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§782 The firmness of Franco leading to Republican unconditional surrender (1936-1939): VI-64.

VI-64 (§782):

They shall not keep any fixed pact,
All the containers shall come by deceit:
He protests against a peace and armistice by land and sea,
On the front of Barcelona the army taken by diligence.

(On ne tiendra pache aucune arresté,
Tous recevans iront par tromperie:
De paix & tresve terre & mer proteste,
Par Barcelone classe prins d'industrie.)

NOTES: Pache: = A pact. « pache, pacte, accord, convention (a pact, accord, convention).» (Godefroy).

A fixed pact: = The Non-Intervention Agreement of 1936.
« BIRTH OF THE "NON-INTERVENTION" POLICY The policy of non-intervention in Spain which was adopted on the initiative of France, and of which Great Britain subsequently became the leading advocate, was put into effect six weeks after the outbreak of the Civil War. The object of the promoters of the policy was to prevent the Spanish conflict from expanding into an open war between Great Powers on an arena extending far beyond the bounds of the Iberian Peninsula and at the same time to safeguard the independence of the Spanish nation and its freedom to decide its own destiny. But as the Spanish Republican Government pointed out, their unhappy country itself became the theatre of an international war in fact. Disappointing as the results of the Non-Intervention Agreement were to prove in practice, it is probably true to say that at no time did the danger that the conflagration would spread all over Europe appear as acute as it had seemed during the first five or six weeks of the Civil War. Says Prof. Toynbe, "The States of Europe might still be standing uncomfortably, close to the edge of the precipice; but the facts that the Governments had entered into an agreement not to intervene in Spain and that they continued to pay lip-service to the principle of non-intervention (even though some of them were engaged at the same time in evading to the best of their ability the obligations into which they had entered), indicated that even the most aggressive-seeming among them were genuinely afraid of taking the final-step which might plunge them into the abyss." (Sur. Int. Aff. l937, Vol. II Page 222). Since French sympathies or at any rate the sympathies of most of the supporters of the Popular Front - were naturally with the Spanish Republicans, the French Government might have been expected to take the line that there was no reason for refusing to let the legally constituted Government of Spain have munitions, and other supplies which they needed to help them in putting down an insurrection. But, the decision, as is now well-known, was taken against this course. But, in the meantime, an incident occurred, ( the landing of Italian air-craft on the French Moroccan soil, which has already been alluded to) which definitely proved that foreign nations were intervening to the advantage of the Nationalists. M. Blum and his colleagues came to the conclusion that if the danger of a general ideological war was to be averted and the trouble confined within the frontiers of Spain, something more was required than a unilateral decision on their part to withhold supplies from one party to the conflict. They realized indeed, that in view of the Republican sympathies of their supporters it would be impossible for them to implement their own decision not to send supplies to Spain unless some check could be imposed on the flow of foreign munitions to the Spanish Nationalists. So, a proposal for an agreement to refrain from intervening in the Spanish Civil War by sending supplies of war material to either party was made by the French Government to Governments of Great Britain and Italy on the 1st August 1936. The British Government’s response to this French demarche was prompt and favourable. In a note of the 4th August, they showed their willingness and suggested that other States which had a special interest in the Spanish question (chiefly, Germany, Russia and Portugal) he included in the negotiations. In the hope of speeding up the negotiations the French Government circulated the draft text of a declaration on the 6th August. This provided for a formal renunciation of intervention, direct or indirect, in the Spanish civil war and laid it down that the export to Spain of all war material, including aircraft of all kinds and not excepting, material which had been ordered before the civil war began, should be prohibited by the signatories and that there should be an exchange of information regarding the measures taken by the various Governments to put this prohibition into effect. The prohibition of export of war material from France to Spain was put into effect on the 9th August. (The prohibition on the transit of material through France did not become effective until the 8th September.) The French suggestion was approved by all; but in diplomatic language an approval does not necessarily mean acceptance of concrete terms; and the 'Fascist' Powers now gave the first example of tactics which were to become so unpleasantly familiar later. By delaying their definitive acceptance or refusal to a suggestion they protracted the negotiations without allowing them to break down and laid themselves open to the suspicion that they were deliberately trying to gain time in the hope that the help which they were giving to the Nationalists might turn the scale in the latter’s favour before a decision which might limit activities on their behalf has been taken. On the 5th August, the French diplomatic representative in Moscow was informed that the Soviet Government were prepared to accept the principle of non-intervention in Spain, but that they considered it essential that Portugal should be a party to the Agreement, and the foreign assistance to the rebels should cease immediately; By the 10th August the Soviet Government had signified their approval of the draft text of an agreement which the French Government had forwarded to them. The attitude of Italy was less favourable. Italy declared to adhere in principle to the thesis of nonintervention. The Italian Government asked whether ‘moral solidarity’ with one of the parties to the agreement (as expressed in public demonstrations, etc.) did not constitute a noisy and dangerous form of intervention; and what methods of control over the observance or non-observance of the undertaking not to intervene in Spain were contemplated. For the Italian suggestions, there was a strong suspicion in France that they were put forward in a deliberately obstructionist spirit. The Italian reply to the French proposals was therefore not of a nature to encourage the hope of a successful outcome of the negotiations at an early date. On the 9th August, the German charged Affaires in London gave the British Government a formal assurance that no war material was being sent or would be sent to the Spanish Nationalists from Germany and that German warships in Spanish waters would not take any action which could be interpreted as showing sympathy with or giving support to the Nationalists. Herr Von Neurath was also said to have assured the French Ambassador, when the latter broached the subject of non-intervention, that Germany’s policy towards Spain was one of strict neutrality. The German Foreign Minister's first response to the French proposal was said to have been favourable but in the subsequent diplomatic conversations in Berlin the German attitude became stiffer. By the middle of August, in addition to Great Britain, Russia was the only other State, within the group whose adherence was considered essential, which had yet returned a definite favourable reply. On the 15th August declarations were exchanged in Paris by which the French and British Governments placed on record their decision to abstain vigorously from all intervention direct or indirect, in the internal affairs of Spain and announced that they intended to prohibit the export direct or indirect, the re-export and the transit to any destination in Spain, the Spanish possessions or the Spanish Zone of Morocco, all arms, munitions and materials of war, as well as of all aircraft, complete or in parts and of all warships. Finally, they pledged themselves to put these measures into force as soon as the Governments of Germany, Italy, the U.S. S. R. and Portugal had adhered to the declaration. A statement from Foreign Office in London declared: "It should he realized that the maintenance of a strict and impartial attitude of non-intervention is essential if the unhappy events in Spain are to be prevented from having serious repercussions elsewhere. British subjects who assist either side in Spain by land, sea or air, are not only running grave risks for themselves, but are rendering it more difficult to arrive at the proposed agreement. They must not expect to receive any assistance or support whatever in difficulties which they may meet with during such enterprises, which run counter to the objects which His Majesty’s Government are seeking to attain." (Toynbee, op. cit. p.240). On the 17th August, the German Government had notified the French Government their willingness to accept the terms laid down in the Anglo-French declaration as soon as some little demands were fulfilled. On the 21st August, Italy "allowed herself to be persuaded" not to make the prohibition of 'moral solidarity’ an essential condition for their acceptance of an agreement to forbid the supply of war materials to Spain and they adhered to the Anglo-French declaration on the same terms as Great Britain, and France themselves. On the 21st August, also, the Portuguese Government declared in writing their acceptance not to intervene in the Spanish conflict. But they hedged their acceptance about with so many reservations that they retained very considerable freedom of action. On the 23rd August, the Government of the U.S.S. R. notified the French Government of their formal adherence to the declaration on the usual condition of reciprocity. On the 24th August, the German Government, informed the French Government that in view of the fact that the other interested Governments had now accepted the French Proposals, they themselves would waive the condition that their negotiations over the Lufthansa machine must first be concluded and would put into force immediately the measures for which the declaration provided. The twenty-one Governments which ultimately accepted the Non-Intervention Agreement, in addition to the six specially interested Powers were: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, The Irish Free State, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Rumania, Sweden and Turkey. It will be noticed that the only European State which was absent from the list was Switzerland, and the Swiss Federal Government had informed the French Government that, while they felt precluded by the permanent neutrality of the Swiss Confederation from participating in the suggested joint declaration: they had on their own initiative taken certain measures designed to secure the same object. As soon as the successful conclusion of the first phase of the non-intervention negotiations had been ensured by the adherence of Germany to the agreement, the French Government had taken a further step. They had invited the Powers to take part in further discussions and had suggested that the most convenient method of arranging for the exchange of information which was an integral part of their plan, might be the establishment of a Committee in London, composed of representatives of all the parties to the agreement. Up to 5th September, all States except Portugal whose attendance was of the first importance, had consented to serve in the Committee. The delay in accepting the French proposals for a Non-Intervention Agreement, and the reservations which accompanied Portugal’s final acceptance, had shown how reluctant Dr. Salazar’s Government were to tie their hands in any way and it was said that, considerable diplomatic pressure from France and Great Britain had been needed to secure the issue in Lisbon, of the decree that placed an embargo on the export on transit of war materials to Spain. By the beginning of September the Portuguese Government had indicated that they might agree to be represented on the Non-Intervention Committee if its scope and competence were more clearly defined; and after the German acceptance had been received it was decided to summon the first meeting of the Committee on the 9th September in the hope that by that time French and British influence in Lisbon would have elicited a definite acceptance. But Portugal was an absentee when the first meeting of the Non-Intervention Committee took place on the 9th September and it was not until the end of September that the combined influence of France and Great Britain exercised not only through diplomatic channels but also through the medium of conversations at Geneva between Mr. Eden and the Portuguese Foreign Minister, was successful in inducing the Portuguese Government to waive their objections to representation on the Non-Intervention Committee.» (Scharma, 1946, p.59-67).

On ne tiendra pache aucune arresté: = On ne tiendra aucune pache arresté[e].

Recevans: = Containers. « Recevant, (subst.) Récipient (Container, receptacle).).» (Huguet).

They shall not keep any fixed pact, All the containers shall come by deceit: « In the two first verses the point in question is the foreign intervention in Spain and the efforts made by the powers to prevent and control it.» (Ionescu, 1976, p.456); « During the battles over Madrid which began in October [1936], the conditions of war changed. Primarily, the relief from Germany and Italy augmented. These two countries recognized the Franco Government on November 18, and therefore took part in the camp of Franco at the risk of their prestige. In November and December Germany sent the ‘Condor Legion’ of her air force in addition to aircraft and tank corps, and then from Italy arrived her ground ‘Volunteer Troops’. Secondly, the U.S.S.R began to grant aids to the Spanish Republic. The U.S.S.R. searching for a security against Germany did not want to confront Great Britain and France by her aids to the Republic nor to face a pro-German regime in place of the Republic in case of its defeat, but as self-fancied leader of anti-Fascism she could not deny the demands of the Republic. Moreover, the campaigns of her solidarity with Spain served to boost the morale of the nation depressed through Stalin’s Great Purge. At the beginning of October the U.S.S.R. declared not restricted by the Non-Intervention Agreement and began to transport relief supplies.» (Tateishi, 2000, p.297-298); « The failure of the efforts made by France and Great Britain to check the internationalization of the conflict is obvious.» (Trémolières IV, p.96).

Sea battle: « Cape Palos 5-6 March 1938 While the Republican navy became listless, the Nationalist navy was extremely active. Concentrated at Palma, on Majorca, Nationalist ships, strongly supported by Italian aircraft, blockaded the Republican coast and escorted convoys of Italian war matériel to the mainland. On 5 March 1938 a strong force of three Nationalist cruisers supported by destroyers and minelayers put to sea to escort an inbound convoy. At 1:00
AM on 6 March the Nationalist ships steamed headlong into Vice-Admiral Luis González Ubieta’s Republican force of cruisers, destroyers, and Soviet-supplied torpedo boats, originally despatched to attack the Nationalist base at Palma. Dodging a Republican torpedo attack, the Nationalist squadron tried to disengage, preferring to delay the action until daybreak, but Ubieta pursued and, at 2:15 AM, his ships opened fire off Cape Palos, near Cartagena. As the cruisers fought an inconclusive and inaccurate long-range gunnery duel, three Republican destroyers crept unobserved into torpedo range of them. Each ship fired a spread of four torpedoes, at least two of which hit the Nationalist cruiser Baleares, flagship of Vice-Admiral Manuel de Vierna, between her two forward turrets. The explosion detonated her forward magazines and wrecked the forepart of the ship, including her bridge, which disintegrated with the loss of all inside, including Vierna. As the smouldering remains of Baleares wallowed in the water, slowly sinking, the remaining Nationalist ships fled. Out of crew of 1,206, 441 survivors were eventually rescued by British destroyers. Cape Palos was the largest naval battle of the Spanish Civil War, and a significant victory for the Republicans, but the Nationalist blockade remained intact.» (Grant, 2011, p.795).

Proteste: = Il [Franco] proteste (He [Franco] protests).

A peace and armistice by land and sea: « The thirteen points in outline of May, 1938, by the premier of the Republic Negrín made clear her end of war in proposing the withdrawal of foreign troops, the decision of regime by referendum, the guarantee of the freedom of religion, agrarian reforms, etc., tried to elicit a change of policy toward Spain from Great Britain and France in insisting upon her moderate policies, and offered to Franco the conditions of peace.» (Tateishi, id., p.304).

He protests against a peace and armistice by land and sea
: « But neither Great Britain and France nor Franco did respond to his propositions, and his clear definition of the end of war could not strengthen the Republican unity... Franco with the menace of all-out assault insisted upon a capitulation without conditions to the bitter end.» (Tateishi, id., p.304-307).

On the front of Barcelona the army taken by diligence
: = In Catalonia the Republican army defeated by the Nationalists diligently commanded by General Franco; « Ebro 24 July-16 November 1938. After an initial success in their last-throw offensive at Ebro, the Republicans were once again driven back by Nationalist forces, suffering huge losses. Aided by German and Italian planes, the Nationalists claimed a decisive victory, which sealed the fate of the Spanish Republic. Having managed to defend Valencia against Nationalist attacks, the Republicans attempted to restore contact with Catalonia with an offensive over the Ebro River. The attack, led by communist General Juan Modesto, once again took the Nationalists by surprise, bringing the Republicans early success. Eighty thousand Republican soldiers crossed the river in boats and attacked General Juan Yagüe’s Nationalist troops, inflicting substantial damage. Upon reaching the town of Gandesa, however, the Republicans met fierce resistance. The rocky terrain offered little cover for the fighters, and German and Italian planes were easily able to target Republican positions. Determined to annihilate the Republicans, General Franco ordered large reinforcements to join the battle, which was to last for over three months. Even when it became clear that they could not win, the leader of the Spanish Republic, Juan Negrín, was unable to withdraw troops as few options remained for the increasingly desperate Republic. In one of the war’s hardest fought battles, both sides incurred huge losses, but for the Republicans these losses were unsustainable. Ebro was the last major battle of the Spanish Civil War. Following the defeat, the Republicans continued to concede territory to the Nationalists until 1 April 1939, when General Franco declared the war over, signifying the end of the Spanish Republic.» (Grant, id., p.797); « Franco in April [1938] cut Republican Spain in two. Thereafter it was really a matter of time only, with Franco taking no chances and insisting on overwhelming superiority. By the autumn Stalin had tired of the war, had extracted the last ounce of propaganda value out of it, had completed his purges and was already thinking of a new deal, either with the Western democracies or, more likely, with Hitler. He had also got all the Republic’s gold. So he cut off aid, and Franco was able to open his last Catalonian offensive, just before Christmas, confident that the end was near. Barcelona fell on 28 January 1939, and Madrid on 28 March. Franco had fought the war without passion, and when he heard it was over he did not even look up from his desk.» (Johnson, 1991, p.338).

Classe prins d'industrie (the army taken by diligence): V. Ionescu’s interpretation following that of Centurio "classe d'industrie = Industriearbeiterklasse (a class of industrial workers)" (Centurio, 1953, p.142-143) of the phrase « classe d'industrie (the class of industry) » as « la classe prolétaire (the proletarian class) » seems illogical because the most ordinary meaning of the term: the class of industry is probably that of enterprisers or capitalists rather than that of workers: « industry friction between labor and industry » (Obunsha); « industry the conciliation of labor and industry » (Koine). And in truth, however, the term classe in this context means army and that of industrie diligence: « Classe (classis). Flotte.» (Huguet); « classis, an army. a. On land (very ancient). b. At sea, a fleet.» (Smith-Lockwood) « INDUSTRIE. 1° Vx: Habileté à exécuter qqch (ability, skill to do something).»
(Petit Robert); « Industrie. Activité, habileté, soin (Industry. Activity, ability, care). – D’industrie. Avec intention, à dessein (By industry. By intention, on purpose).» (Huguet).

The diligence of General Franco: « He exploited the two insurrectionary movements, the Falange and the Carlists, amalgamating them under his leadership, but their role was subservient, indeed servile. Franco was never a fascist or had the smallest belief in any kind of Utopia or system. At his headquarters only one politician had influence: his brother-in-law, Ramón Serrano Suñer, and he was a functionary... Franco made better usages of his human and material resources because he fought a military war, and the Republicans fought a political war. He was a master of the nuts and bolts of war: topography, training, infrastructures, logistics, signals, air control. No genius but very thorough and calm; he never reinforced failure and he learnt from mistakes....» (Johnson, 1991, p.331); « Reasons for the nationalist victory were that Franco was extremely skilful in holding together the various right-wing groups (army, church, monarchists and Falangists); the republicans were much less united (anarchists and communists actually fought each other for a time in Barcelona).» (Lowe, 1988, p.175).
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© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2018. All rights reserved. 
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Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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