October Battles of 1934

October Battles of 1934

 

in Spain, a series of revolutionary action by the Spanish proletariat and other antifascist democratic forces. These actions were in response to the entry into the government on October 4 of three members of the rightist, clerical Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Rightists (CEDA).

On October 4 the Socialist Party called for a general political strike and an armed uprising. In all regions except Asturias, the leaders of the National Confederation of Labor refused to support the action. The Communist Party noted that there had been insufficient preparation for the uprising both politically and technically; nonetheless, the communists took an active part, considering it their duty to stand in the vanguard of those fighting against reaction.

On the night of October 4–5, a general political strike swept Madrid, Catalonia, Vizcaya, Valencia, León, and Asturias. In some regions, the strike began escalating into an armed confrontation. Between October 6 and 9 the demonstrations were suppressed in all parts of Spain except Asturias, where in contrast to other regions of the country, a united front of communists, socialists, and anarchists had been formed. In Asturias, local revolutionary committees were formed, and there was a provincial committee for general leadership of the developing struggle. The military plants occupied by workers resumed production, and a 20,000–strong army was created. A force of overwhelming numerical superiority, consisting of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moroccan units, was thrown against the insurgents. By October 20, the struggle had ended with the rebels’ defeat.

According to official data, 1,435 persons were killed and 2,956 were wounded in the October battles. Asturias accounted for 1,084 dead and 2,091 wounded. In addition, 1,032 buildings were damaged, 829 of these in Asturias. Thirty thousand people were subjected to cruel reprisals.

REFERENCES

Istoriia Kommunisticheskoi partii Ispanii. Moscow, 1961.
Teper, E. M. Plamia nad Ov’edo (Asturiiskaia epopeia). Moscow, 1965.

E. M. TEPER

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