The battle in the air

This posts was published in occasion of the study visit done on the event of the Grundtvig project “Democratic Memorial: the Ebre’s battle case”

Around Barcelona, being the first city massively bombed using air rides, traces of the innovative aviation techniques from the civil war years can be found today.

But since airplanes did not fly by themselves, and there were no prior tradition before 1936 in the civil use of aviation, local Catalan men found themselves forced to quickly learn to become pilots and technicians.

Due to the constant threat of massive bombings from the Francoist army, the Republican defense decided to decentralize the only two aircraft fabrics that excited at that time, and there were no shortage of either courage or creativity. Places like schools and theatres were being transformed into small fabrics were the production was going full speed. The involvement of the civil society was crucial to build up the Republican air force.

Improvised airplane production in a local theatre


When the first pilots were trained in the Soviet union, during the ongoing war more and more local man joined. With no radio or other means of communication the pilots were on their own once they were airborne. While the men were flying attacs, the local women were working in the fabrics of the airplanes. But even with all this local spirit at the end the Republican forces couldn’t defeat the forces of Franco with their support of the superior air forces of the Italian and the German government.

Inger & Tina

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