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If you read no other book about the Spanish Civil War you must read this one. Not only does it detail the military actions and battles these brave, idealistic men (and women) fought and died in, it gives a clear picture of the command structure, the politics, personalities, warts and all, of the British Battllion set-up. As important, if not more important, the book explains who these volunteers were, where they came from, what they did, why they went, what their political afiliations were and how they got there. Written in a very reader friendly way, not at all dry, the book gives us the facts and lets us draw our own conclusions, it favours no particular group. I do not know the author or what motivated him to write this classic, almost definative account, of British participation in this prelude to WW2, but I congratulate him on his evenly balanced account. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, the best factual, historical book I have read for years.
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on 31 August 2012
This is a good, very well researched book which reads like the academic thesis which it originally was. Very strong on the background of the volunteers and educational in that I had not realised the key role Russia and the Communist party played in getting most of the members of the International Brigade to Spain. A fitting tribute to the mostly untrained British working class amateurs who showed great courage when faced by the superior numbers of the professional, much better equipped, very well trained and extremely tough members of the largely Moroccan recruited "Army of Africa" which Franco brought to Spain with help from the German airforce.
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on 31 October 2012
This book is an academic work so is a little 'dry' at times. I enjoyed reading it. What I found fascinating was the glimpse into a world view that was held by my countrymen only one or two generations ago. Who now would fight in a foreign civil war motivated by a political ideology? This was the Orwell generation, and the Philby generation. Idealists or dupes for tinpot tyrants? Perhaps a little of both.

The past truly is a foreign country.
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on 25 May 2010
A good book and it told the story well, gave me a mind of information that I was researching, mentioned the key players, the course of the battles and how hard up they were, and the communist part split.

On the downside the last chapter turned into a third year dissatation and it never mentioned my grandad!
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on 28 November 2013
I would not have accpeted this for a Phd thesis in my younger days as an academic however as a book for
cross referencing it is useful
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