The bombing of Guernica (26 April 1937) was an aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It was carried out at the behest of the Spanish nationalist government by its allies, the German air force’s Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria, under the code name Operation Rügen. The bombing is considered one of the first raids on a defenseless civilian population by a modern air force.
The attack has entered the lexicon of war as an example of a terrorist attack. It is also remembered by the surviving inhabitants and Basque people as such. Due to the lingering divisions from the conflict, the event remains a source of emotion and public recrimination.
The people of Guernica have not forgotten. This graffiti can be found alongside the railway line.
Photography by Geoffrey Billett