I have been reading the Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor. One of the arguments the author makes is that the first 48 hours of the July 17th military uprising was the most vital period in which a strong government response could have crushed the nationalist rebellion. However, despite knowledge of the uprising the government Quiroga seemed completely unwilling to take the necessary action of arming the workers. In a message released the next day from Madrid notes the lack of urgency felt by the Republican government, "The government states that the movement is confined to certain areas in the Protectorate [Morocco] and that no one, absolutely no one, on the mainland has joined this absurd venture".[Beevor, 2006]
Despite this, there appears to have been numerous Republican generals and members of the CNT and UGT trade unions who warned the government to the intentions of the nationalists plotters of Sanjurjo, Mola, and Franco. It seems implausible that the government of Spain could be so blind to what was going on in Morocco. Granted I doubt that the more moderate socialists and liberals in the Republican government wanted to arm the workers and there seems to have been attempts to negotiate peace, but there seems to be more at play here. Why didn't the Republican government attempt some sort of possible military response to the right wing rebellion?