By Kenneth W. Estes, Daniel Kowalsky
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Additional resources for History in Dispute, Volume 18 - The Spanish Civil War
134). This accusation of Trotskyism—and there could not have been a more damning epithet in the communist lexicon of 1937—presaged the wholesale suppression of the POUM. Here the Communist Party furnished the new Republican government of Juan Negrin with the hands (and the stomachs) to carry out arrests, torture, and executions. There is some indication that international brigadists served on such sinister details. German communists, for example, helped to stage the "rescue" of the POUM leader Andres Nin by Nazi agents (he was later tortured to death).
The Allies also carried out their own strategic bombing program against German industrial centers in the Rhineland. By 1917 both sides used large numbers of aircraft in coordinated campaigns to win air superiority over the battlefield. The Allies and Central Powers used light and heavy bombers to interdict enemy rear areas and supply lines. Close air support made its appearance in 1917 and became a common practice by 1918. Anti-aircraft (AA) guns and coordinated air-defense systems also were developed.
A scramble ensued to search for collective security in the midst of a clear breakdown. The Spanish Civil War brought conflict to the Continent itself. The Non-intervention Pact gained members, including the three largest suppliers of arms to the Republicans and Nationalists. Belgium declared neutrality in late 1936, wrecking French defense plans versus Germany, and the evident weakness of the Soviet Union made a mockery of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1935. At a time when Germany gained strength and confidence, European diplomats figuratively headed for the lifeboats.
History in Dispute, Volume 18 - The Spanish Civil War by Kenneth W. Estes, Daniel Kowalsky