Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism


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Unlikely Warriors serves as a useful addition to this literature.

Battleground for Idealists - The Spanish Civil War (3 of 6)

Drawing on the extensive body of published accounts and oral histories as well the correspondence of fighters and other contemporary material located in the major archival collections in Britain, Russia and elsewhere, Unlikely Warriors develops a very readable and engaging narrative of the experiences of those who fought in Spain. Unlikely Warriors goes further than most earlier accounts in also devoting a chapter to the British volunteers who, like Peter Kemp, fought for Franco and who emerges very well in terms of his apparent human decency.

Indeed, it is striking how similar in many respects were the experiences of the British fighting on both sides; they were poorly trained and badly paid though the International Brigaders were, perhaps surprisingly, better remunerated on the whole than their Nationalist counterparts.


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Significantly, the majority on both sides fought for a cause they believed in, at least for a time. This is achieved effectively with considerable and often lengthy quotations from participants. While Unlikely Warriors succeeds very well in allowing participants to convey their stories in their own words, it is a little underdeveloped in some other respects.

First, there is the overall balance of the book. There seems a reluctance to engage with some key historiographical debates.

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For example, Chapter 3 does not explore debates around the nature and impact of the Spanish aid campaigns in Britain. The role of the Irish in Spain is also accorded a mixed treatment. Indeed, in terms of the figures, Baxell mentions the recently released MI5 lists of over Britons who visited Spain during this period and, though pointing out that many recorded in this list were journalists or others p.

In the main treatment on Spain, too, the historiographical debates are at times undeveloped. Finally, there are methodological questions. In allowing the participants to speak in their own words, Baxell draws on various types of source. Finally, there are numerous oral histories, either in processed, published or raw, unpublished forms. Katyn Eugenia Maresch. The Greatest Day in History. Nicholas Best. Defending the Rock.

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UNLIKELY WARRIORS: THE BRITISH IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM

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Geoffrey Powell. Britain and the Origins of the First World War. Zara S. Finally, Richard Baxell himself published an earlier work on the British battalion of the International Brigade, based on his Ph. Unlikely Warriors serves as a useful addition to this literature. Drawing on the extensive body of published accounts and oral histories as well the correspondence of fighters and other contemporary material located in the major archival collections in Britain, Russia and elsewhere, Unlikely Warriors develops a very readable and engaging narrative of the experiences of those who fought in Spain.

Unlikely Warriors goes further than most earlier accounts in also devoting a chapter to the British volunteers who, like Peter Kemp, fought for Franco and who emerges very well in terms of his apparent human decency. Indeed, it is striking how similar in many respects were the experiences of the British fighting on both sides; they were poorly trained and badly paid though the International Brigaders were, perhaps surprisingly, better remunerated on the whole than their Nationalist counterparts. Significantly, the majority on both sides fought for a cause they believed in, at least for a time.

This is achieved effectively with considerable and often lengthy quotations from participants. While Unlikely Warriors succeeds very well in allowing participants to convey their stories in their own words, it is a little underdeveloped in some other respects. First, there is the overall balance of the book. There seems a reluctance to engage with some key historiographical debates.

For example, Chapter 3 does not explore debates around the nature and impact of the Spanish aid campaigns in Britain. The role of the Irish in Spain is also accorded a mixed treatment. Indeed, in terms of the figures, Baxell mentions the recently released MI5 lists of over Britons who visited Spain during this period and, though pointing out that many recorded in this list were journalists or others p. In the main treatment on Spain, too, the historiographical debates are at times undeveloped.

Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism
Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle Against Fascism

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