Spanish Foreign Deployments Documentary

First, it’s en español, or as my South American counterparts would insist, en castellano. But it’s an overview for Spanish audiences of “The Spanish Army, Overseas.”

Spain is an interesting country. It was once one of the dominant empires in the world. A series of defeats and some economic “bad luck” (c.f. that great economist, Bob Heinlein) impoverished the nation, and a fratricidal Civil War in which many Spanish factions became cats’ paws for foreign powers all but finished it off.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s attemts to rebuild a greater Spain under his Falangist leadership foundered on more economic “bad luck,” and one truly disastrous foreign adventure, the deployment of the Blue Division of volunteers to Germany’s Russian Front, soured Spaniards on foreign adventures for decades.

After Franco, Spain rejoined NATO, and gradually integrated more and more in NATO training and exercises. Spain has been an important coalition partner in such adventures as the Afghanistan war and Kosovan peace-keeping.

Spanish grunts, engineers, and Eurofighter pilots all make an appearance in the film. Enjoy.

4 thoughts on “Spanish Foreign Deployments Documentary

  1. Mike_C

    >it’s en español, or as my South American counterparts would insist, en castellaño.
    Indeed. One day while attending a conference in Barcelona, a bunch of us got sick of the convention-hall food and went out for lunch. Sitting in what was probably the Barcelona equivalent of a Denny’s, we were handed trilingual menus: Castellaño, English, and Catalan. After a minute of perusal, the Swedish guy asked loudly, “Why do they have Spanish on here twice?” A few heads at adjacent tables turned, gave us dirty looks (which of course the speaker didn’t notice) and went back to their own business. A couple of us face-palmed. “What? What’s wrong?” asks Swedish guy.
    “Well, I was planning on having paella, sin saliva, but that’s probably not gonna happen now.”

  2. DB

    I would just point out that the Blue Division wasn’t really disastrous for Franco. He had no intention of joining the Axis in WWII, unless he was 100% certain they were going to win. By sending the Blue Division to the Russian front he could do himself the multiple favors of having the deniability that they were a volunteer legion (100% German equipped), keeping Hitler sweet, and making sure the most rabid (and therefore coup-prone) pro-Nazi fascists in his army were out of the country and off to die on the Russian steppe.

    1. Haxo Angmark

      that’s about it. What Hitler wanted from Franco was Gibralter, which one Spanish regiment could have taken from the landward side in less than a day’s not-too-hard-fighting. But Franco refused. After one particularly difficult face-to-face “negotiation” with Franco, Hitler came out and remarked, “I’d rather have all my teeth pulled than go through that again…”.

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