A three-year war raged, the Second Spanish Republic was crushed and documentary photojournalism brought the reality of that to the world.
Nearly 75 years ago on July 17, 1936, photographers set out to document the division between the Republican government and heavily backed National Front, led by General Franco.
Three photographers in their twenties, Robert Capa, David Seymour, and Gerda Taro were among the pack. Writing for the International Center of Photogarphy, Kate Nearpass, an Exehibition Researcher described them:
Their photographs were distinguished by strong compositions and compassion for the people they photographed. Capa's pictures were especially forceful because they were taken almost fearlessly in the middle of battle, bringing readers closer to war than anything done earlier.
Looking back today, Getty Images shared with us a selection of work from the war.
Three Lions / Getty Images
Refugees from the Spanish Civil War cross into France at Le Perthus.
Fox Photos / Getty Images
Militia men and women stand on a homemade tank in Barcelona on Aug. 28, 1936.
Keystone / Getty Images
Male and female militia fighters march at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in July of 1936.
Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Two members of a rescue party assist an elderly woman fleeing the Spanish Civil War on Feb. 1, 1939.
Fox Photos / Getty Images
Women were among the Republican combatants during the Spanish Civil War.
Picture Post / Getty Images
A portrait of Hungarian-born photojournalist Robert Capa (1913 - 1954) used to introduce an article, featuring his pictures of the Spanish Civil War, in Picture Post, December 3, 1938. The headline below the picture reads" The Greatest War-Photographer in the World: Robert Capa. In the following pages you see a series of pictures of the Spanish War. Regular readers of "Picture Post" know that we do not lightly praise the work we publish. We present these pictures as simply the finest pictures of front-line action ever taken. They are the work of Robert Capa. Capa is a Hungarian by birth; but, being small and dark, he is often taken for a Spaniard. He likes working in Spain better than anywhere in the world. He is a passionate democrat, and he lives to take photographs. Over a year ago, Capa's wife, on her way back to join her husband in Paris, was killed in Spain. She was standing on the running-board of a car when it collided with a tank. Capa went to China and took pictures of the Chinese war, some of which we have already published. To-day, Capa is back in Spain, taking pictures for "Picture Post."