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Franco's International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War (Columbia/Hurst)
In July 1936, General Francisco Franco and a group of officers attempted to overthrow the Spanish government. During the civil war that followed, a number of foreign fighters helped Franco win control of the country. Men from Portugal and Morocco signed on for money and adventure. Irish general Eoin O'Duffy organized seven hundred of his fellow countrymen...
In July 1936, General Francisco Franco and a group of officers attempted to overthrow the Spanish government. During the civil war that followed, a number of foreign fighters helped Franco win control of the country. Men from Portugal and Morocco signed on for money and adventure. Irish general Eoin O'Duffy organized seven hundred of his fellow countrymen into a modern crusade. Five hundred Catholic Frenchmen fought in the "Jeanne D'Arc" unit, and thirty British volunteers -- including members of the aristocracy, working-class fascists, and a future friend of Errol Flynn -- enthusiastically engaged. A group of Romanian extremists died at Majadahonda, and a lone Indian joined the fascist militia. Additional fighters hailed from Russia, America, Finland, Belgium, Greece, and Cuba. Goose-stepping beside them were fascist conscripts from Germany and Italy, training for the next world war. This rare history reveals the essential roles played by these foreigners, whether unknown individuals like British pilot Cecil Bebb or infamous figures like the German dictator Adolf Hitler, who were essential to Franco's victory. Without Bebb -- who flew Franco from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco in 1936, a journey that precipitated the onset of the Spanish Civil War -- the conflict would never have started; and without Hitler, Franco would never have won.
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