International Center of Photography


Battle of Teruel, Spain, December 1937
In late December 1937 and early January 1938, Capa covered the Battle of Teruel, a Republican offensive on the small town strategically located between Madrid and Valencia. The eventual Republican victory reclaimed the city from Nationalist hands on January 7, 1938. Capa entered the town on about December 19 with Ernest Hemingway and New York Times reporter Herbert Matthews with the first Loyalist forces. Much of the fighting was house to house, and the fierce snowstorm and freezing temperatures made the city a nightmare for both soldiers and civilians, who were first evacuated into cellars and then to neighboring Escandón. In this roll of film, Capa photographed the Loyalist soldiers as they crept through destroyed buildings and searched for Nationalist soldiers. This series presages Capa's dramatic photographs of Leipzig in 1945 at the end of World War II. There, while photographing American forces on a balcony looking out for German snipers following the German surrender, a soldier was mortally shot before Capa's camera.

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