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The Ebro River as a Weapon of War: Dams, Floods and Pontoons in the Final Battle of the Spanish Civil War (1938)

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Abstract:

2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro (25 July – 16 November 1938), the largest and bloodiest of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The Ebro offensive was the last effort of the Spanish Republic to change the course of the war. After the initial Republican success in crossing the river, the combat turned into a battle of attrition where Franco poured massive resources to crush the Republican units. The present research explores how the river was perceived – and used – by the battle contenders both as an obstacle and as an asset for the battle. As soon as news of the Republican offensive across the river reached the Francoist command, it was ordered to open the gates of dams located upstream, to wipe out the Republican pontoons downstream. I will attempt to show how the Ebro River became, in the hands of Franco, a weapon of war able to hinder the Republican advance. Despite the nightly efforts of Republican engineers to rebuild pontoons and bridges and keep open the stream of supplies to their units, the combined action of river floods and the Italo-German aerial superiority compromised Republican communications during the entire battle.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1301988_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gorostiza, Santiago. "The Ebro River as a Weapon of War: Dams, Floods and Pontoons in the Final Battle of the Spanish Civil War (1938)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, CA, <Not Available>. 2018-10-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1301988_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gorostiza, S. "The Ebro River as a Weapon of War: Dams, Floods and Pontoons in the Final Battle of the Spanish Civil War (1938)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, CA <Not Available>. 2018-10-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1301988_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro (25 July – 16 November 1938), the largest and bloodiest of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The Ebro offensive was the last effort of the Spanish Republic to change the course of the war. After the initial Republican success in crossing the river, the combat turned into a battle of attrition where Franco poured massive resources to crush the Republican units. The present research explores how the river was perceived – and used – by the battle contenders both as an obstacle and as an asset for the battle. As soon as news of the Republican offensive across the river reached the Francoist command, it was ordered to open the gates of dams located upstream, to wipe out the Republican pontoons downstream. I will attempt to show how the Ebro River became, in the hands of Franco, a weapon of war able to hinder the Republican advance. Despite the nightly efforts of Republican engineers to rebuild pontoons and bridges and keep open the stream of supplies to their units, the combined action of river floods and the Italo-German aerial superiority compromised Republican communications during the entire battle.


 
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