The Spanish Civil War was fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939. The war began after a pronunciamiento (declaration of opposition) by a group of generals under the leadership of José Sanjurjo against the elected government of the Second Spanish Republic, at the time under the leadership of President Manuel Azaña. The rebel coup was supported by a number of conservative groups including the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right, monarchists such as the religious conservative Carlists, and the Fascist Falange. The uprising was authoritarian and anti-separatist in inspiration; anti-Basque and anti-Catalan feeling marked the Nationalist zone.
Following the only partially successful coup, Spain was left militarily and politically divided. From that moment onwards, general Francisco Franco began a protracted war of attrition against the established government for the control of the country. The rebel forces received the support of Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy, as well as neighbouring Portugal, while the Soviet Union and Mexico intervened in support of the Republican government or loyalist side.