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The Spanish Civil War (July 1936 - March 1939) was fought between Nationalists and Republicans. Nationalists were backed by fascist Germany and Italy - their forces largely consisted of monarchists, conservatives and Falangists. Republican forces consisted of communists, socialists, liberals and anarchists and were supported by the International Brigades. Britain, France and the USA all remained more or less neutral. The Nationalists, lead by Francisco Franco, won the Civil War, paving the way for decades of authoritarian dictatorship in Spain.