Forty kilometer southeast of the city of Zaragoza, in north-eastern Spain, lies the ghost town of Belchite, that was destroyed in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War fought between the Republicans, who were loyal to the democratic, left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, a fascist group led by General Francisco Franco.
A small town, lacking any military interest, Belchite suddenly found itself thrust towards the frontlines when the Republican launched an offensive against the Nationalists forces in the Aragon region of Spain where they held several villages and towns that were known to be weakly defended. Advancing through these weak points in the Nationalists’ frontline, the Republicans planned to take Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon, which was only a few kilometers behind enemy lines. While the Republicans did make good advance in the region, Belchite itself was fiercely defended by the Nationalists. The town eventually fell after two weeks of intense fighting, and by then Belchite was almost totally destroyed. At least 5,000 people, including civilians, died.
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