Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Sunday, 9 May 2010

Bits and Pieces from the Spanish Air Museum

To finish off a week of posts on the Museo Del Aire in Madrid, I'm including some photos that didn't fit anywhere else. While the main attraction of this free museum is the great collection of aircraft, it has collections of related artifacts and engages in restoration work. The above photo shows some of the random bits lying around waiting for a caring hand. Can anyone out there identify this stuff?
The museum has a nice collection of airport vehicles, from mobile control towers to old firefighting equipment.
This is the first museum display I've seen dedicated to flare pistols. There was another one just for tachometers that I probably should have taken a photo of.
There's also a good collection of maps. This one shows positions during and right after the amphibious landing at Alhucemas in 1925 during the Third Rif War. I talked about this historic landing more in my biplanes and triplanes post.
This map shows the locations of airfields at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, along with the numbers and types of planes both sides had. What's interesting is that the Republican government had almost four times as many planes as Franco's forces, but that soon changed with various generals rallying to the junta and Germany and Italy providing equipment for the Fascist war effort. I apologize for the small size of these two maps but that's as big as Blogsmith will display them. Researchers who want full-size photos are welcome to contact me.
Here's an interesting rarity. This is a flag commemorating the Green March, a brilliant public relations event by the Moroccan government in 1975 in which an estimated 350,000 unarmed civilians marched across the border into the Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Spanish border troops were ordered not to fire on the demonstrators and soon left. The Spaniards had been planning to leave anyway after being ground down by a two-year war with Polisario, a Sahrawi independence movement. The Moroccans got the land but inherited the war. The region is still in legal limbo, with Morocco claiming it as theirs and other countries refusing to recognize their rule. Polisario still exists, although there's no fighting at the moment.

The flag is covered with symbols such as a map showing Morocco and Western Sahara as one land, a camel, and the number 350,000 to celebrate the large number of participants. Green is the color of Islam. While the Sahrawis are Muslim too, green was used to say that this was a movement of Muslims against a Christian colonial power.

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