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Franco's International Brigades:Foreign Volunteers and Fascist Dictators in the Spanish Civil War: Foreign Volunteers and Fascist Dictators in the Spanish Cival War Paperback – 4 Dec 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Reportage Press (4 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955830265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955830266
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Othen studied Linguistics, Literature and Law and has worked as a journalist, musician, and legal representative for asylum seekers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Willie Bogaerts on 29 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
For some reason I feel the author would have preferred Franco's Mercenaries as a title for his book. If you expect an unbiased account you're in for an unpleasant surprise.

Of a British volunteer it is mockingly said that his only battlefield experience was charging an army of 'enemy' cows by mistake.
And then there's a two and a half page chapter listing all the fighting he did, complete with week- long sieges, the numerous wound he sustained and living in conditions that would appall a WWI trench veteran.

Still, a good entertaining book to read, but caveat emptor certainly applies here.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Cowell on 1 May 2014
Format: Paperback
What I require of any history book is to be able to have confidence that the facts and events described are accurate.
Regrettably, my confidence in Mr Othen’s work has been undermined by a number of errors, some more egregious than others.
Abyssinia (Ethiopia) is not in north-west Africa (page 43). There is no Franco-Portuguese border (page 81). Valencia is not a western coastal town (page 134). These are matters of elementary geography.
The reference to “Her Majesty’s government” (page 94) overlooks the fact that throughout the period of the Spanish Civil War the reigning British monarchs were kings.
A misleading impression is given (page 106) that only the Republican International Brigades stood between the Francoist Army of Africa and the capture of Madrid in November 1936. The XI Brigade did not arrive in Madrid until the 9th November. It numbered about 1,900 men. That amounted to only about 5% of the defending forces. As Professor Hugh Thomas puts it in his The Spanish Civil War, “the militia and workers had checked Varela on 7 November, before the arrival of the Brigade. The victory was that of the populace of Madrid”.
None of the accounts I have read suggest that the Nationalist air force (the Brigada Aerea Hispana) took any part in the bombing of Guernica (page 139). That was entirely the handiwork of the German Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria, albeit with the approval of Generals Mola, Vigon et al.
The anodyne statement that (Andres) “Nin died in a prison camp near Madrid” (page 139) is well wide of the mark. Nin had been taken to a house in Alcala de Henares. He was the captive of Alexander Orlov of the Soviet NKVD and his minions. Nin was subsequently murdered by those holding him.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SJ SMART on 13 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book. I have studied and read about the Spanish Civil war since I was at University and have been fascinated by the thousands of volunteers who went to fight for the Republic in the International Brigades, people like George Orwell, Laurie Lee, WH Auden and of course Ernest Hemingway.

But as the author points out there has been little work on the volunteers who fought for Franco and the fascist side besides some good books on the German Condor Legion. This book fills that gap with a detailed study on all the main volunteers and units who came from all over; Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, Romania, Ireland, White Russians, English and so on.

The number of volunteer was no way near as much as those who fought for the Republic which was something like 35,000 in the International Brigades alone, but still its an interesting study.

My only problem was I felt their was a slight bias in the writing against the Republican side because it was allied with the Soviet Union and Stalin. I got this from the Introduction which mentions a recent incident of a planned memorial in the USA to the American volunteers who fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade which was cancelled because of criticism that it was a memorial to men who fought with the Soviets or some such nonsense. I believe that most men and women that went to Spain were fighting for democracy, freedom, independence, socialism against dictatorship and fascism. Stalin was not part of the thought process, (who was a brutal bloody dictator of course) so to mention this at length and other things gave the impression to me of a right wing, anti Republic bias. But read it yourself and see what you think.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By pancho on 31 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
this book gives a more balanced opinion of what really caused the war and no doubt terrible crimes were carried out by both sides.Franco`s victory certainly helped to contain the advance of communist power which so worried the western democracies o ver the next few decades.my interest came after reading a novel about the conflict,i thought the story was very biased and was keen to see the picture from the more balanced view.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Lewis on 5 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book & essential for anyone interested in or studying the Spanish Civil War. I would also recommend it to readers looking for an exciting, readable story of people who risked their lives to fight on the side of Franco. Their story is not well known & this book brings their exploits to life as well as giving an overview of the political situation as that time & an insight into the war.
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