SIM or Servicio de Investigación Militar. The SIM or Servicio de Investigación Militar (Military Investigation Service), also Servicio de Información Militar, was the secret service of the Second Spanish Republic from August 1937 to the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Background.[edit | edit source]

In 1937 there were nine intelligence and counter-intelligence organizations with their own networks of agents in the Republican held zone: the communist held DEDIDE (Departamento Especial de Información del Estado), the SIEP (Servicio Especial de Información Periferico), the army’s secret service, the carabinero’s secret service, the foreign ministry’s, the Generalitat’s, etc. Even, the International Brigades had its own intelligence service run by the soviet NKVD. This organizations held prisoners in its own secret prisons.[1] Because of this, the Republican minister of Defense, Indalecio Prieto decided to reorganize the intelligence services in order to increase the control of the central government.[2]

The SIM[edit | edit source]

On August 9, 1937, Prieto decided to create a new secret service, the Servicio de Información Militar or SIM, merging all the intelligence services inside the Republican zone. The main goals of the SIM were to combat the Nationalist’s intelligence service, the SIPM (Servicio de Información y Policía Militar), to neutralize the Fifth Column and to restrict the activity of the "uncontrollables". Nevertheless, its was also used by the PCE, to persecute its political enemies. It had 6,000 agents only in Madrid and a budget of 22 millions of pesetas. Its was organized into six military sections and five civilian sections.[3]

The SIM aided to stop the atrocities of the "uncontrollables" (agents of the SIM protected 2,000 priests who were conducting private religious services in Barcelona in 1938)[4] and destroyed many networks of the Fifth Column (Concepción, Circulo Azul, Capitán Mora, Cruces de Fuego, etc.).[5] In 1938, the SIM uncovered the clandestine Falange in Catalonia, detaining 3,500 persons.[6]

Nevertheless, the SIM had a deserved bad reputation among the population. It had clandestine prisons in Madrid and Barcelona, used torture to obtain confessions (beatings, mock executions, disorientation and sensory-deprivation techniques)[7] and carried out extrajudicial executions of suspects.[8] Moreover, in February 1938 military tribunals were established which worked under summary procedure and without any legal guarantees for the accused.[9] According to Gabriel Jackson, the SIM carried out around 1,000 executions.[10]

In March 1939, the head of the SIM in Madrid supported the Casado's coup.[11] With the end of the war the SIM was disbanded.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. p.269
  2. Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. p.304
  3. Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939..Penguin Books. London. p.305
  4. Jackson, Gabriel. (1967). The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939. Princeton University Press. Princeton. p.458
  5. Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. p.305
  6. Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.787
  7. Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. p.306
  8. Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.757
  9. Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.787
  10. Jackson, Gabriel. (1967). The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939. Princeton University Press. Princeton. p.533
  11. Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.875

References[edit | edit source]

  • Beevor, Antony. The battle for Spain. The Spanish civil war, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. ISBN 978-0-14-303765-1.
  • Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939. Princeton University Press. 1967. Princeton. ISBN 978-0-691-00757-1
  • Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. ISBN 978-0-14-101161-5

ca:Servei d'Informació Militar es:Servicio de Información Militar

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.