26.01.

1939: Francisco Franco Captures Barcelona with Italian Assistance

1939: Francisco Franco Captures Barcelona with Italian Assistance
Photo Credit To http://www.cccb.org/rcs_gene/postguerra_1_.jpg

Barcelona was the de facto capital of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, which also made it the center of the anti-Franco forces. After Barcelona fell on this day, the remaining members of the Republican government institutions tried to escape to France.

On this day in 1939 Francisco Franco’s troops captured Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. It is important to note that Barcelona was the de facto capital of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, which also made it the center of the anti-Franco (Republican) forces.

Franco’s followers (the Nationalists) were assisted in the so-called Catalonian Offensive by Italian units collectively called the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (CTV). The first commander of these units was General Mario Roatta, who later became an Italian commander during Mussolini’s occupation of parts of Yugoslavia (the Croatian and Slovenian coastal areas), notorious for implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing.

After Barcelona fell on this day, the remaining members of the Republican government institutions, including President Manuel Azaña, tried to escape to France. Franco managed to close the border with France within less than a month. Azaña resigned, and Franco’s government was recognized by foreign powers – most notably France and the UK.

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