Large & tasteless.
Like Franco, if he wasn't a midget
Those of a more right wing persuasion would probably put the outbreak earlier when the people of Spain had the temerity to elect a government opposed to the status quo of absentee landlords and an oppressive church that absorbed most of the national income. However, 75 years it is according to the BBC, and that’s good enough for me.
I’m obviously not attuned to these things, as despite spending the last 10 months or more reading about the war I hadn’t twigged that 2011 minus 1936 was 75. I suppose in some ways my view is that anniversaries don’t change a thing and their only importance is to draw the attention of those who don’t have an interest in a subject to something important. It can also mean that an effort is made to produce tie-in information so stuff becomes more available. For example see this link to a selection of pictures from the Getty Library http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/13/7074776-looking-back-at-the-spanish-civil-war-75-years-on. Some of these are well known, but I like the one of the militiamen on the improvised armoured vehicle.
We get in to the habit of 5/10 year anniversaries for significant events in the First & Second World Wars. In 3 years time it’ll be the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War but whilst that may provoke some new material these fields have been ploughed fairly thoroughly in the last 20 years.
The last anniversary that really made a difference to what we have access to was 1988 and the outpouring of material on the Spanish Armada. I gorged myself that year, and have a good stretch of bookshelf with the results, including that really good Osprey book by John Tincey. It wasn’t so much that I was interested in the Armada as Elizabeth’s army of the time (although the best book on that is still Charles Cruickshank’s.)
When I was at university I recall one of my medievalist lecturers referring to 1966 as “the year of plenty” for Anglo Norman scholars. I suspect in that year, 900 years on from the Conquest, in many history departments the World Cup was completely overlooked.
However no evidence of an outpouring in this country on this particular anniversary, even though there are some rare books that could do with a republishing. If it has any effect all it’ll do is push up the price of the second hand copies that are floating around. Luckily for me I’ve picked up some choice volumes at reasonable prices recently, about which more in a subsequent blog.