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Tells the story of the arms-racketeering and political chicanery by which the Republicans were finally defeated in the Spanish Civil War. The book touches on various revelations, such as the Polish military dictatorship - Franco supporters - being one of the largest suppliers to the Republicans.
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War is a filthy business. It is also an excellent source of filthy lucre, and history is littered with those eager to earn a tainted buck, peseta or rouble. The pages of Gerald Howson's excellent book are crammed with such scoundrels, in high and low positions, willing to make what they can from the Spanish Republicans, desperate for arms in the face of Franco's insurgent Nationalists. Howson challenges the assumption of a parity between the two sides in terms of arms accruement, providing a valuable corrective to the complacency he believes has shrouded this matter. And he makes a compelling case, compiling a mass of statistics to support his view. They are laid out in three exhaustive appendices, but where he has triumphed is in unravelling from such aridity a tale that transcends the arithmetic.
The maze of political intransigence and rogues' gallery of utter contemptibles Howson presents would be comical if their effect was not so, literally, deadly. The worst offenders would appear to be the Russians, who agreed to house the family silver (or rather, gold) for the Republicans, only to annex it at a ridiculously low rate by way of a smokescreen of exchange rates and bureaucracy. They were not the only ones, and at least they supplied something; the "Non Intervention" policy of the British and French merely allowed Hitler and Mussolini to continue supplying the Nationalists while the Republican effort was strangulated.
In the 1930s it was widely believed that the next war would be won in the air. The obsolete junk that did find its way to Spanish Republicans had no chance of securing victory, and rather, Howson contends, sunk their hopes. He has written a passionate, persuasive book, with occasional quirkiness, of the shenanigans and skullduggery of international arms trafficking, which is as sadly relevant today as in 1936. --David Vincent
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Book Description St. Martin's Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0312241771 St Martins hardcover with great dustjacket. Seller Inventory # SKU1159395
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 0312241771_abe_bn
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st U.S. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312241771
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0312241771
Book Description St. Martin's Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0312241771 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1850573
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0312241771