Fernando Calvo González-Regueral, former SEK-Atocha student and author of La Guerra Civil. Una historia total, featured on La hora cultural, shown on Radio Televisión Española, presented by Antonio Gárate Oronoz.
Ricardo Arzola, editor of Arzalia, was the other guest on the program along with Fernando Calvo. Arzola said that the idea behind the book was for it to be a book recommended to history students that outlined the historical facts without much ideological bias. They wanted to make the book “the answer to the question of what book would you recommend to someone who is curious about the history of the Spanish Civil War.”
“Rigour, balance and dissemination” are the three values that led Fernando Calvo to write his book. Based on objective information, he relied “on all the data that exists, reports that had already been opened, in order to offer them to the reader.” A balanced set in the sense that the words used do not harm any reader, since the civil war “has always raised hackles”, and trying to “be informative, that is, write a 21st century book.”
Calvo said, during the interview, that he is ashamed of not knowing the number of deaths that occurred during the Civil War. “There are enough resources to find out who died during the war, making an enormous sacrifice for a better Spain, which I want to think is the one we live in now,” he remarked.
He even added that “it is a work of gratitude and recognition to leave the war behind and continue moving towards the future.” “I feel the heir to the dead on both sides,” he confessed.
As the writer explained, “the war has three phases, an initial one favourable to the Republic, which had much more resources and was still the legitimate State that could depend on help from abroad. Starting in the spring of 1937, the balance was broken when the National side led the war to the north, unable to conquer Madrid by direct assault or by encirclement after the battles of Jarama and Guadalajara. After changing a political objective for an economic one, a third phase begins when the National side won. With the appointment of Franco as generalissimo of the army and head of the Government of the Spanish State, we can see that a unified command under one individual came to have the upper hand”.
In addition, he stressed that “this command by committee wasted a lot of time for the Republic, which failed to stop the military momentum of the National side from the political point of view because it lost legitimacy.”
Finally, the errors of the war were analysed. For Calvo, the most striking were “the dissolution of the army and the loss of the most important thing during a war: time.” The author concluded that “a war is also won by the management of resources, both legal and illegal, because a war is a war, and now it is only necessary to move on.”