The Spanish volunteers fighting alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front have received very little attention from English language histories. This new book provides a concise history of their participation, with a text supported by lavish illustration. – Very Highly Recommended.
NAME: Hitler's Spanish Division FILE: R3120 AUTHOR: Pablo Sagarra, Oscar Gonzalez, Lucas Molina, illustrator Romiro Bueiro PUBLISHER: frontline books, Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, Blue Division, Spanish volunteers, Operation Barbarossa, Eastern Front, Wehrmacht, Franco,Espana, Azul Division, 25th Infantry Division, Falangist Party
PAGES: 116 IMAGE: B3120.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/t3zt5ag DESCRIPTION: The Spanish volunteers fighting alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front have received very little attention from English language histories. This new book provides a concise history of their participation, with a text supported by lavish illustration. – Very Highly Recommended. The Nationalists owed so much to Hitler for supporting them against the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. When WWII stated, Hitler expected Spain to join the Axis forces but Franco played a very careful game to avoid upsetting Hitler, to the point where he might roll through France and into Spain, while avoiding any official Spanish involvement in the war. There has been some debate as to his motives. He may have seen the war as a mistake and wished to protect Spain from ending as one of the vanquished, or he may have simply wanted to ensure that his grip on domestic politics and recovery from a vicious civil war were not distracted by direct involvement in a major global conflict. Instead of joining as an ally, Franco provided some support for German intelligence services operating in Spain and modest clandestine refuelling facilities for German U-boats. Hitler must have been very pleasantly surprised when the Spanish Foreign Minister contacted him in June1941, as the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, to ask if Hitler would welcome a force of Spanish volunteers to fight for him against the Soviets. There is some evidence that Hitler thought this was a prelude to a formal alliance and the supply of a large Spanish force of ground troops and airmen. He was to be disappointed and it is entirely possible that Franco was hedging his bets in the event of an eventual German victory. Having sent 'volunteers', the door was open for Franco to commit more, should the Germans be seen to be conclusively defeating the Soviets before turning once more on Britain and on America. After initially naming the Spanish force as 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht, it was referred to as the Azul Division. As a Spanish Division under the command of a fiercely anti-Soviet General Agustin Munoz-Grandes, it was to be treated as a valued ally. By the end of the war some 47,000 Spanish troops had been sent to the Eastern Front as volunteers. Roughly two thirds of the initial force were regular Spanish soldiers including every officer from and above the rank of captain. The remainder were civil war veterans and many were Falangist Party supporters. Of the 47,000, almost half became casualties; dead, wounded, sick, or frostbite victims. This highly illustrated book features many photographs and superb illustrations produced for the book by Romiro Bueiro.