Official Salamanca Denial Big Advances Before Austrian Crisis—Rumours Came After
From Our Own Correspondent
Rumours that Franco's rapid advances in Aragon arc due to German reinforcements and aeroplanes are completely unfounded and officially denied by Salamanca.
Still more absurd and evil is the story that this advance is linked up with events in other parts of Europe.
The advance began in earnest last Wednesday, and on that evening the official wireless reported, with some excitement, " great advances," but without giving the usual details such as the names of villages captured or casualties inflicted.
Listeners realised at once that something unusual had happened. From then onward we have been hearing the lists of villages and casualties.
Not a word was said either here or elsewhere about German reinforcements until after the Austrian coup, nor could the reinforcements have reached Spain had they had any connection with Austria.
The Salamanca wireless has now given the following official information: " The news published in foreign newspapers about Nazi and Italian troops being engaged in the operations on the Aragon front is denied absolutely. Forces engaged in this action were men from Navarra and Castilla, Galicios, Requetes and Falanges, Moroccan troops and Legionaries. Ninety per cent. were Spanish, the remaining 10 per cent. being of any nationality, just like on the other side.
" Red prisoners have been largely foreign. On Monday a large number of Red prisoners were taken, French. Canadian, American, Czechoslovakian, and even English. There was also a commander, a French officer corresponding to the rank of Major in England. This shows the extensive help given by foreign countries to the Reds, Enormous Franco Advance page 9.