Thursday, 29 July 2021

Tank combat in Spain

My pile of books to read continues to grow! The latest addition is Anthony J Candil’s recently published TANK COMBAT IN SPAIN: ARMOURED WARFARE DURING THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR 1936-1939.

The author is a former Spanish Army officer who now lives and works in the United States, and it is a welcome change to read a book by someone who served in the armoured arm of his country's army, and who has the technical and historical background to write a comprehensive history of armoured combat during the Spanish Civil War.

The book has twenty-one chapters and an epilogue:

  1. Overview of Military Operations
  2. Foreign Intervention
  3. The Beginning: The Early Days of Tanks in the Spanish Army
  4. Organization and Structure of Armor in the Spanish Army on the Eve of the Civil War
  5. Soviet Participation
  6. Italian Aid and the Volunteer Corps
  7. Germany Enters the Arena
  8. The Cost of Foreign Air
  9. Organization and Structure of the Nationalist Armored Forces
  10. Organization and Structure of the Republican Armored Forces
  11. The Opening Rounds: The "Franco-Style" Blitzkrieg
  12. On the Move: Republican Armor is Never "Enough"
  13. Stalemate and Attrition
  14. The End: The Battle of the Ebro and the Catalonia Offensive
  15. Antitank Warfare
  16. Logistics
  17. Tank Maintenance of the Nationalist Faction and the War Equipment Recovery Service
  18. Tank Combat Service Support in the Spanish Republic's People's Army
  19. A Ket Feature: The Republican Tank School at Archena
  20. The Experience Reconsidered: Conclusions
  21. A Reappraisal of Equipment and Armament

  • Epilogue

I have yet to read this book from cover to cover, but just dipping into it was very informative and I certainly read things that made me think about my understanding of the topic.

I suspect that this may well become one of the standard texts for anyone with an interest in the Spanish Civil War, and especially for those who have a particular interest in tank warfare.

TANK COMBAT IN SPAIN: ARMOURED WARFARE DURING THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR 1936-1939 was written by Anthony J Candil and published in 2021 by Casemate Publishers (ISBN 978 1 61200 970 4).


  1. Ooh I'm jealous...ugly, I know! I got this on my wishlist just in time for my birthday...and no one bought it for me :(

    It looks rather good and, if it is as comprehensive as its contents suggest, it will go a long way to filling a large hole.

    Eee...I remember starting SCW wargaming in the eighties wi' nowt but a slim Osprey and a copy of Arriba Espana!


    1. Rumblestrip (Andrew),

      With no birthdays, anniversaries etc., due for some time, I decided to treat myself … and I’m very pleased that I did.

      When I started out wargaming the SCW, the only resources were Thomas’s history of the war and numerous memoirs. Charles Esdaile and Robin Hunt wrote magazine articles about creating model armies for the SCW … and that was pretty well it.

      All the best,


  2. Back in the day, "Biggles in Spain" was my introduction to the Spanish Civil War!

    1. Steve,

      That’s a Biggles title that I have yet to read!

      All the best,


  3. Hi Bob

    I know that, like me, you have largely converted to Kindle. But there are times when you need a "real" paper book. I suspect that this one has diagrams, maps and photos, all of which are much easier to follow with a paper book.

    I have not bought a paper book for many years, but I still have a considerable Napoleonic library which I like to browse through at times. And often use as reference, particularly for orders of battle or battle maps.



    1. Jan Leniston (Paul),

      I have recently bought two books - this one and the one about the Balkan Wars - specifically because the maps etc., are so much better in the printed editions of the books.

      ORBATs and maps are so useful, and I doubt that many wargamers don’t enjoy looking at examples of both.

      All the best,



Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.