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The Battle For Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936 1939

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,067 ratings  ·  143 reviews
'The Battle for Spain' revisits the Spanish Civil War, drawing on masses of material from the Spanish, Russian & German archives. The author's account narrates the origins of the Civil War & its violent course from the coup d'etat in July 1936 through the savage fighting of the next three years.
Paperback, 586 pages
Published 2007 by Phoenix (first published January 1st 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marius van Blerck
An excellent analysis of a conflict in which the Spanish people are the filling in a sandwich, the slices comprising a fight between the extreme right and extreme left. To make matters worse, as is well known, the conflict became the testing ground for Hitler and Stalin to play with their toys of war. The book is well constructed, and very readable, suffering only from the author's mild tendency to repeat the lessons he wishes the reader to retain, in a schoolmasterish fashion. Although the book ...more
Dachokie
Even Antony Beevor Can't Simplify Such a Complicated Topic ...

The Spanish Civil War is a significant 20th century historical event that is logically obscured by the enormity of the Second World War. My rudimentary knowledge of the conflict led me to simplify it as a war between the Nazi supported Nationalists vs. the Soviet supported Republicans ... oh how wrong I was. My search to expand my knowledge of the Spanish Civil War both started and ended with the discovery Antony Beevor's THE BATTLE F
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John
I found this book nearly unreadable and gave up on it within the first 100 pages. As such, take this review with that in mind since I didn't gut through it.
I had heard great things about Beevor's "Stalingrad" and may still read it someday. "The Battle for Spain", however, suffers from a few serious problems: its choice to be a straight political history and Beevor's writing style.
I am not a fan of this kind of history writing. It is top-down narrative history at its worst. It is no doubt inval
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Loring Wirbel
Histories of wars, particularly ones involving contested political domains, tend to focus either on the battles, the personalities, the international struggles, or other specific aspects. While Beevor's 'Battle for Spain' isn't perfect, I give this book five stars because the mix is just right. And for one of the most disputed wars in modern history, that is a major accomplishment.

We can find any number of anarchist or Trotskyist reviews of the Spanish Civil War that heap blame on the Russians a
...more
Alberto
This "must be" the most balanced account of the Spanish Civil War ever published. I say "must be" because this is the first one that I have read in its entirety (up to now, I had only read the first volume of Hugh Thomas' book, which was good, but left me a bit cold, to be honest) so I don't think I would be fair if I said that it is the best and most balanced, in spite of having read reviews in the Spanish press that point in that direction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the book, whic
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Michael Gerald Dealino
I didn't know anything about the Spanish Civil War until I read this book. And what an eye-opener it is.

Spain in the 1930s was a country in transition. It had just come out of the departure of King Alfonso XIII and a new republic was trying to get itself established. But forces from across the political spectrum took turns weakening the Republic to further their own agenda: the political and social conservatives who wanted to retain the status quo of monopoly of power and privilege; the social
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David Nichols
Antony Beevor is probably best-known today for his lengthy histories of the battles of Stalingrad and Berlin, but this earlier narrative history of the Spanish Civil War matches both of these later works for grim and gripping detail. One might expect a historian of the Second World War to treat the Spanish conflict as a prologue to that larger and deadlier global struggle, but Beevor sees that the civil war had great significance in its own right. It was a struggle between ideologies, in which b ...more
James Murphy
I've had this book 5 or 6 years. Because I was intimidated by the complexity of the political events in Spain during the 1930s I'd put off reading it. Many years ago--1967--I read the Hugh Thomas history of the Spanish Civil War and had gotten lost in the mazes and Babel of parties right, center, and left, each accompanied by its own acronym and ideology. Beevor does a good job in that regard. He does what he can in his account to keep the fog away, to keep the parties and acryoyms tidily arrang ...more
Geoffrey Fox
I've been reading Antony Beevor, The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (London: Phoenix, 2006), and just got through the intro and Part I, “Old Spain and the Second Republic”. It's a marvelously clear, though overly concise, account of some of the key events and for this reason will be an excellent starting point for anyone new to the subject and a good refresher for those who already know some of it. There is much to praise here -- but still, it left me unsatisfied. It doesn't ...more
Tom Smitha
Great book. I've read several of Beevor's books.
Converse

This book is the revised edition of Beevor's book, first published in the 1980s, about the Spanish Civil War.


After the fall of the monarchy in the early 1930s and substantial political conflict in the new republic with various left wing groups attempting local uprisings and using inflammatory language, in July of 1936 a number of generals launched a coup attempt against the republic. The main instigator was not the eventual leader, Francisco Franco, but another general, Emilo Mola. Franco rap

...more
Huw Evans
Leading up to the events of 1936-1939 the aristocracy, ruling elite and the Roman Catholic Church has become more and more distanced from the realities of everyday life in Spain. Corruption was rife, inequalities profound. This produced the ideal grounds for dissent and the setting up of a socialist state, much to the concern of the military of the time. However, the form of the socialism was highly diverse ranging from anarchy to social conservatism with a large side order of communism. The pro ...more
Nick Black
Amazon 2008-04-12

I really enjoyed the intimacy and depth of Beevor's Stalingrad: The Siege, and this brought just as much effort to the Ejército Popular Republicanos' struggle against Nicolas Franco's nacionales: the Ejército Nacional, Catholic loyalists, fascist allies from Estado Novo, the Luftwaffe's Legion condor and Italy's Corpo Truppe Volontarie, and the bungling farce that was the League of Nations' "Non-Intervention Committee".

I read this book because the Spanish Civil War is mentioned
...more
Antonio Nunez
The new edition of Beevor's classical account of the Spanish Civil War does not disappoint the author's many fans. His narrations of famous battles are outstanding, particularly in the cases of Teruel and Ebro. His characterizations remain spot-on. Franco is wily as he sacrifices thousands of his men for political gains. Azaña is decent but weak. Largo Caballero is a poor man's Kerensky, whereas Negrín is a would-be Stalin. Communist leaders Líster and El Campesino quarrel as the front collapses ...more
Jay
The Spanish Civil War…Brought to you by the same people who gave us the Inquisition. Sometimes, everyone is to blame. The Battle for Spain, which covers the Spanish Civil War, is a jaw dropping, mind blowing look at a clusterfck in motion. War is a sad, sick state of affairs. Civil wars are even worse. I’ve always been interested in the history of this war, though it’s often a footnote when one looks at the political environment of Europe at the time. This war was caused by a perfect storm of po ...more
José
Beevor's narrative is about as fluid as always. I think it's just the subject matter itself that doesn't lend itself to straightforward analysis. The sheer number of both internal and external political parties, governments, mercenaries, resistance movements, battle fronts makes tackling this topic difficult to begin with. Ambivalence is what comes to mind when I think of the Spanish Civil War, mostly because it's very hard for me to reconcile the combatants' rhetoric with their behavior. Beevor ...more
Milton Soong
[Audio book] A masterpiece of history on this depressing subject. The 1930's is a not a good era to look for the best of humanities achievements, and the Spanish civil war is near the nadir of that. You have cold calculating dictators, idealists who would not negotiate with the ways of the real world, and revolutionary zealots on all sides. It's akin to watching a train heading into the abyss, you know where it's going, you wanted it to change for the better and the rational part of you knows th ...more
Richard O'Brien
Fantastic read on a battle that seems to historically be swept under the carpet.
Having not known too much about the Spanish Civil War beforehand this book really does put the internal political meat on the bones of the different factions involved. As for the numerous external influences which contributed strategy, men and equipment, that would fill another 500 page book.
The conflict was deemed a civil war with Spaniard against Spaniard but was also the weapon & strategy catwalk for the axis
...more
Brian Robbins
Excellent read. Needed to be digested slowly as Spanish Civil War was nearly new territory to me, apart from Orwell's writing about it.

Detailed and very readable, and providing a reasonably balanced view of the various factions and their actions.

The usual sad tale of the triumph of the strong and very well-financed against the small men, whose own supposed supporters are bound to either self-interest or ideology or a combination of the two.

His final sentences were interesting:

"...history must
...more
Craig
Antony Beevor is an excellent historian and this book is no exception - indeed, it is one of the most lucid and thoughtful accounts of the Spanish Civil War and the main players on both sides of the conflict. This edition makes full use of new research on the conflict, and allows Beevor to show the reader the convoluted power struggles that both the Nationalists and the Republicans undertook against their enemies, both internal and external. I highly recommend this book to both the historian and ...more
Neal
I am giving this four stars because it is a very accessible history of a very, very, complicated war. The author was a real sense of narration that gives you a sense of momentum of events. However he is clearly a military historian with extended passages on battles ("the IV corps led by Modesto made a flanking movement with the 13th battalion over the river, etc. etc.") but he interposes this nicely with more humanist anecdotes describing the hellish circumstances the men, women, and children of ...more
Chas
Many seem to think Beevor is a genius, and he may well be as far as his research and insight are concerned, but god help me if I can see it, since reading him is agony to me. This is the 3rd book of his I've read (after Stalingrad and Berlin) and I find his style to be so stilted and convoluted that reading anything he's written is an exercise in pain.

No more Mr. Beevor for me; life is far too short.
David Mclaughlin
The Spanish Civil is an often forgotten episode in history, lost in the momentous wake of the Second World War. However, encapsulated within the Civil War, there are many elements that would come to flavor the brutality of WWII i.e. aerial bombardment of civilian centers, concentration camps, etc...
In addition the ideological struggles of the 20s and 30s are ever present on both sides of the civil war and as Beevor argues lead both sides to become entrenched in their view that they needed an abs
...more
Wesley  Gerrard
This is a definitive history of the Spanish Civil War. The book has been regarded by the Spanish themselves as one of the best-researched volumes on this dark period of turmoil in their country's history. The breakdown of democracy saw the split of the nation and a leftist democratically elected government was forced to deal with the rise of a militaristic fascist rising headed by Franco. The precursor to World War 2, this civil war attracted the interests of the rising Fascist movement across E ...more
El
May 16, 2013 El marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: The bus
Some guy on the bus is reading this and my nerdistry know no shame.
sologdin
magnanimous fascists liberate espana from evil commies.
Jc
Amazing to understand how small things resulted in a city/region being dominated by the republicans or the nationalists. Also amazing is how badly prepared the coup was. It seems the main strength of the nationalist was the fact the republican were so messy and did not get along between socialists, anarchists and communists. Franco appears a bit more decisive in this book than in the other ones I have read on the subject.
Lots of battles in these chapters, a bit boring no matter how good the auth
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Czarny Pies
Sep 01, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone looking for a current book on the Spanish civil war
Recommended to Czarny by: I am a fan of Antony Beevor
Shelves: european-history
I read the English edition of this book which I understand is an abridged version of the original that was published in Spanish. Abridged books often seem longer than the full versions because the author's argument gets mangled as the text gets cut. I must say that of all the books that I have read by Beevor this one is most lacking in clarity and impact.

For a long time, we have regarded the Republicans (including the communists who quickly assumed the leadership role) who fought against Franco
...more
Mark
An extremely detailed account of the Spanish Civil War. I must admit the book dig drag at points as the author gets into the various political, social and religious factors that contributed to the war and how it was fought.

I have to give the author a lot of credit, as well as being extremely detailed, this book is brutally honest about the players and parties on both sides. Unlike Hollywood depictions of the war, the republicans don't come off as the good guys fighting off the evil fascists. Lik
...more
Chanticleer
Jul 14, 2014 Chanticleer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military and Cold War buffs
Recommended to Chanticleer by: Google
This was not the best way for me to get into the Spanish Civil War. I need to know the reasons why before going into battle detail. I got bogged down in the dozen+ factions that constitute the republican and nationalist sides due to a lack of understanding early 20th century Spanish politics. Nevertheless, this is definitely something that will be part of my "reference" collection.

If military history is your thing, I highly recommend this book. The focus is largely on the combatants themselves a
...more
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for 5 years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.

More about Antony Beevor...
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“History is never tidy.” 21 likes
“They eyed with mounting alarm the red flags and banners and portraits of Lenin, Stalin and Largo Caballero on huge placards, and listened to the chanting of the demonstrators, demanding the formation of a proletarian government and a people’s army. But it was not just these obvious political symbols that frightened them. The workers in the street had a new confidence or, in their view, insolence. Beggars had started to ask for alms, not for the love of God, but in the name of revolutionary solidarity. Girls walked freely and started to ridicule convention. On 4 May José Antonio delivered a diatribe from prison against the Popular Front. He claimed that it was directed by Moscow, fomented prostitution and undermined the family. ‘Have you not heard the cry of Spanish girls today: “Children, yes! Husbands, no!”?” 0 likes
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