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Secret Wars$
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Austin Carson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181769

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181769.001.0001

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The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

(p.99) 4 The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
Secret Wars

Austin Carson

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes foreign combat participation in the Spanish Civil War. Fought from 1936 to 1939, the war hosted covert interventions by Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union. The chapter leverages variation in intervention form among those three states, as well as variation over time in the Italian intervention, to assess the role of escalation concerns and limited war in the use of secrecy. Adolf Hitler's German intervention provides especially interesting support for a theory on escalation control. An unusually candid view of Berlin's thinking suggests that Germany managed the visibility of its covert “Condor Legion” with an eye toward the relative power of domestic hawkish voices in France and Great Britain. The chapter also shows the unique role of direct communication and international organizations. The Non-Intervention Committee, an ad hoc organization that allowed private discussions of foreign involvement in Spain, helped the three interveners and Britain and France keep the war limited in ways that echo key claims of the theory.

Keywords:   Spanish Civil War, German intervention, Condor Legion, direct communication, limited war, Non-Intervention Committee, Spain, foreign combat participation, covert intervention, escalation control

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