Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Siege of the Alcazar (1936)

The Weird Aryan History Series - Lesson #18
The Siege of the Alcazar

July 20th - September 27th, 1936

In July of 1936, the people of Spain revolted against their tyrannical and murderous Communist government. The uprising was led by General Francisco Franco and had the support of most (although not all) of the Spanish military, the Catholic Church, the middle classes, and a very large section of normal working class people as well. The popular left-wing myth that the Spanish Civil War was nothing more than a "military coup" is unfounded; the fact that Franco was able to establish a stable and relatively prosperous society that lasted for over thirty years belies this.

When it became apparent that the initial rising in Madrid had failed, the Nationalist supporters in Toledo, which is 40 miles to the southwest of the capital, declared for Franco and occupied the military academy in the ancient Alcazar fortress. The garrison was mainly drawn from the local Guardia Civil and Falange, but also included about a hundred teenaged military cadets, a large number of women and children as well as nuns and priests who had fled to the fort for safety from the marauding Communist militia and the Asaltos or Assault Guards, who were the Republic's paramilitary goon squads. This motley crew of resistance fighters was led by the Commandant of the Academy, Colonel Jose Moscardo.

At that time Toledo was a Nationalist island surrounded by Republican-held territory, and it was psychologically as well as strategically vital that the Red government in Madrid recover the fortress as soon as possible. They despatched a large force of militia, Asaltos, army troops who remained loyal to the government, "international brigades" and Soviet "advisors" as well as the dreaded POUM anarchist paramilitary gangs, to capture the Alcazar. Within days, the ancient castle was surrounded by hastily-built barricades and besieged with sniper and machine-gun fire.

One of the most famous incidents of Spanish heroism during the war took place on July 23rd, 1936. The Communist commander reached Moscardo by telephone within the Alcazar, and the Colonel was informed that Republican forces had arrested his 16 year old son, Luis, a cadet at the academy under his father's command. Unless Moscardo surrendered immediately, Luis would be executed. To prove that they had his son, he was put to the phone to speak to his father.

The boy spoke up proudly, "Father, if you surrender your command to the enemies of Spain in order to save my life, I shall disown you and never more acknowledge you as my blood!"

His father replied "Die like a Spaniard, my son!" The enraged Communists then shot Luis in the head. In the Alcazar today, the telephone still remains on display.

Repeated assaults against the castle walls failed and resulted in heavy government casualties. The Reds had brought artillery with them, but only light field guns which could be shielded against through the extensive use of sandbagging on the ramparts, and they were such bad cannon shots that they often missed the huge castle completely and their shells fell on the hapless city. Then they ran out of shells entirely and the incompetent, bickering Republican staff in Madrid were unable to supply any more. Crude attempts at aerial bombing also failed.

For the next two months the defenders held out against the Republican units besieging them. Their only source of water was a cistern in the main courtyard; fortunately they were able to fill it up, because it took the Reds some time to figure out how to shut off the water mains. After that the hundreds of people in the fortress, many of them non-combatants, had to rely on rainwater caught in sheets and tarps.

In August they ran low on food and had to rely on nightly stealth foraging expeditions over the walls to raid a grocery warehouse the Nationalists knew about in town, but which the Reds had somehow overlooked. They also had to crawl down and scavenge ammunition by ambushing Republican sentry posts or looting the corpses of those killed in the day's fighting.

Many local residents of Toledo who had remained behind in the city risked their lives to supply Moscardo and his men with food, ammunition, and intelligence on the enemy's activities, and many were summarily tortured and executed because they were suspected, rightly or wrongly, of helping the Alcazar's defenders or being in contact with them.

In mid-September the Reds brought in a sapper unit of anarchist Asturian miners, who tunneled beneath the walls and planted a large explosive charge which they detonated in a massive blast, bringing down a section of the wall. Now the Reds could gain partial entry into the Alcazar, and the fighting slowly progressed from building to building, floor to floor, room to room.

In the meantime General Franco was receiving regular reconnaissance reports from his air corps on the situation, and he realized that the Alcazar couldn't hold out much longer. His army was marching on Madrid in four columns (hence General Molina's famous remark about his "fifth column" inside the city.) Franco faced a choice. He could divert one of the columns to relieve the Alcazar and risk not having enough troops to capture the capital, or else he could ignore the sideshow in Toledo and concentrate on his main strategic objective.

Franco spent a whole night in thought and prayer, and in the morning he made his decision. "This is a matter of the honor of the Spanish Army. We cannot leave Moscardo and his heroes to their fate, as well as the women and children." He ordered General Jose Varela to alter his line of march and storm Toledo. On September 27th, 1936, Nationalist troops from the Army of Africa entered the city. The Reds fled back to Madrid without much of a fight.

The raising of the siege of the Alcazar did much to enhance General Franco’s reputation, but the diversion of Varela’s troops from the advance on Madrid gave the capital’s defenders further time to prepare their defences, and time for Soviet supplies and weapons to arrive. Franco has been criticized by military historians for his decision, which may well have prolonged the Civil War, but for the rest of his life, he always maintained that he had been right to put honor before expediency.

Colonel Moscardo was promoted to the rank of General and later led the Spanish Blue Division of volunteers on the Eastern Front during World War Two.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been familiar with the story about Moscardo and his son for a long time, although I hadn't heard the particular version you relate before. I believe that Luis was not killed immediately but a few weeks later, although nothing detracts from the courage of both father and son, or the viciousness of the leftists.
What is interesting about the Spanish Civil War is the consistent bias of historians in favour of the Republicans. The widespread atrocities committed by the leftists are routinely airbrushed out while supposed crimes committed by the Nationalists are given Hollywood treatment. The jew infestation of the the whole Republican side is never mentioned. Had Franco not lead the resistance against the Government there is no doubt that Spain would have become a communist colony of the Soviet Union. Because he prevented that from happening he was hated by the jews ever afterwards. The only leftist who spoke honestly about the war was George Orwell.
Although Stalin didn't get his red outpost he did get most of Spain's gold. Many of the kikes who ran the terror apparatus of the Republicans fled to Moscow in 1939. Superkike Ernst Gero later terrorised the Hungarian people before they rose in revolt in 1956.
Unfortunately, the Spain of today has been taken over by the descendents of the scum who tried to destroy it in the 1930s and they have done their best to make up for lost time.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in 2003 or 2004 I read an eyeopening article about the Spanish Civil War that has always haunted me, it was an account from a Nationalist soldier who was complaining about how many Jews he had shot, just about every Red he shot was a Jew he said anyway I posted it on Liberty Forum and it eventually disappeared off the forum - spent a couple of nights looking for it on the internet a while back but came up empty - seems to have fallen off the internet entirely, I thought it might have been posted originally on the old site but couldn't locate it on the wayback machine either - anyways possibly you might have posted something close to that description somewhere in your archives? I would love to resurect and circulate that one if I can find it, that was a great truthpackage -

Great blog BTW! Keep up the good work, Your humble Free Speech activist - FZN

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the young man was kept as a prisoner and murdered a few weeks later. Also, the telephone used by the father to talk to him is NOT on display anylonger, having been removed by a left wing govnerment in the early nineties. Check out "The Last Crusade" by Warren Carroll, free here or "The Siege of the Alcazar" by Cecil Eby, if you can find it.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Esto realmente resuelto mi problema, gracias!

9:18 AM  

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