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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Spanish Zone of the Moroccan Protectorate during the Spanish civil war 1936-1939
Author:Alpert, Michael
Periodical:Maghreb Review
Geographic terms:Morocco
Spanish Morocco
Abstract:Probably the greatest error made by the Spanish Republican regime in the Spanish Zone of the Moroccan Protectorate was to encourage the complete professionalization of the Spanish army in Morocco. When General Franco took over the Spanish forces in Morocco on 18 July 1936 and raised the standard of rebellion against the government, Moroccan professional units in the Spanish Protectorate totalled 15,319 officers and men. The majority of these were at first airlifted and then shipped over the Straits of Gibraltar to the Spanish Peninsula in the early weeks of the civil war. Widespread recruitment of tribesmen would swell these forces and replace losses. The Madrid government had not suspected that the army, whose recent coups on the mainland had failed, could rebel, in a much more efficient way, in Morocco. This would be the downfall of the Republic. To counter local discontent in Morocco, the Spanish military authorities skilfully encouraged Moroccan nationalism. Much money was spent on public works and on rebuilding mosques. Local educational facilities were subsidized and arabized. The Republic's only chance of causing chaos in Franco's home territory would have been to offer independence to the Spanish Protectorate, but the Moroccan nationalist movement was not mature enough to take advantage of the new attitude of the Spanish Republic, which had previously ignored the Moroccan issue. Notes, ref.