Spain and World War I

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European military alliances prior to the outbreak of war. The Central Powers are depicted in olive, the Triple Entente in dark green and neutral countries in beige.

Spain remained neutral throughout World War I between 28 July 1914 and 11 November 1918, but despite domestic economic difficulties,[1] it was considered "one of the most important neutral countries in Europe by 1915".[2] Spain had enjoyed neutrality during the political difficulties of pre-war Europe, and would continue its neutrality after the war until the Spanish Civil War began in 1936.[2] The Spanish prime minister, Eduardo Dato, a Conservative, declared neutrality the same day the war in Europe began. For this he was applauded in the Cortes when they reconvened on 30 October. A few politicians, such as the leader of the Liberal opposition, the Count of Romanones, and Antonio Maura, the leader of the conservative Maurista faction, favoured closer ties with the Allies because of Spain's 1907 pact with Britain and France, which was designed to head off German colonialism in north Africa. The radical reactionary Carlists, however, supported the Central Powers.[3]

While there was no direct military involvement in the war, German forces were interned in Spanish Guinea in late 1915.


  1. ^ Tirado, p. 18–41.
  2. ^ a b McEvoy, William P. (May 10, 2003). "Spain During the First World War". Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  3. ^ Romero 1999, pp. 32–33.




  • Keegan, John (1999). The First World War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-70045-5. 
  • Payne, Stanley G. (1952). A History of Spain and Portugal. Volumes I and II. New York: The University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-06270-8. 
  • Petrie, Sir Charles (1952). The History of Spain. Part II: From the Death of Phillip II to 1945. New York: The MacMillan Company. 
  • Pierson, Peter (1999). The History of Spain. Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30272-3. 
  • Romero, Francisco (1999). "Spain and the First World War". In Balfour, Sebastian; Preston, Paul. Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge. pp. 32–52. 
  • Tirado, Daniel A. (2000). Economic Integration and Industrial Location: The Case of Spain Before WWI. European University Institute.