Blue Division (Canada Blanch/Sussex Academic Studie) (Hardcover) by Julia Xavier Moreno
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 forty-thousand Spanish combatants (over a half of whom paid with their lives health or liberty) to the Russian Front during the Second World War. Xavier Moreno Julia does not limit himself to relating their deeds under arms but also analyses -- for the first time -- the political background in detail: the complex relations between the Spanish government and Hitlers Germany; the internal conflicts between the Falangists and the Army; the rise and fall of Francos brother-in-law Minister Ramon Serrano Suner who inspired the Blue Division and became the second most powerful person in Spain; and the attitude of General Agustin Munoz Grandes commander of the Blue Division who was encouraged by Berlin to seriously consider the possibility of taking over the reins of Spanish power. In the end there were 45500 reasons that led to joining the Blue Division -- one for each young man who decided to enlist. To understand all of the complex reasons behind their military service under German command is impossible at this juncture. It is an irrecoverable past that lies in Spanish cemeteries and on the Russian steppes. 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 Caudillos power and the regimes good fortune were less secure than is often believed. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies LSE.