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Chronology of the Spanish Civil War--Emphasizing the Lincoln Battalion Involvement

Jefferson Hendricks and Cary Nelson

map1.gif (7156 bytes)1931

King Alfonso XII leaves Spain after Republican and socialist candidates are victorious in the nation's municipal elections.


February 16:  Popular Front coalition of left-wing parties wins Spanish national elections and forms new Republican government

July 17:  Right-wing military uprising against the Spanish government is declared in Spanish Morocco

poster01.jpg (62275 bytes)July 18:  Insurgents successful in taking Seville

July 19:  Insurgents are defeated as they attempt to take Barcelona

July 20:  Insurgents defeated in Madrid; Republican government seeks aid from France; Insurgents appeal for help to Germany and Italy; Franco takes control of Insurgent armies

July 25:  Hitler agrees to support Franco

July 26:  German and Italian planes land in Morocco

July 27:  Insurgents control Seville with reinforcements flown in from Morocco on German airplanes

August 8:  France closes its border with Spain; unofficial "Non-Intervention" policy begins

August 14:  Insurgents take Badajoz; over 4,000 massacred in the next ten days

September 5:  Irún burned as Nationalists take city

September 9:  The Non-Intervention Committee first meets in London

September 27:  Insurgents take Toledo; rescue rebels in Alcázar

condors.jpg (101280 bytes)
Photomontage by the German Socialist John
Heartfield, using Madrid's famous
"No pasaran" slogan.
Photo Source

October 1:  Franco named Generalissimo; becomes supreme head of Nationalist government and armies

November 6:  Republican government leaves Madrid and moves to Valencia; General Miaja named head of Madrid Defense Junta

November 7-23:  Insurgents attack Madrid from the north and southwest

November 8:  International Brigades arrive in Madrid

November 18:  Germany and Italy recognize Nationalist government

December 22:  Italian forces arrive in Spain to support Insurgents

December 25:  The first Americans leave New York harbor on the S. S. Normandie to fight for the Republic


February 5-27:  Battle of Jarama

February 16:  Lincoln Battalion first moved to the front lines at Jarama; the first Lincoln casualty, Charles Edwards, on the 17th

February 27:  Lincolns attack Pingarrón Hill ("Suicide Hill") in Jarama Valley; of the 500 who went over the top, more than 300 were killed or wounded

February 8:  Nationalists capture Malaga

March 8-18:  Battle of Guadalajara; Italian troops defeated by Republican army with substantial International Brigade support

March-May:  Americans form two new battalions--the George Washington Battalion and the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion (consisting mostly of Canadians)

May 3-8:  Fighting in Barcelona between CNT, FAI, POUM, and the PSUC and police

April 26:  Guernica bombed by German planes; over 2,500 civilian casualties

May 3-7: Civil war in Barcelona between competing groups of anarchists, communists, and Trotskyists

May 17:  Juan Négrin replaces Largo Caballero as Republican prime minister

late June:  Lincoln Battalion recalled from Jarama front after spending over four months in the trenches; billeted at Albares, about 35 kilometers north of Taran_ón, before being sent to Brunete campaign

July 6-26:  Republican offensive at Battle of Brunete, just westof Madrid

July 6:  Lincolns attack and take Villanueva de la Cañada near Brunete; 30 Lincolns killed

July 9:  Lincolns charge the Romanillos Heights and Mosquito Crest ("Mosquito Hill"); over 135 casualties; they dig in and are bombarded by the German Condor Legion

July 14:  Because of high casualties the Lincoln and Washington Battalions merge into one battalion

August 19:  Lincolns leave Albares for the Aragón front

criminales.jpg (64889 bytes)August 24:  Republican offensive in Aragón; the Lincolns attack Quinto, a small town about 35 kilometers southeast of Zaragoza

September 6:  Belchite, about 50 kilometers south of Zaragoza, falls to the Lincolns after 4 days of house-to-house fighting. The Lincolns suffer over 250 casualties in the battles of Quinto and Belchite

October 13:  Lincolns and the MacPaps unsuccessfully attack Fuentes de Ebro near Zaragoza; the two battalions suffer over 300 casualties

October 19:  All of Northern Spain in Nationalist control

November 30:  Republican government moves to Barcelona

December 14:  Republican offensive begins at Teruel


January 1:  Lincolns and MacPaps, as part of the Teruel offensive, are moved from the Aragon region to Argente, 30 kilometers north of Teruel

February 15:  Lincolns and MacPaps sent to Segura de los Baños, about 70 kilometers north of Teruel; they take Monte Pedigrossa; Americans also in action elsewhere in the area

February 19:  Lincolns moved from Segura de los Baños to just southeast of Teruel

February 22:  Nationalists recapture Teruel

early March:  the Lincolns and McPaps are billeted in and around Belchite, just south of Zaragoza

March 10:  Nationalists begin major offensive in Aragón; the Lincolns retreat south out of Belchite and are overrun by rebel offensive, with many taken prisoner; the beginning of the Great Retreats

March 15:  Lincolns retreat into Caspe, about 70 kilometers east of Belchite; of the 500 Lincolns who left Belchite, only 100 remain

March 16-18:  Continuous bombing of Barcelona

March 18:  Lincolns are in reserve at Batea, about 40 kilometers southeast of Caspe; joined by more than 100 new recruits as well as stragglers finding their way back, the battalion strength is back to around 400

April 1:  The Lincolns are overrun near Gandesa; the battalion suffers heavy casualties, among them Commander Robert Merriman; during the next week they re-assemble at Mora la Nueva on the Ebro, only 120 Lincolns remain

early April:  The Lincolns in training at Darmos, near Mora la Nueva, where they are joined by more than 400 young Spanish recruits

April 15:  Nationalists break through Republican forces and reach Mediterranean at Vinaroz; Republican Spain split in twosnake.jpg (95386 bytes)

May-July:  Lincolns still in training on the east side of the Ebro, in Marsa; their number are increased to almost 700

July 24:  Republican army begins Ebro offensive; the Lincolns cross the river near Asco and quickly take Fatarella

July 28:  Lincolns in battle at Villalba de los Arcos, about 10 kilometers north of Gandesa; by now only 400 of the 700 in the battalion are still in action

August 2:  Lincolns just east of Gandesa; pounded by artillery in the "Valley of Death"

August 15:  Lincolns sent back to front, to Sierra Pandols southeast of Gandesa; the battalion strength is down to 300, with fewer than 100 Americans; they are bombarded by artillery and aircraft for ten days, but hold Hill 666

September 6:  Lincolns begin action around Corbera for five days

September 21:  Juan Négrin, Prime Minister of the Republic, announces to the League of Nations at Geneva a unilateral withdrawal of all international troops from the Republican army; the Lincolns are near the front lines just east of Corbera

September 23:  Jim Lardner, son of Ring Lardner, Jr., is one of the last Lincolns killed in action

September 24:  The Lincolns are withdrawn from the Ebro region

September 30:  Munich Pact seals fate of Czechoslovakia, and of Spain's last chance for intervention; Neville Chamberlain declares "Peace in our time"

October 29:  Farewell parade in Barcelona for the International Brigades

November:  Lincolns in Ripoll, in northern Catalonia near the French border, awaiting expatriation

November 16:  Ebro campaign ends with Republican armies retreating across river

December 2:  Over 300 Americans cross over into France

December 23:  Nationalists begin offensive in Catalonia


January 26:  Nationalists capture Barcelona; nearly 100 more Americans escape to France

February 27:  France and Britain recognize Franco regime

March 27:  Nationalists take over Madrid

April 1:  Franco declares war ended; more than 90 Americans in Nationalist prisons, most to come home that month

September 1:  Hitler invades Poland; World War II begins

REPRINTED from Cary Nelson and Jefferson Hendricks, eds. Madrid 1937: Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War, copyright 1996 by Routledge.

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