Synopses & Reviews
This book, translated from the original Spanish, is the primary academic and historical study of the Blue Division—a Falangist initiative involving the dispatch of some 40,000 Spanish combatants (more than a half of whom paid with their lives, health, or liberty) to the Russian Front during the Second World War. Xavier Moreno Juliá does not limit himself to relating their deeds under arms, but also analyzes the political background in detail: the complex relations between the Spanish government and Hitler’s Germany; the internal conflicts between the Falangists and the Army; the rise and fall of Franco’s brother-in-law, Minister Ramón Serrano Suñer, who inspired the Blue Division and became the second most powerful person in Spain; and the attitude of General Agustín Muñoz Grandes, commander of the Blue Division, who was encouraged by Berlin to seriously consider the possibility of taking over the reins of Spanish power. This book, based on massive documentation in German, British, and Spanish archives, is an essential source of information to understand Spain in the 1940s—an epoch when the Caudillo’s power and the regime’s good fortune were less secure than is often believed.
A decade in the making, Juli<’a>’s book provides a view of economicand welfare aspects virtually ignored until the present. It is comprised of information mainly from primary sources--documentary aswell as oral--and encompasses the geography of Spain, Germany, and Great Britain. With a background of military operations, it centerson diverse development; the clash between the interests of the Falange and the Army; the Spanish government’s attitude about itsconfiguration and international reactions; the huge diplomatic effort before, during, and after its time at the front; itsideological use of and development in the field of communications; the suffering of those wounded, disabled, or interned inconcentration camps; the precariousness of life at the front; the provision of materials to alleviate the cold; and the benefitsobtained by those who returned. Five chapters and conclusion are: the Third Reich, Franco, the Falange, and the Army; creation of theBlue Division; the military campaign of the Blue Division; the rearguard of the Blue Division; the costs and consequences of theBlue Division; conclusion: the historic significance of the Blue Division. Distributed in the US by IPG.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)’a>
About the Author
Xavier Moreno Juliá is a professor of contemporary history at Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain.