Spanish History
as it relates to Model 1893 and 1916 Rifles











Spanish-American War

Spain annexes Rifian section of Morocco, conflict begins with Rifian tribesmen.

Abd el Krim rebellion against Spanish rule.  Rifian tribesmen deal Spain a major defeat at Anual; 15,000 Spanish soldiers and civilans killed.  
Over 150,000 Spanish troops in Morroco

General Miguel Primo de Rivera leads a coup, assumes dictatorship of Spain

Rifian wars end as Abd al Krim revolt is finally supressed.

Primo de Rivera's dictatorship collapses, democracy restored.

King Alfonso leaves Spain for exile in Rome, monarchy abolished.

Socialist/Communist revolt in Asturias, supressed by General Francisco Franco.

Socialists/leftist Republicans win elections.  Army ofiicers revolt against government, Spanish Civil War begins.  The two opposing sides are
the Nationalists (right wing) and Republicans (left wing).  Militias formed in Republican zones.

Spanish Civil War ends with Nationalist victory

Francisco Franco dies, democracy restored in the next year.

Spain joins NATO
The Model 1893 and 1916 in Spain's Wars
The most frequent question that I am asked is "I have a Spanish Mauser.  How can I tell if it was used in the Spanish American War, Rifian War, or Spanish
Civil War?  Can you tell me what unit it was used in?"

The best information I have on the Spanish American War is that the rifles that were issued to Spanish troops in Cuba were the ones that were imported earlier
in the decade, while the Oviedo-manufactured rifles were kept in Spain.  After Spain capitulated, most of the rifles came back to Spain, so any German or
Belgian manufactured Spanish Mauser may have been used in the Spanish American War.

When you look at the serial numbers on the
Oviedo Serial Numbers page, you will notice that there is a scarcity of Model 1893 rifles between 1912 and
sometime in the mid 1920's, and many have apparently been reserialed.  Many surviving examples are in pretty rough shape.  I assume this is because the new
production was shipped to Morocco, and these rifles were "used hard and put up wet", and many never made it back to Spain at all.  For whatever reason, the
same trend does not hold with
Model 1916 rifles.  Were the Model 1916's reserved for domestic service?  I simply don't know.  My guess is that any Model
1893 rifle made in this period probably saw service in Morocco.  Note that I don't have a specfic "start" and "end" date for the Rifian wars.   

The Spanish Civil War involved not just the Army, but the entire country.  Anything that could shoot was used.  Gerald Howson's
Arms for Spain tells the story
of weapons procurement for the Republican side.  Weapons of all descriptions and stages of obsolesecnce were procured from any source possible.  Contrary
to popular belief, the Soviet unit did not give weapons to the Republic; they were paid for with gold from the Spanish Treasury at exhorbitant prices.  All of the
Oviedo-manufactured Model 1893 and 1916 rifles were manufactured before the war.  After the war, the Oviedo arsenal was used to refurbish existing rifles.  
Given the shortage of rifles, I have to assume that just about every Mauser in Spain at the time of the war was used in one capacity or another.  Since most
imports into this country were after that time, your Mauser was probably used in the conflict.  None that I have seen have any Army or militia unit markings, so
there is no way to determine which unit or side they served.  The only exception is the Republican manufactured arms alluded to on the
Spanish Arsenals page,
at least you can tell which side used them.. Serial numbers and other information that has been reported to me are on the
Republican serial numbers page.  
Page modified
on 02/27/13
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This page is also "under construction".  I am not an expert
on Spanish history.  Any upgrades to what is shown below
are welcomed at