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PostWhat if Calvo Sotelo Hadn't Been Assassinated? (Angel Vinas, Belgium, 02/26/21 3:10 am)
I disagree with Francisco Wong-Díaz's references to Lenin and Calvo Sotelo. There was a long stretch between the death of Lenin's brother and 1918. What if the Germans hadn't allowed Lenin to pass to Russia?
I feel more secure about Calvo Sotelo. His death had nothing to do with the coup d'etat which was being prepared since 1934 and more intensively since October 1935 in case the Spanish Left were to return to power, even by peaceful means. I may refer to my book ¿Quien quiso la guerra civil? (Who Wanted the Civil War?) This has nothing to do with me being an economist by training. Since 1974 I've been writing about Spanish history on the basis, always, of archival evidence.
Arturo Ezquerro's correction is very welcome. I should have noticed the mistake. However, let me tell you something about an alternative scenario. If Calvo Sotelo hadn't been murdered he would have striven to put himself at the head of the political committee which had directed the civil-military conspiracy and had been preparing the after-coup. At the very least, he would have been a serious contender against Franco for the political leadership of the beginning civil war. This assuming, obviously, that Lt Gen Sanjurjo would have perished as he did on 20th July 1936 thanks to the stupidity of his pilot, Cpt. Ansaldo.
This most likely scenario would possibly have prevented Franco from overtaking overall leadership. After all, he was bent on becoming High Commissioner of Spain in Morocco. However, the semi-failure of the coup d'etat wouldn't have been prevented and a short civil war would have ensued with Mussolini and not Hitler in the lead. All these are mere hypotheses, as we don't know about alternative routes.
My latest book has been inspired by Robert Frost's "The road not taken."
JE comments: Alternate-history scenarios are irresistible, probably because they cannot be proven either way. But we do know one thing: no one benefited more from Calvo's assassination (and a convenient plane crash) than the luckiest man in 20th-century Spain: the wily Francisco Franco.