The Spanish Civil War
The international contribution to the war, from idealist volunteers on both sides to assistance for the Republicans from the Soviet Union and the policy of non-intervention held by Britain and France.
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The Spanish Civil War had large numbers of non-Spanish citizens participating in combat and advisory positions. Foreign governments contributed large amounts of financial assistance and military aid to forces led by GeneralÃsimo Francisco Franco. Forces fighting on behalf of the Second Spanish Republic also received limited aid but support was seriously hampered by the arms embargo declared by France and the UK.
These embargoes were never very effective however, and France especially was accused of allowing large shipments through to the Republicansâ€”though the accusations often came from Italy, itself heavily involved for the Nationalists. The clandestine actions of the various European powers were at the time considered to be risking another 'Great War'.
The official publication of POUM, La Batalla, dated 15 November 1937 stated that "...while Germany and Italy had sent Franco planes and arms by the end of June, Stalin had taken two and a half months to decide whether to help the Spanish Republic" and went on to claim that "what really interests Stalin is not the destiny of the Spanish or international proletariat but the defence of the Soviet Government in accordance with the pacts established between certain States."
The League of Nations' reaction to what was happening during the war was mostly neutral and insufficient to contain the massive importation of arms and other war resources by the two fighting factions. Although a Non-Intervention Committee was created, its policies were largely ineffective. Its directives were dismantled due to the policies of appeasement of both European democratic and non-democratic powers of the late 1930s: the official Spanish government of Juan NegrÃn was gradually abandoned within the organization during this period.