Spanish Civil War diary – July 19 1936

July 29th, 2011 | by nick |

Dispatch 1

It’s 600am. A cool morning after a hot night. Troops woken 1 hour ago by their officers, given a double ration of rum and told they are to crush an anarchist revolt in centre. As troops leave, spies get word to CNT which call a general strike (Sunday today) and set off all factory and ship sirens. Military have lost element of surprise. Workers begin to attack military columns.

Update 7.20:  Shooting everywhere in the streets. Much confusion. Military risings in other cities in Spain it seems.

Dispatch 2

Pitched battles in Barcelona’s streets. Hospital report at least 100 (hundred) dead. Military stopped by barricades in Parallel. Situtation is confusing but combined forces of workers’ militia (mainly CNT) and loyal assault guards may be gaining upper hand. STOP PRESS. Reports that Guardia Civil may have come out on Republic’s side. More soon.

Dispatch 3

The workers and the Republican police forces are definitely defeating the military who have been driven into a few strongholds. Rebels driven from Telefónica and Plaça Catalunya which saw bloody battle earlier today. Dead everywhere. Corpses piled up in Catalunya metro station stairs. Moans of wounded horses. Hospitals +200 dead, 1000+ wounded. Unlikely and truly remarkable scenes of Guardia Civil fraternizing with CNT and other workers. First photos being released.

Dispatch 4

Bad news coming in from Sevilla – city has fallen to Queipo de Llano’s troops – broadcast on Sevilla radio. “Red soldiers, lower you arms. The Caudillo forgives and redeems. Follow the example of those comrades before you who have joined our ranks. Only like that will you achieve victory. Happiness in your homes and peace in your souls.”

Dispatch 5

It seems a group of CNT/FAI militants has stormed the Pedrables barracks which was left poorly defended and got hold of a large number of weapons (photo). They are proceeding to distribute the arms around working class quarters. Many soldiers and guards are in the street shouting with workers, Viva el CNT!, Viva la FAI! You have the feeling anything could happen. The energy of the people really is to experienced.

I’ve just heard more barracks have fallen to the workers, If true this is stunning news. It means the working class are suddenly “armed to the teeth”. They are: Alcántara barracks at 5:30 pm; Lepanto at 6:00 pm; the Montesa barracks at 8:00 pm; the Docks shortly before midnight, just 5o minutes ago, and the Sant Andreu Central Artillery Barracks just now. The mechanics at the naval base have also taken over and arrested the officers there. The soldiers in the Montjuich fortress have deposed their officers. Worker and Soldier Committees have already been formed. We may on the verge of a revolution, something which the CNT  had predicted in the event of an attempted coup.

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