Republican soldiers in battle
Uniforms are always interesting. Last time, we settled on the fact that uniform reform was carried out in the army of the Republic. But the fact was that on the side of the republic there were also many different kinds of volunteer formations of the Popular Front that fought: organizations of different political orientations, united in order to repulse the fascists.
The usual clothes of the fighters of such detachments was a work overalls (mono), sewn from cotton tarpaulin in gray, greenish and blue, and it was he who also became a kind of uniform for many militianos, not only men but also women. Pilots among the Republicans were also very popular, only without tassels, but in the end it was a man in a mono and a cap that became in Spain the personification of the image of a fighter for freedom of the republic.
Republican Armed Forces: 1 - anarchist police fighter, 1936; 2 - Cabo Guard Asalto, 1937; 3 - a female fighter of the detachment of the Union of Latin American students. Fig. Jeffrey Burne
New insignia also represented asterisks and their combination and were sewn on a uniform together with galloons. Officers were designated with gold horizontal galloon stripes over the toe of the cuff: the captain had three such stripes. At the headquarters officers, wider galloons crowned with a red star were under the toe. The brigadier and the sergeant were distinguished by a star without a fringing and with vertical red stripes over the cuff. The same signs were located near the cap left and right of the emblem of the military branch, while the star was attached to the top. The Cape Republicans were distinguished by a red chevron with an angle upwards at the bottom of their sleeves, but he was not supposed to have a star.
And other Spanish women did not need a uniform at all!
Political commissars had a red star in a red circle and narrow or wide red stripes by rank (by position) under it. They were duplicated on the chest valve and often supplemented with a red neckerchief, so the commissar was visible from afar!
Republican Army: 1 - soldier in winter uniform; 2 - brigade commander; 3 - Captive Captain of the Nationalist Army; 4 - soldier of the 5th Al-Hussein Regiment, winter uniforms. Fig. Jeffrey Burne
Republican generals wore three red stars on their chest and sleeves, arranged in a triangle, with a golden rod and a saber between them. The visors of their caps (as well as many officers) along the edge were edged with gold. The coat of arms of Spain shone with gold in front in the center of the circle, but there was a red star on the top above it. Also, top commanders and general staffists wore up to four faceted three-ray stars, which were attached over insignia. The brigade commander had one, the corps commander had three. The symbolism of the three rays was as follows: socialists, communists and all the others united against fascism!
The five-pointed star was also used in the Republican Navy. navy.
Officer ranks of the republican pilots were also indicated by the galuns. The pilots had “wings” on their chests slightly higher than the galloons, and even higher - a red star. The Air Force emblem was a golden flying eagle, covered by a four-bladed propeller, and looked more rich than the silver emblem of Franco.
Carabinieri and national guards also wore blue mono overalls and gray-green caps with red bands. The assault guards had a blue uniform with silver galloons, insignia and buttons. True, this was their full dress uniform, and in battle they fought all in the same mono, only gray, but in blue caps with silver embroidery. Ammunition was made of black or brown leather. The security forces used paramilitary uniforms, but it was easy to distinguish them by the fact that they were armed with Spanish automatic Mausers "Astra" with a wooden holster-butt.
Many items of uniforms, along with everything else, were delivered to Spain by the Soviet Union. Flight and tank helmets, overalls, boots, ammunition - all this went along with the supply of tanks and aircraft.
Here we digress a bit and recall how many Soviet military advisers arrived in Spain: people of different military specialties and different nationalities.
Under the name of General Grishin, the head of the Soviet military intelligence corps commissioner Jan Berzin worked in Spain. Admiral don Nicholas (as he was called, although he was not an admiral) was actually a naval attache, Captain I rank Nikolai Kuznetsov, who became the future commissar and admiral of the fleet. General Douglas, Advisor for aviation, in fact, there was a commander Yakov Smushkevich. Commissioner Pablo Fritz was in fact Pavel Batov, the military adviser to Petrovich was Kirill Meretskov, and Colonel Malino was Rodion Malinovsky. The freedom of the Spanish Republic was fought by the commanders of the Red Army Latvian Paul Armen, Ossetians Haji Mamsurov, Italian Primo Djibelli, German Ernst Schacht and many others ... And different fate awaited all these "Spaniards" at home - someone received high posts and was awarded who Something - a term in the camp, or even a bullet in the back of the head. The penetrating book about the war in Spain was written by the "truth-maker" Mikhail Koltsov - and what is the result? He was shot in 1940 ...
Republican Officer's Cap
The commander of the XI International Brigade was the Hungarian writer Mate Zalka - General Lukacs. Among the Inter-Bigad were Germans from the Telman Battalion, and Americans from the Lincoln Battalion, the British, French, and Poles: in all, representatives of 54 countries fought for the republic. Russians from the white emigration were also among them, although there were those who went to fight on the side of Franco. It is clear that many inter-brigade members dressed in the clothes that the Spaniards gave them. But many went about their own way. So, many Frenchmen went to war, taking with them their army service uniforms, the old leather ammunition of the 1916 model, and even just adopted, the 1936 model, and, of course, their own Adrian’s helmets of “the color of the horizon”. The British over their left elbow sewed their Union Jack, and the Germans flaunted triple Mauser pouches.
But for all the militias and partisans who fought in Spain, the uniform was simply not enough. Women milicianos generally wore ordinary dresses, workers wore jackets and plaid shirts over which bandoleers were worn. Windings were wound over striped trousers, and, of course, they tried to get hold of high laced boots, leggings and boots at all costs. But most often, instead of leather shoes, the defenders of the republic had to be content with alpargatas - something like slippers with a rope sole. Usually they were worn directly on white socks, soldierly wrapped on their ankles, while their legs were wrapped in soldier's windings. But it happened and fought barefoot ...
It’s very interesting to read this book too. And the language practice is great!
Perhaps the most colorful way looked three thousand anarchists of Buenaventura Durruti. They were dressed soundly, but very variegated: they wore both mono and breeches with leathers, imitating our commissars of the Civil War. Their main difference was the red-black neckerchiefs, which were sometimes replaced by a red-black patch on the headdress. The Milisianos of the Anarchists wore red and black caps on their heads. Having seen the Soviet films "Chapaev" and "We are from Kronstadt", many anarchists also began to wrap themselves in machine-gun ribbons. Unnecessary weapons they also carried a lot on themselves, but all in order to impress the pretty senorite. And they did honor not only Kropotkin and Bakunin, but also Old Man Makhno, and their battalions were named after them.
Someone in berets, some in caps, some in helmets ...
In a helmet and with a tie! Fighters of the Spanish Republican Army, 1937
Supporters of Trotsky fought on the Republican side. The red letters POUM (Workers' Party of Marxist Unity) flaunted on their uniforms, under a red star sewn on their chests. Then, right during the war, they were attacked by their own ... Many were imprisoned, and many were shot, and some of the Soviet military advisers simple contacts with POUM fighters then turned into a sentence under article 58 ...
It was very easy to recognize the guy in the helmet
The workers' militia created by the Communists could be recognized by the blue semi-overalls worn by both men and women, and the red caps with the abbreviation "People's Union". Another identification mark was a red bandage over the left elbow, which depicted a sickle and a hammer with arms crossed for some reason. In addition to the red cap, the headdress of the Republicans was the red cloth caps worn by the Catalan militia, and again the Basques. And the Basques were both for the Republicans and for the nationalists, so on the Northern Front they met "on both sides of the barricades."
The Milicianos from Andalusia wore wide-brimmed peasant straw hats, bandoleers that crossed on their chests, and ordinary peasant robes, which were very similar to Pancho Villa's Mexican rebels. Everything is like in the movie “Viva, Villa!”, Which in the 30s of the XX century was as popular as “Chapaev”.
A fairly detailed story about the Legion "Condor"
Italians Mussolini and Hitler Germans also fought on Spanish soil. German pilots from the Condor legion wore a German-style uniform, but sewn from mustard-beige in Spanish fabric. Ranks differed in stars over a pocket and in caps - like the Spaniards, but edged with military flowers of the Wehrmacht. German non-commissioned officers also received gold galloons in the Spanish manner. But the tankers had their black berets "decorated" with the traditional German "dead head", but along with a small swastika.
Asa Italians ...
And the Germans ...
And the Republican aces
Italian soldiers and officers in Spain usually fought in their national uniforms, since the Duce did not make a special secret of their nationality, but at the same time they often wore Spanish caps and helmets. Bersaliers could be recognized by bunches of cock feathers. Over the left elbow, Italian soldiers usually had colorful shields with the emblems of the divisions: “Superorditi”, “Littorio”, “Flamme Nere” and others. Patch and badges of distinction, as well as insignia on caps for the convenience of identifying them as Spaniards, again repeated the Spanish pattern, but on the other hand, curly buttonholes in the Italian style were sewn on their collars.
The Ebro River. The last battle for the republic
PS Before us is pleased Franco’s victory. He gained power over Spain. Hitler also looks pleased: he was convinced that in Spain he outplayed all his opponents, this gave him confidence. And then ... then there was the Second World War!