Italy Intervenes in Support of Spanish Rebels

Saturday 1st August 1936


The policy of non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War, established by Leon Blum's Front Populaire government in France, quickly proved to be entirely one-sided. France's first diplomatic act was an appeal to Britain and Italy to support its stance. Whilst the democracies fought shy of supporting a government tainted by extreme left-wing action and atrocity, the Fascist powers had no such hesitation in supporting the rebels.

Italy had already given a fair clue as to line it would actually take with the dispatch of 21 military aircraft to the rebels in Spanish Morocco. Three of them crashed en route in French territory, but the remainder arrived safely. The surviving crew were formally charged with various air navigation and arms supply offences, but were permitted to attend the funerals of their comrades, who had lost their lives. In part this was the mark of an earlier age of conduct and in part an indication of where the sympathies of the French colonial administration lay. 

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