Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War had large numbers of non-Spanish citizens participating in combat and advisory positions. The governments of Germany, Italy—and to a lesser extent Portugal—contributed money, munitions, manpower and support to Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco. The government of the Soviet Union, and to a lesser extent France and Mexico, likewise aided the ""Loyalist"" or ""Republicans"" of the Second Spanish Republic. The aid came even after all the European powers had signed a Non-Intervention Agreement in 1936. While individual sympathy for the plight of the Spanish Republic was widespread in the liberal democracies, pacifism and the fear of another world war prevented them from selling or giving arms. The Nationalist pleas meanwhile were answered within days by Hitler and Mussolini.