List of tanks in the Spanish Civil War

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This is a sub-article to Tanks in the Spanish Army.
Renault FT light tank supplied to the Popular Front during the Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War, fought between 1936–39, provided an opportunity for many European countries to evaluate new technologies and tactics, including armored warfare.[1] At the beginning of the war, the Nationalist and Popular Fronts each possessed only five Renault FT light tanks,[2] although these were soon reinforced with imported materiel. Italy began supplying Nationalist Spain with L3/35 light tanks in August 1936.[3] The Soviet Union soon followed suit by supplying the Popular Front with T-26 tanks in October 1936.[4] Germany sent its first shipments of Panzer I light tanks to the Nationalist Front in September 1936.[5] During the war, France and Poland provided the Popular Front with a number of additional FT light tanks.[6] A considerable number of tanks delivered to the Popular Front were subsequently captured;[7] many of these were put into service against their former owners.[8]

The Nationalist and Popular armies also designed and manufactured a number of their own tanks.[9] The Nationalists, for example, began the war with three Trubia A4 prototypes, manufactured before the beginning of the conflict.[10] They also completed the first prototype of the Verdeja light tank.[11] This was designed to overcome the shortcomings of tanks provided by the Germans and the Italians, as well as Soviet tanks captured from the Popular Front.[12] Popular Front production of armored vehicles was segmented throughout different areas of Spain. In the north, between 15 to 20 Carro Trubia-Naval tanks were manufactured at the factory in Sestao, conversely the Trubia factory had built only a single model Landesa tank.[13] In Cataluña, two tanks were produced by the Maquinaría Moderna factory in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.[14] Though the Popular Front designed and manufactured many more armored fighting vehicles than the Nationalists, this ultimately worked in the Nationalists favor as the factories and their production lines were captured intact during the war.[15]

Tanks in service at the beginning[edit]

Tank Location Unist in service
Schneider CA1 Madrid 4
Renault FT[16] Madrid and Zaragoza 10[17]
Fiat 3000[18] Carabanchel 1
Trubia A4[19] Oviedo 3[20]
Landesa[21] Trubia 2

Manufactured in Spain[edit]

Produced and deployed by the Nationalist Front[edit]

Tank Location of construction Number produced Year
Mercier[22] Zaragoza 1 1936
Carro de Combate de Infantería[22] Sestao 1 1937
Verdeja[22] Zaragoza 1 1938

Produced and deployed by the Popular Front[edit]

Tank Location of construction Number produced Year
Sadurni de Noya[23] Sant Sadurní d'Anoia 6 1937
Barbastro Barbastro 4 1937
Trubia A4[19] Trubia 1 1936
Trubia-Naval[21] Sestao 12-20 1936–37

Tanks supplied by foreign powers[edit]

Tank Nation of origin Number supplied Side supplied to
BT-5[24] Soviet Union 50 Popular Front
Renault FT[16] France & Poland 64[25] Popular Front
L3/33 / L3/35[26] Italy 155 Nationalist Front
Panzer I[27] Germany 122 Nationalist Front
T-26[28] Soviet Union 281 Popular Front
Vickers Six-Ton[29] Paraguay 1 Popular Front

Tanks captured by the Nationalist Front[edit]

Tank Nation of origin Number captured Number put back into service
BT-5[18] Soviet Union Unknown At least 1[30]
Renault FT[31] France Unknown 24
T-26[32] Soviet Union 178 Approx. 50[33]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hofmann (1998), p. 103
  2. ^ García (2004), pp. 6–7
  3. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 311–312
  4. ^ Hofmann (1998), pp. 103–104
  5. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 308
  6. ^ García (2003), p. 8 & 12
  7. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 327
  8. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 328
  9. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 296–297
  10. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 297
  11. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 297–298
  12. ^ de Mazararrasa, pp. 11–14
  13. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 299–300
  14. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 301–303
  15. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), pp. 306–307
  16. ^ a b García (2004), p. 6, 11 & 12
  17. ^ Five unist in Madrid at the First Regiment of Tanks, and five unist in Zaragoza at the Second Regiment of Tanks; García (2008), pp. 6,11 & 12
  18. ^ a b García (2004), pp. 4–5
  19. ^ a b García (2008), p. 63
  20. ^ The first, second and third prototype, respectively; García (2008), pp. 62–63
  21. ^ a b Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 300
  22. ^ a b c Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 298
  23. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 303
  24. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 324
  25. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 324; Manrique & Molina claim that Republican Spain received two shipments of 16 FT tanks each, while García tracks only a single shipment of 16 tanks to Republican Spain from Poland.
  26. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 314
  27. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 311
  28. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 321
  29. ^ Manrique & Molina (2006), p. 324; Manrique & Molina mention a possible sale of a single Vickers Six-Ton by Paraguay.
  30. ^ Molina & Manrique (2007), p. 46; Molina & Manrique (2007) mention that at least one BT-5 was pressed into service in southern Spain by the Nationalist Front.
  31. ^ Molina & Manrique (2007), p. 37
  32. ^ Molina & Manrique (2007), p. 36
  33. ^ Molina & Manrique (2007), p. 36; Molina and Manrique (2007) mention that the Nationalist Front, out of a total of 80 which had been deployed into front line Nationalist tank units, had put into front line service 49 captured T-26s, while another 11 required minor reconstruction, another 10 required return rollers (wheels used keep the top of the track running straight) and 10 more were scrapped.

References[edit]

  • García, Dionisío (March 2008). "Trubia: El Primer Carro de Combate Español". Serga (in Spanish) (Madrid, Spain: Almena) (52). 
  • García, Dionisío (September 2004). "Renault FT 17 en España (2): La Guerra Civil". Serga (in Spanish) (Madrid, Spain: Almena) (31). 
  • Hofmann, George F. (1 January 1998). "The Tactical and Strategic Use of Attaché Intelligence: The Spanish Civil War and the U.S. Army's Misguided Quest for a Modern Tank Doctrine". Journal of Military History (Society for Military History) 62 (1). 
  • Manrique, José María; Lucas Molina Franco (2006). Las Armas de la Guerra Civil Española (in Spanish). 28002 Madrid: La Esfera de los Libros. ISBN 84-9734-475-8. 
  • de Mazarrasa, Javier. Carro de Combate Verdeja (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain: L. Carbonell. ISBN 84-86749-02-6. 
  • Molina, Lucas; José María Manrique (December 2007). Blindados Soviéticos en el Ejército de Franco (in Spanish). Spain: Galland Books. ISBN 978-84-6121221-7.