Civil War and Maquis

Civil War and Maquis. From the French maquis=scrubland vegetation. This was the expression used by the Corsicans when, in their flight from justice, they took refuge in the mountains.

Maquis was the name given to the republican guerrilla movement which continued the armed fight against Franquism in Spain, once the civil war had ended, which thrived in the lands of Maestrazgo, Abarracín and Matarranya, where the G.A.L.A. (Guerrilla Association of Levante and Aragon) was founded.

The origin of the maquis in Spain was small bands of the popular republican army soldiers, militia, deserters, and others who could not or would not leave the country after the fall of the legitimate government of the republic. At first, they went from being soldiers fugitives from the repression of the Franquist regime alter the war to being small armies of organized guerrillas with clandestine support in some villages and behind the French border.

The maquis moved mainly through the mountainous areas of the entire Peninsula, as in the mountains it was more difficult to locate and ambush them. They knew the areas they moved in perfectly, occasionally going into villages and towns to contact allied agents, obtain supplies, or carry out attacks against military or civil objectives, mainly kidnappings or killings of military officers, civil guards, and especially traitors.

The propaganda of the Franco government, which labelled them bandits, the vacating by the civil guard of large mountain zones where they found support, even evacuating entire villages by force for years (some are still abandoned today), the creation of counter-guerrilla groups by the civil guard and the army, who ambushed and infiltrated guerrilla groups and the large reward offered for betraying a guerrilla, a collaborator or sympathizer, gradually brought about the end of this antifranquist movement.

Many guerrillas and collaborators were judged in an irregular manner and shot or jailed for many years in subhuman conditions. Many guerrillas were also killed by the civil guard in the same places where they were arrested, allowing them to flee and shooting at them in their flight.

Nevertheless, the maquis of the GALA were active from 1949 until 1954.