Naval Attitudes to the Spanish Civil War

  • Jill Edwards


If, as is suggested here, there was less interest and a higher degree of ambivalence in British Government attitudes to economic aspects of the Spanish Civil War than was once thought, this is not true of Britain’s naval policy. For it is now clear that the response of the British Government to naval problems contributed positively to Franco’s ultimate victory. In an area of policy where confusion and ad hoc decisions tended to mask the full vehemence of much ministerial hostility towards the Spanish Republic, naval policy was exceptional in its blatancy. This was largely because, unlike the Foreign Office where some genuine disagreement on the Spanish question existed, and the pro-Republican position of Anthony Eden after December 1936 muted official advice on other aspects of Spanish policy, the Admiralty under Sir Samuel Hoare was consistently and emphatically anti-Republican.


Territorial Water Naval Force British Ship Aerial Bombardment British Merchant 
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Notes to Chapter 4

  1. 1.
    Admiral Sir A. Ernle Chatfield, The Navy and Defence: The Autobiography of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Chatfield, vol. 2, It Might Happen Again ( London: Heinemann, 1942 ) p. 92.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Lawrence R. Pratt, East of Malta, West of Suez: Britain’s Mediterranean Crises, 1936–1939, (Cambridge University Press, 1975 ) p. 9.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    David Dilkes (ed.), The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, 1938–1945 ( London: Cassell, 1971 ) p. 15.Google Scholar
  4. 71.
    Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War vol. 1, The Gathering Storm Cassell, London 1948 p. 171.Google Scholar
  5. 85.
    Ciano placed the responsibility for this attack on the Italian submarine Iride. (Malcolm Muggeridge (ed.) Ciano’s Diary, 1937–1938 (London: Methuen, 1952 p. 8).Google Scholar
  6. 129.
    Stephen Roskill,.Naval Policy Between the Wars vol. n, 1930–1939 (London: Collins, 1976) p. 388.Google Scholar

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© Jill Edwards 1979

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  • Jill Edwards

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