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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, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st U.S.. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312241771
Book Description St. Martin's Press, U.S.A., 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New unread first American edition hardcover in new jacket. Light shelf wear along bottom edges of book with a tiny nic on bottom outside corner of jacket, otherwise pristine. Jacket looks brand new but please note that previous owner was a collector who carefully reinforced the dust jacket with what appears to be archival tape along the interior edges to prevent shelf wear. The book itself is in brand new, clean, tight and unread condition. Seller Inventory # 046956
Book Description St Martins Press, New York, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Clean, tight, unmarked. 1st US edition. Jacket not clipped. // shipped carefully packed in a sturdy box. Seller Inventory # 001365
Book Description St. Martin"s Press, New York, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Book size 6 x 9. Much data in appendices I & II. Seller Inventory # 000376
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110312241771