'For a better Spain and a fairer Europe': A re-examination of the Spanish Blue Division in its Social, Cultural and Policital context 1941-2005


Hall, Vaux J. (2005) 'For a better Spain and a fairer Europe': A re-examination of the Spanish Blue Division in its Social, Cultural and Policital context 1941-2005. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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Abstract

With the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany on 21 June 1941, an immense ideological war began that ultimately affected the lives of millions of Europeans and shaped the global political landscape following the conclusion of the Russo-German War in May 1945. But in this brutal war of extermination, Germany did not fight alone. Various countries within the sphere of German political influence helped sustain and assist in the war effort by sending forces to fight in the East. Spain, whose political allegiances varied throughout the Second World War, also contributed an entire ‘volunteer’ division to fight on the Eastern Front. These Spaniards fought in the División Española de Voluntarios (D.E.V.) or as they are more popularly known, the Division Azul, or Blue Division because of their Falange shirts. The DEV essentially was ‘volunteer’ in name only as it would not have been able to maintain itself on the Eastern Front without the indirect help of the Franco government or, more specifically, the Spanish Army Ministry. Although the German Army was theoretically responsible for the Blue Division, the division was continually, albeit indirectly, financed by the Franco regime as a political too in order to remaining Hitler’s grace following the latter’s support of the Nationalist cause in the Spanish Civil War. As this thesis discusses, the Spanish Army created an elaborate system to transport troops and supplies to and from the Russian Front. This system was essential in allowing Spaniards to remain in Russia as a physical symbol of Franco foreign politics, as long as the regime deemed it necessary to do so. While discussing the origins of the Division Azul, including its recruitment and training, the experiences and pit-falls of serving on the Eastern Front, this thesis attempts to transcend the battlefield and discuss the relationship of the volunteers to their native Spain upon the division’s repatriation in the autumn of 1943 up to the present day by reexamining the Blue Division in its social, cultural, and political context.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Keywords: Spain; Europe; Spanish Blue Division; 1941-2005;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
Item ID: 5316
Depositing User: IR eTheses
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2014 12:21
URI:

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