Literature / No Spanish Civil War in 1936
No Spanish Civil War in 1936
is an Alternate History
ongoing timeline being published in AlternateHistory.com
. It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
: a world where the coup that led to the civil war
in July 1936 in our world never happened. While the earliest installments are focused in the alternate Spanish Republic that develops without a fratricidal war, once World War II
starts the focus changes to a more global scope to explore the effects a democratic Spain fighting on the Allied side could have had.
But, of course, this is not a counterfactual history exercise. Strangelove has admitted several times that Rule of Cool
is a driving factor in developing the history, and it shows. No Spanish Civil War
has been described as Troperrific, with constant parodies, Shout Outs
, references, and plenty of narrative and Alternate History
tropes or cliches being averted, subverted, or shamelessly exploited. However, the story also attempts to be as much as possible in the Hard side of the Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility
, which causes some jarring effects.
In fact, it began as a project to demolish what the author saw as several cliches about the Civil War era in Spain that sprang out in every Alternate History
scenario covering the era: namely, that the Civil War would happen no matter how far back in time the divergence was, that Francisco Franco
would always be its leader, and that a Republican victory would have always led to a communist dictatorship.
So the history diverges from our own by a seemingly minor fact
that causes Francisco Franco to not be as decisive in his support for the rebels in the weeks leading to the military rebellion. This leads to the conspiracy being discovered by the Republican government and to its leaders being executed or exiled.
This lots of things happen. Like the ascent of the anarchists as a credible political force, the political suicide of both fascists and communists, or Spain entering an uneasy alliance with France. Then 1939 rolls in and Hilarity Ensues
. Or rather, brutal destruction. It is not just War Porn
, though: more detail than usual is given to the alternate evolution of art, literature, architecture, ideologies and societies. What could happen in a world where Capitalism and Communism win World War II, only to discover that both Fascism and Anarchism still want to be heard?
Be advised, after two years since the publishing began, the story is still stuck in the spring of 1943. Real Life
has interfered several times with the writing process, and updates have become more apart in time and more overdetailed. The author has stated that, since his readers are used to a certain degree of detail, he will keep it even if that means that the writing will be finished by 2020.
Can be read here at the AH.com forum
- Action Girl: Facunda Martín, who goes from poor peasant to driving her own tank.
- The Alliance: The Allies, duh.
- Allohistorical Allusion: In the Alt-Battle of the Bulge, with Patton trapped in a defensive perimeter around Le Mans, he seems just as unhappy about needing to be rescued as the real life 101st Airborne and 10th Armored were during the Siege of Bastogne.
- The Allied invasion of Spain is codenamed Operation Sealion, the planned (and much mocked in AH.com) Nazi invasion of Britain.
- Much like the Russians called the war against the Nazis "The Great Patriotic War" after "The Patriotic War" (fought by the Russians against Napoleon), Spain calls World War II "The Great Independence War" after "The Independence War" (the war the Spanish fought against Napoleon).
- Alternate History: Duh. There are parts of the thread where people from this world make up Alternate History.
- Anticlimax: Well, Madrid wasn't quite the Last Stand stronghold everyone expected.
- Alien Space Bats: The Spanish National Football Team winning the 1938 World Cup (as admitted by the author).
- And with the recent victory of the Spanish National Football Team in the 2010 World Cup, it isn't as far-fetched as before...
- Author Avatar: Played semi-straight, since it's one of the readers that becomes a book writer in the story.
- Awesome, yet Impractical: The Gaitas de Durruti are essentially a Spanish home brew equivalent of the Soviet Katyusha. Unfortunately, the state of Spanish industry does not allow them to be deployed in great quantities and their impact in battle is minimal. They're kept around only for propaganda reasons.
- BFG: The Gaitas de Durruti.
- Butt-Monkey: Played very straight with Italy in the first months of the war, averted once Ciano takes over.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. The French toy with the idea after their mainland is overrun, but finally decide to continue the fight from Algeria.
- Cool Tank: The Spanish Prim tanks which are then copied by the Soviets.
- Dawn of an Era: Spain's involvement in Europe's conflicts marks a new era in Spanish hegemony around the world, internal unity, and prosperity.
- Disproportionate Retribution: There are hints at the Basques suffering this.
- Does This Remind You of Anything??: Santiago Bernabeu pulling a Schindler. The novel "El hombre del cortijo", whose far-fetched plot echoes The Man in the High Castle in-universe. Excerpts of Trotsky's post-Marxist work are a blink to Goldstein's book in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Doorstopper: On the slow way to become one.
- Evil Empire: Played straight with the Japanese and the Third Reich. Averted with the British, who essentially maintain the entire allied war effort for most of the war and arm the Spanish army, even if they despise the Spanish leadership.
- Expy: The Gaitas de Durruti are an Expy of the RL Katiushkas.
- Face–Heel Turn: Anarchists view Durruti as having done this, first by agreeing to collaborate with the government, and later taking over and collaborating with the imperialist powers. Aguirre does this when he negotiates with the Nazis.
- A Father to His Men: The British Marshal O'Connor, who is worshiped by the soldiers that fight under him in North Africa and Iberia.
- Faux Affably Evil: Reinhard Heydrich will menace you with torturing your family in front of you in the world's calmest and friendliest voice. All while he offers you a glass of orange juice he pressed himself.
- Final Solution: Even worse, with the Doriotist regime in France establishing its own net of concentration camps. According to the author, The Holocaust death toll was 50% of RL. Also many Eastern European countries stay out of the war, so their Jewish communities are not targeted by the "Final Solution".
- For Want of a Nail: All of this because someone answered a letter that went unanswered in our timeline.
- Foreshadowing: Quite a lot, including fascist Italy surviving until at least 1971, Ernesto "Che" Guevara and George Orwell being alive in the 1970s, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union still around in the 1990s, a Balkanized India partitioned between Trotskyites and fascists in 1982...
- Four-Star Badass/Handicapped Badass/Ax-Crazy: Millán Astray.
- Good Republic, Evil Empire: On the side of The Alliance, we have four Republics (France, USA, Spain and Portugal), one Empire (The British Empire) and one Dictatorship (the Soviet Union). On the Axis end, we have two Dictatorships (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) and 1 Empire (the Japanese Empire).
- Heel–Face Turn: Italy after Ciano decides to ask for an armistice with the allies. It's subverted later on, when it is revealed Ciano is himself in power as a fascist dictator, seeks to expand Italy's influence into Eastern Europe, and it's strongly hinted that the Cold War will include fascism alongside communism and capitalism.
- Humiliation Conga: See Dethroning Moment of Suck.
- In Spite of a Nail: Despite the change, the Germans still take the Sudetenland and make the Anchluss, invade Poland - thus provoking war with the Allies - then they go after France (where the war radically changes, as it takes them much more time than in RL to win), then they invade Russia and it's there where they suffer their biggest catastrophe. The Russians are taken by surprise upon the start of Operation Barbarossa despite all the warnings. However, it is hinted that by 2000 the world is much different from our own.
- La Résistance: AND HOW!
- Last Stand: Franco's at Zaragoza becomes one of the best last stands ever.
- The Load: How the rest of the allies sees Spain sometimes.
- Military Maverick: Enrique Líster.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Ernst Jünger in the German side; Vicente Rojo and Julio Iglesias in the Spanish side.
- Oh, Crap!: Rommel has this reaction when the Allies land in Western Andalusia and realizes that he has finally been outsmarted.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Ciano, Mussolini's son-in-law, becomes Italy's Duce after Italy's armistice. He chooses to keep Italy neutral, and does not engage in a cult of personality, but he keeps Italy's government under his fascist rule, and looks to establish a sphere of influence in Greece and the Balkans.
- Proud Warrior Race: How the other Allied militaries see the average Spanish and Portuguese soldiers, even if their training leaves a lot to be desired.
- The Purge: 1937 Russia (even worse than the real one).
- Putting on the Reich: The collaborationist governments of Serrano in Spain and Doriot in France attempt this, with little success. Averted with Aguirre's regime in the Basque Country.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Fall Schwartz (the invasion of Spain) is a textbook example. The Germans conquer their military objectives, but completely fail to take Britain and Spain out of the war, and have hundreds of thousands of casualties for their effort.
- The Quisling: Serrano Suñer in Spain, Doriot in France, Aguirre in the Basque Country.
- For Aguirre, it's Played With. He greatly desires a Basque state, and while he does not aid the Republican Spanish forces, he does not actively collaborate with the Germans on policies such as anti-Semitism, and thousands of Basque Jews live through the war.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified/The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Spanish communes.
- Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: Done lots of times. Leon Trotsky breaking with Marxism, Lister working together with Franco, Franco dying for the Republic, Millan Astray spying the Nazis, Manuel Fraga making the PSOE a viable option... not to talk about the Spanish president Buenaventura Freaking Durruti. Barry Goldwater is a different kind of libertarian in this world. Ernesto Guevara writes books about political systems.
- Rule of Cool: All the time.
- Scenery Gorn: Operation Sealion, Port Moresby, the Last Stand at Zaragoza, the Battle of Lisbon... and Moscow. Oh, sweet Jesus, Moscow.
- Scenery Porn: Hints at an American-like Spanish suburbia system, the futuristic Zaragoza with the Basilica del Pilar in ruins, Facunda's house, La Manga as a virgin War Memorial, or the huge Monument to the Fallen that tyrannized Madrid's skyline, to cite some examples.
- A scene fairly similar to the film Casablanca happens in Málaga, up to the name of the bar's owner... Ernst Jünger once points out that the second world war in Spain is essentially the Peninsular War with Nazis, anarchists and modern weaponry.
- Julio Iglesias, Sr. is one of the medics in the Operation Sealion landings. The young waiter at Ricardo's bar in Málaga is Chiquito de la Calzada. The Izquierdo Brothers of Puerto Hurraco become the only survivors of the destruction of their town. Santiago Bernabéu becomes the Spanish Oskar Schindler. Tom Clancy happens to be a Spaniard named Tomás Clancy Rebollo. The "Ché" becomes a bookwriter. The president of the Atletico de Madrid football club is some chap called Juan Carlos Borbón.
- The Spanish Civil War: It is called No Spanish Civil War for a reason. Duh.
- Take That!: Max Aub does this to Millán Astray when he attempts to recruit him.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Played straight.
- Took a Level in Badass: Facunda Martín does this with her tank.
- Toros Y Flamencos: What the Spanish revolutionary government wishes to erradicate, even if they reivindicate it during the war for propaganda reasons.
- Troperrific: Sometimes the story becomes a bit too self-conscious for its own good.
- Truth in Television: People in the future world prefer the accounts of Millán Astray's "adventures" in the TV series instead of the real thing.
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Moscow, Spain (Zaragoza) and Port Moresby.
- Urban Warfare: Paris, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Sevilla, and especially Lisbon and Moscow. (Though, some people think Zaragoza is only second to Moscow.)
- War Is Hell/War Is Glorious: Both vary. The soldiers in the field think it is the first. Spanish propaganda begs to disagree.
- We ARE Struggling Together: the Allies, doing their best to stop the Nazi war machine (and nearly beating them in France)
- We Have Reserves: Played straight at the beginning of the battle for Moscow, averted during the New Year offensive - the Soviets really are scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
- What Could Have Been: The premise of this story.