Saturday, June 17, 2017

Franco Stays Loyal, No Spanish Civil War?

A long time ago I found a timeline on the alternate-history discussion forum in which General Francisco Franco, who led the fascist-allied Nationalists who overthrew the left-leaning but democratically-elected Spanish Republic in the 1930s, remains loyal to the Spanish Republic. Apparently he dithered about whether to join the planned coup attempt, much to the other conspirators' annoyance, and at one point warned the government the military was disloyal, but ended up joining the uprising.

Here's the timeline, which was written by a Spanish board-member and has all sorts of details an outsider wouldn't know. Here are some highlights:

*Sometimes pushing to get your way gets you the exact opposite response, something Emilio Mola really should have thought about when trying to get Franco to join up.

*Spanish society was heavily divided in the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War. Even though the coup that kicked off our history's war is pre-empted and squashed, there's a lot of political violence from both sides. 1934 saw a left-wing uprising in Spain that Franco defeated with extreme brutality; in this timeline the Spanish hard right makes a go of it in 1936 after the coup is squashed.

*Anarchism (the left-wing socialist sort) becomes a parliamentary party in the Spanish Republic. Although an anarchist political party seems like a bit of an oxymoron, it's not that difficult to push for certain political goals within a governmental framework. Anarchism was very strong in Spain, in particular Catalonia.

*Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini during the early days of the war apparently planned to opportunistically seize the Balearic Islands, but found his Nationalist allies had seized them first. This time around the enmity between the Spanish Republic and the Italian fascist regime remains.

*Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky comes to live in Spain, much to Stalin's rage.

The timeline is long and very detailed, but it's very interesting. Check it out!

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