viernes, 29 de mayo de 2009

ROBERT CAPA IN CERRO MURIANO: THE DAY IN WHICH REALITY SURPASSED IMAGINATION (5th Part):

World Premiere One of the pictures on page 7 of Regards magazine September 24th 1936 confirms even more the authenticity of the Falling Soldier photograph and the real death of two men on the wheat covered slope that morning of September 1936

By José Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA


Photo: ROBERT CAPA Copyright Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

There has been a picture which has haunted me for almost two decades: it appeared for the first time on page 7 of Regards magazine number of September 24th 1936 and depicts a Republican militiaman standing alive, dressed in dark clothes and cap, grabbing a Mauser rifle with both hands and running down slightly bent (to give real combat effect, because in an actual action against the enemy running downwards the soldiers usually bend their bodies to the maximum to offer less target to the enemy) the wheat covered slope towards the right of the frame, while another Republican militiaman (only partially seen, wearing clear clothes, black leather cartridge poaches and a Mauser rifle) on his left is also running down the slope even more bent that the militiaman wearing dark attire and with his bolt rifle grabbed in inversed position with both the rifle gunstock and the sling inadvertently pointing upwards probably because of the overexcitement and euphoria of the militiaman, along with a strong yearning for simulating a downward attack against enemy forces, in the same way as his companion, without realizing that he is being greatly concealed by his comrade´s body on his right. So, there isn´t any real combat at this moment.

On the other hand, when Capa makes this picture, there is a third Republican militiaman running downwards behind the two ones we see in the photograph. The barrel tip and sight of the Mauser 1893 model 7 x 57 mm rifle of this third militiaman not visible in the image ( but running behind the two militiamen observable in the picture) must appear in the original 35 mm Kodak panchromatic nitrate negative of this image on top left of the frame. In 1988 I could see in Rastro of Madrid an approximately 10 x 15 cm positive of this image including a little more space on the left and the quoted barrel tip and sight on a booth selling magazines and photographs of the Spanish Civil War. The quality of this picture was low, because it was a third or fourth copy of copy - probably from a first copy on b & w photographic paper -, but I remember it well. I think the editor of Regards magazine reframed the picture cutting the point of the rifle of the third man coming behind.

Highly probably, the Moroccan soldier of tabor of Regulares belonging to a little group of men on reconnaissance mission, got even more angry than before, after watching the attitude of the man in the background of this image (partially concealed by the militiaman in the foreground with dark clothes), who is claerly simulating to run downwards against a really non existing enemy, in such a big spree that he is grabbing his rifle with both the trigger area and transporting leather strap upwards.

I have no doubt: This picture was made by Robert Capa before and preceding the one showing the famous Falling Soldier photograph (instant death and quick fall backwards by a high velocity 7 x 57 mm caliber Mauser 1893 piercing his heart at a speed of around 700 m/sec) and the following one of a second different Republican militiaman (who appears on the ground because of the impact of a second 7 x 57 mm bullet fired by the same Moroccan Tabor of Regulares sniper) mortally wounded but still alive, agonizing and in a very forced posture with the point of his Mosquetón Mauser rifle -which he holds with his right hand in a very cumbersome way- pointing backwards and touching the ground after a slow fall backwards brought about by the fight of the organism to avoid it.

For some decades there have been and go on being people stating that ´Capa was a liar´, that
´the picture of the Falling Soldier was faked´, and to sum up that the ´Republican
militiaman appearing instantly killed in it got up after Capa took the picture´.

Even, there have been frequent statements by Capa´s detractors saying that ´the Falling Soldier picture is undoubtedly a fake and the most famous Republican militiaman doesn´t really die, because he falls exactly on the same spot than the second Republican militiaman (the one very seriously injured by bullet, already on the ground and photographed by the best war photographer of all time immediately after the Falling Soldier) shot, ´so there was a trick, the picture is false and the most famous militiaman didn´t really die´.

Once more, nothing further from reality. It´s true that both the Falling Soldier (instantly killed)
and the second militiaman shot (not instantly killed but mortally wounded) fall on very near points, recognizable because of some prominent stalks of grass. But not exactly on the same spot.

But this unexpected discovery of three more men (which makes a total of at least five and not only two- the Falling Soldier and the following one- as believed till now ) running down
the wheat covered slope while Capa is a little ahead of them and to the side of them more
downward on the slope to take them pictures made very recently by elrectanguloenlamano proves without any doubt that the two militiamen appearing grabbing Mauser rifles in the picture of page 7 of Regards Magazine 24th 1936 are exactly on the same wheated slope where Robert Capa makes the photographs of the Falling Soldier (instant death) and a second Republican militiaman shot by a second bullet (not instantly killed but dead within some minutes) 1936 between 9:30 and 10.30 h in that morning of September 1936 and they´re undoubtedly captured by Capa a few seconds before the Falling Soldier.

This way, there were at least five Republican militiamen running down the slope with Mauser rifles with Capa located ahead down the slope and on one side making them pictures, and in the same way as there wasn´t any trick or fakery by Robert Capa on taking the pictures of the Falling Soldier Republican militiaman and the next militiaman shot immediately after him (the latter not dying instantly), there wasn´t any trick or fakery in the picture of the two Republican militiamen running down the same wheat covered slope.

They´re simply simulating an attack running against enemy positions and Capa photographs them. And after elrectanguloenlamano discovery regarding this photograph of page 7 of Regards magazine September 24th 1936 as the previous one picture made by Capa before the famous Falling Soldier one, I´m now more biased to think that the Republican militiamen were very happy to run simulating combat and trying to appear the best possible and the most realistic feasible in the pictures that Capa was taking them.

And this exceeedingly high enthusiasm and utter cooperation of the Republican militiamen for the pictures made by a foreign photographer like Capa (which surely increased the expectation and interest in them) is also very apparent in some of the medium format 6 x 6 cm photographs also made by Gerda Taro (who was there with Capa) in the wheat covered slope between 9:30 and 10:30 h that morning of September 1936, a real trove discovered by Richard Whelan and Irme Schabe indicating that the role performed by Gerda Taro in the wheat covered slope was likewise significant. Actually, some of her pictures are very important to explain the events as we´ll see later.

Robert Capa is inside the trench when he makes this picture of page 7 of Regards magazine
(in the same way as he is inside the trench when he takes the Falling Soldier picture and the picture of the following militiaman badly injured by a second bullet and still alive in the throes of death on the ground with his Mosquetón Mauser rifle tip pointing downwards and touching the land).

On the other hand, this new discovery made by elrectanguloenlamano with respect to the middle picture of page 7 of Regards French magazine of September 24th 1936, strengths to a great deal the huge importance of Richard Whelan´s statement regarding a letter dated March 19th 1982 he was sent by Hansel Mieth (a Life magazine staff photographer at the end of thirties) in which she told him that Capa, very upset, had once described her during a conversation the context in which he had made the picture of the Falling Soldier :
"They were fooling around", (Capa) said. "We all were fooling around.
We felt good. There was no shooting. They came running down the slope. I ran too and
knipsed". ( to knipse: to take a photograph in slang German)
" Did you tell them to stage an attack?" asked Mieth.
"Hell no. We were all happy. A little crazy, maybe".
"And then?"
"Then, suddenly it was the real thing. I didn´t hear the firing - not at first".
"Where were you?
"Out there, a little ahead and to the side of them".

As always, there have been people through decades proclaiming that ´ Richard Whelan
invented the story of the letter of a Hansel Mieth ´, but it´s absolutely obvious that he didn´t
invent it, and what Hansel Mieth stated having been told in person by a very haunted
Robert Capa is utterly confirmed by this picture of page 7 of Regards French magazine with
three Republican militiamen who are photographed by Capa just before the Falling Soldier.

Have no doubt: the story is true. Capa was a flamboyant man, liking the good life, women,
sometimes smoking heavily (for instance in Hemingways´ abode in Sun Valley Idaho in 1940 and in the mirror double self-portrait of him and John Steinbeck made in Russia in September 1947), excelling as a poker gambler. O.K, but he was a great man featuring a fascinating personality,and above all, was and will be in my opinion one of the best photographers in history and clearly the best of the best of war photographers.

And besides, there´s a very unknown inner side of Capa´s character: his highly deep
introspective suffering during the whole of his life beginning on that morning of September 1936 with the second picture (not the Falling Soldier, but the following one which he strives after doing at any cost following his war photographer pure instinct, immediately after unexpectedly having captured by pure chance just in the moment of his death -really killed by a 7 x 57 mm Mauser shot by a tabor of Regulares sniper- to the most famous Republican militiaman, which raised in him a great feeling of guilt) and above all the death of his beloved Gerda Taro, not killed in Brunete, but very badly injured in this village of Madrid province in very gruesome circumstances, accidentally smashed under the chains of a Republican tank, and taken to El Escorial hospital where she died, without forgetting his painful renouncement to get married and have children to be able to fulfill his war photographer career in different conflicts and countries, the latter being epitomized by two pictures made by Capa in 1954: one in Narita airport being welcomed by two little Japanese girls offering him flowers while the greatest crouches to greet them visibly highly happy, and another one that I had the chance of relishing inside Ebisu Museum of Photography in Tokyo Shibuya tokubetsuku two years ago, also made in 1954 by Bandi and depicting two lovers waiting their train on one platform of Tokyo Station.

As always, Capa´s pictures full of symbolism and conveying a number of messages.

The two most important aspects in this story, the cornerstone around which everything spins, were already explained by Cornell Capa and Richard Whelan some decades ago (including a very important lecture given by Richard Whelan in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía of Madrid in late nineties on the occasion of the donation of Cornell Capa of 205 copies of pictures taken by his brother Robert during the Spanish Civil War, which were made on top-notch baryta b & w photographic paper by the superb master printer Teresa Engle-Moreno, a tremendous pundit in making positives from vintage negatives, who has printed among other for Andreas Feininger, Inge Morath, P.P.S Gallery / F.C. Gundlach´s archives of Moholy-Nagy, Herbert List, Raoul Hausmann, for Martin Munkacsi Estate, Bruce Davidson, Dorothy Norman, etc) and are now even more clear:

the picture of the Falling Soldier is true, there wasn´t any fake and two men really died, something which was recently even more verified than during the past decades by the until now unknown picture (shown to the world -among many others- by the great exhibition
This is War! Robert Capa at Work organized by the International Photography Center of
New York which has brought it to Europe in the Barbican Gallery of London, the Centro
Internazionale di Fotografia of Milan and soon in the Musem of Modern Art of Cataluña) of
the second Republican militiaman shot immediately after the most famous Falling Soldier impacted by 7 x 57 mm Mauser bullet and already lying dead on the ground (he is undoubtedly the second militiaman impacted by bullet and not instantly killed who falls to the ground almost immediately after the first and most famous Republican militiaman, though in this very important new picture the body of this second militiaman has evidently been moved from the real spot where he is shot (on a point very near to where the first and most famous militiaman falls backwards instantly killed) and transported to a lower spot of the slope, along with the Mosquetón Mauser rifle which somebody has evidently put on his belly with the butt of the gun resting on the ground and the middle area of the Mosquetón Mauser barrel made to be grasped by the fingers of the utterly dead second Republican militiaman (it is almost impossible to ascertain exactly how long he took to die, but bearing in mind the eerie immediately previous picture in which this same Republican militiaman appears on the ground still alive and being in agony just after being impacted by a second high velocity 7 x 57 mm Mauser bullet, I´m convinced that few minutes indeed, and probably the Tabor of Regulares snipers allowed them to collect the bodies or perhaps a white flag was previously shown in order to get it, and Capa made this last picture of the Falling Soldier series also with propagandist aims, something very common in both sides during the Spanish Civil War).

But have no doubt: he is the same man of the immediately preceding gruesome picture and this
has been an ICP discovery of huge importance.

The analysis of the Falling Soldier picture has got a lot of different important aspects, but undoubtedly, the two most important are the photographic and ballistic ones.

That´s why, though knowing in advance that it´s not specially pleasant to insist on the
performance of certain rifles and bullets, I do consider it absolutely fundamental to confirm
- among other decisive factors- that the picture was true, there wasn´t any trick and the
Falling Soldier really died. So I do beg their pardon in advance to those feeling perhaps a
bit annoyed by so many ballistic details, but what is conveyed by Capa´s picture is death,
the authentic death of a Republican militiaman, and war consists of killing and killing and
killing, something that inevitably is often forgotten in its true horror when referring to this
picture because of its deep political, social and historical connotations which turn it into a
simultaneously sublime and hair-raising graphic document and patrimony of humanity.

It´s not easy to set aside the tremendously powerful iconic image and conveyance of symbols
of this extraordinary picture, probably the most important one in the history of photography,
and striving for focusing on a scientific approach, but it is utterly necessary to verify its
authenticity and the real instant death of the Falling Soldier.

Those stating that Capa´s most famous picture is false (´and of course the Republican militiaman got up after Capa made the picture´) because ´only a rifle shooting magnum bullets is able to throw a man backwards as happened with the first and most famous Falling Soldier ´ are also completely wrong.

Even if people saying that would refer to express rifles featuring 375 Holland & Holland , 470
NitroExpress or 700 NitroExpress (much more powerful for instance than a 300 Winchester
Magnum, .338 Magnum, 358 Norma Magnum, etc) bullets as "the only ones able to throw
back the Falling Soldier as it appears in the most famous photograph of all time", they would
go on being wrong, because the shot placement and the type of bullet performance are much
more important factors than the pure brute force of the cartridge.

Actually, the famous hunter W.H.Bell killed in Africa a lot of elephants using a 7 x 57 mm
rifle, while most professional hunters at that time used NitroExpress double rifles. Such is the
energy and power of this cartridge, together with a very flat trajectory and impressive
penetrating effect of its 7 mm sectional density at long distances which turn it into an absolutely
lethal weapon in the hands of an experienced hunter and even much more if it is used by a Tabor
of Regulares sniper with years of combat experience and able to put the bullet in a vital zone from a distance of 800 m when having a supporting base, as happened during the Oviedo events in 1934 or from a distance of around 400 m as happened on the wheat covered slope that morning of Sepetember 1936. Even, it brought about the birth of the Springfield M1903 bolt rifle in caliber .30, because during the clashes at El Caney, San Juan Hill and Las Guasimas (Spanish-American War of 1898), the USA troops had a lot of casualties because the Spanish soldiers using long barrel Mauser 1893 rifles shooting 7 x 57 mm bullets made highly accurate and deadly shots from distances up to 900 m, which made them very difficult to spot, and the Krag-Jörgensen caliber .30 used by the American troops were no match for the Spanish Mauser.

From a ballistic viewpoint, the 7 x 57 mm Mauser (called .275 Rigby in United Kingdom)
is one of the best all-around rifles of all time, merging great qualities in all the decisive aspects:
very long range (maximum of 4,000 m and lethal up to 2,000), very scarce recoil, a very high
speed of 730 m/seg, great smoothness of operation, a five round magazine which gets more
compactness and better transport, a low weight of 3.95 kg, a dispersion of 30 cm at 300
meters, etc.

It´s very important to understand that just before being shot on his heart by a 7 x 57 mm bullet
which instantly kills him, the Falling Soldier didn´t expect it at all, because there wasn´t any
battle on the wheat coveres slope between 9:30 and 10:30 h in that morning of September 1936. a shot made by a Tabor of Regulares sniper hidden in the surroundings of the wheat covered slope.

That´s to say, the first Falling Soldier is completely relaxed, confident and probably euphoric,
confirming Hansel Mieth´s convictions after being told in person by Robert Capa that everything was utterly unexpected and that the militiamen were fooling around.

It´s true that on another occasion, Capa told that he had made the picture being inside the trench, raising his Leica camera on his head and pressing the shutter release button without being able to watch the soldiers.

Robert Capa was inside the trench when he made the last four pictures of the Falling Soldier series, as proved by elrectanguloenlamano, with the very recent deiscovery regarding the picture immediately preceding the Falling Soldier one in which appear two other Republican militiamen (one of them greatly concealed by his comrade) plus another one whose Mauser 7 x 57 mm Mauser Model 1893 barrel tip and sight are visible on top left of the original negative, though frequently erased.

As always, Capa´s detractors will say that Capa was a liar and each time said a different thing.

Once more, nothing further from reality.

However curious it may be, and in spite of being the most famous picture of all time, Robert Capa didn´t ever like to speak about it and the circumnstances in which it was made, because he felt highly guilty about what happened, both as to the Falling Soldier (instantly killed) and specially the following one militiaman (not instantly killed) who was very seriously injured by a second bullet.

He felt innerly very guilty, haunted and convulsed remembering what happened that morning of September 1936 9:30 and 10:30 h in the morning on the little hill appearing in the Falling Soldier picture.

In any case, until the impact of the first unexpected 7 x 57 mm enemy bullet which provokes the first real death, it is very clear that the Falling Soldier was exceedingly relaxed, overconfident and joyful, in the middle of a kind of revolutionary atmosphere with militiamen encouraging one another and with the highly probable huge expectation raised by Capa and Gerda Taro both as foreigners and as photographers.

Under normal hunting circumstances, even with dangerous big African species having detected
the shooter and so with their natural defenses alert and tense, a 7 x 57 mm bullet is lethal
if it impacts on a vital organ up to around 600 meters, but in the just aforementioned context
and with a Republican militiaman, the Falling Soldier, being sure that there weren´t Francoist
troops near, the effect of a very high performance 7 x 57 mm bullet impacting on the heart of
a man can be defined as absolutely lethal and devastating, and the very high velocity of the
bullet will throw him backwards more strongly and violently than in a combat situation when
the soldiers of both sides are feeling the brutal stress of the combat and the fear to die, being
stressful and expecting an enemy bullet at any moment, so natural defences of the organism
are much more active.

But there wasn´t any battle on the wheat covered slope when the first and most famous Falling
Soldier is killed and when a few seconds later a second militiaman is impacted by another
7 x 57 mm Mauser bullet.

They were isolated bullets shot by the same Moroccan sniper from Sáenz of Buruaga´s
Tabor of Regulares, not rebel machine gun fire which would have spotted their position
to the Republican militiamen on the wheat covered slope.

There wasn´t any battle there in the morning of September 5th 1936, something which can be easily verified on watching some of the previous pictures to the Falling Soldier in which there are some Republican militiamen simulating to aim to open fire, when truth is that in a high percentage of them their Mauser rifles are not ready to shoot, because the head of the firing pin is hidden inside its resting location of the bolt, id est, it is not visible behind the bolt of their guns, so it can´t strike any cartridge.

It´s evident that before the unexpected two real shots made by the Tabor of Regulares sniper, there wasn´t any battle on the little wheat covered hill and no rebel troops were attacking, because on experiencing the effect of the recoil after firing, the reaction of a soldier in actual battle is not to be quiet and aiming his not ready to fire gun as happens in some of the Republican militiamen appearing in the previous pictures, but cocking again the bolt to load the rifle with a new bullet and then to aim.

Only if the head of the firing pin is visible behind the bolt, a 7 x 57 mm Mauser model 1893 is able to open fire.

On the other hand, regarding the two real shots made by the same Moroccan Tabor of
Regulares sniper who instantly kills the first Falling Soldier and mortally wounds a second one
(who probably dies within some seconds or minutes and appears on the ground in the throes of death and with the tip of his Mosquetón Mauser backwards touching the terrain), there have also been people through decades stating that ´such old bolt non automatic rifles designed in XIX Century couldn´t be so accurate to be able to impact the Falling Soldier from such a long distance´.

Nothing further from reality.

The long barrel 1893 Mauser 7 x 57 mm caliber bolt rifles used by the Moroccan elite ´Pacos´
of Tabor of Regulares on that morning of September 1936 belongs to the selected club of the most accurate and best sniper rifles in history along with the Russian Mosin-Nagant 1891/30
7.62 x 54 mm R caliber which became famous in the hands of Ivan Sidorenko,Vasily Zaitsev
and Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, in the Eastern Front during the II World War, the M28
Jalkavaenkivaari Pystykorva of Simo Häyhä during the Finnish-Russian War of 1940 using
only iron sights, the Mauser K98 7.92 x 57 mm (whose design dates back to 1888 before
the new IS cartridge) of Matthias Hetzenauer and Sepp Allerberger in the Eastern Front
during the II World War, the Canadian James Bedford McArthur with a Springfield M 1903
A4 (whose design dates back to 1903) during the II World War, the Australian Billy Sing in
Gallipoli in 1917 with his short magazine Lee Enfield Nº 1 Mk III 303 British caliber
(whose design dates back to 1887), though without reaching the level of the Lee Enfield Nº
4 Mk1 (T) as a sniper bolt rifle.

All these snipers were able to kill an enemy soldier at distances of up to 1100 meters with a
telescopic sight on (for example Matthias Hetzenauer) or up to approximately 900 meters using only iron sights (for instance the Moroccan elite snipers of Tabor of Regulares and Simo Häyhä).

So, regarding the 7 x 57 mm bullet which killed the Falling Soldier piercing his heart between
9:30 and 10:30 in the morning of that September day of 1936 on the wheat covered slope, everything is very related to the stopping power and killing power as decisive factors as to the damage that a certain type of bullet can provoke when it impacts on an animal or person, always understanding that the stopping power will depend on different aspects: velocity of the bullet, shock effect, diameter and expansion of the bullet, kinetic energy, lineal impulse, shape of the bullet and placement of it.

A non magnum rifle bullet flying at a great speed penetrates through the animal or person with an effect comparable to an expansive wave, and this ´hydraulic effect´ brings about a bigger damage on the animal or person tissues, being able to provoke the death even if the shot doesn´t
touch any vital organ.

In a nutshell, a small non magnum rifle bullet featuring great velocity has the same energy than other bigger caliber types of bullets flying at slower speeds.

Another frequent error (among many others) by those stating that Capa´s most famous picture is a fake and that the Falling Soldier got up again after being shot, is to think that the absence of blood on the militiaman´s shirt indicates that the photograph is false.

Once more, nothing further from reality.

The absence of blood on the Republican militiaman in the picture is because of the very high
velocity of the 7 x 57 mm Mauser bullet which kills him just in the split second in which Robert
Capa has just pressed the shutter release button of his Leica III (Model F 1933-1939), so though
the bullet has already pierced the Falling Soldier heart, there hasn´t been enough time for the blood to sprout.

If we think of the very short elapse of time which means 1/10 second in an athletic competition,
a speed of for instance 1/125 sec at f/8 shooting handheld on a very sunny day with around iso
40 Kodak panchromatic nitrate black and white film is a much shorter time.

This is a non easy concept to understand, because we all are accustomed to watching different movies in which all kind of bullet shots have the immediate effect of presence of blood on the victims´ clothes, specially if they are using white garments, which makes even more remarkable the thing with the Falling Soldier who is wearing a turned up white colour shirt.

But in reality, things are different regarding the performance of the bullets and it will depend on
a number of factors, among which the shock effect is another absolutely decisive one.

Traditionally, everybody has thought and will go on thinking that the end of the vital functions of an animal or person which has just being shot is due to the loss of blood, which evidently has
got its importance, though it is not the key factor in this respect.

The most significant element regarding the break of the vital functions of an animal or person
impacted by bullet is the shock effect when the projectile hits one of the vital organs.

That´s why the Falling Soldier dies instantly, because of the shock effect of the 730 m /sec high velocity of a 7 x 57 mm Mauser bullet, before the blood has begun to flow. Such is the kinetic energy of this caliber, which greatly enhances its stopping power and fosters its piercing capacity, its expansion and its ability to destroy animal or person tissues.

On the other hand, the lineal impulse of the 7 x 57 mm bullet is also highly remarkable,
preserving great power and a simultaneous scarce recoil, a key factor for accuracy in
long distance shots.

You can be sure: just after the picture was taken by Capa, there was a lot of blood running
from the Falling Soldier heart, with two points of blood exit.

In 1936 the Tabor of Regulares Moroccan soldiers were the best snipers in the world,
shooting the most suitable 7 x 57 mm bullets cartridges for their missions, with the appropriate
load in grains and using the best bolt rifle available then: the 1893 Model Spanish Mauser.

These were then very hardened and disciplined troops featuring a lot of years of real combat
experience, and able to get tremendous levels of accuracy with shots made at great distances
between 400 and 1000 meters impacting on enemy soldiers´ head or heart.

Bigger caliber types of bullets like Magnum, Nitroexpress, etc, are heavy projectiles with great
recoil which would make the accuracy and recharge in a real combat situation much more difficult than with a non Magnum 1893 Model 7 x 57 mm Mauser rifle.

To have a Magnum or nitroexpress caliber doesn´t necessarily mean that the suitable stopping
power will be attained in shots.

For instance, a 338 Winchester Magnum can be enough to kill a polar bear, but its recoil is
very strong: double of the 308 Winchester (7.62 x 51 classic ammo for Spanish Cetme B and
Cetme C), so it´s no match for the 7 x 57 mm Mauser caliber in terms of high accuracy with
long distance shots. The same would apply even more for big bore cartridges like the 458
Winchester Magnum or the 460 Weatherby Magnum, whose recoil is much more unpleasant
and cumbersome or a NitroExpress 700 whose tremendous recoil is difficult to manage for
most shooters.

In order to get the most suitable stopping power, the best possible balance between velocity of
the bullet, its weight and recoil effect is essential.

From a ballistic viewpoint, the two Republicanmilitiamen killed on the wheat covered slope between 9:30 and 10:30 h in the morning that day of September 1936 were the aftermath of the optimization of a very high percentage of the previously quoted factors in the binomium long barrel 1893 Model Mauser bolt rifle + 7 x 57 mm bullet along with the amazing level of accuracy in their long distance shots attained by the Moroccan Tabor of Regulares snipers being able to put the bullets on vital organs under conditions of maximum combat stress, with which they got the necessary force to achieve the desired stopping power without needing Magnum or Nitroexpress caliber bullets for it. They took advantage of a classic bolt rifle with more than 40 years of antiquity at those moments (having proved its mazing efficiency and precision in different conflicts), sporting 2,000 meters of long distance lethal range through its 73,5 cm long barrel, great power, resistance, reliability and huge accuracy, with the added benefit of a revolving bolt which is manually activated by means of a rotation and push movement, enabling both a very quick recharging and a highly short time of bullet striking.

At the same time, their real combat experience enabled these Tabor of Regulares snipers to bear
in mind the wind and the dispersion factor of 30 cm of the 7 x 57 mm Mauser bullets before
opening fire. If they had any supporting base to make the shots, their long distance effectiveness was certainly lethal, which added to the quick recharge allowed by this bolt rifle made them often being able to kill two enemy soldiers in around three seconds.

The photographic aspects regarding the Falling Soldier picture were already explained in
http://elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com/2008/08/robert-capa-in-cerro-muriano-day-in.html

Text inscribed in the Registry of the Intellectual Property of Madrid. Copyright Jose Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA

Texto inscrito en el Registro de la Propiedad Intelectual de Madrid. Copyright Jose Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA