Monday, July 24, 2017

Balmaseda during the Civil War

Balmaseda is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country. Balmaseda is the capital city of the comarca of Enkarterri, in western Biscay and serves an important role in the province thanks to its proximity to the capital city of Bilbao and the regions of Cantabria and Castile and León.
In the center of the photograph in dark uniform, Villanueva, commander of the Avellaneda Battalion.
Balmaseda is also an important town regarding the history of beret manufacturing: the La Encartada factory was one of the largest beret manufacturers ever, in operation from 1892 to 1992 (but that’s for other posts).
Four soldiers belonging to the battalion Meabe, died in December of 1936 during the offensive of Villarreal.
Balmaseda during the Spanish Civil War was a stronghold for the Republican (Loyalist) Army and many Balmasedans volunteered in the militias and army.
October Battalion. Militia and sympathizers of Balmaseda
Strong Basque identification was visible in the wearing of txapelas, or Basque berets.

A wealth of information on Balmaseda during the Civil War can be found here
Gudaris (Basque fighters) of the Battalions Saseta and Avellaneda in Marquina, December of 1936.

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