In 1936, this political unrest reached its breaking point, when many of Spain’s military commanders staged a coup to overthrow the left-wing government. Francisco Franco, leader of Spain’s right-wing Nationalist rebels, called out to foreign powers for assistance in fighting the war that ensued. International help was crucial to keeping Franco’s resistance effort alive. After pleas for help by the Nationalist underdogs, Germany came to the aid of the Spanish war effort in July of 1936. Both Hitler and Franco were fascist leaders. Their shared ideologies led to Hitler’s support of Franco. Like George Orwell said, “For some reason, all the best matadors were Fascists” (Homage to Catalonia). The Spanish Civil War was a trial of sorts for many German weapons, as well as its military strategies. By aiding Spanish Nationalists, the Germans not only developed advantageous international relations with Spain, but came out more prepared to fight in WWII.
Hitler wanted to hinder the spread of communism in the European theater, yet he was hesitant to come to Franco’s aid. It was Hermann Goring, his commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, Germany’s Air Force, that helped Hitler see the military and political benefits of such an action. Goring wanted to “test the Luftwaffe in live conditions” (243, Pearson Text). Hitler and Goring used the Spanish Civil War as a trial run to test out their newest military techno...
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...ermany’s “dress rehearsal for WWII”, the Spanish Civil War became “largely a non-spanish affair” (297, The Spanish Cockpit). Germany used the unrest in Spain to advance its own war agenda. By helping Franco rise to power, Hitler secured a strategic ally that would serve him well in WWII, as a source of needed raw materials and military assistance. Without Hitler, Franco’s Nationalist Movement would have folded to Spain’s more established Communist Party. Germany’s involvement in Spain was not only crucial to the Nationalist’s victory but to preparing Germany for a full-fledged European War. Germany’s involvement in Spain from 1936 until 1939 bolstered Hitler’s power and ambitions, setting the stage for WWII, which broke out within months of Franco becoming ruler of Spain. Hitler and Franco shared a desire for power, and they helped each other achieve their goals.
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