Monday, March 16, 2015

16 March 1938 - The Bombing Of Barcelona

On 16 March 1938, a bomb struck the offices of FC Barcelona during a raid by Italy's Legionary Air Force.

The LAF conducted the bombing to aid Francisco Franco, whose Nationalist forces were seeking to subjugate Spain. The semi-autonomous region of Catalonia was one of the last areas in Spain to resist Franco, whose allies included Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Both Germany and Italy provided men and equipment to Franco, including the LAF who were specifically tasked to provide air support in Spain.

A few months after the raid, Catalonia fell to the Nationalist forces, who then sought to eradicate the symbols of Catalonian independence. Barça were forced to remove the Catalonian flag from their crest and also had to change their name from the English "Football Club Barcelona" to the Spanish "Club de Fútbol Barcelona." Supporters continued to sing songs in Catalan, however, and cheer against Franco's favored Real Madrid, so the club soon became itself a symbol of anti-Nationalist sentiment.

In 1974, after Franco's declining health forced him to step down as head of state, Barça restored the Catalan flag to their crest and took the name Futbol Club Barcelona.

No comments:

Post a Comment