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The Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939

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  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781107331068

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About the Authors
  • This is a long-awaited translation of a definitive account of the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Michael Alpert examines the origins, formation and performance of the Republican Army and sets the Spanish Civil War in its broader military context. He explores the conflicts between communists and Spanish anarchists about how the war should be fought, as well as the experience of individual conscripts, problems of food, clothing and arms, and the role of women in the new army. The book contains extensive discussion of international aspects, particularly the role of the International Brigades and of the Soviet Russian advisers. Finally, it discusses the final uprising of professional Republican officers against the Government and the almost unconditional surrender to Franco. Professor Alpert also provides detailed statistics for the military forces available to Franco and to the Republic, and biographies of the key figures on both sides.

    • The only complete account of the Spanish People's Army, which fought Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War
    • Written by a leading expert in twentieth-century Spanish military history
    • Explores the subject from many viewpoints, including individual conscripts' experiences
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book by Professor Michael Alpert is probably the most exhaustive study of the Popular Army of all those completed until now … his analysis of the overall development of the Army, its most salient characteristics and particular aspects, is unsurpassed …' Anales de Historia Contemporanea (review of Spanish language edition)

    'This revised edition is the best and most readable account of the Spanish Republican Army in any language, fully informed and admirably objective. A unique institutional history.' Stanley G. Payne, Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    'This is a thorough and painstaking account of the Republican Army from its pre-Civil War origins to its defeat in 1939, based on years of research in archives, and correspondence and interviews with protagonists. It mobilises a wealth of evidence from primary sources to the latest secondary literature. Its analysis is scrupulously balanced, lucid, and dispassionate.' Sebastian Balfour, Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'How refreshing [to] find a book that is intensely researched in the primary sources, scrupulously fair in its analysis, and of genuine utility in understanding this complex struggle … Incisive yet wide-ranging, this book offers a wealth of information and insights … Indispensable for modern European collections … Essential. All levels/libraries.' G. P. Cox, Choice

    'An outstanding account of the Ejercito popolar republicana … Professor Alpert gives us a comprehensive, sympathetic, but by no means uncritical look at a surprisingly effective 'improvised' army … an essential read for anyone interested in the Spanish Civil War or the improvisation of military armies.' Albert Nofi, Strategy Page (

    'Alpert's rich, eminently readable and objective book is a welcome addition to the English-language historiography on the Spanish Civil War. Perhaps its greatest value, however, will not be for historians of Spain, who have been reading and citing his Spanish-language books for over three decades, but in the field of comparative history. Transnational historians will, for example, be able to use the case of the Republican Popular Army to ask more general questions about building and disciplining an armed force during a period of revolution and civil war.' James Matthews, Journal of Contemporary History

    'Originally published in Spanish in 1977 and revised in 2007, this excellent work is finally available in English. Prof Alpert (emeritus Westminster) gives us a comprehensive, sympathetic, but by no means uncritical look at a surprisingly effective 'improvised' army. … an essential read for anyone interested in the Spanish Civil War or the improvisation of military armies.' StrategyPage (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781107331068
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Spanish Army in 1936
    2. Military and paramilitary forces in Spain on 18 July 1936
    3. The militia months: July–December 1936
    4. Militarisation
    5. Professional officers in the Republican Army
    6. A new officer corps
    7. The experience of individuals
    8. The political commissars
    9. The communists, the anarchists and the Republican Army
    10. International aspects
    11. Reorganisation
    12. The Casado uprising

  • Author

    Michael Alpert, University of Westminster
    Michael Alpert is Emeritus Professor of the History of Spain at the University of Westminster.


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

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