The Battle of Teruel

The freezing weather at Teruel

The Battle of Teruel on 15 December 1937. Temperatures dropped below -20ºC, leading to more than 15,000 casualties from frostbite among the ill-equipped troops on both sides during the battle, among the bloodiest of the Spanish Civil War. Image: Soviet-supplied T26 tank in the frozen landscape of southern Aragón. Image Wikipedia

Republican troops

Republican troops at the Battle of Teruel moving against Francoist positions. Image from the excellent book “El General Invierno en la Batalla de Teruel” by @VicenteAupi, on the effect of freezing weather on one of the most important battles of the war. Photo: Reina Sofia collection.

International Brigaders at Teruel

Interbrigadisten vor Teruel” (International Brigaders at Teruel) by Gerhard Kurt Müller  1966-67. Dresden, NewMastersGallery.

The town and looming sky behind reminds me of El Greco’s view of Toledo. Criticised at time in the GDR for its unheroic portrayal of fighters.

Teruel stamp

Five-cent stamp issued by the town of Montcada i Reixac (edge of Barcelona) celebrating Republican taking, sadly briefly, of Teruel. Note the Teruel viaduct in the background.


American poet Langston Hughes in Paris in early January 1938 giving his eye witness account of the battle of Teruel, after the Aragonese town had been taken by the Republican army. Note the Spanish Republican poster behind: “What are you doing to prevent this?Source: