Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 20th July – 27th September 1936

THE SIEGE OF THE ALCAZAR

When it became apparent that the Rising in Madrid had failed, the Nationalist supporters in Toledo, which is 40 miles to the Southwest of the capital, occupied the Military Academy in the Alcazar fortress. The garrison was mainly drawn from the local Guardia Civil and Falange, and was commanded by the Commandant of the Academy, Colonel Jose Moscardo.

The Alcazar at the height of the siege.
For two months the defenders held out against the Republican Militia units besieging them; they were finally relieved when troops from the Army of Africa, led by Colonel Jose Varela, stormed Toledo. The raising of the siege of the Alcazar did much to enhance General Franco's reputation, but the diversion of Varela's troops from the advance on Madrid gave the capital's defenders further time to prepare their defences.

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