Newsweeks Past: Barcelona Surrenders to Franco

A victorious celebration in Barcelona. Getty Images

Generalissimo Francisco Franco's Spanish, Moorish and Italian legions captured Republican-held capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, on 26 January 1939, marking a convincing victory for the nationalists in a civil war that had been raging for three years.

Newsweek marvelled at the speed and power of Franco's advance on the city, recording that, "Gen. Jose Yague's Moors wore their rope-soled shoes to shreds marching 20 miles a day" towards the city. The magazine reported the minute details of the final surrender: "Early on the crucial day, a white flag was hoisted atop the gray stone fortress of Montjuich, on a 600-foot hill near the harbor. Next, Franco's air scouts saw a rash of white flags, sheets and tablecloths break out all over the city."

"At noon, the Generalissimo finally gave the signal to march. Bands started blaring. Infantrymen broke into a run, shouting and singing."