26 April 1937. The Nazi Luftwaffe backed Franco’s fascists with the first ever carpet bombing of an undefended civilian target, Guernica. This atrocity horrified the world and helped to shift public opinion behind the Spanish Republican cause, though shamefully not that of the British Government, which stuck steadfastly to its ‘non-intervention’ line.
George Steer’s eyewitness acount in The Times described what he saw as ‘without mercy, with system’, words that remain tragically pertinent to the bloody legacy of carpet bombing in conflicts ever since.
Philosophy Football’s anniversary T-shirt, reflecting Picasso’s famous painting, bears witness to Guernica and is available here.