The Spanish Civil War in Lopera. Battle of Lopera.

          -THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR IN LOPERA(JAEN). SPAIN. 1936-1939. Battle of Lopera.

         With the outbreak of the Spanish civil war the 18 of julio of 1936, the ideological locality of totally immersed Lopera in the movements and currents that were lived in all the country and, therefore, in these first days of conflict failed the military rebellion like in the rest of the province of Jaén. The civil guard preferred not to take part and the streets were taken by the popular military service, that was appropriated the situation totally.

          During these first months military, a good part of the rustic property of the municipal term was seized by the denominated " Colectivity of Lopera ", that belonged to the UGT, and put under the control of a popular committee represented by the Society of Agriculturists " the Reason of the Olivo".El colectivity system would last in Lopera only months, that is to say, until the last days of the month of December of 1936 in that it was taken by the nationals.

          The religious images of the Verónica, Jesus in the column, San Juan, Magdalena and Christ Crucificado again had to be carved in 1941 by the Cordovan escultor Amadeo Ruíz de Olmos. The stature of Our Father Jesus Nazareno was carved by Gabriel Borrás in 1942. One only was saved of the destruction the head of Our Father Jesus Nazareno and the stature of the Virgin of the Head.

          The locality was taken by the national or pro-Franco army in the day of Christmas of 1936 through a fast action of occupation that brought with himself the blast of the bridge on the Salty Stream and damages of certain consideration in other urban infrastructures.

          Just days after the national employment took place around the town popularly known as the Battle of Lopera: between days 27.28 and december 29, 1936. On the Republican side over 300 soldiers were killed, 600 wounded and in this way and would definitely Lopera national hands. During this famous battle of life also lost a number of red berets and other soldiers belonging to different national requetés "Virgen del Rocío" de Huelva, Virgen de los Reyes from Sevilla, Third of Our Lady of Mercy in Jerez, Third of San Rafael, Third of Our Lady of the Kings and the Battalion of Cadiz, as well known bullfighter José García Falange "The Algabeño" (Cavalry squadron).

          On the day of december 27, 1936 died in battle the English poet Ralph Fox when he tried to conquer the land route known as the Cerro del Calvario.Al loperanos next day he would die in similar circumstances, another English poet Rupert John Cornford.Sus bodies could never be recovered for strictly military and therefore is thought that perhaps some were buried in mass graves or cremated instead.

          Luigi Longo has related the attack of the international to Lopera of the following form: " Of the four of the dawn to eleven in the morning they fight by this town. It arrives enemy aviation in exploratory mission, drops its bomb load and shoots its machine guns on the columns that avanzan.La English company march at the top of the brigade. The working young people and students of London and Lancashire arrive until the first town halls, but they are forced to back down: a storm of iron and fire falls on them. They must consolidate in one more a delayed line; they excavate refuges improvised between the olive trees, in the loose Earth, they are hidden between the heavy roots to flower of earth and behind the trunks; they resist during hours, without yielding nor titubear. "

          Throughout the day the Nationalists were comfortably from their positions to international under fire of machine guns, artillery and mortars. Volunteers sought for small relief of the terrain to hide from the bullets and able to continue shooting. They advanced, retreated, returned to the attack, crawling on the bare back of the hills to near the trenches nationalists. In the repeated attacks and counterattacks companies were disorganized, dispersed, mixed with each other, losing connection with their respective commanders. Volunteers survivors were found at the end of the day without ammunition, exhausted from running so much, not having eaten all day.

          The nationals see also reduced their cash during this battle and before the díficil situation Queipo de LLano she sends from Villa of the River two Battalions, two Swarms and one Battery, to the control of the lieutenant colonel Eduardo Alvárez Rementería, who had to unite combat with the right flank of the international located in the North zone of Lopera and to the East of the highway of Villa of the River-Lopera. The force and valentía of the international did that Redondo, when already was to four kilometers of Porcuna, with the factor surprise to its favor, had to paralyze the operation and to return in aid of Lopera.

          Before the death of the Algabeño bullfigther, general Redondo spoke that night to Seville Radio of the following form: " Tonight I am not for speaking, because I have great disgusto.Mi great friend, Jose García " the Algabeño;, that served in my headquarters, insisted on personally taking an order that I dí him to the end in which it was operating the cavalry, and has been hurt by one bala.Tanto when falling, like a entering the Hospital, its words were: The Alive Spain ". The Algabeño was admitted the Hospital of the Red Cross of Cordoba where it passed away few hours later.

          In the republican side although one was not able to advance and to recover towns of the province of Cordoba, they were at least able to delay the pro-Franco advance, the delay in the operation on Porcuna(prevista for day 29 was not carried out until the 1 of January), avoiding that seized of Andújar, protecting therefore the passage of Despenaperros and Castilla, and the rest of the province of Jaen.

          The head of the 12 Battalion of XIV the Brigade the International, that was the worse unemployed and to whom belonged the British company, Delessalle captain, was arrested day 30 of december by his own companions, and days later she was judged in Arjonilla by a Military Court, whom she accused to him of high treason and she died shot in an attempt on the part of the republicans to justify the enormous registered human losses in this battle.

          In the month of august of 1937 another republican attempt took place to even reconquer Lopera, since the brigadistas entered at daybreak and surprised the nationals, arriving to occupy means pueblo.La offensive operation of the left would fail in the morning, since the nationals returned to become owners of the situation. Lopera would remain, with slight variants, and until the end of the war in the national or pro-Franco side.

          - Bibliography:

          - Marín Muñoz, Antonio. The Civil war in Lopera and Porcuna (1936-1939). Vestiges of the contest. Jaén. 2001.

          Biography of the English poets Ralph Fox and John Cornford. Links.(Spanish)

          Spanish Civil War. Links. English Version.

          The siege of the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Head (1936-1937).(Spanish).

          Monument in Lopera (Jaén) in honor of the English poets Ralph Fox and John Cornford.

          Commemorative plaque to John Cornford by Scottish sculptor Frank Casey and donated by British historian Alan D.P. Warren. Barrio del Pilar Viejo de Lopera.