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However, there is also the possibility that had they had their rifles in 1940, they would have engaged the Nazis as a a group, i.e. as soldiers, and not as guerrilla/résistance fighters ... in which case they would have been crushed by the Nazi leviathan.
I was under the impression that the French Army was not crushed but mostly just outflanked as the Germans invaded France through Belgium and the Ardennes. I suppose there was no way the Spanish soldies would have been allowed to keep their guns unless they had been invited to join the French army, which in Early 1939 would have been preposterous. I bet many of them would have preferred to join the Legion Étrangère than to be in a refugee camp, though. The Spanish Republicans would have ended up either in a concentration camp or in the Free French Forces, which is where they ended up anyway.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2005 at 05:43:18 PM EST
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