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My collection of cap badges of the Second Spanish Republic armed forces and militias


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A section of my collection I am particularly proud of is the one devoted to cap badges used by the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

Those used by the regular EPR (People's Army of the Republic) are much easier to get than the ones adopted by the CNT, UGT, POUM etc. militias. The design dates back to before the institution of the First and Second Republics and for these reasons many cap badges displayed here were simultaneously used by the Republican and Nationalist sides. Some cap badges, such as the one for the Naval Infantry or those of the Cuerpo de Seguridad y Asalto were produced with different designs by the Republic, but when it comes to Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery, the same cap badges (actually available in amultitude of variations) were used by both sides.

What immediately identifies a cap as a Republican one is the customary red star (once again produced in very many variations) which became the logo of the EPR in 1936 (year in which the Army itself was renamed People's Army).

Here comes my collection:

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Let me now provide a explanation for these pictures:

Starting from above we find a beautiful wings badge displaying the red star (pre-war ones were missing it). This model was used on cps, but badges with the same design were also used as breast badges and collar insignias.

Let us now look at that huge mass of metal lying under the wings. Starting from right we find artillery cap badges. Worn both on Gorra and Gorrillo (visor and side cap) these were differentiated by the detail on the grenade. Those that presented that concentric spirals were used by Officers, the others by NCOs and soldiers. Right under the artillery badges we find red stars, which we'll look at more in details afterwards.

Let us now move on the left of the artillery cap badges, to the Cavalry ones. Beautiful and complex design for these ones. Once again, different models and prongs' structure. I am not sure whether the smaller one was worn on Gorrillos or as collar insignia.. Just under the cavalry badges we find the towers of the famous Cuerpo de Ingenieros, the one celebrated in the famous song El Paso del Ebro. The smaller one was used both as collar tab and as Gorrillo cap badge. Under the towers we come across some interesting looking stars which were used by the army before it adopted the red star and clashed with Franco's insurgents. In fact, these stars were widely used by the Republican militias in the initial phases of he war, when the last worry of the Republic was the production of cap insignias.. 

Let us now move to the left of the cavalry badges, where we encounter the infantry ones. Lots of designs available for these traditional cap badges, which design itself was adopted during the Monarchy and is still in use. Once again, not sure whether the smaller infantry badge was worn on Gorrillos or uniform collars. Just under the infantry cap badges we find on the right a wonderful cap and collar badge of the Cuerpo de Seguridad y Asalto. The C and S stand for Cuerpo de Seguridad, the shortened version of the unit's name and both were surmounted by the Republican crown. The unit was basically a sort of national armed police tasked with countering internal attempts at overthrowing the Republic. On the left of the Cuerpo de Seguridad badge we find two crossed rifles, the cap badge of the Cuerpo de Carabinieros a.k.a. the border troops of the Republic. Under the crossed rifles we find another "crossed" badge..this time however we find a saber and riding crop i.e. the logo used by General! Now, I am really not sure whether this was a cap badge, a collar insignia or anything else and anybody's help here would be much appreciated! Help would also be needed to identify the small Second Republic coat of arms badge that stands to the right of the Generals' insignia. The prongs on the reverse tell me it could really be a cap badge..but who wore it??

Finally, we move to the last column on the left side of the photo where we find a "calavera", skull, that was adopted by anarchist formations during the war even if it originally belonged to the Light Cavalry Regiment Lusitania, which fought on the Nationalist side. Right under it I put a wonderful badge of the notorious 5th Regiment, formed by the Communist Party. Then comes a beautiful badge/cap badge worn by volunteers from Catalonia and by the Ejercit Populat de Catalunya (the Catalonian army affiliated with the central EPR). Finally, a rose-cut cap badge made of paper and cloth, displaying the Republican colours!

Now, let me show you more in detail the red stars as well as the Catalonian, anarchist and 5th Regiment badges!

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I hope this was appreciated and anybody's comment or suggestions would be more than welcomed!

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  • 1 year later...

Chris : The crossed sabre and baton was the essentia of the General insignia in both sides , Nationalists wears it with one two or three four pointed stars . Republicans when adopted new rank badges at the end of 1936, the same with three red stars . they created initially one class of general . Both sides used the same insignia and badges of rank until the end of 1936 . the Basque Army never adopted the new republican insignia. the badge with the coat of arms was the cap badce of the republican generals .but rather bigger perhaps the yours is for a isabelino , Apart of the generals the other only user of such badge was the Presidential Escort. I hope my data be useful .

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