Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa
Gipuzkoakultura
December 16, 2018

The Auxiliary Navy of the Basque Country
(1936-39)

Auxiliary navies in history (1860-2010)

The Auxiliary Navy of Euzkadi (and the Basque Maritime Police) was atypical in the Spanish Civil War. However, throughout history there have been many other examples of naval forces that shared some of the primary characteristics of the Auxiliary Navy. These are:

  • A temporary naval force, created in wartime and disbanded at the end of the conflict. In some cases, these forces went on to become the official navy of a new state after the war.
  • A small force organized with precarious resources, generally comprising armed civilian vessels or refurbished warships, mostly manned by civilian marine personnel.
  • Created by a government body not recognized as a state by the international community, whose territorial jurisdiction was not the same as either the country it supported or that it was fighting against.
  • Entrusted with the naval defence of what this governmental entity considered to be their territory, its operations generally confined to the coastal or inland waters of the country in conflict.

Auxiliary navies in history (1860-2010) Over the last 150 years, there have been around fifty examples of this type of "atypical naval force" scattered around the world, of very different political hue. The following is a complete list (when known, the original name is given in brackets):


The full list of auxiliary navies: