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Civil War and Foreign Intervention in Spain

Thursday, 2 April 2009, 7pm – 8.30pm The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

31 March 1939 saw the end of the Spanish Civil War. From the beginning of the war, Western policies so favoured the military rebels and their Axis backers, that the Spanish Republic was forced to seek assistance from the Soviet Union. Despite this aid, which was constrained because of the strategy devised by Stalin himself and because of the USSR's own internal turmoil and its other commitments, the Axis powers had, given the policy of appeasement of the western democracies, become so emboldened as to proceed to a massive realignment in the international balance of power. Much scholarship remains doggedly critical of the Soviet role in Spain despite the fact that the most significant advances in recent research on the Spanish Civil War have been in regard to Russian policy. Accordingly, it is proposed to hold a British Academy debate, in the context of this recent research, much of it by Professor Viñas, on three linked issues - the international dimension to the defeat of the Spanish Republic; the international consequences of the Spanish Civil War and whether the Spanish conflict can legitimately be regarded as the first battle of the Second World War.


Chair: Professor Paul Preston FBA, London School of Economics

Professor Ángel Viñas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Professor Helen Graham, Royal Holloway, University of London