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The Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union, and Communism$
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Stanley G. Payne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100686

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100686.001.0001

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Defeat 1938–1939

Defeat 1938–1939

(p.270) Chapter Eleven Defeat 1938–1939
The Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union, and Communism

StanLey G. Payne

Yale University Press

This chapter presents the Comintern's new line on the goal of the war—an understanding among Spaniards to end “the foreign invasion.” The Comintern's presentation of this to the PCE central committee coincided with the Munich agreement, demonstrating that the new line had no chance for success whatsoever. At one time, the Soviet military presence may have numbered close to a thousand men, but their number was dwindling; by 4 January 1939, this number dropped to 218. This was a considerable reduction, but far from a liquidation. There is no indication that after the Comintern's new “September strategy” had become a nonstarter, Stalin either had or sought any exit strategy whatsoever. Soviet participation and exposure would be reduced but not ended; from the Soviet point of view, it was important not to give up.

Keywords:   foreign invasion, Comintern, PCE central committee, Munich agreement, Soviet military presence, September strategy

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