An Ital-German air raid over the city of Madrid, Spain - 1936
Photos by Robert Capa
Starting in November of 1936, the Nationalist army consisting of 25,000 men entered the city of Madrid, launching an offensive attack to take the city. At this point in the Spanish Civil War, international attention was gained. The Soviet Union was already sending tanks, planes and other materials for the Republican army to use in combat against General Franco’s army. The Nationalists received support in the form of military equipment from Germany and Italy. The air raids over Madrid launched by the Nationalists consisted of German and Italian planes. The raids severely affected civilians and often forced them to seek shelter in subway stations. On 8 November, the first members of the International Brigades arrived to aid the Republicans and help defend the city from Nationalist takeover. The Nationalist offensive on Madrid lasted until the end of November 1936 with Republican forces still maintaining their position.
Battles ensued around the suburbs of Madrid following the intense battle of November 1936. Franco also made an effort during this time to tighten supplies such as food, clothing, arms and ammunition. By spring of 1939, it was clear that the city would be lost to the Nationalists.
Madrid did not fall to Franco’s troops until 28 March 1939, only two days after the Nationalist general ordered an advance on the Republican soldiers still remaining in the city.