Military Review

Oviedo - Hero City of the Spanish Civil War

Oviedo - Hero City of the Spanish Civil War

Oviedo Defense is one of the brightest pages in stories The Spanish Civil War, which is on a par with the heroic defense of the Spanish nationalists of the fortress of Alcazar in Toledo. The siege of the city by Republicans lasted from 19 July 1936 to mid-October 1937.

When the 18 July 1936 broke out throughout Spain a rebellion by the Spanish nationalists against the republican power of President Asana and his pro-Marxist government, Oviedo was not considered by the rebels as a likely place for successful developments. The city was the center of the mining workers' movement in the province of Asturias, in which the Asturian Soviet Republic was proclaimed in October 1934, which lasted for almost a month.

However, the provincial military governor, Colonel Antonio Aranda, assured the local miners of loyalty to the Asanya garrison and the “Popular Front”. When negotiating with the workers' commanders, Aranda called himself "the sword of the Republic." He encouraged them to march through Leon and Castile to help Madrid, from where they asked for help. The colonel even supplied the miners with several hundred rifles, ammunition and three machine guns.

Immediately after the departure of the miners' militia to the south, Aranda revolted and immediately captured the city with his weapons factory. The miners, who managed to occupy Leon and invade from the north into Old Castile, turned back to Asturias and besieged Oviedo.

Republicans did not rush to storm Oviedo, since a significant part of their militia was involved in suppressing the uprising of the nationalists in the coastal city of Gijon. There, in the barracks of the city, a small garrison (200 man), led by Colonel Penillia, held the defense. Only 16 August the barracks were taken by the Republicans, and the garrison was completely destroyed.

Now the Republicans were finally able to concentrate on Oviedo. From the very first day of the siege, the Republicans turned off the water supply of the city .. Defenders and residents of the city had to use unpurified water from the city reservoir with a standardized distribution.

On September 4, the assault on Oviedo began. Republican aviation dropped 1500 bombs on the city, and artillery fired at nearby residential neighborhoods. The whole city was shrouded in black smoke of fires. Almost a thousand civilians died from bombs and shells. Four days later, under the cover of armored steam rinks, the Republicans launched an attack on the northern part of the city, however, the nationalists, putting anti-aircraft guns directly on sandbags, knocked out two rinks and threw the enemy back.

The continuous shelling of the city claimed the lives of many of its inhabitants, and the lack of untreated water caused an epidemic of typhus, but this terror and disaster only rallied the population of the city and its defenders. Many residents, who at first sympathized with the Popular Front and the Republic, began to actively help Oviedo’s defenders, since many of their family members were killed or injured by explosives of the attackers.

A positive role in this rallying was played by the factor that, unlike the Republicans, especially anarchists and communists, nationalists in Oviedo in retaliation for the sacrifices made by defenders and civilians were not executed by any of the political prisoners in their hands. This was probably the only case in Spain on both sides for the entire war.

On October 4, on the day before the second anniversary of the start of the Asturian Revolution in 1934, the Republicans, having received additional reinforcement in manpower and equipment, launched a decisive offensive.

Nationalists have lost some of the heights around the city. Then the battle moved to the nearest city blocks and streets. The fight raged throughout the week. One by one, the nationalists left their positions and retreated to the center of the city. The ring around the defenders inexorably squeezed. They have exhausted all their ammunition, and 3000 is left out of the 600 man.
October 8, when the defenders of the city were left almost without ammunition, nationalist pilots managed to drop 30000 cartridges from a low altitude.

By 10 October, Aranda had only 500 fighters left, and he pulled them into the city center for the final battle .. By this time, the Republicans had captured almost all the important objects of the city, including the last power station, but Aranda called on the defenders by radio and the inhabitants of the city fight, like the Spaniards, to the end. He sent a message to the auxiliary convoy of nationalists rushing to the aid of Galicia, in which he said that his remaining troops were almost without ammunition, but they would fight to the last.

Republican militiamen, suffering huge losses (since the beginning of the assault on 5000 people), were slowly moving towards the center of the city. Every house in which the nationalists held their defenses, who did not want to surrender, they were undermined by dynamite, and only then moved on. When the republicans were to capture the last quarter of the city center, where the central cathedral was towering, troops of the nationalist column from Galicia broke into Oviedo.

The nationalists broke through a narrow corridor into the city and held it until the complete fall of the Republican North of Spain a year later. Republicans left the city and retreated to the positions they occupied at the beginning of the siege. Oviedo was no longer in danger. Colonel Antonio Aranda received the rank of general and took part in the battles of Teruel and in Aragon.
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, cities that endured a long siege — Avila, Belchite, Oviedo, Saragossa, Segovia, Teruel, Toledo — were given the status of hero cities.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 31 October 2015 07: 35
    .... and then these "glorious" guys came to Soviet soil as part of the "Blue Division" ...
    1. Roy
      Roy 31 October 2015 09: 41
      We must not forget that the Soviet guys, before the "Blue Division", also came to Spanish soil. So there was an exchange of visits on both sides.
        ALEA IACTA EST 31 October 2015 20: 41
        We are to them, they are to us. laughing
      2. Lister
        Lister 24 December 2020 01: 02
        Do not compare one and the other. Soviet specialists were in Spain at the invitation of the legitimate Republican government of Spain. The Spaniards came to us as invaders.
  2. Nikita Gromov
    31 October 2015 09: 47
    An impressive page in the history of the Spanish Civil War. There were earlier hero cities than ours. And about Oviedo and his defense, even now shoot a film. Exciting plot.
  3. Kilo-11
    Kilo-11 31 October 2015 11: 12
    "Bad" Republicans and "good" Spanish Nazis. The author of the site was not mistaken ?! Maybe the author should write about the "brave defenders" of Berlin or about the "glorious knights" of Debaltsev ?!
    1. Georg Shep
      Georg Shep 31 October 2015 11: 23
      War is war. In war, on the one hand and on the other, there are always heroic deeds and heroes. Defense Oviedo is a prime example.
      1. Kilo-11
        Kilo-11 31 October 2015 19: 35
        The German Nazis also have their own "heroes" about their "exploits", that now the same must be written and remembered. By the way, the Spanish Nazis with the Germans are of the same berry field. We already have bookstores filled with memoirs of German "heroes", books about these "outstanding" personalities and military formations in which they served. So, if you want to read about "exploits and heroes" "on the other", you can go, for example, to a bookstore to purchase the appropriate literature.
  4. Rastas
    Rastas 31 October 2015 11: 27
    Mr. Ermolaev, we are waiting for the following articles from you. Since you, I look very respectful of phalanxists and other nationalist scum, you can throw the following topics. For example, about the heroic defense in the 45th Breslau and Budapest from the Soviet commies-invaders. Or the heroic struggle of the Bandera underground. Why go so far? Write about the struggle of the Ukrainian army against the Donbass for the purity of the Ukrainian race.
  5. NyeMoNik70
    NyeMoNik70 31 October 2015 12: 41
    Spain ponad mustache! Phalangists and other rabble against a democratically elected government. Stop this abomination there, and there won’t be a big war. Not Ukraine Spain, Syria. Everything is decided there.
    1. Lister
      Lister 24 December 2020 01: 03
      It would have been so if ... Between July 24 and November 26, the Republican government launched an all-out campaign to re-establish its territory in the Battle of the Ebro, in which Franco personally took command. This campaign was unsuccessful for the Republicans, and was further undermined by the Franco-British pacification of the parties undertaken in Munich. The agreement with England effectively destroyed the fighting spirit of the Republicans in their hopes of creating an anti-fascist alliance with the Western powers.
  6. Hlyneope
    Hlyneope 31 October 2015 14: 53
    I look, here they attacked the author, almost accused of propaganda of Nazism. Is it really possible for people to "bomb" so much from the fact that other people have their own opinion, often completely opposite? Finally, accept that not everyone thinks like you.
    An interesting article, discovered an unknown episode of world military history.
    1. Orty
      Orty 31 October 2015 16: 51
      Oh yes, your opinion, what could be more important than that ?! Hitler and the Germans supporting him had their opinion on what needs to be done with the Russians and all the other peoples of the USSR! It was a very valuable opinion, the cost of 25 million lives of citizens of the USSR. So if we are talking about Natsik then they go in the ass with their opinion, their opinion cost us too much. Natsiks of any nationality must be spread rot, because they themselves, having seized power, will not spare anyone.
    2. Roy
      Roy 31 October 2015 17: 44
      And these attacks on the author are a striking example of a propaganda phenomenon: one side is always bad, the other is always good. And if without propaganda cliches and labels, then heroism on either side is heroism. Without any.
      1. Kilo-11
        Kilo-11 31 October 2015 20: 33
        Wehrmacht servicemen and punitive forces from the SS troops on the eastern front perform "miracles of heroism" fighting against the soldiers of the Red Army, but essentially against our great-grandfathers and grandfathers, do you think their "heroism" / Nazis / should be recognized "without any"? from the SS troops in crimes of a different nature in the occupied territory of the USSR, how would you like to call them "miracles of heroism", Soviet propaganda, or maybe just an annoying misunderstanding? Here, in my opinion, no. Let me remind you that the SS troops and "heroes" from this gang were recognized at the Nuremberg trials The Armed Forces and the servicemen of Nazi Germany were not recognized by the international tribunal as a criminal organization and criminals. Alas! But it would be necessary, the servicemen of all Nazi Germany committed crimes of various nature both in the occupied territory of the USSR and in other countries in the most active way. So for me personally, on the other side of "heroism" is not and cannot be, "without about everyone ", including propaganda and clichés. With regard to the topic of the article specifically. It should be understood that the Spanish phalangists and German Nazis are not very different from each other - one ideology, one enemy, one methods of struggle and achieving their goal. Just Spanish phalangists and For various reasons, the Fuhrer Franco was lucky, so to speak, that in 1945 the Soviet soldier-liberator did not reach Nazi Spain.
        1. Roy
          Roy 31 October 2015 22: 15
          Here is your mini-essay - just a clear example of a mossy and anti-human propaganda ideology. After all, we are not talking about "Nazis", "communists" or "capitalists", but about the war of fellow citizens with each other and about the fighting courage of one of the belligerents during that Civil War - the Spanish nationalist patriots, against the Spanish internationalist patriots (although this the phrase sounds like nonsense) In war as in war - it is not ideologists and propagandists who are fighting, but soldiers and warriors, and who, on the battlefield, pay tribute to their enemy's courage. This is the first commandment of a real soldier. Without anything. And you ... know for yourself, you are giving out hackneyed ideological clichés: fascists, communists, enkvde, ss ... etc.
          1. Kilo-11
            Kilo-11 1 November 2015 09: 25
            Under the phrase "... mossy and anti-human propaganda ideology ...", what do you mean? One of the reasons for the emergence of civil wars is precisely the political and ideological differences between the citizens of one country. This is what enemy to pay "... a tribute to courage ... "You are suggesting, maybe to the punishers from the 20th Estonian division of the SS troops who destroyed Soviet civilians in 1943 in the Pskov region or to their colleagues from the 3rd SS division, who also showed" courage "in punitive actions on the territory of the Leningrad and Pskov regions ?! And imagine that in any war, and in the civil war in the first place, not only soldiers are fighting, but this or that ideology. Your "... commandment of a real soldier ..." dear, how smells bad.
            1. Roy
              Roy 1 November 2015 10: 22
              These are your ideological and propaganda "commandments", mixed with hatred and intolerance towards the soldiers of the other side, not only smell bad, but also stink at all. I repeat once again: the soldiers are fighting in the war, not the punishers, executioners and murderers. This sort of "servicemen" on the part of all the belligerent countries has nothing to do with front-line soldiers.
              1. Lister
                Lister 24 December 2020 01: 05
                Quote: Roy
                soldiers are fighting in war, not punishers, executioners and murderers

                negative Only German soldiers became simultaneously punishers, executioners, murderers and rapists
  7. Insurgent LC
    Insurgent LC 31 October 2015 17: 41
    in the 40s, Spain and Czechoslovakia now Syria and Ukraine do not resemble anything, is it time to draw conclusions and cut this infection to the bud before it’s too late since all this supposedly = civilized world = constantly behaves without civilization sensing the least slack
    ALEA IACTA EST 31 October 2015 20: 40
    And why did the Spaniards go to the Spaniards?
    After all, only the USSR and Germany benefited, having run in new weapons and charging a lot of money for their services ...
    1. Lister
      Lister 24 December 2020 01: 06
      As a result, the Anglo-Saxons got the benefit. The benefit for them was that Franco did not start fighting for Gibraltar on the side of the possessed Fuhrer.
  9. Black cat
    Black cat 3 November 2015 17: 41
    Any city is, first of all, its inhabitants. These "heroes" fought for fascism against their own people, against miners and workers from the same city. Another would be terrorists in the "heroes" recorded, they also blow themselves up. The text of the article itself is more like the clumsy propaganda of the Francoists, translated into Russian.
  10. Kim Klimov
    Kim Klimov 18 December 2015 00: 18
    In this defense of the city, the Spanish nationalists, in front of those who have the advantage of the enemy, fully showed courage, stamina and courage. And this fact, we must pay tribute.
    1. Lister
      Lister 24 December 2020 01: 07
      So who, and the Spanish nationalists have nothing to give credit for.
  11. cannabis
    cannabis 12 October 2016 15: 42
    Strange hero cities there.