Forgotten Stories From Spain: The Anarchist Cars (With No Master Plan)
As I'm not into military history - the thought of comparing tank wheels sizes or turret lengths frankly holds as much interest for me as the shaving habits of the current Spanish PM - I am however curious about what happened to Catalan Industry at the outbreak of the civil war. Not, I should add, because Industrial history is of particular interest - but for the following reasons:
"I'm Justified and I'm Ancient and I drive an Ambulance Van"
Between August 1936 and January 1939 many factories were collectivised in Catalunya by the workers of the CNT and the FAI, (Confederacin Nacional de Trabajadores and Federacion Anarquista Iberica) including one particular large complex: The Maquinaria Moderna para Construcciones y Obras Públicas de Sant Sadurní. Vehicle adaptation and experimentation then became synonymous with the industrial north and in particular, Barcelona. Even Norman Bethune, the Canadian Doctor drove up to the province in search of a customised van to embark on his idea for a mobile ambulance. Other collectivised factories in Catalunya produced bombs, pistols, shells, grenades and dynamite. This car workshop, however, was converted into a huge factory for the production of tanks, assault vehicles, tractors, artillery and wacky shaped armoured cars.
Factory Z: All Bound For Mu Mu Land
Design in the factory had not limitations. Chevrolet lorry or trucks were converted into armoured cars, a tractor would be re-designed to clear roads or snow. But it was the design of other vehicles, modified and customised in these factories that would become the template for Batman and Robins future transport needs..
Design and Innovation: Fishing in the Rivers of Life (hoi)
The Last Train Left an Hour Ago...
Franco was prepared to use his new powers to control and create a new society. His consistent use of violence and repression only escalated inequality and he respected neither privacy, laws of human dignity or international legal rights. In short he used force to create a world compliant with his own world view. And in so doing, paved the way for other Dark Knights to follow.
Still, the crazy designs of the anarchist collective in Barcelona proved themselves light years ahead of the traditional Mu Mu car industry. Not until the 90's (Make mine a 99!) would we see the small personal combat vehicles/4X4 suzuki style designs hit the side-walks of bored urban-bound dreamers. But these designs were first on show back in the 1930's in the justified and ancient, anarchic and creative energy driven times of revolutionary Spain.
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