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The Tree of Guernica (L'arbre de Guernica)

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The Tree of Guernica
(L'arbre de Guernica)
LArbre de Guernica Poster.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Country FRA.jpg France
ITA.jpg Italy
Directed by Fernando Arrabal
Release Date 1975
Language French
Studio Babylone Films
Ci-Le Films
Les Productions Jacques Roitfeld
Main Cast
Character Actor
Vandale Mariangela Melato
Goya Ron Faber
Rafael Cosimo Cinieri
Antonio Garcia Rocco Fontana
Onesimo Franco Ressel
Ramiro Mario Novelli
Angel Cirylle Spiga
Count Cerralbo Bento Urago

The Tree of Guernica (L'arbre de Guernica; also released in English as The Guernica Tree) is a 1975 French-Italian arthouse war drama directed by Fernando Arrabal. The plot is set during the Spanish Civil War in a small town of Villa Ramiro near Guernica. The town and its inhabitants are torn by the war: a charismatic young woman Vandale becomes a Communist leader in the town, the local landowner Count Cerralbo and three of his nephews are on the Francoists side while his son Goya, a scandalous artist, joins Anarchists, and the pacifistic teacher Antonio Garcia tries to save children from the devastating effect of war. The film is created in highly surrealistic manner.

The following weapons were used in the film The Tree of Guernica (L'arbre de Guernica):


Smith & Wesson Military & Police style

Several Republicans in Villa Ramiro carry Smith & Wesson Military & Police style revolvers, very likely Spanish clones of the original M&P. Possibly same revolvers are seen in hands of Nationalist officers.

Orbea Revolver 1892 Espagnol - 8 x 27mm M1892. This Spanish-manufactured clone of M&P revolver was widely used by French army during WW1.
An officer in charge of the firing squad holds a revolver. It is seen only partially but what is seen resembles S&W M&P model.
A revolver is seen in hands of one of the Republican commanders.
Officer Onesimo (Franco Ressel), one of the Count Cerralbo's nephews, holds a revolver when the Nationalists troops occupy Villa Ramiro.
Same officer with revolver in hands is seen at the background.
A revolver is seen at the left in hands of an officer when the Nationalists capture Goya.
An officer in charge of a military tribunal draws a revolver, ordering the accused Republicans to shut up.


Beretta Model 70

When the Nationalist troops occupy Villa Ramiro, Colonel Rafael (Cosimo Cinieri), Count Cerralbo's nephew, holds an anchronistic Beretta Model 70.

Beretta Model 70 - .32 ACP
Larbre de Guernica-Beretta70-1.jpg
Rafael holds a Beretta 70 pistol.

Beretta M1915

One of the Nationalist officers holds a pistol with typical Beretta open-top slide. The length of the open part of the slide matches Beretta M1915 rather than later versions.

Beretta M1915 - .32 ACP
The officer in Spanish Army uniform (others are dressed in blue uniform of Falange Espanola) holds a pistol that is supposed to be Beretta 1915.
Another view of the pistol. It is a hammerless gun that also matches M1915.

Submachine Guns

Beretta Model 38A

Beretta Model 38A submachine guns are seen in hands of Nationalist soldiers.

Beretta Model 38A - 9x19mm
A soldier with a Beretta 38A in attack.
The barrel and the forend of the Beretta 38A can be seen at the left.
Larbre de Guernica-Beretta38-4.jpg
The standard bearer carries a Beretta 38A on sling.
Officer Ramiro (Mario Novelli), one of the Count Cerralbo's nephews, holds a Beretta 38A when the Nationalists troops occupy Villa Ramiro.

Thompson M1921 or M1928

A Thompson Submachine Gun of unclear model is seen in hands of a Nationalist soldier. The Thompson is fitted with a foregrip, so M1921 or M1928 seem to be possible guesses.

Colt M1921AC Thompson with 20-round magazine - .45 ACP
A soldier with a Thompson is seen at the left. The SMG has supposedly 30-round stick magazine.
The Thompson is seen at the left.
The foregrip is seen.
The rear sight is seen.
A soldier with Thompson guards the captured Republicans.

Mockup Submachine Gun

During the siege of Villa Ramiro, a Republican airplane, piloted by Goya, appears over the positions of the Falange Espanola troops, and a gunner from the back seat fires a submachine gun, successfully destroying the artillery. This SMG turns out to be acetylene-powered mockup, styled alike Haenel-Schmeisser MP28/II or Bergmann MP35/I. The stock seems to be taken from Beretta Model 38 while the receiver and the barrel shroud are custom.

Larbre de Guernica-SMG-2.jpg
Larbre de Guernica-SMG-3.jpg
The gun lacks any magazine, be it bottom- or side-mounted, but is fitted with a small box under the barrel that is likely the gas ballon.
The stock, resembling Beretta 38, is seen.


Beretta Model 412 Folding Shotgun

The defenders of Villa Ramiro widely use Single Barreled Shotguns. Most if not all of them are Beretta Model 412 (also known as FS-1 and "Companion") folding shotguns, identified by the typical opening lever located forward of the trigger guard. This shotgun was produced from 1929 until 1972 in various calibers, from 36 to 12 Gauge.

Beretta Model 412 Single Barreled Folding Shotgun - 28 gauge
The defenders on the barricade hold several single barreled shotguns and a Double Barreled Shotgun.
More defeners with shotguns and a Mauser rifle.
Republicans brandish shotguns during the demonstration. One of the guns in center seems to have a front sight but in other respects it looks the same as other shotguns.
Vandale (Mariangela Melato) fires a shotgun.
Republicans with shotguns and Mauser rifles.
A close-up of a Beretta 412.
Larbre de Guernica-Shotgun1-8.jpg
A Republican reloads the shotgun.
Vandale aims her shotgun. She erroneously holds the finger not on the trigger but on the opening lever.

Double Barreled Shotgun

Double Barreled Shotguns are also widely used by the Republicans. Most if not all of these shotguns have exposed hammers.

A defender of Villa Ramiro holds a double barreled shotgun.
A young female Republican holds a double barreled shotgun. The bands on the barrels are possibly traces of the artisanal repairs.
One of the Republicans brandishes a double barreled shotgun during the demonstration.
Two double barreled shotguns are seen on the barricade at the left and center.
A Republican in center reloads a double barreled shotgun.
Larbre de Guernica-Shotgun2-8.jpg
A Republican brandishes an open shotgun, greeting the successfull attack of a plane on enemy positions.
A Republican at the left reloads his shotgun.


Spanish Mauser Model 1893

Full-length Spanish Mauser Model 1893 rifles are main weapons of the Nationalists troops. They are also sometimes used by the Republicans.

1893 Spanish Mauser - 7x57mm Mauser
A Republican in steel helmet holds an M1893 full-length rifle.
Another Republican holds an M1893 rifle.
A Nationalist soldier at the right holds an M1893 rifle on shoulder.
A Republican fires an M1893 rifle.
Nationalist soldiers with M1893 rifles in attack.
The barrel of M1893 rifle is seen at the background.
Larbre de Guernica-Mauser1893-9.jpg
Nationalist soldiers break in the town.

Spanish Mauser Model 1943

Both Republicans and Nationalists use anachronistic Spanish Mauser Model 1943 short rifles.

Spanish Mauser M43 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A pair of M1943 short rifles is seen in the Republicans headquarters.
A Republican in center fires an M1943 rifle.
Two Republicans reload their rifles.
An open bolt is seen at the foreground.
Republicans fire M1943 rifles and single barreled shotguns.
Republicans watch the attack of the plane on enemy positions. An M1943 rifle is seen at the left.
A Nationalist artilleryman carries an M1943 rifle.
Nationalist soldiers escort captured Goya. An M1943 rifle is seen at the right.
A soldier with M1943 rifle guards the military court.
A soldier carries an M1943 rifle. More rifles are seen at the table.

Winchester Model 1873

A Winchester Model 1873 lever action rifle is seen in hands of one of the Republican commanders. During the street battle, a midget man holds a Winchester 1873. Supposedly an Uberti replica is used as the movie was filmed in Italy. This rifle may be used as a stand-in for Garate El Tigre that was really used during the Spanish Civil War.

Uberti replica of a Winchester 1873 carbine
Larbre de Guernica-Winchester-1.jpg
A man in white shirt brandishes a Winchester.
The saddle ring can be seen.
The front sight is seen.
Larbre de Guernica-Winchester-5.jpg
A midget holds a Winchester 1873. It's most likely the same prop reused.

Machine Guns


Nationalists use ZB-30 machine guns.

ZB-30 (deactivated) - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A machine gun is seen on the positions of the Falange Espanola troops.
Another view of the same scene.
Two soldiers with machine guns in attack.
A soldier with the machine gun in attack.
Larbre de Guernica-ZB26-6.jpg
A soldier with the machine gun.

Bofors 40mm

Nationalists, attacking Villa Ramiro, deploy two Bofors 40mm autocannons. They are used as field guns and when "firing", doesn't show any recoil.

Bofors 40mm L/60 AA gun in a wheeled trailer mounting - 40x311mmR
The Bofors gun on position.
The Bofors in action.
One more view of the Bofors gun.
A close view of the barrel.

Other Weapons

Cannone da 47/32 M35

An Italian 47 mm Cannone da 47/32 M35 AT gun is seen in the besieged Villa Ramiro. The Nationalists troops also use such cannon (most likely the same prop reused).

Cannone da 47/32 M35 - 47x195 mm R
Women of Villa Ramiro transport the Cannone da 47/32 gun.
Another view of the same scene.
The Cannone da 47/32 of the Falange Espanola troops.
The gun "fires" with small amount of fire and smoke and without any recoil.

Ordnance QF 6-pounder Mk IV

One more gun used by the Nationalists troops against Villa Ramiro is an anachronistic British Ordnance QF 6-pounder AT gun. The gun is Mk IV model with L/50 barrel and muzzle brake.

Ordnance QF 6-pounder - 57x441 mm R
The barrel of the 6-pounder gun.
The 6-pounder gun supports the attack of the Nationalists.


Documentary footage of the Spanish Civil War is incorporated in the film.

Spanish Mauser Model 1893

Spanish Army soldiers march with 1893 Spanish Mauser rifles.
Larbre de Guernica-Chronicle-6.jpg
Spanish Republicans march with M1893 rifles. The rifle of the man in center looks somewhat strange: while generally looking same as other M93 rifles, it seems to have a protruding magazine (or maybe it's not a magazine but a rolled rifle sling).


Unidentified field guns on parade.
105 mm Vickers howitzer is transported on a lorry. These artillery piecies were manufactured in Spain under license.
Larbre de Guernica-Chronicle-8.jpg
105 mm Schneider M1913 field guns. These artillery piecies were used by Republican, Nationalists and Italian troops.


Soviet T-26 tanks. These tanks were supplied to Spanish Republic while in the movie they are used to represent the Nationalists forces.
T-26 tanks.


Larbre de Guernica-Chronicle-10.jpg
Ju 52/3m of Condor Legion bomb Guernica.

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