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Tema: The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

  1. #1
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    The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

    The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

    Margaret Galitzin
    One of the most celebrated episodes in the Spanish Civil War took place in the Summer of 1936 during the defense of Toledo. The governor of Toledo was Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte, who had under his command about 1,300 guards that included both monarchists (Carlists) and nationalists (Falangists). The main point of resistance of the city was its castle-fortress called Alcázar of Toledo. The pro-communist Republican army - much more numerous than Moscardó’s garrison - began their siege on July 21, and it ended on September 27.

    Colonel Moscardo refused to surrender the Alcazar at the cost of his son's life. Above, after the siege with a younger son
    Colonel Moscardó, a good Catholic, was holding the Alcázar, a stone fortification in the highest part of Toledo, the old residence of the Spanish monarchs. It was an important strategic point and a point of honor for the monarchist-nationalist coalition. Losing it would have been a serious blow to morale.

    The siege began on July 21 with heavy artillery bombardment. From Madrid members of the Republican government - the minister of education, the minister of war, and General Riquelme - had been insistently telephoning Moscardó in an attempt to persuade him to surrender.

    Finally, on July 23, Cándido Cabello, a Republican barrister in Toledo, telephoned Moscardó to say that if he did not surrender the Alcázar within 10 minutes, he would shoot Luis Moscardó, the Colonel’s 24-year-old son, whom he had captured that morning.

    “So that you see what I say is true, he will speak to you,” said Cabello.

    “What is happening, my son?” asked the Colonel.

    “Nothing,” answered Luis, “They say they will shoot me if the Alcázar does not surrender.”

    “If this is true,” replied Moscardo, “then commend your soul to God, shout Viva España, and die like a hero. Good-bye, my son.”

    “That I can do,” answered Luis, “Good-bye, my father.”

    Cabello came back on to the telephone, and Moscardó told him, “The Alcazar will never surrender,” and replaced the receiver. The Reds later executed his son.

    When called upon to give his report for the day, Moscardó gave his famous reply, "Sin novedad” [Nothing new].

    Finally, in mid-September the Communists were able to tunnel beneath the thick walls of the Alcazar and plant a large explosive charge, which they detonated in a massive blast, bringing down a section of the wall. With this, they gained partial entry into the fortress, and intense fighting progressed. As the situation became desperate, a large relief force arrived and the Republican troops fell back in disorder. The siege ended with a victory of the monarchist-nationalist colligation.

    This Siege of Alcazar was a highly symbolic victory in Toledo in the opening stages of the Spanish Civil War, and the episode of Colonel Moscardó and his son became a symbol of the Spanish militant spirit. After the war, the Alcazar was rebuilt, and in it today the telephone where the famous conversation between Colonel Moscardó and his son still remains on display.

    This account is adapted from Max Hastings,
    The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes

    Colonel Moscardo and The Siege of the Alcazar of Toledo - Margaret Gallitzin

  2. #2
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    Cool The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

    Última edición por Liga Santa; 26/05/2010 a las 03:36

    Mi honor, la lealtad,

    mi fuerza, la voluntad,
    mi fe, la catolicidad,
    mi lucha, la hispanidad,
    mi bandera, la libertad,
    mi arma, la verdad,
    mi grito... ¡despertad!
    mi lema... ¡¡Conquistad!!

  3. #3
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    Re: The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

    The Diary of Col. Moscardó

    [These papers were discovered by the Tte. Gral. Fernando Frank Esquivias among the papers of his late wife Marichu Moscardó, daughter of the hero of the Palace]

    Palace of Toledo, 25 of 1936 July

    Maria of my soul, children of my soul: I write goodbye to all of you in case this situation does not have favorable solution. You will already hear the bombing of the Palace, with pieces of artillery of all the calibers, air strikes and, in addition, the armored cars and tanks that have come from Madrid; then in spite of all that, they cannot nor will they be able take the Palace violently; it will require much bravery to assault it with the class of people inside. There are enormous destructions, but they have not breached more than at the front door, that later has been secured perfectly. They will try to make us surrender by withdrawing food and demoralization and will not succeed because we will remove food from underneath the stones and the morale is very well even among the women, because they know if they will surrender they will face death nonetheless. I do not mean to cause bitterness to you by saying that our Luis is held in custody by their people. You will already know that the head of their army had called me by telephone today and said to me that if in the space of ten minutes we did not surrender, they will shoot Luis, and in case I doubted it, made him come to the telephone and spoke with me to convince to me that he was Luis. Forgive me that I have to tell you, my son of my soul, and he spoke to me with calm voice, and I did not do more than to say to him that he entrust his soul to God and cry out in a loud voice, "Viva España!.¨ I hope that they are not so cruel that they want to take revenge in the person of my son, completely innocent in this cause, and does not pose any threat but of this indicidual I cannot put my trust. ... I give thanks that God gives me the fortitude to bear this tragedy ... This seems like a dream, rather a nightmare, thinking that only in the last 8 or 10 days we were a happy family, and today we do not know everybody is, and we even if they are alive. I have confidence in God and in His hands I have entrusted the solution, that gives lifeto you all and that you find a way decent to live if the communist revolution prevails, and nothing I say of myself, because it is not possible that I will be spared. I cannot think that I am not going to see you anymore ... I ask your pardon and forgiveness, Maria, for my lack of understanding sometimes, because recognizing that you are the best and most virtuous woman, I have not come to acknowledge and consider its true value and everything that bonds ... Nevertheless, you pardoned me, although I solemnly say that never I stipped loving you .... Of our children, what is there that I can say to you and they, if all you make it through this tragic situation, try to adapt to the circumstances but without never stopping being religious and honest, even though you will have to be in seclusion. I have the security that the boys will know to break through, because they are intelligent and honest ... I am proud of them. Pepe and Miguel! What pain! Of my Luis, son of my soul, after his triumph in the opposition, my son is a true saint. And my Marichu, daughter of my heart! What so bitter times is going to have to live. She, my joy and my pride, so good and virtuous as you, so beautiful ... believing that our children and you are so good and exemplary and form a so complete family that God has arranged that we meet in another higher place to enjoy our happiness where nothing can separate us ever again. I have absolute faith in it. Spain cannot fall under the command of the Marxism; we are Catholics of tradition and that can never be taken away. God wants and desires that we all enjoy La Paz. I do not know nor how to write, I have the a little dull senses and in the middle of as much anguish and preoccupation by you, and of fear before the future, I am or physically, better of which it could appear to me; this regime of average food doess me very well. Good bye Maria, good bye Pepe, Miguel, Luis, Marichu, Care it to me, I give a kiss you with all my soul, my life and my heart and always and at any moment I think about you, that you are my love and my illusion. Good bye. Your Pepe. I have made a spiritual communion and I have prepared myself well although there is no priest here.

    Please title this page. (Page 5)

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    Re: The Siege of the Alcazar in Toledo

    Libros antiguos y de colección en IberLibro
    Great post. Thank you very much for sharing the wonderful photos and history of the Spanish castles.

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