Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

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Spearfish
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Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

Post by Spearfish » 04 Jan 2022 18:12

I am trying to compile a list of ships which brought in arms to the three ports of the Republic's northern enclave between 1936 and 1937.
From various sources I have a good list but there remain a few gaps which I would welcome help in filling.
In early 1937 did the Aldecoa deliver a consignment of Russian weapons and the Cieszyn a consignment of Polish weapons to one of these ports and, if so, which and when?
In March 1937 there was a consignment of 510 Colt machineguns, 30,000 Lebel rifles and 15,000 Manlicher rifles (probably from Russia) to Santander and 30 Krupp-Ansaldo 75mm guns and 17,000 Lebel and Manclicher rifles, again probably from the Soviet Union, to Bilbao. But in which ships?
Finally where did the following ships deliver their cargos; the Iciar and Viiu in July 1937 and the Elie in August 1937?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

Post by Ironmachine » 05 Jan 2022 10:56

Let's see what little help I can provide. What follows is taken from Armas para España (the Spanish edition of Howson's Arms for Spain - The Untold Story of the Spanish Civil War).
Aldecoa arrived to Spain on 14 February 1937, but I don't know which port she reached. The list of weapons carried is somewhat long, so I will include a copy of that part of the book (edited for better view):
Aldecoa 1937.png
As for the Cieszyn, there nothing about the port of arrival; the only cargo mentioned are 2,930 old Russian rifles with spare parts.
About the consignments of 1937 I can't find nothing either, as the numbers don't agree. The number of Colt machine-guns is particularly significative, as IIRC no such number of Colts arrived as a single batch. I will try to look that matter in Mortera's Ametralladoras en España 1936-1939.
As for the other ships, it seems the Viiu went to Gijón (although the date is shown as late June, not July). There's nothing relevant about the Elie. Regarding the Iciar, the book says it was planned she sailed to Spain in July 1937, but the voyage was cancelled as the crew refused to sail to any Spanish port.
Hope that helps.
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Spearfish
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Re: Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

Post by Spearfish » 05 Jan 2022 13:38

Ironmachine
Once again very many thanks for your help. Given the fact the Aldecoa was carrying R-Z she clearly landed her cargo in eastern Spain as those aircraft were not used in the north.
If there are any development with deliveries to Bilbao and Santander I would be interested

Spearfish
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Re: Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

Post by Spearfish » 08 Jan 2022 11:03

Ironmachine
Could the 75mm guns and rifles landed in Bilbao in March 1937 be part of the Yorkbrook's cargo? She certainly delivered 1,000 rifles to Santander that month after escaping from the Canarias.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Arms shipments to Bilbao, Gijon and Santander

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Jan 2022 13:08

Could be... if those guns were really delivered. As I said previously, I'm somewhat doutful about whether those weapons you mention on March 1937 were really sent or not. For example, as I said I would do, I had a look at Mortera's Ametralladoras en España 1936-1939 and there seems to be no evidence of the receipt of that batch of 510 Colt machineguns by the Republican military.

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