The Battle of Cape Matxitxako took place on March 5, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.  This confrontation between some fishermen and the pride of the Spanish navy is a paradigm of heroic and extraordinary acts that the Basque gudaris performed once and again during the tough times they lived through.  It’s a terrible event that we’ve discussed before.

This battle is an example of what those fishermen, farmers, shop owners, liberal professionals, students, and workers did, joining together in an improvised militia, with no training or equipment.  It’s an example of what that civilian army, under the orders of the Basque Government and Lehendakari Aguirre were able to heroically defend the Lower Basque Country against the delinquent coup that rose up against the Republic in 1936.  It was those men and women, joined on the field of Freedom and Democracty, where they’d always been, who, with their sacrifice, and with the loss of their property, their freedom, and even their lives, sowed the future of our Homeland.

Today, we remember the 80th anniversary of that extraordinary act in which a few tuna boats, armed with but small artillery, faced up to the cruiser Canarias.  It’s the act of heroes, which, had it passed elsewhere, would have been the subject of dozens of books and films.  But since it happened in the small Land of the Basques, where it’s barely remembered, it runs the risk of being forgotten entirely.

Today, the world’s media won’t discuss it, but here we still remember the series of events that took place 80 years ago, and which are fundamental for understanding the current reality of a good part of our nation.

With this memory and homage, we’d also like to remember and honor each and every one of them.  Those who defended the Intxortas, those who recovered Artxanda to give the residents of Bilbao time to flee the city and from the Fascists, the women who worked under the bombs, the children who had to abandon their homes and families to be safe from the savage bombings of the savage Fascists, the gudaris who kept fighting against Fascism in the Second World War, the exiles who took the flame of Freedom for the Basque Country around the world, those who stayed in our homeland and suffered the persecution and oppression of the dictatorship.  All that in the defense of freedom, justice, and democracy.  Yes, we here remember all those who with their effort created a glorious page in the history of our Basque Nation and showed us the path to follow.

To all of them, agur eta ohore.

Marina Vasca – Euskadi

Información de la Batalla del Cabo Matxitxako y de la Marina Auxiliar de Euzkadi

Bou Nabarra durante el combate de Matxitxako (Cuadro de David Cobb)

Euskara/ Castellano / English / Francés

Enciclopedia Auñamendi – Euskadi

La batalla del Cabo Matxitxako

Combate naval que tuvo lugar el 5 de marzo de 1937 cerca de cabo Matxitxako, al atacar el crucero franquista Canarias a un convoy que se dirigía a Bilbao protegido por los bous de la Marina de Guerra Auxiliar de Euzkadi.


Museo Naval  – Euskadi

Euzkadiko Gudontzidia. La Marina de Guerra Auxiliar de Euzkadi(1936-39)(Libro en PDF)

El Museo Naval de Donostia es una cita ineludible para todos los que visitan la ciudad, o para los que viven en ella. Su página web ofrece una amplia información de sus actividades.

Nos encontramos ante la reedición del libro La Marina de Guerra Auxiliar de Euzkadi (1936-39) cuyo autor es Juan Pardo San Gil. La primera edición, actualmente agotada, fue publicada por el Untzi Museoa-Museo Naval de la Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa en 1998 coincidiendo con la celebración de la exposición temporal del mismo título; exposición que pretendía dentro de la línea adoptada por el Museo de recuperación de la memoria, dar a conocer este capítulo de nuestra historia. Aquella edición supuso una contribución fundamental para el conocimiento y reconocimiento de la Ma rina de Guerra Auxiliar de Euzkadi. Y digo reconocimiento porque tanto la exposición como el libro fueron determinantes a la hora de sacar a la luz este tema de nuestra historia reciente, poco y mal conocido, y, con ello recordar a los más de 900 hombres y mujeres que for maron en sus filas.

(Continue) (Automatic Translation)

Sabino Arana Fundazioa – /3/2021 – Euskadi


La Batalla de Matxitxako

Para la Libertad


Para la Libertad

(Miguel Hernandez
adaptación de Joan Manuel Serrat)

For Freedom

(Miguel Hernández,
adapted from Joan Manuel Serrat)

Para la libertad sangro, lucho y pervivo.
Para la libertad, mis ojos y mis manos,
como un árbol carnal, generoso y cautivo,
doy a los cirujanos.Para la libertad siento más corazones
que arenas en mi pecho. Dan espumas mis venas
y entro en los hospitales y entro en los algodones
como en las azucenas.Porque donde unas cuencas vacías amanezcan,
ella pondrá dos piedras de futura mirada
y hará que nuevos brazos y nuevas piernas crezcan
en la carne talada.Retoñarán aladas de savia sin otoño,
reliquias de mi cuerpo que pierdo en cada herida.
Porque soy como el árbol talado, que retoño
y aún tengo la vida.
For freedome I bleed, I fight, I survive
For freedom, my eyes and my hands,
like a fleshy tree, generous and cautious
I give to the surgeons.For freedom I feel more hearts
that sand in my chest.  They give foam to my veins
and I enter into the hospitals and I enter into the cotton
like into a madonna lily.Because where dawn breaks over empty bowls,
she will place two stones looking to the future
and will make the new arms and new legs grow
in the chopped-off fleshThe wings of sap will sprout again without an autumn,
relics of my body that I lose in each wound
Because I am like the chopped-down tree
I sprout again, and I still have life




Last Updated on Mar 23, 2023 by About Basque Country

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