Lecture 'The Last Days of the Spanish Republic' by Paul Preston, at University of Oxford, Oxford Martin School Lecture Theatre, 34 Broad Street, Oxford, starting at 2pm. As part of the Oxford Literary Festival, Preston will explain how flawed decisions in the final days of the Spanish Civil War led to a humanitarian tragedy in which thousands died and tens of thousands of lives were ruined. The story is of a military coup launched in March 1939 by the arrogant and selfish Colonel Segismundo Casado against the government of Juan Negrin. Casado wanted to go down in history as the man who ended the civil war and claimed that the government was a puppet of Moscow and that a Communist coup was imminent. Instead, Preston explains, his actions led to a bitter conflict in Madrid and Franco’s final victory.