Spanish Republican Air Force

Republican Air ForceFAREFuerzas Aéreas de la República EspañolaRepublicanRepublican Spanish Air ForceEscuadrilla InternacionalFuerza Aérea de la República Española (FARE)Republican bombersSquadron EspañaAeronáutica Militar
The Spanish Republican Air Force was the air arm of the Armed Forces of the Second Spanish Republic, the legally established government of Spain between 1931 and 1939.wikipedia
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Spanish Republican Army

Republican ArmyArmyPeople's Republican Army
Initially divided into two branches: Military Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Militar) and Naval Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Naval), the Republican Air Force became the Air Forces of the Spanish Republic, Fuerzas Aéreas de la República Española (FARE), also known as Arma de Aviación, after it was reorganized following the restructuring of the Republican Armed Forces in September 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
As a result, it tended to display favoritism towards the branches of the Armed Forces more amenable to its reforms, the Air Force and, in a lesser degree, the Navy.

Battle of the Ebro

Battle of EbroEbrothe Ebro
In other important republican military actions, such as the Segovia Offensive, the Battle of Teruel and the decisive Battle of the Ebro, where the Aviación Nacional was relentlessly strafing the loyalist positions with accurate low-level attacks, the republican military airplanes were practically absent from the skies.
The size of the army was important but it lacked enough air and artillery support.

Aviación Nacional

National AviationNationalist Air ForceSpanish Nationalist Air Force
In other important republican military actions, such as the Segovia Offensive, the Battle of Teruel and the decisive Battle of the Ebro, where the Aviación Nacional was relentlessly strafing the loyalist positions with accurate low-level attacks, the republican military airplanes were practically absent from the skies.

Spanish Civil War

Civil WarSpaincivil war in Spain
Initially divided into two branches: Military Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Militar) and Naval Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Naval), the Republican Air Force became the Air Forces of the Spanish Republic, Fuerzas Aéreas de la República Española (FARE), also known as Arma de Aviación, after it was reorganized following the restructuring of the Republican Armed Forces in September 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Two-thirds of air capability was retained by the government—however, the whole of the Republican Air Force was very outdated.

Potez 540

Potez 542Potez 54Potez 543
Nevertheless, confronted with a war of attrition in the same month, the Spanish Republican government bought in France 14 Dewoitine D.371, 10 Dewoitine D.373 and 49 Potez 540, among other military aircraft, for the value of 12 million francs.All these planes were largely obsolete at the time, so that in the first four months after the start of the hostilities, the only aircraft of the Republican government that could be considered modern were three Douglas DC-2s that had been purchased recently for LAPE, the Republican airline in March 1935.
Designed and built by Potez, it served with the French Air Force as a reconnaissance bomber, also serving with the Spanish Republican Air Force during the Spanish Civil War.

Andrés García La Calle

Andres Garcia La CalleLa Calle
The last Republican military airport in Catalonia was in Vilajuiga, from where on 6 February 1939 Commander Andrés García La Calle led a great part of the planes of the Spanish Republican Air Force to France.
Andrés García La Calle (February 4, 1909 – April 8, 1975) (sometimes Lacalle, but his real name was Andrés García Calle) was the squadron leader of the 1st fighter squadron of the Spanish Republic and later Commander of all the fighter units of the Spanish Republican Air Force during the Spanish Civil War.

Spanish Air Force

Air ForceEjército del AireAeronáutica Militar
Accordingly, the Spanish Navy-based Escuadra model was replaced by Región Militar divisions which are still operative today in the Spanish Air Force.
In the reorganization of the military in the areas of Spain that had remained loyal to the government, the new military structure of the republic merged the Aeronáutica Militar and the Aeronáutica Naval, the former being the air arm of the Spanish Republican Army and the latter the naval aviation of the Spanish Republican Navy, and formed the Spanish Republican Air Force.

Battle of Guadalajara

Guadalajaraattack in Guadalajaraattack in the Guadalajara
The Battle of Guadalajara and the defence of the skies over Madrid against Nationalist bombing raids during the capital's long siege would be the only scenarios where the loyalist air force took part in an effective manner.
Close to one-hundred "Chato" and "Rata" fighter planes and two squadrons of Katiuska bombers of the Spanish Republican Air Force had been made available at the Albacete airfield.

Segovia Offensive

SegoviaGuadarramaMadrid
In other important republican military actions, such as the Segovia Offensive, the Battle of Teruel and the decisive Battle of the Ebro, where the Aviación Nacional was relentlessly strafing the loyalist positions with accurate low-level attacks, the republican military airplanes were practically absent from the skies.
The Republican offensive failed because of the air superiority of the Nationalists and the ineffectiveness of the Spanish Republican Air Force.

LAPE

Lineas Aéreas Postales EspañolasLíneas Aéreas Postales EspañolasSpanish Republican Airline
Nevertheless, confronted with a war of attrition in the same month, the Spanish Republican government bought in France 14 Dewoitine D.371, 10 Dewoitine D.373 and 49 Potez 540, among other military aircraft, for the value of 12 million francs.All these planes were largely obsolete at the time, so that in the first four months after the start of the hostilities, the only aircraft of the Republican government that could be considered modern were three Douglas DC-2s that had been purchased recently for LAPE, the Republican airline in March 1935.
Although a great part of the planes of its fleet were requisitioned by the Spanish Republican Air Force and used as military transports, LAPE kept operating in the Republican zones of Spain with its base in Madrid-Barajas.

Spanish Republican Navy

NavyRepublican NavyAeronáutica Naval
Initially divided into two branches: Military Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Militar) and Naval Aeronautics (Aeronáutica Naval), the Republican Air Force became the Air Forces of the Spanish Republic, Fuerzas Aéreas de la República Española (FARE), also known as Arma de Aviación, after it was reorganized following the restructuring of the Republican Armed Forces in September 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
It was merged with the air arm of the Spanish Republican Army in September 1936, after the reorganization of the armed forces following the July 1936 coup, becoming part of the Spanish Republican Air Force.

Spanish Republican Armed Forces

Armed ForcesRepublican Armed ForcesSpanish Republican troops
The Spanish Republican Air Force was the air arm of the Armed Forces of the Second Spanish Republic, the legally established government of Spain between 1931 and 1939.
Some sources give this date as the date of the creation of the Spanish Republican Air Force, although it had been previously operative already under its two branches.

Espoir: Sierra de Teruel

L'espoirEspoirEspoir, sierra de Teruel
The crash of Spanish Republican Air Force serial 'Ñ' Potez 540 plane that was shot down by rebel planes over the Sierra de Gúdar range of the Sistema Ibérico near Valdelinares inspired André Malraux to make his L'espoir movie.
The crash of a Spanish Republican Air Force Potez 540 plane near Valdelinares inspired André Malraux to write the novel.

Fiat CR.32

CR.32Fiat C.R.32CR.32s
The first German and Italian bombers arrived to increase the size of the rebel air force already in July 1936 and Fiat CR.32 and Heinkel He 51 fighter planes began operating in August.
At least 380 examples took part in the air battles fought over Spain, proving formidable adversaries to the Soviet Polikarpov I-15 biplane and Polikarpov I-16 monoplane that formed the backbone of the Spanish Republican Air Force.

Tupolev SB

Tupolev SB-2SBSB-2
At the end of October, four months after the rebels had been supplied with German and Italian aircraft by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the first Tupolev SB bombers arrived from Russia.
The SBs were used to equip Grupo 12 of the Spanish Republican Air Force, which at first was mainly manned by Soviet volunteers and under Soviet control.

Battle of Teruel

TeruelTeruel Frontoffensive against Nationalist held Teruel
In other important republican military actions, such as the Segovia Offensive, the Battle of Teruel and the decisive Battle of the Ebro, where the Aviación Nacional was relentlessly strafing the loyalist positions with accurate low-level attacks, the republican military airplanes were practically absent from the skies.
The Spanish Republican Air Force could not replace the airplanes and arms that it lost in the Battle of Teruel.

Vickers Vildebeest

Vickers VincentVincentsVickers ''Vincents
The loyalist areas of Spain retained, however, a great part of the 60 Breguet XIX, 27 Vickers Vildebeest and 56 Hispano-Nieuport Ni-52 planes that the Spanish Air Force had before the hostilities, for the Republic had the control of the majority of the territory.
Around 20 survived to fight with the Spanish Republican Air Force on the loyalist side of the Spanish Civil War, some equipped with floats.

Douglas DC-2

DC-2Douglas C-33Douglas C-39
Nevertheless, confronted with a war of attrition in the same month, the Spanish Republican government bought in France 14 Dewoitine D.371, 10 Dewoitine D.373 and 49 Potez 540, among other military aircraft, for the value of 12 million francs.All these planes were largely obsolete at the time, so that in the first four months after the start of the hostilities, the only aircraft of the Republican government that could be considered modern were three Douglas DC-2s that had been purchased recently for LAPE, the Republican airline in March 1935.

Lev Shestakov

Lev L. Shestakov
Upon graduating from military college in 1936 he applied for combat in Spain, joining a Spanish Republican Air Force fighter squadron in 1937.

Frank Glasgow Tinker

Frank TinkerFrank G. TinkerFrank G. Tinker Jr.
Frank Glasgow Tinker (July 14, 1909 – June 13, 1939) was an American volunteer fighter pilot for the Fuerzas Aéreas de la República Española ("Air Forces of the Spanish Republic"; FARE), during the Spanish Civil War.

Polikarpov R-5

R-5Rafaelyants PR-5Polikarpov P-5
The Polikarpov R-5 and the R-Z reconnaissance bombers were known as "Natacha" in the Spanish Republican Air Force.
R-5s were also used by the Spanish Republican Air Force in the Spanish Civil War, 31 being sold to Spain.

Polikarpov R-Z

R-ZR-ZetNatasha
The Polikarpov R-5 and the R-Z reconnaissance bombers were known as "Natacha" in the Spanish Republican Air Force.
61 R-Zs were delivered to the Spanish Republican Air Force, where they were nicknamed Natacha.

Yankee Squadron

The Yankee Squadron was a group of mercenary American military aviators who flew for the Spanish Republican Air Force, during the Spanish Civil War.

Bréguet 19

Breguet 19Breguet XIXBr.19 TF Super Bidon
The loyalist areas of Spain retained, however, a great part of the 60 Breguet XIX, 27 Vickers Vildebeest and 56 Hispano-Nieuport Ni-52 planes that the Spanish Air Force had before the hostilities, for the Republic had the control of the majority of the territory. Thus 20 Potez 540, 5 Bloch 210, 10 Breguet XIX, 17 Dewoitine D.371, 2 Dewoitine D.500/510, 5 Amiot 143, 5 Potez 25 and 6 Loire 46 planes were sent to Spain at the beginning of the conflict.

Amiot 143

Amiot 140AmiotAmiot 144
Thus 20 Potez 540, 5 Bloch 210, 10 Breguet XIX, 17 Dewoitine D.371, 2 Dewoitine D.500/510, 5 Amiot 143, 5 Potez 25 and 6 Loire 46 planes were sent to Spain at the beginning of the conflict.
About six were going to be delivered to the Spanish Republican Air Force at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.