Talk:Bombing of Guernica

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I've translated this from the Spanish-language Wikipedia. The only intentional changes I have made are (1) tightening up some wordings and removing some redundancies, (2) removing a few excessively POV phrases, and (3) clarifying a few references that I imagine will be less clear to an English-speaking audience than to Spanish-speakers.

The article is probably still more POV than is generally acceptable for the English-language Wikipedia, but I leave it to someone else to begin work on that. -- Jmabel 04:40, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)


"Since his appointment on the northern front, the Soviet aviation advisor Arjénoukhine had insistently called for air reinforcements, motivating his demands by high losses inflicted by nationalist aviation over Republican troops as well as civilian population. [25] On may the 8th, 9 I-15 and 6 R-Zet were sent by air from central Spain through Toulouse, in France. Planes were immediately immobilised by non-intervention committee, and later sent back unarmed to central Spain."

This seems to have been translated from the original Ukranian (joke). Apart from the style ('motivating his demands'?), the meaning is obscure.He wants more planes, so sends some *out* of Spain, where they are disarmed by a mysterious "non-intervention committee" and sent back. Say what?

I can just make out that "9 I-15 and 6 R-Zet" refers to numbers and types of planes, but please make the article a little more user-friendly. Especialy this bit. (talk) 17:54, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I am so frustrated. es:Bombardeo de Guernica had a long edit history and looked great (if a bit POV). Then, after putting about two-and-a-half hours into a translation, I went looking for some relevant English-language external links and came across [1], which appears to have most of the same content. It seems very unlikely the Spanish-language wikipedians had permission to use this, and the parallel content goes way beyond fair use. I've also posted a notice on Wikipedia:Copyvio and its Spanish-language equivalent. -- Jmabel 06:58, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)

Factual Question[edit]

The page states :

he also remarks that the official German account of this part of the war, "The War in the North", falsely stated only 7.956 tons of bombs were dropped on Guernica.

That seems just strange as above the tally is 22 tonnes : are these 8 tonnes (7.956 kg) or what ?

Please destroy this when checked, thank you.

Arms factory[edit]

We should mention that Guernica held (and holds) arms factories. I don't know if it should go in the Guernica section or the Motivation one. -- Error 01:37, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

We do say, "Among the few buildings spared were the arms factories of Unceta and Company and Talleres de Guernica". We could expand on that. Clearly, the Condor Legion had no interest in destroying the armaments factories in a town they hoped soon to capture. -- Jmabel 03:47, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

What arms factory holds Guernica, Error?Idiazabal 18:27, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

He doesn't say an arms factory holds Guernica, he says (accurately) that Guernica holds an arms factory ("holds" in the sense of containing, perfectly good English usage). As I pointed out, the specifics are in the article: the arms factories are/were Unceta and Company and Talleres de Guernica. They were specifically not bombed. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:32, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)

Well, but actually Guernica don't have any arm factory. That's what I was pointing out. Sorry for my English but it's mainly self-learned. Idiazabal 11:14, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Are you using "actually" in the English-language sense (meaning "in fact") or as a literal translation of the Spanish "actualmente" (meaning "at the present time")? I personally don't know if there is currently an arms factory in Guernica, but definitely at the time Unceta and Company and Talleres de Guernica were there and were arms factories. I've seen that statement from sources of very varying politics. I want to make sure you follow what the article says on this: this in no way indicates that the parts of Guernica that were bombed were legitimate military targets. The Condor Legion appear to have deliberately avoided hitting these two facilities because Franco's forces intended to capture and use them. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:04, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)
Idiazabal is technically wrong but user Error is wrong in the sense of POV. Gernika had one or two short weapons' factories, like many Basque towns (it's a traditional Basque industry). But the factories and the bridge (another self-justfication of fascists for the massacre) were left intact. The German bombers strictly bombed the town center (homes) and left the periphery (industries) intact. --Sugaar 07:45, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Salas Larrazabal version taken by Cesar Vidal.[edit]

About the death toll described in this almost negationist version of Cesar Vidal we should notice that at the end Vidal bases his numbers in Salas Larrazabal version, who was himself air fighter pilot and member later of the Division Azul, the little army sent by Franco to help Hitler in Russia. By itself it should be enought to put it under heavy suspicion.

But besides we can compare the death toll in the Durango bombing, which was recounted by the authorities then and resulted in 265 deads plus wounded. While the area of destruction, the amount of exoplosives and air forces was considerably less than in the Guernica opperation, it is totally impossible that the death toll was minor in Guernica than in Durango.

To take Cesar Vidal version, which is a negationist more of the large serie of negationist versions we've known, is not acceptable in my point of viow. In fact, there can be made a complete chapter with the numerous negationist versions and attempts made by different Spanish governments, starting by the Franco regime and ending with Cesar Vidal and Pio Moa. (Oh, the version about the Bilbao firefighters not being enough diligent was also from Franco's air forces official Salas Larrazabal.) Anyway, thanks Jmabel for your great work. Idiazabal 18:25, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I would welcome other well-cited descriptions of these obviously controversial events, and I'm more than glad to help with translation and cleanup of Spanish-language texts. I would hope that whoever does this is careful in their citation of source material, and is clear where their version comes from, instead of simply writing a different version into the narrative voice of the article and claiming it as "truth".
Given that Vidal is clearly describing war crimes and deliberate tactics of massacre, I take it that by "negationist" you just mean in terms of death toll? Again, I would truly welcome other cited sources on the death toll; on the other hand I'll admit that I would oppose an uncited "but other sources say...", because it is unverifiable. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:44, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)

I spoke yet with Blas, author and Basque descendant himself, about the issue. If you looks in the footnotes there you'll see that Vidal book is totally based in Salas Larrazabal's one, from a book he wrote in 1977 after Franco death. I say negationist in the sense of the large history of negationism that have tried the different Spanish diplomatics, including the 1972 letter in the New York Times. Now obviously they know it is totally impossible to maintain in the old versions: 1.-that the proper Basques burned Guernica, 2.-that it was cause the Bilbao firefighters didn't went, etc. etc. (Although Vidal points anew that of the firefighters.) Then now they follow with the demytification procces, saying that there were no more than 150 deads, which is easily rebatible.

But only a date. Salas Larrazabal was a Francoist official and went to Russia with the Division Azul, the Spanish contribution to Hitler army. Certainly he was a first hand witness, as his testimony is valuable, but while oneself had clear that he was seeing it through a Francoist eyes.

On the other hand, Cesar Vidal (and his friend Pio Moa) is a member of the Fundation National Francisco Franco, as it was clearly noted in the credits of the web site of the fundation. (Although due to the controversy and protest that the implication of the Spanish Ministery of Culture funding, his names were erased from the credits just at the loose of power of Aznar's party.) But his opinnion tendencies are widely known in Spain.

So, I believe that Salas Larrazabal historical description is valuable, as Von Richtoffen's, but pointing out who he was. And of course the death toll part is just but pure negationism, as can be noted not only with a comparation with the previous bombing of Durango, were in a more limited bombing the officially recounted inmediate death toll was 260 (I had to look the concrete toll, wounded and posterior deaths out,) it was totally impossible that a operation made a crowded market day, with persecution of the people flying out, bombings of little villeges on the surroundings and rural houses, and a total destruction of the ville would resulte in a mere 150 death toll. That's negationism.

Perhapps the best way to correct the article would be to write a chapter dedicated to the multiple negationism attemps made by the Spanish governments and diplomacy, being Vidal's one the last. (Pio Moa is even more radical than his friend Vidal.)

Idiazabal 11:45, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

For other points of viow just go to my User:Idiazabal and see there the European Union On-line[2] website's version I've cut and pasted.

Idiazabal 13:49, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Here you have another an educational place with a lot of different citations of the time which also reflects the mainly accepted toll.[3] Idiazabal 20:48, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Having read the relevant chapter in Vidal's book when I wrote the relevant passages of this article, he hardly seems "negationist". He describes what is clearly a war crime, emphasizes that the attack was clearly not aimed at the few legitimate military targets in the area, makes a case that the fact that they did not hit the Gernikako Arbolaor or the Casa de Juntas refutes any excuse that the bombing was merely imprecise, and presents but generally rejects the claim that the firefighters from Bilbao were less than diligent. Furthermore, he places the responsibility as lying at least as high up as either von Richthofen and quite likely with Franco himself.

I'd have no problem at all with us citing numerous sources for their estimates of the number of dead, as long as we do it in a style where it doesn't overwhelm the article. The article as it stands does not cite Vidal on the number of casualties. In fact, at the moment there are no citations on the statement about number of casualties. We simply say,

Estimates range from as few as 120 dead to as many as 10,000, with the consensus standing at about 1,500, mostly old people, women, and children.

I assume that you are not arguing with either the high or low estimate as existing (citations for these would be an improvement) and that your argument is that the consensus number is too low. The Spartacus site you cite (a generally very excellent site, I've used it a lot: its politics are clearly to the left, but I've found it uniformly scrupulous and scholarly) gives the number of dead as 1,685. That's really rather close to the 1,500 the article currently gives as a consensus. However, it's also suspiciously precise for such an obviously unknowable number, suggesting precision beyond any possible accuracy: anything past the two leading digits of an estimate like this is noise. Your own page says "at least 1,650 people (this figure was given by the Basque government)". Again, this is exactly 10% different than what I say is the consensus number. I have no problem adding the statement that the Basque government said that there were at least 1,650 dead. Do you have a citation on this? The link on your user page leads to a French-language page about World War I, which is of no obvious relevance. (I presume you are right about what the Basque government said, but a citation would still make this stronger; it would be especially useful to know when the Basque government said this.)

Based on what you've given me, and without the benefit of further references, I'd change the article to say,

Estimates range from as few as 120 dead to as many as 10,000, with the consensus standing close to the 1,650 that the Basque government of the time gave as the miniumum number of dead. The dead appear to have been mostly old people, women, and children.

Jmabel | Talk 00:41, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

The Basque government counted that toll, but with the Basque government there were several people, i.e. George Steer, war correspondent and British agent who wrote a book published in 1938, "The tree of Guernika, a study on modern war".

I have no problem with the great work you've made. Only I explained a little bit about Vidal, Salas Larrazabal and the Spanish negationist efforts. Idiazabal 15:25, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I take it, then, that you agree that the small edit I am proposing covers the issue? I would suggest that Vidal and Salas Larrazabal both probably merit articles. You might try writing those in the Spanish-language Wikipedia, and I will gladly translate them. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:40, Oct 31, 2004 (UTC)

YES SUPERB ASTONISHING. 10,000 DEAD IN A VILLAGE OF 5000. EXACTLY, HOW VERY OBJECTIVE. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2 November 2006.

None of the numbers cited even approach 10,000. Stop setting up straw men. - Jmabel | Talk 02:51, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
 : Whatever opinion one has of Vidal's (and Moa's) politics, the fact is that they're both "negationists." In Vidal's case, he states that he doesn't consider the Guernica bombing a war crime, in his book "La Guerra de Franco," noting the (obvious and unchallenged) fact that the Spanish Civil War was full of much bigger massacres than that one, even if one were to assume that 300+ people died that day, which is debatable (he talks of around 100). Interestingly, he adds that the fact that the massacre became a cause celebre among the international left and the Churchill wing of UK Tories means that it was also (in the long run) a disaster for the Nazis and their Fascist allies. Aussiesta 10:52, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Who was Salas Larrazabal[edit]

Let's see who was that Salas Larrazabal (Captain General when he retired in 1972) from whom Cesar Vidal builds its assertions: Salas Larrazabal. Idiazabal 20:38, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Two excelent articles and some more pictures[4] Idiazabal 15:17, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Interestingly, your assumption seems to be that fighter pilots shouldn't be allowed to write history books, or not trusted when they do. Perhaps only right-wing pilots? What about surfers? Or left-wing opera singers? Aussiesta 10:55, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Market day[edit]

What is the citation for newly added statement about some historians doubting it was a market day? The only cited source for the article says it was; if there is a citation for this, it certainly belongs here, but "some historians" is no citation, and if someone can't do better than that, I'm inclined to revert. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:26, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

Monday would seem to be market day now, and that is hardly likely to have changed. See: [5] quota

Both Pio Moa and Cesar Vidal have repeatedly said, rightly or wrongly, that that Monday was not a market day. In any case, in case they were wrong one must ponder what the local authorities were thinking about, holding an open air market in the middle of a civil war, with enemy troops just a few kilometers away, and approaching fast. Aussiesta 10:45, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

A year later: someone is clearly contesting this again in the article, again with only weasel words rather than citation.

However there is still debate over this situation. One group argues that there was no market because the Basque government had order markets to stop since it endangered the civilian population and Gudaris to the block the roads. The other group argues that the government had issued the act forbidding markets at a moment when not everyone recieved it on time and still went and that the Gudaris only blocked main roads when the majority of people used rural roads paths. Despite the arguments the compromise decision was that 'it would have been a market day'.

Note that there is no indication of who "one group" and "the other group" are, nor between whom a "compromise decision" has supposedly been made. I believe that if this cannot be cited for, it should be removed. It was added by the same person who removed all casualty estimates over about 300 dead; I have restored the latter. - Jmabel | Talk 05:35, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

IT WAS CITED OVER AND OVER AGAIN WHICH YOU KEPT REJECTING. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2 November 2006.

Both were (and are) cited to Larrazabal, but there os no indication of who the "groups" were. That is, at best, very partial citation: citing someone else's weasel words, or writing a weasel-worded version of what your cited source says (I can't know which without seeing the source). Jmabel | Talk 02:51, 5 November 2006 (UTC)


Can we have citations for the Condor attacks, and payloads? Rich Farmbrough. 19:53, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Rich, can you be clear on exactly what numbers you are concerned with seeing cited? At least some of this is in the cited César Vidal piece. You may find my edit summaries from June 2004 helpful, because I made some mentions of where I got my material; I'm afraid this was mostly written before we were generally being careful about including citations in articles. - Jmabel | Talk 06:05, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Endless chain[edit]

What are you talking about??Mdk0642 22:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)mdk0642

  • Bombings, of course. :-P --Tkynerd 23:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Oradour was a strict case of land-based massacre. Aussiesta 10:57, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

POV addition[edit]

In the section Motivation of the attack:

Because this assault on Guernica contradicted General Emilio Mola's earlier plans for the pursuit of the war in this region, Vidal argues that von Richthofen must have had either approval from Mola or a direct order from Franco himself. Additionally, by default, the entire Condor Legion force was under direct Franco's command. It is almost impossible that the Germans decided to hit such a target on their own. Most of the views about a 'test-bombing' have been created afterwards mainly by the European press based on discussions on the might of the bomber as an absolute weapon. Besides, the ridiculous claims of Franco that it was the 'reds' that burned Guernica, show that he himself tried to justify this act without ever making any insinuation for the Germans even long after the end of the war in Spain.

Everything in this paragraph is a recent addition and (except for the first sentence of the addition) strikes me as uncited claims and POV argument: "It is almost impossible… Most of the views… ridiculous claims… show that he himself tried to justify…". If this can be turned into something cited from reliable sources in the next few days, fine. Otherwise, it should be removed as against policy. (Understand, I don't disagree with what it says, but my agreeing with an opinion does not make it encyclopedic.) - Jmabel | Talk 19:14, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

In fact that's what most historians (all non-fascist ones) think. I don't have time to gather sources now but it's not POV. It's just unsourced by the moment. (Note I'm not the author: I have not even edited this article a single time). --Sugaar 07:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

It's a shame!!![edit]

An article that only proposes a franquist version of the bombing? No more than 300 casualties? The official number of the basque government was, and still is, 1654! Just read these two well documented articles (both, at least, cite its sources!) :

  • La destrucción de Guernica, Herbert R. Southworth (Ruedo Ibérico, Paris, 1975).
  • La destrucción de Guernica, Gérard Brey (Tiempo de Historia nº 29, avril 1977). 15:34, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

It was the result of a recent anonymous edit. We have long had the official number in the article, someone removed it. - Jmabel | Talk 04:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2 November 2006.

There is no one unique Franquist version. Their estimates at the time of the attack were in the 250-300 range. The low two-digit numbers you allude to merit mention as examples of propaganda, but no more. They are obviously as ridiculous as the straw-man 10,000 you introduced above. If you can find an actual source for the ridiculous high estimate, then it would also merit mention as (presumably leftist) propaganda. - Jmabel | Talk 02:51, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
My apologies, then, for presuming even a shred of good faith on your part. I'll try not to make that mistake in the future. - Jmabel | Talk 06:44, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
It has now been added to the article again, anonymously, possibly by the same person: "The most recent study, made by several academics, have estimated the deaths between 250 and 300. Figure espoused by academic centres and governments." I'm not going to tix the bad grammar and the sentence fragment; I will point out that "espoused by academic centres and governments" without naming a single academic centre or government is a supreme example of weasel wording. I have my doubts, because when someone edits like this (the latest edit that added this also removed the statement that the Nationalists appear to have made no effort to count the victims, which I have now restored) it does not encourage me to believe a word of what they say, and I don't have access to the source in question. - Jmabel | Talk 00:42, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I presume (and correct me if I'm wrong) that this Larrazabal is related to the "Francoist official" Larrazabal who "went to Russia with the Division Azul", alluded to above. If this is true (1) it isn't obvious why we should separate his estimates from others that are characterized as coming from the Francoist side and (2) it certainly seems odd to give him the uncontested last word, supported only by weasely remarks. - Jmabel | Talk 00:45, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I will add: it is possible that all of this is correct. However, the fact that the (presumably one) person who is advocating it is doing so by repeating the same minimal things over and over and saying nasty things about the other editors, myself included. This is no way to make a case for anything. - Jmabel | Talk 00:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
This has still not been properly sorted out, partly because the anonymous editor appears to prefer a slow edit war to responding, and when he does respond does little but rant. Right now, the article says "The most recent study, made by several academics, have estimated the deaths between 250 and 300. Figure espoused by academic centres and governments.(Larrazabal.2005)", which is to say the citation is 'Jesus Larrazabal, "El Bombardeo de Guernica", El Mundo, volume 12, October 2005' an incredibly vague citation (citing to a daily newspaper, but giving only the month of publication). The date of the actual study is not given, nor any indication of where it might have been published (an academic journal? just a newspaper?). "Figure espoused by academic centres and governments" really doesn't mean a thing since not one of these "academic centres" or "governments" is named, let along cited for. - Jmabel | Talk 08:14, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I can't believe this article still indicates that the number of victims is estimated between 250 and 300 victims, as if it were an absolute certainty! Larrazabal's lack of dispassion is very criticised by several other serious historians. It must clearly appear in the article, if you pretend to be neutral. And what about the other versions? Who rules that they have not to be mentioned? 21:43, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I have again restored a somewhat more balanced version. - Jmabel | Talk 19:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, the current version is not balanced. The current version simply states that the real figure is between 200-400. However, the figure is still in dispute and no consensus has been reached, so why does this article insist on making a decision? A true balanced version would be one that highlights the ongoing dispute, rather than state which figure is right and which is wrong. Is this not POV, after all? Currently, the article reads: "The Basque government reported 1,654 people killed, but modern research suggests between 200 to 400 civilians died" In other words, 'The Basque gov. reported this incorrect figure, but now thanks to modern research we know that this is the real figure'. Balanced? Really? Also worth mentioning, out of the two sources cited, only one is available on the Internet. I'm not making a case against this, it'd be ridiculous to suggest all sources should be available on the Internet, however, the one source that IS available on the Internet regarding the 200-400 figures states: "The figures for the number of casualties in the bombing are still disputed, but most historians think between 200 and 250 people were killed and many hundreds wounded." The key words are 'historians THINK', so this is not a source that outlines a clear consensus that 200-400 is the real figure. The fact is the real death toll is still disputed, and the article does not fully express that to the reader. A person reading this article will assume the previous 1,654 figure is completely incorrect and that the 200 figure is accurate. Wikipedia's job should be to inform, and not to pick sides in a debate. A truly BALANCED version would read: "The figures for the number of casualties in the bombing are still disputed, with numbers ranging from 1,654 to 200 dead. The nature of the attack makes an accurate count difficult, as many victims were buried under rubble and burned by the consequent fires" And maybe even have a section describing the ongoing debate about the number of victims. Knee Swinger (talk) 15:01, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I would like a revision. (talk) 14:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Based on Salas Larrazabal ?[edit]

That is like a description of the Holocaust by Hitler. Anything but impartial. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

Proposal: Move to "Bombing of Gernika".[edit]

This would be in accordance with the native name (Basque) and the official name, which is Gernika. "Guernica" is a Spanish spelling and it's only adequate in the case of the "Guernica" artwork of Picasso, that has it as official name. It could be arguably justified when speaking in Spanish but even in that language, the native spelling of Basque toponyms (specially when they are official, as it is the case) is gaining ground systematically.

Hopefully in the Basque Wkiproject we will soon discuss general guidelines for standarization. But so far, as I understand it, the policy is: (1) English name when available (example: Biscay), (2) official name when it exists (example: Vitoria-Gasteiz), (3) native local name when the other two don't apply. --Sugaar 08:01, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a case where there is a well-known name in English that trumps local usage. It probably doesn't with reference to the town, but it does with reference to the bombing. I'd venture that most educated native English speakers if they just see the word "Guernica" will think of the bombing (or the Picasso painting). "Gernika" is more likely to conjure the town itself (although fewer people will recognize it at all). But as long as there is a redirect either way, it is probably not a big deal. - Jmabel | Talk 17:05, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The Picasso's painting has that name: "Guernica" but the town has a different official spelling. For example it's been seen in Basque the claim "Guernica Gernikara" meaning the Guernica to Gernika (asking Picasso's painting to be in the Gernika Biltzar House, instead of Madrid). I think the Spanish spelling should be kept for the painting but not here, as it is contradictory with geographical names used elsewhere in Wikipedia.
The painting is after all, a powerful symbol but also an anecdote.
For those using the old-fashioned (and politically meaningful) Spanish spelling, there will always be a redirect. --Sugaar 08:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Again, as long as there is a redirect, it is no big deal. - Jmabel | Talk 03:28, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm doing it then. --Sugaar 14:25, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if the move was a little hasty; the "bombing of Guernica" is a historical event much like the Battle of Stalingrad (present day Volgograd) or the Siege of Leningrad (present day Saint Petersburg). Also the english name of the town is Guernica (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)).--Oden 01:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Oden, I could not agree more. The accusation of unilateralism on my part is bogus (see Talk:Guernica (city). There is nothing wrong with being bold in such cases. Grant65 | Talk 02:55, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
*A search for "Guernica" gets 2 450 000 hits while a search for "Gernika" gets 904 000 hits.
*Spanish Wikipedia uses Bombardeo de Guernica and Guernica.
Clearly Guernica is the most common transliteration of the Spanish language/Basque word. --Oden 03:26, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Agreed - there is blatent POV here Johnbod 16:24, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Why do you think I'm not in the Spanish Wikipedia? Because they have a Castilian nationalist spirit that is really impossible to contend with. Gernika-Lumo is the official name, road signs read Gernika and people in the town and all the Basque Country feel insulted when using the Spanish spelling, what more do you want?
Gernika is not Rome. It is a small town of 10,000 people and no one among them (or elsewhere in the Basque Country) uses "Guernica", either in Spanish or Basque or English. --Sugaar 18:33, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

It is advisable to reflect upon the following: "Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature" (Wikipedia:Naming conventions, see also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places) Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements)).

If the name Gernika is or becomes more common or accepted than Guernica regarding the present city then the name of that article probably needs to be changed. (A related issue might also be whether the province is called Biscay or Bizkaia?) However, regarding the bombing of Guernica (and the painting which was inspired by that historical event) the historic spelling is at the present time the most appropriate in my opinion (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (events)). --Oden 21:38, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I have clear that Biscay should be that way in English and Bizkaia in Basque and Spanish (it is official name by the corresponding Spanish institution: the Parliament of Biscay, Bizkaiko Biltzar Nagusia). But Biscay has more than one million inhabitants and Gernika only 10,000 being irrelevant to most English speakers. --Sugaar 19:01, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
As has been pointed out several times, size is just not relevant. There are two names for the city, one familiar to a very large number of English-speaking people, and the other to a much smaller number. These are the only relevant issues here. Beyond that there is just POV Johnbod 19:10, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Size matters, naturally, specially when all most English-speakers know about Gerniak is Picasso's painting. And what the locals think is specially important unless we want to fall in Anglo ethnocentrism. Remember that English is not anymore just an ethnic language but the international language of the World and Gernikans have so much right as Londoners to say what they think on how their town's name should be spelled and pronounced (correctly). After all, they are the vast majority of English-speaker who know something real about Gernika. In fact, you should listen and learn instead to try to impose your neo-colonialist bias (that is POV!) --Sugaar 22:44, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Since the issue of the name for the present day city is separate from the name of the historical event I have struck my comments regarding the present day city. The discussion concerning the name for the present day city should take place at Talk:Guernica (city) --Oden 02:29, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Sugaar, you have your point of view. I am mainly concerned with upholding Wikipedia policies; evidently you are not. Frankly you are not the the person to advise anyone to "listen" to others Johnbod 02:50, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Contrary to the current status, I have no objection to the article about the town of Gernika-Lumo going under that name since that is indeed its name and that would be the name I would look for if I ever wished to visit it. But the historical event of the town's bombing has consistently gone by the name of the 'Bombing of Guernica' in the English speaking world for nearly seventy years. That event is very well known as a prelude to the later urban bombings of the Second World War -- which was why I was looking for the article under that name -- but until today I had never heard of a 'Bombing of Gernika' and wouldn't have recognized what it referred to. Ever since George Steer's London Times article, "The Tragedy in Guernica", written 27 April 1937 (the day after the event) the bombing has always been associated with the Spanish form of the name. Since the town's bombing is of much greater significance and is much better known than the town itself I would suggest the title of this article about that bombing revert to the customary 'Bombing of Guernica', even though that's not the official name of the town. Roarshocker 01:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the effect of Sugaar's policy is to obscure the atrocity somewhat, which is rather strange for a Basque nationalist. Grant65 | Talk 02:21, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Unilateralism of Grant65[edit]

This person is acting in clear breach of consensus (and bad faith, in my unsterstanding). He has moved the article without any mention in the talk and he did the same with Gernika-Lumo. He has no real support from policy, which just has no clear guideline to use in these cases. How should we act against such abuse? --Sugaar 13:28, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Confuse use of the term "Nationalist"[edit]

The term is ambiguous: it can refer to the Basque Nationalists (on the republican side) or be a soft term for the Fascist side (who called themselves "nationals", but not nationalists). I sugest that it is replaced by unambiguous term "fascist". --Sugaar 08:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Fascist is a poor choice for a neutral term, especially at this early date, because many on that side were not fascists. We've been through this argument in a lot of articles. Writing on my own, not for Wikipedia, I might deploy this word rhetorically, but it is definitely a POV word in this context. - Jmabel | Talk 03:31, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree strongly. The term fascist was then specially used for the Italian version of it but has since then become a catch-all term for all simmilar political movements, specially those of the same period and geographical area. The regime that was deposed by Hitler in Austria in 1938 was fascist (not nazi though) and the same is said of many other European regimes copied from the Mussolinian model.
In fact, the term was alreay used by many people in that period that found the need to describe all those simmilar regimes under a single term. Fascism and fascist have been the term of choice of most historians and other people since then and has only been aregued against by nitty-picky apologists of Francoism and some equally nitty-picky fascists that like to emphasize the little differences between those so simmilar movements.
Constitutive of the Spanish fascism (National Movement, as was called later) were Falangists (closest to original fascism, few but very militant), right-wing Carlists (only in Navarre actually, fused with Falange in FET-JONS) and the bulk: conservatives that moved en masse to this fascist idelogy when it was constituted. A former conservative that supports a fascist regime and is affiliated to a fascist party cannot be considered anymore just a conservative, as this term implies somehow being in favor of democracy. So the real choice is between using generalistic fascism or using a more specifict term like (self-given) national-catholicism (which emphasizes the main diffeence between Fracoist regime and other more laicist fascist regimes: Christian fundamentalism). --Sugaar 14:21, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Just use unambiguous terms if possible. PNV, Basque Army, Basque Government, Basque nationalists, Navarrese Brigades, Legion Condor, CTV, Government of Burgos (was it already in Burgos by then?),... --Error 00:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Since the war started with a military rebellion, I think talking about "rebels" and "loyalists" would be most appropriate.Ezunaiz 16:57, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


"Rivers Mundaca and Oca" was changed to the Uradibai stuary. I'd guess that "stuary" means to say "estuary", but even so, the change is a bit confusing, can someone explain? - Jmabel | Talk 01:27, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

That was me. I was just changing redirects when I saw that and realized it was wrong:
There's no "Mundaka river": the firth/estuary of Mundaka or Gernika is that: an estuary, not any freshwater river. Probably the original editor was Spanish speaker and confused terms, as river and firth are very simmilar in Spanish (río and ría). Maybe even the source used "río" (river) instead of "ría" (estuary).
The river Oka does exist but is a short river that is part of the Urdaibai basin. Neither the estuary (Mundaka/Gernika estuary) nor the river (Oka river) have an entry in Wikipedia, but Urdaibai (a biosphere reserve) has. That's why I made the change that way.
I thought to keep both names but found it really not helpful. To avoid disputes between Mundaka and Gernika for the name, the estuary and the whole basin is often called Urdaibai ("boars' river" probably), and that's the oficial name of the reserve.
You monitor everything, really.
Now that you know the reasons, correct it as you wish, but, please, do not wirte again "Mundaka river" becuase that's a factual inaccuracy. --Sugaar 05:21, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Naah, I don't monitor everything, but I monitor a lot; I figure that one of the best things I can do here is to make sure that unexplained changes to articles are improvements rather than liabilities; it's amazing how many are the latter. - Jmabel | Talk 01:33, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree: there are a lot of "disprovements", either well intentionate or just plain POV-pushing.

--Sugaar 06:05, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Unified Spelling[edit]

Should unify throughout this article the spelling of the town; either Gernika or Guernica. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 28 November 2006.

I thought I corrected the spelling but maybe I missed some items. The idea is that official name of Gernika is used for the town and Guernica is reserved for Picasso's picture as happens for instance in Basque and (often) in Spanish. --Sugaar 04:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

So-called consensus[edit]

I have to rebut the distortion that Sugaar is perpetuating, both here and on user talk pages that there is a "consensus" for "Bombing of Gernika". A look at the page history, the discussion above and at Talk:Guernica will show that to be absurd. Both articles referred to "Guernica" when they were first created and they stayed that way for many months, until a few Basque nationalists got on the case and unilaterally moved them, against WP:Use common names. This article was not on my watchlist, so I didn't notice the move at the time. Clearly several other editors have also objected to the move since it was made. Grant65 | Talk 04:21, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, I have several Spanish (not Basque) maps in my possession, and they all show the name of the town as Gernika. As does Google Maps... quota 12:55, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course they do, just as they will show Sevilla, & Italian ones & Google show Roma, Firenze.... Johnbod 13:06, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the fact that it is being spelt "Gernika" on Spanish language maps has no bearing on the common name/spelling in English. Grant65 | Talk 13:34, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

The consensus existed in November 16th. And Jmabel is native English speaker as far as I know. Nobody protested.

But anyhow, do whatever you wish because I'm really tired of the attitude of people like you. --Sugaar 14:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

All seven of our references and Picasso say Guernica. I'm changing it back. Haber 06:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok I can't, because it's protected. I have requested unprotection. Haber 06:25, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Unprotected. Best wishes, all. DurovaCharge! 06:34, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

It's plain crazy. Another administrator protects Gernika-Lumo and Durova unprotects this... it won't work. --Sugaar 08:55, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

How about a "compromise"?
1) Keep Bombing of Guernica - During WWII there were hundreds of newspaper articles about Guernica, and subsequently many historical documents have used this name. All of our references use the Guernica spelling.
2) Keep Guernica (painting) for similar reasons.
3) Keep Gernika-Lumo - Seems like in the past few years the residents of the town have decided on this name for political reasons. That's fine... we all accept "Istanbul" and "New York". Also there are references that support this. However as a concession to usability and in consideration of the unique historical status of the town I recommend that we keep the alternate Guernica spelling and pronunciation available in the lead of that article so people less familiar with the topic know that we are talking about the same town. Haber 13:51, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
The only things about this issue that I think are generally agreed are:
a) Painting is definately Guernica (not controversial)
b) Bombing & town should be consistent

- the question of the town name has been endlessly debated on that page, which is the place for it. I don't think anyone argues that the town should be Guernica but the bombing Gernika (or G-L). So there is really no point on starting this here - it should be at the other page. But I think the issue has been debated enough there. Your suggestions don't refer to or follow the WP policies either. Johnbod 15:00, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe this is a bit radical :-) .. by why not have both? Have the page name be one and a redirection to it with the other? Then whichever one searches for one will find the page, which, surely, is what really matters? quota 16:02, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
these are in place already Johnbod 16:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I recommend Grant65 remove himself from this debate. He has a past history of making inflammatory statements, and calling anyone participating in this debate a Basque nationalist is, well, inflammatory, especially in light of the recent bombing. (See his talk page for other instances of his behavior.) Madler talk/contribs 16:06, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure Grant will note your recommendation! Johnbod 16:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion the bombing of the town should be titled under the historical name, much like the Battle of Stalingrad (the city is now called Volgograd) or the Siege of Leningrad (the city is present day Saint Petersburg). If anything the title should be linked to the painting by the same name. Changing the name of the article on the present-day city to Gernika-Lumo sounds reasonable though, but should really be discussed on the talk page for that article. --Oden 16:39, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The Bombing and the Town do not have to be consistent with each other. I hate pointing to WP policies, Johnbod, but I've said about ten times that we should follow our references. Previous contributors have kindly provided them for us. In the case of the bombing, we have 7/7 Guernica. In the case of the modern name, we have the town's official website saying Gernika-Lumo. If you must have a WP policy to follow try reading Wikipedia:Verifiability. Haber 21:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion it's Bombing of Gernika (as it refers to the town and not to the painting - so the should be mutually consistent) and obviously Gernika-Lumo, as it is official, or Gernika, as it is most used. Deciding otherwise is promoting ignorance: while "gwernika" may not be a mispronunciation in English nowadays, it's still far less correct than Gernika, the same that Waterloo (english pron., like in Abba's song) is less correct than Waterloo ("Baterloh"), Dutch pronuciation.
Here there are some people that seem to prefer to mispronounce Waterloo and Gernika because it fits better their provincial viewpoints (provincial in regard to the reality of these sites) and, while in Waterloo this may only affect the text of the lead section, in the case of Gernika it also affects the very spelling of the title.
And yes, I do agree that Grant could well take a wikibreak and/or dedicate his efforts to more important matters where he surely can make a really good apportation. And not to insist in promoting ignorance in what should be a platform of culture.
My question is: is Wikipedia mainly concerned with Pokemon culture or with serious culture. Is it a pseudo-encyclopedia or is it a real one? It is obviosuly a question that trascends this article, but it is a question that we all Wikipedia editors should make ourselves often.
In this article and the related one Gernika-Lumo chosing "Guernica" is chosing the error and the Pokemon vulgarity. Chosing "Gernika" is being serious and informative. --Sugaar 00:04, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I vote for the Pokemon vulgarity! Haber 01:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Me too. And against cultural elitism of all kinds. And I vote for common spelling in the International English that Sugaar supposedly adheres to, which is "Guernica". Grant65 | Talk 05:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
In addition, not only is Grant65 right on this issue (this is an English-language encyclopedia, not a Basque-language one, and the English form is "Guernica," period), but Sugaar's characterization of his efforts on the issue ("promoting ignorance") violates both WP:NPA and WP:AGF. --Tkynerd 18:27, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Another point: Sugaar's statement, "Chosing 'Gernika' is being serious and informative," contradicts WP:Naming, particularly this nutshell summary at the top of that page: Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. The form that "the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" is unquestionably Guernica, and that is the name that should be used. Gernika is unrecognizable to the great majority of English speakers (I'm reasonably well-educated, and I'd never heard of it until today), and its use tends to obscure rather than to inform. --Tkynerd 20:18, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

For the interested reader I am sure that Pokemon is just as important as any other topic. I did a little research and Britannica titles the article "Guernica" and refers to the city as "Guernica y Luno".[6] Encarta does the same.[7] However, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia unlike any other, we have one article on the city, one on the painting and this one on the bombing. But renaming this article because of a later change in the name of the town feels like historical revisionism. --Oden 10:12, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

If it means anything to Sugaar, and I'm not sure that it will, I always use the "local names" setting on the Encarta CD-ROM atlas. In personal writings/correspondence, I use indigenous spellings when I am made aware of them. I sympathise with your argument but also feel that Wikipedia policy is logical and sensible in this case. Grant65 | Talk 05:13, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Calle George Steer[edit]

It strikes me that a 2006 PNV local administration would label a street in a town with a sizeable number of Basque speakers as calle and not kalea. However the Times article states "Calle George Steer". I tried to confirm with Páginas Amarillas and Google Maps, but they apparently haven't updated their street names. So is it officially calle, kalea or both? --Error 00:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Uncited claim about motivation[edit]

The article currently says "Even before the bombardment, Guernica was a place of great significance to the Basque people, which is the reason why Franco ordered its destruction." I see no attribution for this claim of motivation. Franco had only limited control over the Condor Legion. It is somewhat controversial whether he even knew in advance about the attack; assuming that he did know about it, it is controversial whether he ordered the attack or merely acquiesced; it is very questionable whether anyone knew in advance how destructive the attack—the first ever with these particular tactics—would be. If he was consciously intending the attack as a propaganda act of this sort, it seems a bit odd that the Nationalists did their best to suppress accurate reports of what they'd done. This claim to know the answers to all of this, plus his motivation, appears to be based on nothing. So I am removing this. If someone can find a reasonably reliable source that attributes this motivation then cite it and let's mention it. - Jmabel | Talk 00:06, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


I've taken this page out of Category:Spanish Civil War as it is already listed under the subcategory Category:Battles of the Spanish Civil War. Richard001 22:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the bombing isn't really even close to a battle is it? I'm not sure how it should be categorized, perhaps the category should be renamed 'Military campaigns of the Spanish Civil War' or perhaps it should only be placed in Category:Spanish Civil War. Richard001 23:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
"Bombing of" or "Attack on" articles are categorised with battle articles, see e.g. Bombing of Dresden or Attack on Pearl Harbor. Grant | Talk 01:59, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Is there a source describing how this happened? I don't think there were enough aircraft or bombs to get a firestorm going. Here is a description of a documented firestorm the Bombing of Hamburg in World War II. The article is consistant with what I have read about the bombing, there were over 700 heavy bombers involved. A squadron could be between 12-25 planes, 700 aircraft would make 28 squadrons of 25 aircraft or 58 squadrons of 12 aircraft. Each plane dropping a payload of around 14,000 lb (Avro Lancaster). That's a total of more than 9,800,000 lbs of ordinance.

Three squadrons of 25 Do17 light bombers would by comparison deliver a load of 165,000 lbs. of bombs (2,200 lbs per bomber). Do17 depot. Anynobody 01:48, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

The Junkers Ju-52 carried a maximum bomb load of 1000 lbs, which is probably a big reason (along with it's slow speed) it didn't see much use as a bomber. Anynobody 06:10, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed "generated a firestorm". Anynobody 20:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Dresden, Rotterdam, and Hiroshima[edit]

Aside from my doubts about a firestorm occurring, here is a list of some well known firestorms:

City / Event Date of the firestorm Notes
Wuppertal (Germany) 10 May 1943
Hamburg (Germany) 24 July 1943 (45,000 dead)
Remscheid (Germany) 31 July 1943
Kassel (Germany) 23 October 1943 (10,000 dead)
Kaiserslautern (Germany) 14 July 1944
Braunschweig (Germany) 15 October 1944 (2,600 dead)
Saarbrücken (Germany) 5 August 1944
Darmstadt (Germany) 11 September 1944 (12,300 dead)
Stuttgart (Germany) 12 September 1944
Heilbronn (Germany) 6 December 1944 (6,500 dead)
Ulm (Germany) 17 December 1944
Dresden (Germany) 13 February 1945 (35,000 dead)
Pforzheim (Germany) 23 February 1945 (21,260 dead)
Mainz (Germany) 27 February 1945
Tokyo (Japan) 9 March 1945 (120,000 dead 12-16 square miles

(31 - 41 km²) of city destroyed)

Würzburg (Germany) 16 March 1945 (5,000 dead)
Kobe (Japan) 17 March 1945
Hildesheim (Germany) 23 March 1945
Hiroshima (Japan) 6 August 1945 (90,000 dead from blast/firestorm, 4.4

square miles (11.4 km²) destroyed)

I mean no disrespect to those who died in these raids but comparing them to Hiroshima or stating that raids like the March 9 1945 raid are less well known seems like a huge overstatement. (Tokyo was more heavily damaged by that raid than Hiroshima.) Anynobody 06:10, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I sympathize with your concerns, which is why I made a small but important change in the wording: Guernica stands, above all, as a symbol for the entire world. Unfortunately, few outside of Japan remember that Tokyo suffered even higher casualties than Hiroshima or Nagasaki. PS - Don't forget Shanghai 1937. Cgingold 13:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
The reason I wrote that subsection was to emphasize that Guernica had a military objective and was most likely not terror bombing. Thats my POV which I skirted around by trying to generate an overview. Whether it was or was not terror bombing is in fact disputed. What is not disputed is that the broad mass of public via the media and residents of Guernica consider it "terror bombing". The use of the phrase "lexicon of war" arose because I wanted to make the reader aware that its mostly in the public perception that Guernica is an example of terror bombing. The same public perception exists for Rotterdam and Dresden and similar disputes exist for those raids. Listing numerous examples beyond that doesnt help much. If it did I wouldve listed Bilbao and Durango- but they dont have their own "bombing of" articles do they. Why is Guernica remembered but they arent ? That is also part of the article.
Including an atomic attack on a civilian center indicates that my point was entirely misunderstood. A change to the subsection to remark on the histographical dispute about Guernica would probably help those unfamiliar with the history books. If it helps numerous military historians that say the attack was not terror bombing can be cited against those who say it was. But it will be all very "he said", "she said" and wont achieve much clarity. In the meantime I reverted the subsection sentence to what I originally included in the article. Consensus can be worked out here before more edits. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:18, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Plane images[edit]

removed this from article. what purpose is it supposed to serve? have more respect for the dead and less for those who did the bombing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

I don't see your point. Shall we remove any image of Hitler from the Holocaust page, so we don't offend the dead there? I think as much info as possible should be included, including pictures, as long as we don't go into gore territory. Aussiesta 13:00, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


added detail on the tonnage to deaths ratio compared to other air raids and also added some details on the republican forces that were in the area of guernica and in the town itself. the article is now getting a little bit messy so might clean it up some when i have time. 21:09, 10 May 2007 (UTC) Fluffy999 21:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I dont think there is an article about fear of the bomber in 1930s, but i mentioned that it existed and that the media hyped Guernica attack to feed that public perception. Fluffy999 21:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Change in 70th Anniversary section[edit]

I removed the pointed language and disputed numbers of dead.--AveryG 19:49, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The main dispute around this is focused on the number of dead. One should be careful when editing that part. I absolutely agree with citing a wide range of estimates, so all POV from historians are included. Aussiesta 11:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Casualties, redux[edit]

Someone keeps removing all mention of Nationalist "low-balling" of the number of casualties and rewording things as if the study by Jesus Larrazabal (a decent scholar, but hardly a neutral party) was definitive, in part by restoring the language "espoused by numerous intellectuals, academics and professionals", all unnamed. This controversy over the article has been going on for some time (see prior discussion #It's a shame!!!). Whoever is making these edits has refused to engage in discussion and keeps trying to win their point by brute force and tenacity.

I don't spend a lot of time monitoring Wikipedia articles these days. Please, someone other than me should be keeping an eye out for this. - Jmabel | Talk 00:48, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

It probably won't make me popular, but I'll keep an eye on this. I've reverted some NPOV edits this morning from someone who seems to believe that naming three people counts as 'most historians'. RedGav (talk) 10:04, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

This continues to be an issue: one or more people keep rewriting this to make the Larrazabal study sound more definitive, while neither providing citations nor coming to the talk page to discuss. - Jmabel | Talk 22:57, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

The evidence is there. There is a difference between using out of date material that says 1500 that no one uses or the more up to date evidence that says 250-300 that everyone is using. Yes El Mundo uses that so does the BBC and all others. Yes between 250 and 300, no need to add that (only 100). The material is evident and conclusive, it just needs more people to get up to date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Right now, the article is semi-protected until we sort this out. I'm not saying this is wrong, I'm saying you (or someone) keep adding it without proper citation. What we need is:

  1. A citation for the study itself, which I gather was the work of Jesus Larrazabal (and possibly others). I presume that the study was published. In what publication, when, under what title?
  2. If we are going to say it was cited by thus and such, we need (in each case) a similarly precise citation.
    • E.g., for El Mundo, what article, by whom, on what date (and a URL if it is available online).
    • E.g., for Stanley Payne or Antony Beevor, in what work of theirs did they cite it (preferably with precision down to a page number). Among other things, this is what would be needed so that an interested researcher can follow up and see whether the work was cited favorably: merely citing something does not indicate agreement by these authors.

Right now, the only citation that has been provided is an article in El Mundo by Larrazabal himself, with only the month given (for a daily publication) and the citation "Jesus Larrazabal, Guernica, 1990" (no publisher, no ISBN).

- Jmabel | Talk 00:00, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Naturally, I am pleased about this. Anthony Beevor`s book The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Beevor, Anthony.The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 . Penguin. 2006) Stanley Payne`s book The Phoenix: Franco Regime 1936-1975 (Payne, Stanley . The Phoenix: Franco Regime 1936-1975.Phoenix Press.2000) Below is a BBC article which states that there were 250 - 300 dead, it is the citation about the 70th anniversary. other authors: (Carr, Raymond. Spain: A History . Oxford Press. 2001) (Tussell, Javier. Historia de España en el siglo XX. Barcelona. 1998) and there can be even more. The exact study used by these historians will be coming up, two sources in fact. I`m glat to have this resolved instead of having out of date material neutral and label the up to date one as partisan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

  1. Page numbers in books still needed.
  2. You say "Below is a BBC article", but I see no sign of the article.
- Jmabel | Talk 17:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The anniversary article with a BBC citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused. The BBC article does, indeed, say that this is what "most historians" now believe, and that is certainly something we should mention, but it does not cite (or even mention) Jesus Larrazabal's study. The material you (assuming this has been by one person) have kept inserting says that they have cited this.
I gather from what you are writing here that you are a native Spanish speaker rather than a native English speaker. Possibly part of the confusion has been because, writing in English in the article, you may meant something other than the way I read it. I suspect that the confusion may come from Spanish "citar" being broader than English "cite", at least in common usage. In English, while it is possible to use the word "cite" to mean "mention" (as in "he cited a number"), overwhelmingly it means to give a particular source of information (as in "El Mundo cited Larrazabal as the authority for the number"). I suspect that what has happened is that all along, you have meant to say simply that these various sources were giving the same number, but I (and other native English speakers) were presuming that you meant they were citing (in this narrower sense) one particular study as the authority for that number. Is that what's going on? - Jmabel | Talk 21:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

In the article there is a section about the 70th anniversary and there are two citations; one a BBC article and another a EL MUNDO article, both state that the death toll were between 250 and 300. There is the evidence that BBC and EL MUNDO use the up-to-date source. As to who are the original sources here they are: Raul Arias Ramos, whose book La Legion Condor en La Guerra Civil states that there were 250 dead. Joan Villarroya and J.M. Sole i Sabate, in their book Espana en Llamas. La Guerra Civil desde el Aire. states that there were 300 dead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:38, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't have much interest in this subject, but from searching around I gather that the book cited is
ISBN 978-84-321-2375-7 / ISBN 84-321-2375-7, Guernica, General Jesús María Salas Larrazábal, Madrid. Ediciones Rialp, S.A. , 06/1987 [not 1990], 300 p. ; 19x13 cm.
The ISBN database says it is out-of-print.
About page numbers, has
Casualties have been variously estimated from 200 to 1,600.
Jesus Salas Larrazabal, Guernica (Madrid, 1987), 37, 52-56
when dealing with dead casualties totalization.
Strangely, General Salas seems to be thinking about under 126 victims. I have not been able to find the El Mundo article online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Error (talkcontribs) 19:30, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
From OttoBib (and manually corrected):
Salas Larrazábal, Jesús María (1987). Guernica. Madrid: Ediciones Rialp. ISBN 9788432123757. 
--Error (talk) 19:58, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Completely misses the modern understanding of what 'Guernica' means[edit]

The main reason a person would look up this incident is to learn the details of what is widely understood as one of the first examples of terror bombing. Whether this is precisely true and detailing that are important also, but the reporting by Steer and the widespread popular impression he and similar created is of primary importance. Where is the widespread Western reaction to and condemnation of what most in the West believed was the heartless 'terror bombing' innovation? In addition, the precise details of the military bombardment seem over-emphasized.Haberstr (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Also adds on the unnecessary Dresden section that is completely unrelated to the actual Dresden bombing. This section should be removed or replaced with an actual description of the 1945 bombing of Dresden.LorenzovonnMatterhorn 3 March 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lorenzo vonnMatterhorn (talkcontribs) 00:45, 10 March 2014 (UTC)[edit]

This isn't a reliable source, suitable reliable sources should be found or else the cited statements removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 4 March 2009 (UTC) is a reliable source.Haberstr (talk) 18:21, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Answer uses wikipedia as a source, so it could lead to incestuous reference, as such its not considered academic and such a claim would require a reliable notable academic source. Sherzo (talk) 01:53, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

The writer of the guernica blurb was Alex Alexandrou, who is an historian. So, when and if the writer is a reliable source '' is a reliable source.Haberstr (talk) 23:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
However the general objection is correct, or similar sites are not reliable sources for Wikipedia and should be avoided. The particular answer looks ok and if you say the author is an historian even better, however while probably useful for personal information it is not sufficient for WP. You have to use the sources given in that answer or other reputable publications. There is an ample amount of reputable publications on this particular subject and hence no need to resort to If you know the author of particular answer then in exceptional cases (and in lack of other sources) you might temporarily use, but that's not the case here. Moreover that short note on Guernica contains nothing you don't find in plenty of other reputables sources.--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:41, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

'Historical Comparison' section[edit]

I suggest this subsection be eliminated (though there is perhaps good research here that should be included in the Dresden, Hiroshima and so on sections). Seems to be a covert POV apologia, as if terror attacks with higher death tolls excuse this one. I really just don't get the point of this section other than insertion of POV.Haberstr (talk) 19:36, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

you should add a POV tag if you think that, In this case i think you maybe correct, however a rewrite and additional sources may make it more relevant. Sherzo (talk) 01:59, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

The section is fine. It's not about POV apologia; it's about actual comparisons people have drawn between other historical events and Guernica. The one that didn't fit is the Gaza one, and I thus removed it. Mbarbier (talk) 19:16, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Mbarbier, Thanks for your appreciation of my "Historical Comparisons" section (I researched & wrote the sections on Dresden, Hiroshima, Iraq, and Gaza. Please re-read the Gaza section before it is vandalized again. What you deleted had been previously stripped referenced content that tied it to the Guernica bombing. Here's a link to the uncensored version:

I've since restored this section and included a citation to Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative. He has likened the death and destruction Gaza to Guernica in an article published in the Huffington Post. The like or dislike of this comparison does not alter the fact that it is being made. I believe the Gaza comparison is a relevant and significant phenomenon. As the references clearly show, it is viewed through the perspective of Guernica's history, and therefore has a place in this section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JonDePlume (talkcontribs) 17:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I support removing the section, or at the very least making it more encyclopaedia-like, with clear statements on such and such people made comparisons to the Guernica bombing. More concise, and less POV. The issue of how inappropiate it is to compare Guernica to attacks like those of Dresden has already been referred to in this talk page. Aussiesta (talk) 08:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Having read this article for the first time I have to agree the "Historical Comparisons" section seems somewhat incongruous. Rather than adding anything to the article it seems to detract as it appears not to be from a NPOV and overly detailed. There is a wide variation in the methods, tactics, reasons and outcome between the cited examples and the attack on Guernica. The inclusion of the Gaza, for example, seems to be there because someone cited Guernica in a speech, which seems a very flimsy reason for inclusion. Also the detail into which some of the examples go is beyond that necessary as an aside to a main article. Given these grounds I too would suggest that this section is removed.Nshimbi (talk) 16:48, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

The bombing of Guernica has become iconic. Selectively omitting comparisons (or the reasons people give for making them) robs the Guernica bombing article of the historical meaning that large populations and important public figures have ascribed to it. Mustafa Barghouthi was a presidential candidate, finishing second behind Mahmoud Abbas. Referring to Barghouthi as "someone" simply isn't inappropriate in this context. Modern-day comparisons to the Guernica bombing are inevitably controversial; hence, a higher density of footnotes in this section is important. JonDePlume (talk) 13:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Whilst I appreciate your sentiments and the reason why you would want the comparisons here I think that they are very subjective in terms of their content. I meant no insult to Mustafa Barghouthi, I just wanted to point out that because the bombing of Guernica was a horrific incident it easy to cite in a public statement to make a point. Are you saying that just because the bombing of Guernica is cited in any public statement that it should be included? How is the criterion for inclusion made – notability of the speaker; relevancy of the incident to the bombing of Guernica?

With great respect to the work that has been put in, I am also concerned that this section unbalances the article. For example the 'Historical Comparison' section’s word count is almost as great as the ‘Guernica’ and ‘The Raid’ section combined. When the background and the factual details on the actual event are becoming overshadowed by its subjective comparisons I believe the article is being devalued. This section either needs to be severely edited, each of the citations merit their own article and in many places have them, so why is it necessary to go into such detail on the events in the Guernica article when a reader can be linked through for further information? Nshimbi (talk) 23:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Further on my previous suggestion. We could replace "historical comparisons" with "historical significance," make it shorter, say that such and such people throughout history invoked the memory of Guernica in such and such situations. Aussiesta (talk) 07:26, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I love this suggestion, and it seems to fit with what is needed here. I do agree that 'Guernica', like 'Hiroshima', has become a lasting symbol for morally depraved air war on civilians, or some such.Haberstr (talk) 22:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Battleship Deutschland[edit]

From Gibraltar#Spanish Civil War:

In June 1937, the German pocket battleship Deutschland arrived in Gibraltar with dead and wounded after Republican planes bombed it in Ibiza in retaliation for the Condor Legion's bombing of Guernica.

The Deutschland page does not mention Guernica. Was it really retaliation? By the way the Germans re-retaliated bombing Almería. --Error (talk) 20:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Italian Role[edit]

The article correctly presents the shameful role of the Nazi-German airforce in the air attacks on Gernika. The role of the Fascist-Italian airforce, however, is grossly understated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Sources, editorials, and nationalism[edit]

Passages like the following:

However, the calculations of James Corum do not account for the use of other kinds of ammunition and weaponry, such as plane-mounted guns, by the attackers. They also ignore the general unpreparedness of the Guernica population to that kind of an aerial attack. In contrast, at the later stages of World War II even civilians were trained in survival techniques and often had the benefits of advanced warning and designated shelters.

are not acceptable without being attributed to a source. Articles are not an appropriate place for us to put in an editorial on any flaws we personally may think exist with a source. Another reliable source is required to have made that argument, and to be cited. If you think the source is unreliable altogether, you can bring it up here to argue that we shouldn't use it at all, but you may not editorialize to argue with it in the article body. We're not here to state our own views.

There seems to be a lot more uncited editorializing in the article, as well. I'm going to start flagging it, and removing it if it's not sourced soon. It seems the article might suffer from some nationalism, but it's not here to be a battleground to refight the battle, it's to be a neutral account from sources only. If you've got any nationalism, please leave it at the door before you edit the article. If you can't do that, do not edit the article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:39, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Removal of reference to Cast Lead[edit]

I removed the irrelevant section on Cast Lead. Its inclusion was an attempt to exploit the historical tragedy of Guernica in service of the contemporary campaign to delegitimize Israel. Not appropriate for encyclopedia scholarship. Hickorybark (talk) 16:05, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree --Kmhkmh (talk) 16:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)


Russian archives, through the historian Sergei Abrossov, mention 800 dead as of May 1, 1937. This is an incomplete figure and does not take into account either the people later found under the rubble, nor those who died later of their injuries, but is certainly objective.

No reference is provided to Sergei Abrossov's work.

In any case there is not reason to believe this figure is "objective", since the Soviet Union supported the Republicans in the war.

The rest of the paragraph (which I didn't quote) contains original research that needs to be sourced or removed. In any case it isn't relevant to the question of the number of casualties at Guernica. Lexington50 (talk) 08:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I think the major changes by User:VG-35 should be completely reverted - I don't think the sources used have a neutral view on the action but heavily biased towards republican spain/soviet propaganda view. --Denniss (talk) 12:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

File:Mural del Gernika.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Comparison to subsequent historical events[edit]

The long quoted texts are emotional but not exactly encyclopedic. The Bombing of Wieluń isn't described here.Xx236 (talk) 10:12, 8 October 2012 (UTC)