Brave Internationalists

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Now that we're approaching a major anniversary, I thought it would be nice if we paused and reflected for a while on the gallant generation of young Westerners who flocked to a fight not theirs, far away from home, to defend what they held dear against a great evil. Despite a lack of support - even obstruction - from their home countries, these gallant lads (and lasses) have fought and died as martyrs for what they believed in and we should celebrate their dedication to their cause.

Anyway, enough about the jihadis.

The International Brigades, now. Commies, fellow-travellers, confused workers and gay bar-loitering students, headed for Spain like homing pigeons and got their arses comprehensively kicked. Those that made it home somehow turned into heroes over the next 20 years, although quite a number were no friends to Western democracy and absolutely adored Uncle Joe and his naughty little NKVD tinkers.

I'm not drawing too direct a parallel, but a tiny part of me is actually quite impressed with the Brits from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Yemeni and other backgrounds who have left quite promising lives behind them and head off to the jihad. I wonder how many of them are actually a threat to the UK, if their gripe is with other Muslims, either the Shiites, the Saudis, the Syrian government or the Egyptians (depending which flavour of jihadi they are).
 
I wonder how much is ideologically motivated and how much is down to the natural tendency of young men to want to go and test themselves. After all, post 9/11, I saw a constant stream of young men and women join my TA unit to do exactly that during a tour.

Arguably the problem is not that they wish to do such a thing, it's that they don't do it via HMF. That said, from the look of of it their recruiting process and associated G1 is far, far better.
 
I'm going to Barcelona in a few weeks to pay homage to Catalonia.

I think you make a fair point.

As a young man I was highly impressionable and possessed by both a sense of adventure and a calling to go somewhere hot and dangerous.

I went to Sicily with a guitar and a cheap rucksack full of dreams.
 
If they come back and write shite like Laurie lee did O level students in twenty years are going to be bored to death.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
@GIAO I must admit that I thought about the similarities of the Spanish CW and people leaving Britain to fight in Spain.

Different ideologies, but still people following their beliefs/persuasions. The main difference I suppose is the the men returning from Spain were not thought of as the threat to the Nation's security in the same way as the jihads are.

I am sure Special Branch kept an eye on the returning men but I don't recall reading in my history books about them being a security threat.
 
In terms of Jihadimongs.
I think its admiral to fight for a cause they believe in, but I would also admire them even more if they showed true conviction and renounced British citizenship, never to return to these shores again.
 

4(T)

LE
I am sure Special Branch kept an eye on the returning men but I don't recall reading in my history books about them being a security threat.


I think that was because the volunteers for the Republican side came home as fascists, and the ones who volunteered for the Federal side came home as liberal socialists... Most of them were so disillusioned by other peoples' politics and savagery that they became quite loyal mainstream Brits.
 
I'm not drawing too direct a parallel, but a tiny part of me is actually quite impressed with the Brits from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Yemeni and other backgrounds who have left quite promising lives behind them and head off to the jihad. I wonder how many of them are actually a threat to the UK, if their gripe is with other Muslims, either the Shiites, the Saudis, the Syrian government or the Egyptians (depending which flavour of jihadi they are).
I drew the same parallel some time ago in the Syria thread and also noted that they're as divided as the International Brigades were. I said this after some months of conversations with a couple of UK Muslims that I know. They're not particularly militant but have been following the conflict avidly.

I also expressed a hope that they find their Orwell in Syria, someone to tell the world the truth. I doubt that'll happen TBH, Orwell wasn't chancing having his head cut off for telling the truth.
 
I wonder how much is ideologically motivated and how much is down to the natural tendency of young men to want to go and test themselves. After all, post 9/11, I saw a constant stream of young men and women join my TA unit to do exactly that during a tour.

Arguably the problem is not that they wish to do such a thing, it's that they don't do it via HMF. That said, from the look of of it their recruiting process and associated G1 is far, far better.

The threat of getting your head lopped off minimises G1 issues...
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Just as a matter of interest, what support will the jihadists be entitled to on their return? Specifically in respect to medical and pyschiatric services?
There may well be a few returning with PTSD and or physical injuries.
 
I think that was because the volunteers for the Republican side came home as fascists, and the ones who volunteered for the Federal side came home as liberal socialists... Most of them were so disillusioned by other peoples' politics and savagery that they became quite loyal mainstream Brits.

My mothers eldest brother went to Spain and fought for the Republicans.Not because he had particular communist sympathies, but because he could anticipate the rise of the right in Europe and what that would mean.Though he did come back disillusioned by both sides.Went on to the Merchant Navy in WW2.
 
I wonder how much is ideologically motivated and how much is down to the natural tendency of young men to want to go and test themselves.

That's my thinking. The sheer numbers from the south of Ireland that signed up for English military service, following two very bloody periods at home; the latter which would have occurred within their living memory.
 
That's my thinking. The sheer numbers from the south of Ireland that signed up for English military service, following two very bloody periods at home; the latter which would have occurred within their living memory.

Oi! Alec.......we're not separated yet! ;-)
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I wonder how much is ideologically motivated and how much is down to the natural tendency of young men to want to go and test themselves. After all, post 9/11, I saw a constant stream of young men and women join my TA unit to do exactly that during a tour.

Arguably the problem is not that they wish to do such a thing, it's that they don't do it via HMF. That said, from the look of of it their recruiting process and associated G1 is far, far better.
I expect they feel a profound cultural disconnect with the aggressive, tattooed kuffar they assume to constitute the majority of HMF - who, in any case, from the perspective of many, have been seeking out and killing their brothers for many years. Even if they're loyal and patriotic Brits, which I think some might well be, they're not going to be too cool with our predilection in recent years for attacking and occupying Muslim countries.
 
I expect they feel a profound cultural disconnect with the aggressive, tattooed kuffar they assume to constitute the majority of HMF - who, in any case, from the perspective of many, have been seeking out and killing their brothers for many years. Even if they're loyal and patriotic Brits, which I think some might well be, they're not going to be too cool with our predilection in recent years for attacking and occupying Muslim countries.

You are of course quite correct. For all the talk about countering threats at home we, as a country, seem in denial about the fact that often the most subversive information channel is the news as it reports what HMF are doing this week somewhere sandy.
 
I wonder how much is ideologically motivated and how much is down to the natural tendency of young men to want to go and test themselves. After all, post 9/11, I saw a constant stream of young men and women join my TA unit to do exactly that during a tour.

Arguably the problem is not that they wish to do such a thing, it's that they don't do it via HMF. That said, from the look of of it their recruiting process and associated G1 is far, far better.

Just to ensure balance here, it must be said that your previous unit did not have the best of G1 elements.
 
Just to ensure balance here, it must be said that your previous unit did not have the best of G1 elements.

By the time I left I didn't think it was bad at all, any issues I had were with policies imposed from above. Maybe that was because anything would be better than the collection of fools, drunks and jobsworth NRPS that characterised the permanent staff when I joined in the early 90s.
 
After all, post 9/11, I saw a constant stream of young men and women join my TA unit to do exactly that during a tour.
.

Round here there were more who signed up for flying lessons.
 
Just as a matter of interest, what support will the jihadists be entitled to on their return? Specifically in respect to medical and pyschiatric services?
There may well be a few returning with PTSD and or physical injuries.
They will get every benefit and care possible without any question. Fact.
 

Latest Threads

Top