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15. The Occupation of Catalonia and Losing the War

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Chapter Summary

Failure in the Battle of the Ebro led to the definitive collapse of Catalonia. Catalonia was left on its own, defended by an army that was a mere shadow of its former self, while the Republican armies of the centre had been able to re-organise themselves during the brutal Battle of the Ebro. The Republican offensive in the central sector, the last one of the war, was finally begun on 5 January and had no effect on the military situation in Catalonia. It ended in failure. The Battle of the Ebro had left Catalonia in such tatters that it had no time to recuperate before Franco's rapid offensive. Hence, Rojo's plan to organise machine gun battalions, each with 250 men recruited from political and trade union organisations, fell on deaf ears. Sometimes the occupation of Catalonia has been described as a military parade.

Keywords: Battle of the Ebro; Catalonia; Rojo; war



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