It forced the many parties of the left to come together to form the Popular Front. They organised strikes, riots and took part in acts of violence such as derailing main line trains. In 1934 there was a general strike. Coal miners in the Asturias went on strike but were ruthlessly put down by the army lead by General Franco . Spain appeared to be heading for all out chaos. In a last minute attempt to avoid serious trouble, a general election was called for February 1936. In this election, the Popular Front won and Azana, once again became prime minister.
The Republican government acted to remove suspect generals from influential posts. Franco was sacked as chief of staff and transferred to command of the Canary Islands .  Manuel Goded Llopis was removed as inspector general and was made general of the Balearic Islands . Emilio Mola was moved from head of the Army of Africa to military commander of Pamplona in Navarre .  This, however, allowed Mola to direct the mainland uprising. General Jose Sanjurjo became the figurehead of the operation and helped reach an agreement with the Carlists.  Mola was chief planner and second in command.  José Antonio Primo de Rivera was put in prison in mid-March in order to restrict the Falange.  However, government actions were not as thorough as they might have been, and warnings by the Director of Security and other figures were not acted upon. 
Nick took myself and my parents on a trip around Barcelona city centre on a blustery day in October. The dark clouds hanging ominously above our heads Nick evoked the tension and expectancy hanging thick in the air over the same city nearly seventy years ago when news first arrived that General Francisco Franco had landed with his army was heading for Madrid. Barcelona was itself a divided town, the rich overlooking the poor from the hills surrounding the Ramblas and Raval, but the following weeks saw an almost utopian transformation and communality as the people of Barcelona used the news of the defeated coup as an opportunity to shake off centuries of poverty and inequality. Nick conjures up in vivid and emotive detail the sights and the sounds, the clothes and cars and celebration….but as he ushered us deeper into the Gothic quarter the streets and the story grew darker… I lived in Barcelona for four years before I finally got around to taking Nick’s tour, I’ll never see the city the same again!