Córdoba offensive

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Córdoba offensive
Part of the Spanish Civil War
Date19-22 August 1936
LocationNear Cordoba, Spain
Result Nationalist victory
Spain Spanish Republic Francoist Spain Nationalist Spain
Commanders and leaders
Spain José Miaja
Juan Bernal Segura
Joaquín Pérez Salas
Alejandro Peris
Francoist Spain Colonel Ciriaco Cascajo
Francoist Spain Colonel José Enrique Varela
3,000 men
Unknown number of bombers
2,000 men
3 Sa-81 bombers
1 DC-2 bomber
Casualties and losses
? ?

The Córdoba offensive was a failed Republican offensive against the Nationalist held city of Cordoba. It took place from 19 to 22 August 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.


On 18 July, the military governor of Cordoba, Ciriaco Cascajo, started the coup in the city, bombing the civil government and arresting the civil governor, Rodriguez de Leon.[1] After that, he and the major Bruno Ibañez, Don Bruno, carried out a bloody repression (only in the first weeks 2,000 persons were executed).[2][3][4] On the second week of August, the Nationalist troops reinforced with 400 regulares and led by the colonel Varela, after capture Huelva, launched an attack eastward from Seville in order to relieve the besieged nationalist held city of Granada. After a corridor to the city was established, Varela prepared to attack Malaga. But then, the Republican Army launched an attack in order to recover Córdoba.[5]

The offensive[edit]

The Republican force, led by the general Miaja, was composed of 3,000 men, mainly regular troops, civil guards, militiamen from Madrid and local volunteers. Opposing them, the Nationalists had the small force of the Nationalist commander in Cordoba, Colonel Cascajo, and the column of the Colonel Varela. The Nationalists also had one DC-2 and several Sa-81 bombers.[6]

The advance of the Miaja's force had started on August 5, but its advance was very slow and only occupied little towns like Adamuz and Pozoblanco.[7] The Republican attack against Cordoba itself started on August 20. The Republican troops reached the gates of Cordoba (5 km from the city), but they were beaten back and the attack failed on August 22. According to Thomas, the offensive failed because the skillful use of the Italian Savoia bombers and because Cascajo threatened to execute the family of Miaja who were in Cordoba.[8] According to Beevor, the attack failed because the incompetence of Miaja and the Republican professional officers.[5] Furthermore, many Miaja's officers were, in fact, Nationalist supporters (Miaja's adjutant was hoping to cross the lines and on August 23 one captain, Antonio Reparaz deserted with 200 civil guards).[9]


The Nationalist repression in the towns briefly occupied by the Republicans was very harsh. In the town of Palma del Rio, a local landowner killed 300 supporters of the Republic[10] (the Republicans had killed 42 supporters of the Nationalists there).[11] After a nationalist counteroffensive in September, the Cordoba's front was stabilized.[5]


  1. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 212.
  2. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 252.
  3. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 253.
  4. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 254.
  5. ^ a b c Beevor 2001, p. 118.
  6. ^ Moreno Gómez 2008, p. 483.
  7. ^ Moreno Gómez 2008, p. 436-470.
  8. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 367.
  9. ^ Moreno Gómez 2008, p. 494.
  10. ^ Thomas 2001, p. 368.
  11. ^ Moreno Gómez 2008, p. 583.


Coordinates: 37°53′5″N 4°46′44″W / 37.88472°N 4.77889°W / 37.88472; -4.77889