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The Italians also played a prominent role in the offensive at Guadalajara. Mussolini insisted that his forces should be used as a single unit. General Francisco Franco was unhappy about this as he wanted the Italians dispersed among his own Spanish units.On 8th March over 35,000 Italian soldiers and 81 whippet tanks and a company of machine-gunners, went into action at Guadalajara. The Italians failed to breakthrough on the first day and on the 9th March the Republican Army reinforced the frontline with over 20,000 soldiers.The Republicans held the Nationalist for over a week before launching its own counter-offensive on 18th March. Using its best troops, including the International Brigades, the Republicans were able to force the Italians to retreat.During the failed offensive at Guadalajara, the Italians had 400 killed, 1,800 wounded and had 500 men taken prisoner. The Italians also lost significant quantities of arms and supplies, including 25 artillery pieces, 10 mortars, 85 machine-guns and 67 trucks.General Francisco Franco blamed the Italians for the Nationalist defeat and banned them from operating again as an independent unit in Spain. He insisted that in future the Italians would have to operate in larger units made up primarily of Spanish troops and commanded by Spanish generals.In August 1937 Italian submarines began torpedoing ships heading for Republican ports. The governments of Britain and France both made protests at this action and the following month Benito Mussolini brought an end to these attacks on shipping.
During the Spanish Civil War Italy sent 80,000 men, of whom almost 6,000 belonged to the Italian Air Force, 45,000 to the army and 29,000 to the fascist militia. Italy also supplied 1,800 cannon, 1,400 mortars, 3,400 machine-guns, 6,800 motor vehicles, 157 tanks, 213 bombers, 44 assault planes and 414 fighters.

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