Worked answer

*4. [Look closely at language and tone, and use any knowledge you may have of Koestler's personal experience of the Spanish Civil War.]

Without further knowledge of the context, and on first reading, Source J could indeed be seen as a mere inventory of Fascist and Nazi aid to Franco. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals more. In effect, Koestler's prose reaches beyond surgical dissection of that aid and acquires the force of a politically and morally driven exposé. His language and tone imply that the dictators' assault on the 'constitutionally elected' government is not only illegitimate but imperialistic. Thus Franco is 'proclaimed' (not 'recognized') as ruler of Spain, as if the Caudillo were a puppet; the Italians 'capture' Malaga and preside in Majorca, and Germans 'take over' specialized technical functions. At all cardinal points of the compass, this is an aid programme in overdrive, 'pouring in', 'week by week'. And it is massive aid in breadth. Not only do Hitler and Mussolini upgrade Franco's war machine with state-of-the-art weapons of attack and defence; they provide the personnel to ensure that the weapons are lethal. Ominously, Koestler infers an ulterior motive beyond victory for Franco - namely, effective preparation for a wider conflict yet to come. Koestler, who was himself arrested by the Nationalists in February 1937, had been covering the Spanish Civil War for the News Chronicle, an English newspaper demanding British government intervention for the Republic. Koestler's own politics were communist: he had joined the KPD two years before Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and he was a propaganda writer for the Comintern. Therefore, Koestler would be driven to do more than list, clinically, Hitler's and Mussolini's aid to Franco's rebel forces. His underlying message is that, in order to crush fascism, the balance of foreign aid must be resolutely redressed.15

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