The German Kondor Legion A Firepower Force Package in Combat

Spanish Civil WAr: The German Kondor Legion A Firepower Force Package in Combat

Prisco R. Hernandez

Under a punishing July sun, Feldwebel Schmidt peered through his field glasses at the black beetle-like form emerging from a cloud of dense red dust. “Target identified! Russian tank. Direction–2300 mils. Range–500 meters. Gunner, at-my-command. Ready–fire!”

Seconds later, the gun crew saw the bright orange fireball produced by the high-explosive (HE) round as it set off secondary explosions inside the thinly armored vehicle. Moments later, there was a loud concussive boom.

The crew of the German 88-mm gun maintained its standard– one shot, one kill. Soon, old “Gretchen” would have another white circle painted on her deadly gray barrel.

Observing the unfolding battle, the artillery crew cheered as they saw a pair of vulture-like Stuka dive-bombers scream down on their objective and release their deadly “eggs.”

A familiar vignette from the Russian Front? Not exactly. This scene did not take place on the barren Russian steppes. It happened much earlier–on the dusty plains of Spain.

The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 remains one of the 20th century’s least understood conflicts. [1] From our present perspective, it seems similar to many of the conflicts that have flared up since the end of the Cold War. It came as the result of ancient tensions within the social fabric of the country and was waged with barbaric ferocity. [2] As in more recent civil wars, such as in the Balkans, outside powers used the conflict as a proxy ideological war and as a test bed for new military technologies and tactics.

Such was the case in Germany’s limited support of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. The Germans provided the Nationalists the Kondor Legion, a unique unit organized with an emphasis on firepower–air and artillery. By analyzing the success and limitations of the Kondor Legion, we can learn a lot about tailoring firepower force packages for modem combat.

Firepower Technology in the Spanish Civil War. In 1936, the Germans, in particular, were at the forefront of experimentation in the theory of mechanized and combined arms tactics. [3] German militarists seized the opportunity for the practical application of their new concepts of warfare offered by Hitler’s limited intervention on behalf of the Spanish Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco.

Similarly, Russian communists offered assistance to the Republicans in the form of military advisers and materiel, including tanks and airplanes.

From the moment the Nazis seized power in Germany, the government encouraged military innovation and technological experimentation. In some cases, German weapon’s engineers were sent to other countries to engage in work that was impossible to do in Germany due to the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty, a development technique Germany had applied before. [4]

The arms buildup initiated by Hitler in violation of this treaty and the renewed militarization and radicalization of German society under the Nazis were ominous signs for the future. Among the products of this arms buildup were a new generation of fighters and fighter-bombers, including the Ju-87 Stuka dive-bomber; new tanks and motorized infantry carriers; and new artillery pieces.

German Artillery. Perhaps the most remarkable of the weapons employed in Spain was the 88-mm gun. Originally designed as an anti-aircraft gun, the 88-mm Flugzeugabwehrkanone, or 88-mm FLAK, proved to be one of the most versatile and effective artillery pieces in history. The original FLAK-18 had been introduced at the end of World War I with its design improved during the postwar years. The model that saw action in Spain was known as the 88-mm FLAK-36 because it was improved in 1936.

The Kondor Legion. This formation was a firepower force package, Hitler’s contribution to the Spanish Nationalist cause. It began assembling clandestinely in July of 1936 with shipments of materiel and advisers. It culminated in the formation and commitment of the Kondor Legion, an ad hoc expeditionary combat force formed from the German Luftwaffe. [5]

The legion consisted of fighters, bombers and associated combat, combat support and combat service support assets. The legion included several batteries of 88-mm anti-aircraft guns to provide local defense for the airfields and supply depots. All pilots, aircrews and soldiers belonged to the Luftwaffe, Germany’s independent air service. [6]

The Luftwaffe was the perfect instrument for Hitler to try out his new military technologies. Although many of the Wennacht leaders were opposed to intervention in Spain, the Luftwaffe was commanded by Hermann Goring, Hitler’s crony and true Nazi believer. In addition, the military instruments employed were primarily airplanes that promised to have a disproportionately great effect on the course of battle for a comparatively low likelihood of casualties, an important political consideration for Hitler at this stage of his career. [7]

The Kondor Legion was reorganized many times to accommodate new equipment and personnel changes. Initially, it consisted of a staff, a bomber group, a fighter group, a reconnaissance group, an anti-aircraft (FLAK) group, a seaplane squadron, a communications group and the necessary logistics support.

The FLAK group consisted initially of eight batteries: five 88-mm batteries of four guns each, two light batteries equipped with 1220-mm and three 37-mm antiaircraft guns and a training battery with all types of guns. [8] Later, it was reconfigured into four batteries of 88-mm, two of 20-mm and one of 37-mm guns. [9]

German Fighters and Bombers. The offensive striking power of the Kondor Legion resided in its aircraft, primarily in its fighters and bombers. The fighters were designed to shoot down their enemy counterparts and maintain air superiority. They also were used in a secondary role to strafe convoys and trenches. The bombers were used to bomb operationally significant targets and provide close air support (GAS) to friendly ground forces.

In addition, the legion included light observation aircraft and transports. The light planes performed aerial reconnaissance, and artillery spotting and carried liaison officers and leaders around the battlefield.

As was the case with the artillery, the 1930’s German aircraft industry worked largely through foreign firms and clandestine arrangements to foil the constraints of the Versailles Treaty, producing a number of innovative combat aircraft designs. [10]

Initially, the Kondor Legion had aircraft used in the severely curtailed Luftwaffe of the 1930s: the He-51, a biplane intended for use as a fighter, and the Ju-52 transport that was converted into as a bomber. The He-5 1 proved inferior to the French- and Russian-made aircraft used by the Republicans,” but it was successfully converted for use as a ground attack airplane. [12]

The balance of power in the air shifted to the German side with the fielding of the Bf-109 monoplane fighters. These airplanes proved to be far superior to their rivals.

Not only did the Germans acquire superior fighters, but they also developed superior tactics. Werner Molders pioneered the use of the Rotte and Schwarin flight formations. [13] These ensured that each airplane operated in conjunction with a wingman for mutual protection. Adolf Galland and others perfected ground attack bombing and strafing techniques. [14]

The bombing squadrons had Ju-52 and He-111 bombers. The He-111 was sluggish and only suitable for high-altitude bombing, but the Ju-52 was fast and maneuverable and could provide close ground support without incurring prohibitive losses. [15]

However, the most notorious new airplane was the Ju-87 Stuka dive-bomber. This aircraft was designed for precision close support of ground operations using the dive-bombing technique.

The Spanish Civil War experience tended to validate the use of aircraft in lieu of conventional artillery. This was later attempted successfully on a massive scale in the Polish and French campaigns of World War II. However, against more formidable enemies with a superior air arm, the use of airpower as “flying artillery” proved grossly inadequate. [16]

An interesting and highly effective component of the legion was its seaplane group. The group, originally composed of a long-range (He-59) floatplane squadron and a short-range seaplane squadron, proved to be extremely effective against coastal targets and enemy ships. The squadrons sank 52 vessels and destroyed most of the enemy’s coastal communications networks. [17]

Also significant was the scouting and intelligence-gathering activity performed by the reconnaissance squadron. Even the highly secretive Republican preparations for the assault across the Ebro River in 1938 were accurately identified by German aerial reconnaissance. [18]

The 88-mm FLAK Non-Standard Missions. As the legion went into action, its aircraft were committed to a wide variety of combat and support roles. The FLAK batteries initially were deployed in their originally intended roles to protect the airfields and logistics bases.

But soon, the nature of combat in Spain, with its wildly fluctuating front lines and the commitment of Russian armor, forced the Germans to employ the 88-mm guns in a direct fire mode against ground targets. In addition, the scarcity of Nationalist Spanish artillery and the general low proficiency of its crews soon placed new demands on the German FLAK gun as a direct support (DS) FA weapon. [19] Indeed, the 88-mm FLAK performed far more missions as an anti-tank and direct-fire Field Artillery gun than as an anti-aircraft gun. In a particularly intense period, German 88-mm guns were involved in 377 engagements. Of these, only 31 were against aircraft. [20]

The 88-mm FLAK was a powerful, flat trajectory weapon. The same characteristics that made it suitable for the anti-aircraft role served it well in the anti-tank role. [21]

However, it did not share the low profile and transportability of a properly designed anti-tank gun. [22] The 88-mm FLAK was mounted on a higher carriage that did not lend itself well to concealment and quick displacement. Also, it was served by a crew of eight–twice the number of the smaller antitank guns. All this created quite a large visual signature, making concealment more difficult.

The Lufwaffe cannon crews had not been trained for their new roles, so they had to learn them as they fought. They had to develop a practical set of tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) and come up with workable solutions for tactically employing their weapon as the situation demanded.

In many cases, the firepower and accuracy of the 88-mm FLAK made significant and sometimes decisive contributions to the ground battle. For example, in the fighting around Malaga in early 1937, a battery of 88-mm guns was DS to an infantry brigade. Despite a spell of bad weather that grounded the main bomber force of the legion, the assault succeeded, largely because of the concentrated and accurate fire of the supporting artillery. [23]

Another instance of the effectiveness of the 88-mm FLAK in the DS role occurred in the attack against the town of Ridabasella. Again, the firepower of the German 88 was essential to the Nationalists’ success. [24]

The use of the 88-mm FLAK in close proximity to the enemy made it vulnerable to ground attack. However, the gun and its crews proved to be formidable opponents, even in a defensive role. Inevitably, they suffered some casualties from infantry fire. [25] Casualties among the legion’s 88-mm FLAK batteries in the Spanish Civil War were second only to those among the bomber pilots. [26]

The FLAK also performed well in its intended role as anti-aircraft artillery. Of the 386 enemy aircraft shot down by the legion, 59 were downed by antiaircraft fire. The FLAK downed most of them. [27]

Summing up the 88-mm FLAK’s combat performance in Spain, General Wolfram von Ritchhofen wrote, “The FLAK, to the horror of experts in Berlin, has consistently been used as the backbone of the ground artillery.” [28] Referring to its amazing versatility, he added, “We pulled the joke of sending a battery north of Guernica as coastal defense. If that battery would manage to sink a Red ship, the comedy of errors would really receive its crowning glory.” [29]

Battlefield Employment. Since the Kondor Legion was primarily employed in support of ground operations, the importance of good liaison with ground commanders was quickly recognized. Thus, air liaison officers with radios were assigned to ground formations and tasked to maintain close coordination between the supported ground force and the legion’s command group. One advantage legion officers had was that most of them had originally been trained as infantry, artillery or cavalry officers, and they had a solid understanding of ground operations. [30]

However, radios were used only to coordinate among headquarters because there were no radio links between individual airplanes and ground observers. A pilot speeding over the battlefield at more than 200 miles per hour while dodging bullets and engaging the enemy would be hard pressed to identify friend from foe without direct communications. Out of dire necessity, the legion used field expedient techniques for tactical communications, such as marking front lines with colored cloths and flags. [31]

The Kondor Legion had a significant impact on ground operations whenever it was employed. An example is the Battle of Brunete. On 6 July 1937, the Republicans mounted a major attack with two converging forces against a thinly held portion of the Nationalist lines west of Madrid. The northern force was comprised of two infantry corps (15 brigades) supported by 130 artillery pieces, 70 tanks, 20 armored cars and more than 200 aircraft. The southern force had two divisions (18 brigades), 30 tanks and 20 armored cars. [32] This force of more than 80,000 men was the largest assembled in the war so far.

Upon learning of the attack and of the enemy’s air superiority, General Franco notified General Hugo Sperrle, the legion commander at the time, who immediately dispatched two bomber squadrons to the area and sent other units, including FLAK batteries, rapidly to the front. [33] The Germans quickly realized that the key to success lay in neutralizing Spanish FLAK batteries, especially their command centers.

These were identified by legion reconnaissance planes and attacked by swarms of He-51 ground attack aircraft. [34] The use of airplanes to suppress enemy air defenses (SEAD) was a risky mission better suited to the Field Artillery. However, in the Spanish Civil War, Field Artillery was in short supply, and skills, such as accurate targeting and coordination between observers and the guns, were often lacking. Only after enemy air defenses were destroyed or suppressed were German, Nationalist and Italian [33] fighters able to strafe the advancing Republican formations at will.

Despite the heavy use of airpower and tanks, the battle of Brunete was not a clean technological fight. At the sharp end, it was characterized by terrible disorder, incredibly cruel fighting, and often hand-to-hand combat in the suffocating heat of the Spanish summer. [36]

The Nationalist counterattack began on 24 July. Again, the Kondor Legion provided decisive firepower at the critical points. The German effort included artillery support from the 88-mm FLAK batteries against ground targets and at least three distinct waves of bombers to prepare the ground counterattack. Perhaps the most telling testimony to the legion’s effectiveness came from the reports of enemy commanders, all of whom agreed that the legion’s air power was the single most influential factor in the defeat of their offensive effort. [37]

Another decisive use of the entire legion occurred in the Aragon offensive of 1938. This time, Nationalist forces were pushing against the final remnants of Republican strength in eastern Spain. The 88-mm FLAK batteries, in both their primary air defense role and as DS artillery, and legion bombers helped capture the strategically significant town of Belchite. In a memorable incident, the commander of a 88-mm FLAK battery brought two of his guns forward and destroyed a Republican Field Artillery battery that was holding the Nationalist infantry’s advance. [38]

The most famous (or infamous) action involving the Kondor Legion was the bombing of the town of Guernica. Guernica was a center of Republican and Basque resistance. It lay next to a road junction and a bridge. This bridge presumably was the target of the German air raid, although it was not hit even once. Much ink has been spilled condemning the raid as an incident of Fascist brutality, and some have even accused the Anarchists of deliberately setting the town on fire to score a propaganda victory. [39]

In hindsight, it seems that the razing of Guernica occurred due to a mixture of error coupled with a stated disregard for civilian casualties. [40] In any case, it was a textbook illustration of air power used as a terror weapon against the civilian population. It put into small-scale practice the theories of the proponents of air power, such as Douhet and Mitchell. [41]

No amount of valor and tactical expertise will serve its purpose without a good program for sustaining operations. Conditions in Spain proved to be a major challenge for legion logisticians. The geography of the country, with its rugged mountains and extremes of temperature, as well as road and rail systems that were primitive by European standards, posed major transportation difficulties. The scarcity of fuel, especially for the aircraft, and the requisition and transportation of spare parts proved to be major challenges.

Success in maintenance and supply was largely due to the professionalism and hard work of the Schwarzemensch, the legion’s mechanics and logisticians. [42] An interesting field-expedient innovation was the Wohnzug, a 12-car train that served as a moving headquarters and sleeping quarters. [43] Trucks, too, proved invaluable, especially as prime movers for the 88-mm FLAK. Without them, the legion’s tactical and operational mobility would have been seriously impaired.

After-Action Review (AAR). There are many lessons to be learned from the experiences of the German Kondor Legion in Spain. These lessons may be especially relevant today because, in recent years, American national policymakers have been inclined to pursue the firepower force package option when use of force is deemed necessary but national interests are not immediately threatened. The firepower option and use of firepower in general have historically been associated with the American desire to avoid casualties. One example of a recent firepower force package was the plan to use Apache helicopters supported by SEAD from multiple launch rocket launchers in the NATO incursion into Kosovo.

The German experience in Spain illustrates many of the advantages and limitations in the employment of firepower force packages.

The Firepower Force Package must be employed as a Unit. The Kondor Legion was organized as a single unit with its own commander and staff, [44] Its main striking power resided in its aircraft. But the legion was supported by batteries of anti-aircraft artillery that, by force of circumstances, took on additional fire support missions, such as DS to infantry and anti-armor artillery. By careful commitment of its units in support of ground operations, the legion had a disproportionately great effect on the battlefield. Its firepower proved decisive in many engagements and battles.

However, despite being a firepower force, the Kondor Legion’s battlefield effectiveness was not due mainly to its attriting the enemy, but rather to the dislocating effects of its fires. In other words, its effectiveness was not due so much to the “body count,” but to the unexpected disconcerting effects of the overwhelming firepower. Indeed, the most notorious employment of firepower for purely attritional purposes occurred in the bombing of the city of Guernica. This action drew instant, scathing international condemnation and was of dubious military value.

The firepower force package must have a centralized command, control, communications and intelligence ([C.sup.3]I) system and good liaison with the supported forces. The Kondor Legion operated under a centralized and unified command structure and gathered its own intelligence. This structure allowed the combined arms force great flexibility and efficiency in the conduct of operations.

This level of integration is not possible in the US Army today. With the current branch structure and modified tables of organization and equipment (MTOEs), even a brigade combat team (BCT) lacks the inner cohesiveness that existed in the legion. Falling under the temporary operational control of (OPCON to) a larger unit or operating in the status of an attached relationship help, especially if they become habitual, but they do not reach the seamless level of the German organization.

The challenge of unified command becomes only more difficult when conducting joint operations. Liaison, too, is a critical function.

A firepower force package is most effective when employed in support of a combined arms ground force. In this support role, the firepower force functions as a combat multiplier to target critical enemy vulnerabilities. Only by maintaining continuous and timely liaison with friendly ground forces will the firepower force package be able to support the forces effectively.

Effective Targeting is essential for success. The targeting process is central to the effectiveness of a firepower force package. The present targeting model of decide, detect, deliver and assess is a useful guideline for employing decisive fires.

Firepower is always a limited resource. Therefore, it is imperative that fires be employed against high-payoff targets (HPTs). A firepower force package is most effective when used in general support of the maneuver force. In this way, the firepower force commander will have better control over his fires and can more effectively support the operational goals of the supported maneuver commander.

The firepower force package must continue to train while in theater. The success of the Kondor Legion was possible only by its continuous training while in an operational environment. Working with an immature doctrinal framework and constrained by the politically sensitive nature of their operations, the legion’s officers and NCOs created and adjusted doctrine as well TTP, literally, “on the fly.”

This was especially evident in the rapid development of TTP for employing the 88-mm FLAK gun in roles for which it was not designed and the development of the Rotte and Schwarm air attack formations. [45] (This approach was indicative of the German military’s way of doing business throughout the entire first half of the 20th century.)

Such in-theater training has been conducted by the US Army in places such as Normandy, when the invention of the plow tank by a US Army sergeant led to platoon-level hedgerow breaching techniques. More recently, US mechanized units practiced breaching operations in-theater in preparation for Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf.

Constant review and evaluation of emerging TTP is critical and may mean the difference between success and failure in combat. This validates the importance of the AAR and points toward its continued implementation in-theater. Furthermore, the lessons learned must be quickly disseminated throughout the force with a minimum of bureaucratic interference. The TTP developed in Spain were implemented immediately and did not wait for official approval from authorities in Germany. The Kondor Legion seized tactical opportunities as they occurred. If a weapons system or TTP proved effective, its use was rapidly approved and the lessons learned were quickly disseminated throughout the force. This, in turn, shaped the way in which the entire force would be employed in the future.

Tactical air power is no substitute for Field Artillery, a lesson the Germans failed to appreciate in the relatively unsophisticated Spanish theater. The lack of artillery forced them to use the He-51 and Stuka for DS and SEAD, roles in which Field Artillery is better suited. Similarly, they used the 88-mm FLAK as FA in a direct fire mode. The legion’s success in Spain could not be duplicated a few years later when facing the Soviet juggernaut and the combined arms might of the Allies in Europe.

A firepower force package is most effective when used as a complement to, not a substitute for conventional ground forces-perhaps the greatest lesson of the German experience in Spain. The success of the legion in Spain comes with a strategic-level caveat. It is tempting to pursue policy by use of a firepower force package; however, as was the case in Spain, a firepower force is most effective when used in support of ground maneuver forces.

Conclusion. Today’s Field Artillery eagerly awaits the fielding of Crusader-the innovative howitzer system. At the same time, fire support doctrine is moving toward effects-oriented fires from a variety of platforms. All these developments represent a paradigmshift, which requires the development of new TTP. As in the Germany of the 1930s, no one can predict with certainty how the new weapons and systems will perform in battle. Artillerymen and members of the combined arms team will have to be alert to the unsuspected possibilities that may result from new technologies.

It will take the efforts of all military professionals, whether in the field or in the weapons or combat development arena, to work together and apply the results of practical experience to fully realize the potential of the new systems and employ their firepower force packages to best advantage.

Major Prisco R. Hernandez, Army National Guard (ARNG), won Second Place in the US Field Artillery Association’s 2001 History Writing Contest with this article. He is assigned as a Training Officer in the Training Section of the 4th Brigade, 75th Division, Training Support, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Previously, he served as the S3 in the 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery, an M1098A5 howitzer battalion in direct support to the 32d Infantry Brigade of the Wisconsin ARNG. He also served as the Assistant S3 for this battalion, Commander of a mechanized infantry company, Executive Officer for both an infantry and anti-armor company, and Platoon Leader for both a rifle and anti-armor company. Major Hernandez holds a master’s degree from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Music History from the University of Wisconsin.


(1.) The best one-volume history of the Spanish Civil War in English is Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961).

(2.) The Spanish Civil War was fueled by fierce class and ideological hatreds. In many instances, entire villages were massacred by the winning side. Prisoners were routinely shot, and people associated with the enemy’s Ideology were summarily murdered. Peter Wyden. The Passionate War (New York: Simon and Schuster 1983).

(3.) Larry H. Addington, “Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century.” 2d Edition (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1994), 178-180.

(4.) During the 1920s, the German weapons firm Krupp sent some gun designers to Sweden where they designed an 88-mm anti-aircraft gun. Production began in Germany in 1033. Ian V. Hogg, “The Guns” 1939-45 (New York: Ballantine Books, 1970), 87.

(5.) The best study of German involvement in the Spanish Civil War and the Kondor Legion’s contribution is Raymond L. Proctor, “Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the Spanish Civil War” (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983).

(8.) Even soldiers from the Wehrmacht were temporarily transferred to the Luftwaffe for service in Spain to avoid inter-service rivalry. Proctor, 42.

(7.) This is the same motivation for those who argue today for “air campaigns” in places such as the Balkans.

(8.) Proctor, 59.

(9.) Ibid., 172.

(10.) For the early history of the Luftwaffe, see Hanfried Schilephake. “The Birth of the Luftwaffe” (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1971).

(11.) The Soviet 1-15 and 1-16, respectively called the Rata (Rat) and Chato (Snub-nosed) by the Spanish, were much superior to the He-51. KarlRies, The Luftwaffe: A Photographic Record 1919-1945 translated by Alex Vanags-Baginskis (Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Aero, 1887), 44.

(12.) Proctor, 256.

(13.) Ibid. Werner Molders, the premier German ace in Spain, developed the Rotte formation in which two airplanes flew as a team, watching Out for each other. The Schwarm combined two Rotte in what became known as the “finger-four formation.” These formations are still the basis for fighter tactics in most of the world’s air forces.

(14.) Adolf Galland, who became one of Germany’s foremost aces and went on to command the Luftwaffe in Western France during WWII, spent his time in Spain flying the He-51. He developed ground attack tactics and his ground crews invented a liquid explosive bomb similar to napalm. See Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable, Fighter General: The Life of Adolf Galland (Zephyr Cove, Nevada: AmPress Publishing, 1990), 46-52. Also Proctor, 165.

(15.) Toliver and Constable, 49-50.

(16.) Proctor, 257-258.

(17.) Ibid., 253.

(18.) Ibid., 217-218.

(19.) Ibid., 96.

(20.) Ibid., 259.

(21.) Hogg, 66.

(22.) The battlefield experiences of the Spanish campaign prompted some modifications in the design of the 88-mm FLAK. Ibid., 88.

(23.) Proctor, 104.

(24.) Ibid., 165.

(25.) bid., 167.

(26.) The bomber pilots suffered 205 casualties; the FLAK batteries 173. Third on this list were the communications personnel with 131 casualties. Ibid., 253.

(27.) Ibid.

(28.) General Richthofen’s diary in Klaus A. Maier, Guernica 26.4.1937 Die deutsche Intervention in Spanien und der “Fall Guernica,” Appendix 1, 1 May 1937 as quoted in Proctor, 134. This comment alludes to the fact that so far the 86-mm gun had been used in the anti-aircraft, anti-armor and direct support artillery roles and also would serve as coastal artillery.

(29.) Ibid.

(30.) Ibid., 257.

(31.) Toliver and Constable, 50.

(32.) Proctor, 145.

(33.) Ibid., 147.

(34.) Ibid., 149.

(35.) The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini provided considerable military assistance to the Spanish Nationalist cause. For a summary of Italian aid to Franco, see Thomas, 632-635.

(36.) Proctor, 153.

(37.) Ibid., 153.

(38.) Ibid., 194.

(39.) See contrasting interpretations of the bombing of Guernica in Weyden, 349 and 358.

(40.) Wolfram von Richthofen, legion commander at the time, made his pilots follow a “golden rule”: if a target could not be attacked, the bombs were to be dropped over enemy territory without regard for possible civilian casualties. He later wrote in his diary: “Guernica literally razed” and called the raid “a complete technical success.” Ibid., 352 and 359, respectively.

(41.) It is possible that the bombing of Guemica was a deliberate act designed to break the morale of the civilian population and perhaps test the air power theories of Giulio Douhet and Billy Mitchell. Addington, 185.

(42.) The Schwarsenmensch, literally “Black Men,” was the term applied half affectionately, half in jest to the aircraft mechanics, the men who were constantly covered with oil, grease and dirt. Proctor, 171 and 177.

(43.) Ibid., 81 and 173.

(44.) Ibid., 252.

(45.) Ibid., 256.

(46.) Michael D. Doubler, Busting the Bocage: “American Combined Arms Operations in France 6 June-31 July 1944” (Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute, 1988), 34.

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