In the Republican exile, where I was born, this was the issue of many computers. Why did Barcelona fall into the hands of the Francoists on 26 January 1939 without any resistance? The elders thought about the subject and exchanged accusations according to their affinities. that of Negrin be held accountable Companies of never took the war seriously. That of the Esquerra Republicana attributed the collapse of the Catalan front to its exclusion from everything related to the war by Negrín and the communists. fans of azana attributed the disgraceful entry of Franco’s troops in Barcelona to Stalin he had already condemned the Spanish Republic. As for the anarchists and the POUM, they attributed it to a wrong policy that captivated the proletarian revolution. To which the communists replied that things would have gone differently if not so much time had been lost in organizing an army as God intended. The Kainite controversies that thinned the Republican side continued to wreak havoc among the exiles, who agreed on only one statement: the policy of in the intervention of France and England it had been the Achilles’ heel of the Republic.

More than 80 years after the entry into Barcelona of Yagüe’s troops from the south, and of the Navarre army corps, Italian tankettes and Moroccan regular soldiers by Tibidabo, there are sufficient studies to address the multiple causes that explain it. the Barcelona falls like a ripe fruit. My father intervened in those Byzantine discussions and said that the war was not won by Franco, but the republicans lost it. A certainly serious but sincere conclusion, the emphasis of which was on the mess that the Republican camp experienced, especially in Catalonia. For him, the Civil War was lost as a result of the war within the war that the left faced in May 1937, and as a result of the struggle that the Catalan nationalists divided with Companies, abandoned by many of his own who, unjustly, of him all accused. the disasters in the Catalan rearguard. There is no doubt that this climate of fraternal division weighed heavily, but we must not forget that, after the defeat of the Ebro River – where thousands of young Catalans died out of the fifth of the bottle -, the republican army was in disarray and the morale of the soldiers who had not yet dared was rock bottom.

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With nearly 2,500 civilian casualties, the German-Italian experiment achieved its goal: to break any moral resistance; this strategy would be used later in World War II

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The day before the entry of the Francoists into Barcelona, ​​’La Vanguardia’ reached another issue of the newspaper (then controlled by Negrín) with a striking headline: ‘El Llobregat could be the Manzanares of Barcelona’. The ‘can’ revealed the skepticism of the linotypists, which was confirmed a few hours later. The Francoist and Italian troops led the Llobregat through the bridges that were not even dynamized by republican artists. Many of the reasons given by some and others in the debates in exile to justify the inability to defend Barcelona had their reason for being to a greater or lesser extent. However, it is often forgotten to explain the demoralization of a population that did not dig trenches like those of the Casa de Campo in Madrid, nor did it erect a single barrier, Barcelona was subjected to systematic bombing for more than two years by the Italian Savoia-Marchetti and the German Junkers. With nearly 2,500 civilian casualties and 1,800 buildings destroyed, the German-Italian experiment achieved its goal: break all moral resistance. In addition to the defeat of the Ebro, the internal strife between Republicans and the negative impact caused by the killings of many civilians and religious people at the beginning of the war, this military strategy – which would be used during World War II – has no possibility doubled in response and this paved the way for the arrival of the Francoists and their reception by a population surrendered by rationing and war. Winston Churchill would acknowledge the extent of the bombing suffered by the people of Barcelona in June 1940 in a famous speech, when the Nazi bombs began to fall on London. It was late. Franco had already won the war.

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* Andreu Claret is the author of the novel 1939. The fall of Barcelona‘.

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