In this highly important book, Javier Rodrigo examines the role of Fascist Italy in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939.
Fascist Italy’s intervention in the Spanish Civil War to provide material, strategic, and diplomatic assistance led to Italy becoming a belligerent in the conflict. Following the unsuccessful military coup of July 1936 and the insurgents’ subsequent failure to take Madrid, the Corps of Voluntary Troops (CTV, Corpo Truppe Volontarie ) was created—in the words of an Italian fascist anthem—to ‘liberate Spain’, usher in a ‘new History’, ‘make the peoples oppressed by the Reds smile again’, and ‘build a fascist Europe’. Far from being insignificant or trivial, the intervention of Fascist Italy and Italian fascists on Spanish soil must be seen as one of the key aspects which contribute to the Spanish conflict’s status as an epitome of the twentieth century. Drawing on sources ranging from ministerial orders to soldiers’ diaries, this book reconstructs the evangelisation of fascism in Spain.
This book is the first important study on Fascist Italy’s role in the conflict to appear in English in over 45 years. It examines Italian intervention from angles unfamiliar to English-speaking readers and will be useful to students of history and scholars interested in twentieth-century Europe, fascism, and the international dimension of the Spanish Civil War.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Fascist Italy and the Spanish Civil War 1
1 Fascist intervention in the coup d’état of 1936 15
Blind faith 16
No turning back 37
2 Fascist Italy at war, 1937 59
From guerra celere to ‘Guadalahara’ 60
A war in the North 81
3 Italy, the CTV, and politics on the National side 102
Evangelise by deed 120
4 Identity, combat, rearguard 133
He wrote, Viva il Duce! , and then he died 135
The clean and the dirty 149
5 A European war in Spain, 1938–1939 169
Without inhibitions 171
Sacred testament 186
Javier Rodrigo is ICREA-Acadèmia Researcher and Professor of History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and currently coordinates a H2020 European Project on forced displacements in Europe.