Battle of Ciudad Universitaria

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Battle of Ciudad Universitaria
Part of the Siege of Madrid, Spanish Civil War
Date15–23 November 1936
Result Strategic Republican victory
Spain Spanish Republic
Flag of the International Brigades.svg International Brigades
Bandera CNT-FAI.png Durruti Column
Francoist Spain Nationalist Spain
Commanders and leaders
José Miaja Menant
Vicente Rojo
Carlos Romero Giménez
José Gallego Pérez
Emilio Kléber
Paul Lukács
José B. Durruti 
Francisco Franco
Asensio Cabanillas
Francisco Delgado
Central Army
• 11,000
International Brigades
• 1,800
Columna Durruti
• 1,400 militiamen
Army of Africa
• 3,000 regulares
• 18 tanks
Casualties and losses
high high

The Battle of Ciudad Universitaria took place around the campus of the Complutense University of Madrid between 15 and 23 November 1936, during the Spanish Civil War.


The battle took place in the first months of the Civil War in the University City of Madrid, the new campus of Madrid’s Complutense University. It lasted for about a week, between 15 and 23 November 1936, following which the front stabilized until the end of the war. The aim of the Republican militias was the defence of the capital at any price, to achieve which they needed to stop the progress of the columns at the command of General Varela and avoid the fall of Madrid into rebel hands.[1]

The aim of the attacking armies of the military rebellion on the other hand was to "take the city" within the shortest possible period of time. This battle signalled the beginning of a new phase in the Spanish Civil war, for until then the Francoist troops had been advancing relatively unopposed across Spain, conquering large swathes of territory in a few months. But here, at the Ciudad Universitaria, for the first time, they encountered fierce and relentless opposition.[2]


  1. ^ Vicente Rojo Lluch, Así fue la defensa de Madrid: aportación a la historia de la Guerra de España, 1936–1939 (1st edition). México (1967). Ediciones Era. p. 55.
  2. ^ Jorge Martínez Reverte (2004). La Batalla de Madrid (1st edition). Barcelona: Crítica.

Coordinates: 40°26′38″N 3°43′34″W / 40.44389°N 3.72611°W / 40.44389; -3.72611