Black wings of Spain…
Medal “Participant in the Spanish Civil War” in an award box, on the original ribbon with an authentic hairpin. Bronze, gilding, blackening. Kleymo A.M. Excellent collectible condition. The medal, simply called “Condor” among the troops, was established in 1939 and was issued to participants in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 who fought against the Republicans. Among others, this award was received by the German military. In November 1936, Hitler sent the Luftwaffe Condor aviation unit to Spain to help Franco’s nationalists, who started a civil war against the communist government. The legion included 50 bombers, 50 fighters and a transport and communications squadron, as well as anti-aircraft and anti-tank units and two tank companies.
Its strength was maintained at 6,500, thanks to which 16,000 Germans were able to gain valuable military experience in Spain. On the front side there is an inscription “July 17, 1936” – it was on this day that the phrase “A cloudless sky over all of Spain” was heard on the radio, which served as a signal for the start of the civil war. The medal was made at the now defunct INDUSTRIAS EGAÑA factory, located in the city of Motrico in the Spanish province of Gipuzkoa.
The design of the medal, designed by Captain Aurelio Perote Martinez, is full of allegories. Here is the Spanish monarchical lion, tormenting a dragon with a hammer and sickle on its wing, and a legionnaire’s helmet, and the symbol of the Spanish “phalanx” – a yoke and arrows that once symbolized the Catholic kings Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, but in the 30s they looked more like Italian fascio (a bunch of arrows with an ax is a symbol of power). Aviation Major General Ivan Ivanovich Kopets The Soviet military, who actually fought illegally on the side of the republican government, did not have a separate award for the war in Spain.
The most distinguished were first awarded the Order of the Red Star, and in exceptional cases – the title of Hero of the USSR. Among the outstanding Soviet military leaders who received both top awards was fighter pilot Ivan Ivanovich Kopets, who since September 1936 served as the commander of the Jose air group in the troops of the Republican Spain.
During the fighting, I.I. Kopets shot down six enemy aircraft and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of Lenin and was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. However, the life of a fighter pilot was tragically cut short two years after returning from Spain: being by that time the commander of the air forces of the Western Military District, Aviation Major General Ivan Kopets shot himself in his office on June 22, 1941 after he saw with his own eyes the scale of the losses suffered by Soviet aviation after the raid of Nazi bombers on the border Soviet military airfields.