José Miaja Menant ( Spanish: José Miaja Menant ; 1878 , Oviedo , Asturias - January 14, 1958 , Mexico City ) - Spanish military commander, participant in the Civil War in Spain in 1936-1939 , generalissimo of the army of the republic ( 1939 ).
|Spanish José miaja menant|
|Date of Birth|
|Place of Birth|
|Date of death|
|Place of death|
|Affiliation|| The Kingdom of Spain|
Second Spanish Republic
|Type of army||infantry|
|Years of service||1896-1939|
|Battles / wars||Spanish Civil War|
He graduated from the infantry school in Toledo . He began officer service in Asturias, and later on his own initiative was transferred to Melilla ( Morocco ), where at that time there was a war against local tribes. For military service he was promoted to majors in 1911 .
However, under royal rule, Miakh did not rise in the military hierarchy above the colonel, and he received the rank of general already under the republic in 1932 . He was part of the right-wing Spanish military alliance, but despite this, the center-right government of the country did not have confidence in him. Therefore, Minister of War Jose Maria Gil-Robles sent him as commander of the troops in the provincial Lerida . After winning the election of the left Popular Front in February 1936, Miaha was transferred to Madrid , where he was appointed commander of the first brigade, which was a significant increase.
During an anti-government protest by the military in July 1936, many Miahi subordinates joined the rebels. He himself was indecisive for some time, apparently due to the fact that his family was in a zone controlled by nationalists. However, he decided to remain faithful to the government and received the post of Minister of War in the office of Diego Martinez Barrio , who lasted only one day (July 18-19, 1936). The next government of Jose Hiral Miah did not enter.
However, on July 25, he was appointed chief of operations in the South. According to historian Hugh Thomas, among those who supported the government out of coincidence rather than conviction, turned out to be the sluggish, good-natured General Miaha, who at one time was a member of the anti-republican military alliance. On July 28, troops under the command of Miakhi launched an attack on the positions of the rebels and besieged Cordoba , but because of the lack of discipline of the subordinates and the indecision of the general himself, they did not succeed. On August 23, under pressure from the troops of General Jose Enrique Varela, the siege of Cordoba was lifted.
Despite this, Miakha was promoted to become commander of the 3rd Organic Division with headquarters in Valencia , and in October transferred to the post of commander of the 1st Organic Division with headquarters in Madrid.
Madrid Defense Leader
On November 6, 1936, as the nationalist troops attacked the capital, the government was evacuated from Madrid, and General Miaha was appointed head of the Madrid defense junta. At this post, he again did not show great decisiveness, but at the same time exerted a great moral influence on his subordinates - the very fact that at the head of the defense of the city, which seemed doomed to surrender, was a general who showed calm and self-confidence, gave them additional hope of victory. Not being engaged by any of the competing parties that were part of the Popular Front, the non-partisan military leader acted as a rallying factor for the defenders of Madrid.
In addition, a capable officer, Vicente Rojo , who actually led the military operations, became Miakha’s chief of staff, and Miakha did not interfere with this. According to historian Paul Preston,
the direct and good-natured Miaha immediately gathered around him a staff of highly professional assistants, the most prominent of which was his chief of staff, Lt. Col. Vicente Rojo. While Rojo was organizing the defense, Miakha raised the morale of the defenders of the capital.
The future Marshal of the Soviet Union, Kirill Meretskov , who was Miaha’s adviser during the Civil War, gave a contradictory description to the general in his memoirs, however, noting his professional knowledge:
Joint work with him was difficult. Two people lived in Miahe: a military man and a politician. As a politician, Jose Miaha, officially non-partisan, was in fact very far from the Communists. This made it difficult to streamline the management of military operations in the "red zone", as the Madrid region was then called, for the frankly leftist mood of most of its population and for the outstanding role in its defense played by the Spanish Communist Party. And as a military Miakh turned out to be a knowledgeable person. So, he was well versed in the combat capabilities of the Moroccan troops - the main force of Franco near Madrid. It turned out that he had experience of the colonial war in Morocco ...
(From the point of view of the Soviet adviser, who was on the side of the Communists, the “equidistance” of Miakha from various political forces was not a plus, but a minus).
After heavy fighting on the campus, Republican forces were able to stop the nationalist forces. Miakha personally drove to the front line in order to support his subordinates. The leadership of the defense of Madrid made Miachu one of the most popular military leaders of the republic; his name gained international fame.
Center Army Commander
In February 1937, Miakha replaced General Sebastian Posas as commander of the Center’s army. Already in March, troops under his command were able to repel the offensive of the Italian troops - the allies of the nationalists - near Guadalajara and then go on a counterattack. This battle was one of the main successes of the Republicans during the entire civil war, greatly raising their morale. In late May - early June of the same year, he exercised general leadership of the Republican troops offensive on Segovia , which ended with insignificant territorial acquisitions (Segovia could not be captured) and heavy losses (about 30% of the personnel of the advancing troops).
In June 1937, Miakha received the most honorable award of the republic - Laureada de Madrid .
In July 1937, the army of the Center achieved tactical success during the offensive on Brunet, but the nationalists were able to stop the army of Miakha and then went on the counterattack. In fact, the planning of these and other operations was done by Rojo and the chief of staff of Miahi Manuel Matallana .
Commander-in-Chief of the Center and South Forces
In April 1938, General Miakha became commander in chief of the forces of the Center and the South on land, at sea and in the air. However, according to the Russian historian S. Yu. Danilov, at that time the general had long been
lived the former glory. Since the spring of 1937, the general has almost not interfered in operational affairs, secretly drunk and even aroused suspicions of drug addiction. He was secretly nicknamed the "wedding general." “I command only land, sea and air,” Miakha once answered a Soviet officer who was trying to find out something. “Please, turn to Negrin or Matalyana.” Miakha played a negative role during the spring battle in the Levant, disrupting the allocation of reserves to help the Eastern Front. But he joined all parties of the Popular Front in advance. And as a result, not one of them demanded the removal of an ineffective “wedding general” ...
On January 24, 1939, the Prime Minister of the Republic, Juan Negrin, assigned Miahe the highest rank of Generalissimo, but in the conditions of military defeats ( on January 26, the nationalist troops entered Barcelona ), this decision did not attract much attention. By then, Miakh had already lost hope of victory. In March 1939, he supported the uprising against the Negrín government under the command of Colonel Sehismundo Casado, commander of the Army Center . On the night of March 5-6, a coup was made in Madrid, as a result of which the power passed to the National Defense Junta, whose formal leader was Casado, and Miakha as the official chairman. After Francisco Franco refused to negotiate peace with the junta, Miakha went to Gandia , where he boarded an English ship, on which he left the country on March 26 .
In Soviet historical literature, the behavior of Miakha in March 1939 was considered a betrayal. At the same time, in Western literature, with a general skepticism about the general’s military talents, his actions at the end of the war are explained by the recognition of the inevitability of defeat and the desire to negotiate with the nationalists on any acceptable conditions.
Initially, Miakha left for Algeria , then moved to France , and later emigrated to Mexico , where he died.
- Preston P. Franco. - M .: Centerpolygraph, 1999 .-- 701 p. - ISBN 5-227-00414-5 .
- Thomas H. Civil War in Spain. 1931-1939 - M .: Centerpolygraph, 2003 .-- 573 p. - ISBN 5-9524-0341-7 .
- Danilov S. Yu. The Civil War in Spain (1936-1939). - M .: Veche, 2004 .-- 352 p. - ISBN 5-9533-0225-8 .