Military Review

Tanks in the Spanish Civil War 1936 - 1938 (part of 3)

32
1936-1939 events In Spain, in Soviet historiography, for many years they were viewed as the “national liberation war of the Spanish people,” but it is obvious that this is not true. It was just that a clash between the forces of democracy and the forces of totalitarian regimes occurred, and all this happened in an extremely backward, in fact, semi-feudal, peasant country, with a patriarchal mentality that had entered the consciousness of the masses. And - yes, it was the real “dress rehearsal” of the future war, where its techniques and tactics were worked out.


Tanks in the Spanish Civil War 1936 - 1938 (part of 3)

T-26 - "the most significant Soviet tank" of the Spanish war. Tank Museum near Madrid.

This aspect of the war in Spain was also known in the era of the USSR! But ... was given without much detail. True, the Navy was lucky, as Admiral Kuznetsov told in his memoirs about the actions of the Spanish Navy in sufficient detail, and then also published a number of analytical articles on the same topic. By aviation It seems that there was also a lot of information, but only until recently they were much “spread out” in various publications. Tanks were the least fortunate. And it’s clear why. Our planes were good, but the German ones were better! Who's guilty? Constructors! But tanks ... tanks were out of competition throughout the war. Therefore, I did not want to tell our participants about their mistakes at all. Nevertheless, there is information about tanks in Spain and why don't we get to know her from various sources?

However, it immediately becomes clear that the exact number of T-26 and BT-5 sent to Spain is unknown. Historians abroad tend to exaggerate figures, ours, on the contrary, usually underestimate them.

For example, in the monograph "T-34" I.P. Shmelev says that the Spaniards sent a 362 tank from the USSR, or — even less — 347. But, for example, such a Spanish historian as Rafael Trevino Martinez gives other figures: T-26 tanks near 500 and 100 BT-5, and all this without taking into account different BAs.

The fact that tanks were 362 was also written by Raymond Surlemont, a French historian of BTT, in the Armorek magazine, but added that in addition to tanks of the USSR, he sent FAI and BA-120 / BA-3 armored vehicles to 6 Republicans.

Hugh Thomas is a well-known English historian, whose monograph has been published several times and is supposedly the most objective study of this topic in English-speaking countries. He generally writes about Soviet tanks 900, plus the BA 300 to them. He gives the following table.

People Aviation Tanks Artillery
Nationalists
from Germany 17000 600 200 1000
from Italy 75000 660 150 1000
Moroccans 75000
Total 167000 1264 350 2000
Republicans
from Russia 3000 1 000 900 1550
Other countries and
Interbrigade 35000 320

Non-military formations from abroad 15000
Total 53000 1320 900 1550
* Huqh Thomas, The Spanich civil war, p / 985


149 Tanket CV 3 / 35 Fiat Ansaldo and ... 16 BA Lancia Ansaldo 17М model 1917 g. Came from Italy, and 5 tanket shoes arrived in Spain 16 August 1936 of the year, armor 22 of December. September 29 sent another 10 tanket, 3 - with flamethrowers. Only at the end of October, 1936 of the year managed to form a full-fledged company of mixed Italian-Spanish crews, which was shown to General Franco on October 17 at a military parade. These “tanks” went into battle on October 21 near the town of Navalkarnero. Republicans defending him, seeing the "tanks", immediately retreated. But the Italians lost one tankette, but they were very proud of their success, so they called this part “Navalkarnero”! October 29 these tankety for the first time met with our T-26. The result was a tank duel of our tank with a cannon and Italian wedges with a machine gun and flamethrower, commanded by officer P. Berezi. Of course, the T-26 hit it with a direct hit, and its crew died. The second wedge was heavily damaged, but the T-26 was seriously damaged by nationalist artillery shells. All in all, the Italians lost 1936 vehicles during the autumn battles for Madrid in 4, three people were killed, 17 were wounded and one was missing. Then 8 December 1936 received another replenishment from Italy in the number of 20 machines.

It turned out that Soviet tanks hit the Italian with the first shell that hit them. Therefore, they began to be used as “fast units” (just like today's parts of “quick response”!), And this turned out to be justified. That is, they were sent to where our tanks were not and it was there that they delivered unexpected blows. So, with their help, the nationalists occupied Santader, and in the spring of March-April 1938 fought heavily in the Montenegrin mountains. In July, 1938, reinforced by the German 37-mm guns of the RAK-36, these tankettes were able to break through the Republican front of Teruel and then move forward more than 100 kilometers!


And on this could fight and win?

In December 1938, the 32 wedges were delivered from Italy to the nationalists for the last time. Now the tank unit, which belonged to the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Spain, became known as a regiment, as part of the headquarters, two battalions of tankettes, each of which had two companies. One battalion tankettes had Spanish crews. In addition, there was one motorized battalion, a company of armored vehicles, a company of reconnaissance-motorcyclists, and a company of Bersaliers. The regiment still included a battalion of Orditi, a battalion of anti-tank guns, armed with 65-mm mountain cannons and German RAK-36. This included the 47-mm and 45-mm captured guns.

In December, 1938, the regiment fought in Catalonia, where the battles once again led to the breakthrough of the Republican front. Now the resistance of the Republicans weakened before our eyes, but the gravity of the situation was successfully compensated by the republican press. 17 January 1939 of the newspaper reported on the heroic deed of Corporal Celestino García Moreno, who near the town of Santa Coloma de Queralt met with Italian tanks 13 and blew up three hand grenades. Then he took the pickaxe, broke the hatches on them and captured all five tank crews. And the remaining 10 machines at the same time immediately fled! On January 26, Franco tanks entered Barcelona, ​​and February 3 1939, during the storming of the city of Girona on the French border, the Italians lost their last wedge. Actually, on the border they were February 10, where CTV captured 22 Republican tanks, 50 cannons and more 1000 machine guns! On May 3, Italian tanks paraded in Valencia, and on May 19 in Madrid, which, of course, filled the hearts of the tankers with pride. However, the loss in 56 tankety hardly speak about their high quality. Although, yes, all the memoirists say that their motto: “Quickly to victory”, they justified, that is, they drove really fast and ... anyway, they were forced to retreat the Republicans.

"Condor Legion" 9 T-I tanks received at the end of 1936 of the year, then 32 tanks were delivered in mid-September. The Legion’s tank group was called the Dron tank group. Lt. Col. Wilhelm Ritter von Thom commanded her. The group consisted of a headquarters, two tank companies, of three sections each. In the section there were five line tanks and one commander car. Parts of the support included the transport section, field repair workshop, anti-tank and flamethrower sections. Von Thom noticed that "Spaniards learn quickly, but also quickly forget what they have learned." Because of this, in the mixed German-Spanish carriages the Germans were in charge.


An impressive and formidable car, isn't it?

The weakness of the T-IA showed already in the very first battles, and since December 1936, the tanks of T-IB have gone to Spain. By 1938, the German tank units numbered the 4 battalion, each of the 3 companies and 15 tanks in each company. 4 companies / 60 tanks / were made up of captured T-26. For the capture of the T-26 tank, the nationalist command was giving the 500 pesetas an award — the American pilot’s monthly salary from the Republicans (and the Soviet “Stalin falcons” were paid less than everyone else!), And our Moroccans, for whom there was a lot of money. They were Muslims! They did not drink wine, did not play cards, and all the “earned” money, like modern migrant workers from Central Asia, were sent to their families. And it’s clear what a real Russian tank was for them. Well, in the end, the nationalists got trophies ... 150 T-26, BT-5 and BA BA-10 tanks, and these are only the machines that they were able to repair and then use in my army. In fact, the USSR laid the foundation for the Franco tank park, that's how it is!


An interesting paradox: the army is no more miserable, the brighter the uniform is in it, and there are more “gadgets” in it.

The Germans in Spain were completely independent and, in fact, did not submit to the Spaniards, but only coordinated their actions with them. There was a case when Franco demanded that von Toma send his tanks to attack along with the infantry "in the usual manner of generals belonging to the old school," to which he replied: "I will use tanks without spraying them, but concentrating" and Franco wiped! And in his company he had 15 tanks, and in total there were 180 machines. But only in Catalonia, the Republicans had before 200 Soviet tanks and BA. And so you think? The command on the Catalan front viewed the T-26 as ... unnecessarily heavy and in addition as not sufficiently effective!


In winter, the main thing for a soldier is to warm up!

The question arises: what other efficiency did the Spaniards need from Soviet cars, if T-IA and T-IB, and the CV 3 / 35 did not have guns, and ours had them? The domination of Franco's aviation, which allegedly led to great losses for the Republicans, cannot be sufficiently established. If the nationalists spent up to five hundred bombs on one destroyed pontoon bridge on the Ebro River, how many bombs did they spend on one destroyed tank? And then on the critical days of November 1936, the T-26 and the I-15 and I-16 fighters dominated Spain both on the ground and in the air!


But many Republicans fought in the "jeans"!

Obviously, the Republicans simply ... did not know how to fight properly! That is, the most important reasons for the victory of the nationalists were combat training, discipline and professional command. So M. Koltsov in the book “The Spanish Diary” repeatedly wrote that the nationalists had special sergeants assigned to shoot the retreating and cowards, that they had machine guns behind the infantry. But General Enrico Lister also ordered the shooting of his soldiers in case of retreat. Republican sergeants even had the order to shoot the officers who commanded the retreat without a written order from the headquarters. “Anyone who makes a loss of at least an inch of land will answer for this with his head,” so Lister addressed his troops, and still it did not help, the Republicans suffered one defeat after another. On the other hand, perhaps the Soviet military advisers were simply not listening there? “A large number of Russian officers in Aragon are putting Spanish soldiers in the position of colonized Aborigines,” said a telegram from the headquarters of the Aragon Front to the Minister of War of the Spanish Republic, and this example of attitude towards us is not at all isolated. And one wonders, where is the gratitude? And elementary! Interestingly, no one said anything to the American pilots and volunteer officers from England, the USA and Canada, and they paid their salaries more than ours! Probably too our ceremony with them! And they would say directly: without our tanks and airplanes, you are all here “zero without a wand” and, you see, they would understand their place. And then everything is “fraternal solidarity”, “proletarian internationalism”, “international assistance”, and that’s how the Germans had to be ... “and you went!”
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  1. svp67
    svp67 8 June 2016 06: 31
    +13
    Interesting stuff. One "but". The author misses the point that no matter how strong and formidable a tank is, it does not win alone on the battlefield. There are memories of that war, all our tankers shout aloud: "The tanks were poorly supported by the infantry, the infantry did not follow the tanks."
    There was a case when tanks, of the order of SIX times crawled to a height that they had to take, but the infantry did not go. The anarchists rallied and decided whether to go on the attack or not, decided to go, but bad luck, it was time for the siesta, they decided to go after it.
    As a result, tanks not supported by infantry suffered losses from the infantry of the enemy, who simply threw them with grenades and bottles of AP.



    Some of the tanks were abandoned by the French, by the way itself poorly evaluated by our tankmen and Spanish crews. And the rising infantry was met by the fire and counterattack of the approached reserves, not only stopped, but also knocked down from its positions.
    The army of the Republic was not the army in the form in which it should be. It was a poorly managed cluster of armed revolutionary masses.

    The poster of that time, it depicts the flag of the anarchists, does not resemble anything?

    1. Leto
      Leto 8 June 2016 12: 08
      0
      Quote: svp67
      it depicts the flag of the anarchists, does not resemble anything?

      Honestly no, but what should remind?
      1. Aqela
        Aqela 8 June 2016 20: 40
        +2
        Well, these are the traditional colors of the syndicalist anarchists, which in / in Country 404 were appropriated by the "right-wing" people.
        1. svp67
          svp67 8 June 2016 20: 43
          +1
          Quote: Aqela
          Well, these are the traditional colors of the syndicalist anarchists, which in / in Country 404 were appropriated by the "right-wing" people.

          To the point drinks
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 8 June 2016 09: 10
    +4
    It just happened the clash of the forces of democracy and the forces of totalitarian regimes... You know, Vyacheslav, after all, the interpretation of Soviet historiographers is more accurate ... and there were grounds for that ... the events of the 30s in Spain of the last century, this is as a result of all the Spanish revolutions that shook the country throughout the 19th century ... what forces of democracy faced in Spain? The most democratic countries France, England, the United States declared about not interfering in the affairs of Spain ... and the republican government was simply denied assistance at the official level ... Thus, there is almost nothing left of the forces of democracy ... And only totalitarian regimes of Germany and Italy remain and ... the USSR ... in the light of recent instructions ... the USSR was recognized as a "totalitarian" country ...
    1. kalibr
      8 June 2016 15: 30
      0
      That's why I wrote FORCES, not countries and your question could have been foreseen. Inside the country there were many precisely democratic forces (although they understood democracy in different ways) and I think you will not object that this is not so. There were a lot of them! "Western democracies" have been eliminated at the level of governments, but not individual citizens. This is also a force - "internationalists" and three countries that modern historiography refers to as totalitarian USSR, Germany, Italy, plus Franco's rebels. Like this. Therefore it is written - strength.
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 8 June 2016 17: 39
        0
        This is also a force - "internationalists" ..Power ... But ... it would be worth..democratic countries to show their strength ... But in fact..these countries ... have given the democratic forces of Spain to the slaughter of fascism ... An equal sign, between totalitarian Germany, Italy and You can’t put the USSR ..
        1. kalibr
          8 June 2016 19: 33
          0
          Sure! Divide and rule. this is the principle of "western democracies"
          1. Aqela
            Aqela 8 June 2016 20: 45
            +1
            Well, in principle, these words were spoken by Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor, long before the advent of the states of Angles, Saxons, Normans, Alemans, Franks, Scottes, Goths, even Turks and Arabs ... and the Greeks in those days were significantly different genetically and culturally from the current ... request
            1. kalibr
              9 June 2016 06: 22
              0
              Good "from Caesar" why not use it?
          2. Maki Avellevich
            Maki Avellevich 9 June 2016 06: 18
            0
            Sure! Divide and rule. this is the principle of "western democracies"


            This is the principle of those who want to rule
      2. Maki Avellevich
        Maki Avellevich 9 June 2016 06: 24
        +1
        That's why I wrote FORCES, not countries


        Inside, the Spanish FORCES would not have been able to fight without outside support. therefore, it is more correct to see in the Spanish war a confrontation between the countries that supported the belligerent parties.
  3. mvg
    mvg 8 June 2016 10: 38
    +3
    "Republicans did not know how to fight" is the main conclusion of the article. Question: where did the Francoists learn? The same gypsies, only in profile .. And those several thousand Germans, and 2-3 dozen Henkels and Messerschmidts, together with the T-1B, did not make history ..
    PS: In my understanding, if Russia has undertaken to help the Republic /. it was necessary to do this yes Victory .. and in the T-26 "apricots" not to plant, instead of the crew. The commanders are only personnel, the operations are only coordinated.
    And they simply "tested" the technique, and in an obvious "minus", but did not draw any conclusions. 41-43 years just showed this.
    1. verboo
      verboo 8 June 2016 11: 42
      +4
      Quote: mvg
      The same gypsies, only in profile.

      Quote: mvg
      in T-26 "apricots" do not plant, instead of the crew.

      I want to remind you that these, as you put it "gypsies", owned our world before the Anglo-Saxons. Here is it in full, with all the giblets. And through their efforts, today's world is in many ways what it is. To this day, the Latin American world rules the ball on 2 continents (one for sure). Therefore, the dismissive tone addressed to them is not entirely clear.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 8 June 2016 14: 37
        +1
        And your world is WHERE ???
        1. Aqela
          Aqela 8 June 2016 20: 53
          +2
          Well, for example, Spanish doubloons were actively used in Russia (and not only in Russia, they were willingly used by almost all European states) under the name "efimki", while in Russia then gold coins were not minted at all.
          For a fair amount of time before the heyday of the British Empire, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands completely divided the globe into zones of influence. Do you also need to remind about the discovery of America by the Spanish expedition led by Christopher Columbus? About Geril - the prototype of the partisan movement that seriously pressed the troops of Napoleon 1st Bonaparte, you never heard? Or are you at odds not only with history but also with geography? negative
          So to compare the Spaniards with the Gypsies, who never even had their own state, is simply stupid. fool
          1. kalibr
            9 June 2016 06: 20
            0
            Yes, we recall the famous Tordesillas Treaty of the 1494 of the year confirmed by the pope’s bull in the 1506 ... Even the USA does not allow such dialects!
  4. verboo
    verboo 8 June 2016 11: 34
    0
    On January 17, 1939, newspapers reported the heroic feat of Corporal Gardeia Moreno, who met 13 Italian tanks near the town of Santa Coloma de Cueralt and blew three hand grenades. Then he took a pickaxe, cracked the hatches on them and captured all five tankers. Moreover, the remaining 10 cars immediately took to flight!

    Apparently the editorial office also had "Soviet volunteers".
  5. Leto
    Leto 8 June 2016 12: 04
    +2
    the Soviet "Stalinist falcons" were paid less than everyone else!

    and they were paid more than ours at times!

    Well, let's start with the fact that "birds don't need money," and if it's no joke, then the internationalist soldiers were like volunteers (if you believe the propaganda), what kind of money?
    In general, it is strange to know that the Spaniards paid our advisers a salary, because the USSR received 510 tons of Spanish gold, against this background, the author's indignation about the low salaries of Soviet advisers is inappropriate.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 8 June 2016 14: 35
      +1
      I don’t know how in Spain, but in China Soviet pilots were really paid less (but they didn’t go there for a long dollar)! But pilots from other countries were paid more and were allowed to not participate in air battles at all!
    2. Lens
      Lens 8 June 2016 15: 06
      0
      Why is it so categorical - I don’t remember which of the Spanish pilots presented a brand new car. Chevrolet seems.
    3. kalibr
      8 June 2016 15: 32
      0
      This is not indignation, but a statement of fact.
  6. unknown
    unknown 8 June 2016 13: 44
    +1
    Quote: parusnik
    It just happened the clash of the forces of democracy and the forces of totalitarian regimes... You know, Vyacheslav, after all, the interpretation of Soviet historiographers is more accurate ... and there were grounds for that ... the events of the 30s in Spain of the last century, this is as a result of all the Spanish revolutions that shook the country throughout the 19th century ... what forces of democracy faced in Spain? The most democratic countries France, England, the United States declared about not interfering in the affairs of Spain ... and the republican government was simply denied assistance at the official level ... Thus, there is almost nothing left of the forces of democracy ... And only totalitarian regimes of Germany and Italy remain and ... the USSR ... in the light of recent instructions ... the USSR was recognized as a "totalitarian" country ...


    Modern historians distinguish four models of fascism:
    1. Pure fascism (Italian) - the mobilization of society for approval in the club of great powers.
    2. International Socialism (Soviet) - the mobilization of the resources of the captured country for the world revolution.
    3. National Socialism (German) - the mobilization of the nation for revenge.
    4. Iberian fascism (Spanish) - the mobilization of a nation to establish order within the country. No racial kookies and territorial claims against neighbors. Franco did not participate in WWII, did not let the Germans into his territory. After WWII, he created the conditions for the dissolution of fascist structures and the restoration of the monarchy.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 8 June 2016 14: 31
      +3
      From what "foul-smelling unwashed sock" did you get this "stash of MODERN HISTORIANS" ??? And then share the attitude of these same historians to the AMERICAN RACIAL SEGRIGATION?
    2. kalibr
      8 June 2016 15: 34
      +1
      Well, I can’t write about this in an article about tanks ...
  7. hohol95
    hohol95 8 June 2016 14: 46
    +1
    900 tanks from the USSR are of course nonsense! But 75000 Italians trained in Ethiopians! And the Spanish foreign legion gained experience in battles with the Reef tribes - a serious force! Yes, and many volunteers in the inter-brigades probably did not have military training and combat experience!
    1. kalibr
      8 June 2016 15: 35
      0
      Did not have! There was a training center in Albacete. Courses at three months and into battle. As for tanks, I gave all the numbers that modern historiography operates on.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 8 June 2016 22: 13
        0
        It is clear that these 900 tanks were not invented by you! But I think they wanted to show that with such a huge advantage in armored vehicles, the "leftists" were absolutely unable to take advantage of them, and the equipment was then shoddy!
        1. Warrior2015
          Warrior2015 9 June 2016 10: 22
          0
          Articles on armored topics from the respected Vyacheslav Olegovich, I’m not afraid of this word, perhaps some of the best in the Russian-speaking Internet sphere!

          Quote: hohol95
          You didn't think of 900 tanks! But I think they wanted to show that with such a huge advantage in armored vehicles, the "leftists" were absolutely unable to take advantage of them, and the equipment was then shoddy!

          Well, how can I say - in the 41 year the advantage in the tanks of the Red Army was also great, so what? the system of organization and management was vicious. Well, those who returned from Spain and tried to advise something were quickly put to the wall.
          1. hohol95
            hohol95 9 June 2016 12: 36
            +1
            In 1941, all the equipment was on the territory of the USSR! And I think it was very difficult to transport 900 tanks from the USSR to SPAIN apart from armored cars! Not only tanks sent there, but also much more! And the number of ammunition-friendly equipment in 1941 was less than the total figure, which they like to frighten the west and to prove the preventive strike of Germany! Only the size of the USSR is forgotten, the deplorable state with spare parts and special vehicles - refuellers!
          2. kalibr
            9 June 2016 19: 23
            +1
            Thanks! But when you have been engaged in "tanks" since 1980, that is, for 36 years, you will inevitably accumulate a lot of information, texts and knowledge, therefore the words fall on paper by themselves. Now another book "about tanks" has gone into work - "The Great Tank Idea ". For those who know everything, there is nothing new there, but ... every year new people who are interested in this topic are growing up, they will have something to read! When it comes out I'll let you know.
  8. Arktidianets
    Arktidianets 8 June 2016 14: 53
    +1
    Our help always turned to us sideways, how after all this to help someone?
  9. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi 9 June 2016 16: 46
    +1
    The Finns fought great throughout the "war - continuation" on BT and T26! And there are still working copies in the tank museum! An excellent fighting machine is in the right hands!
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 9 June 2016 19: 09
      0
      They fought - loudly said! Saved - wonderful! The Finns tried to fight on a more modern technique! German 4s and Shtugs 3rd! We bought the captured T-34s from the Germans! Although the Soviet armored vehicles were used intensively!
      1. verboo
        verboo 9 June 2016 22: 45
        0
        Quote: hohol95
        We bought the captured T-34s from the Germans!

        Under their guns, they launched the production of shells. Royal three-inch almost. Although the Finnish shells and required a slight adjustment of recoil mechanisms.
  10. zombirusrev
    zombirusrev 13 June 2016 17: 05
    -1
    We supplied equipment to Spain for money, and how Spain itself later disposed of it is up to it. The USSR was not going to win the war for Spain. In addition, there was a treacherous non-interference committee where Western countries played the main violin. By the way, Pavlov was shot by Isa drunk art in Spain .... after his art at the beginning of World War II, he remembered it. Check out the Duel newspaper library section "Remember the War."