is the ancient capital of Extremadura. Its position on the border
with Portugal has exposed it to many
sieges: by the Portugeuse (1660); by the Allies in the War of Spanish
Succession (1705); the French (1808-09 and 1810-11) and the British
was controlled by the Republican
Army during the
early days of the Spanish
Civil War. General Juan de Yagüe
and 3,000 troops attacked Cáceres on 14th August, 1936. Bitter
street fighting took place when the Nationalist
the city. Losses were heavy on both sides and when the Nationalists
took control of Badajoz it was claimed they massacred around 1,800
people. General Yagüe also encouraged his troops to rape supporters
of the Popular Front government. As a
result Yagüe became known as "The Butcher of Badajoz".
With the support of President
Portuguese border was closed to Republicans trying to escape from
southern or central Spain.
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Last updated: 13th June, 2002
The Manchester Guardian (17th
The Spanish civil war goes on with ever-growing ruthlessness.
After the capture of Badajoz by men of the Spanish Legion and by Moors
a great slaughter of the defenders took place. The rebel general thought
that 2,000 was perhaps an excessive estimate of the number murdered,
but he stressed to a journalist the danger of entering the town as
the 'Moors are excited'. A very gallant defence of the town was put
up against these long-service and highly trained soldiers.
Following the capture
of Badajoz it is reported that a column of foreign legionaries and
Moorish troops is pressing by forced marches towards Merida, about
30 miles east of Badajoz. A strong
column of Government troops is stated to have arrived at
Merida with the intention of marching on Badajoz. Government
forces at Olivenza, about ten miles south of Badajoz,
are reported to have surrendered.
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