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Winnet

War Hero
I have really enjoyed reading this .

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Dwarf

LE
If you read 'Homage to Catalonia' - he ALWAYS despised what he called :

' the vegetarian,teetotaller,Creeping Jesus kind of Socialist who practised yoga '

- but unlike most of his contemporaries he also asserted that there was a need for patriotism and the military virtues

' for which, however little the boiled rabbits of the Left may like them, no substitute has yet been found.'


It would be insightful to hear @Dwarf 's view of the legacy the Spanish Civil War left in his adopted homeland of Catalunya.

I'd love to do a Civil War battlefield tour in Spain - but I doubt any Spanish government wants those to happen.

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And Orwell not only said ' Visca Catalunya!' - he wrote it on a Barcelona wall in four foot high letters:)
I'll try to address that and keep it brief. The first thing that you have to bear in mind was that the Spanish Civil War was not really an anomaly but the old traditional Spain that reared its head when democracy and Socialists were at the helm. Franco was simply a traditionalist who re-asserted what he saw as the normal state of affairs in Spain. So in a sense it's not so much a legacy more of a continuity of History and historical issues.

Have things changed? Well to younger kids the CW doesn't mean much, but to their parents generation there were still a lot of stories that applied to most families. Grandad or dad had been thrown in prison for being a 'Red', and according to one I talked to, you never knew if they were going to haul you out of prison and stick you against the wall for no apparent reason. Pretty much everyone knew of somebody who had died or suffered. The post war generation still talk about the privations they had, one man told me that his dad was shot for being Guardia Civil and his mum had half a dozen kids who only survived on what they brought in that day.
The stories are there but for the Macdonald's generation they have little resonance in the sense of understanding what it meant and especially as the stories increasingly become second hand. My paternal grandfather was Catalan and my dad was born here to an English mother. Both had to leave when Franco's troops came in, and Grandad spent some time in the mountains with a rifle before rejoining the family in Surrey. When I explained all this to my daughter it resonated but it didn't really affect her except to reinforce her sense of being Catalan rather than Spanish, just like other events in the history books.

Over the years people thought that things had indeed changed, that illusion was shattered over the treatment of Catalunya and the independence referendum. The disappointment of seeing people waving the Police off with cries of 'Go get them' just showed that things are still the same with the Catalans regarded as something bad to be corrected. On the day of the police charges I saw old folks with tears in their eyes to see the old reactionary Spain rather than the new democratic Spain which they believed had come about. The legacy continues.

In Spain recently they have moved Franco's tomb from the Valley of the Fallen, the monument built by Republican prisoners of war, but dedicated to the Fallen of the Nationaist side only. There was an outcry about that both in political parties as well as socially and in some of the MSM.
The Falange still exists and Franco is hailed as a hero. Street names and monuments that are slowly being changed or taken down still find their supporters. The idea is to heal wounds, in reality it tends to re-open them, for if you please one side the other gets offended.
Vox is a political party that is essentially Catholic/Fascist and gets a lot of support colouring the political scene as the Right wing parties can't cede ground here and have to be harder than Vox to retain support. This translates into an anti-Catalan stance to retain support so Spain won't be broken.
Legacy? - Continuity.


Is there stuff for a tour? Spain is not a country that generally preserves things that don't exalt the standard narrative. Many battle sites have been built over, there isn't much of the ideas of battlefield tours here as people tend not to want to discusss the subject.
As far as I know you can find some bunkers in Aragon where Orwell actually fought but there isn't much more. Just about 4.km to the north of where I live there is an old CW airdrome which ferried planes in from over the border. It's now farming land with a couple of anti-air bunkers preserved as curiosities in people's gardens. Not that much to see and that tends to be the run of things. There is a MG post on the Ebro that I know of, good command of the river but a bloody death trap once they zeroed in on you, full of cans and dog ends. Sums it up.

Hope that wasn't too boring.
 
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Dwarf

LE
Then:

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Dwarf

LE
Today:
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Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
I'll try to address that and keep it brief. <Snip first-hand reportage,exactly what I was hoping for>

Hope that wasn't too boring.
Not at all - and thank you so much for taking the time.

I read Laurie Lee's account of his time in Spain during the Civil War many years ago, on the back of 'Cider With Rosie' - see if I can locate a copy.

New York Times Review

It is hardly demeaning to say that when he left home at 19, Mr. Lee was an ignorant boy, a sophisticate only in the customs of rural living. But his ignorance made him adaptable, and it cushioned his sensitivity. When he returned to Spain in 1937 to join the Loyalists (his earlier trip had ended with his being plucked from the southern coast by a British destroyer at the outbreak of the civil war), Mr. Lee was arrested as a spy and imprisoned for two weeks in what was little more than a grave with an iron lid. Still, he writes, "my situation didn't disturb me too much . . . I was at that flush of youth which never doubts self-survival, that idiot belief in luck and a uniquely charmed life, without which illusion few wars would be possible."

Certainly, illusion was the substance on which the Spanish Civil War fed. After being released from the grave (he was twice again imprisoned before leaving Spain), Mr. Lee found himself among a ragged company of volunteers -- Russians, Frenchmen, Czechs, Americans -- who drilled with wooden sticks and assaulted simulated machine guns (men beating rhythmically on oil drums). For anti-tank practice they hurled bottles at a pram. All this while Hitler was arming Franco.


[ and Stalin was ordering attacks on Republican non-Communist factions ]

The effect of military discipline is to suppress individuality, but in the preposterously unmilitary International Brigade, the collection of volunteers who flooded into Spain to fight in the Republican cause, individuality was never suppressed.

"They were (as I was) part of the skimmed-milk of the mid-1930's.
You could pick out the British by their nervous jerking heads, native air of suspicion, and constant stream of self-effacing jokes.
These, again, could be divided up into the ex-convicts, the alcoholics, the wizened miners, dockers, noisy politicos and dreamy undergraduates busy scribbling manifestos and notes to their boyfriends


Based on comments here, I will also look out a Library copy of the Anthony Beevor book, written in 2006.
 

Dwarf

LE
Not at all - and thank you so much for taking the time.

I read Laurie Lee's account of his time in Spain during the Civil War many years ago, on the back of 'Cider With Rosie' - see if I can locate a copy.

New York Times Review

It is hardly demeaning to say that when he left home at 19, Mr. Lee was an ignorant boy, a sophisticate only in the customs of rural living. But his ignorance made him adaptable, and it cushioned his sensitivity. When he returned to Spain in 1937 to join the Loyalists (his earlier trip had ended with his being plucked from the southern coast by a British destroyer at the outbreak of the civil war), Mr. Lee was arrested as a spy and imprisoned for two weeks in what was little more than a grave with an iron lid. Still, he writes, "my situation didn't disturb me too much . . . I was at that flush of youth which never doubts self-survival, that idiot belief in luck and a uniquely charmed life, without which illusion few wars would be possible."

Certainly, illusion was the substance on which the Spanish Civil War fed. After being released from the grave (he was twice again imprisoned before leaving Spain), Mr. Lee found himself among a ragged company of volunteers -- Russians, Frenchmen, Czechs, Americans -- who drilled with wooden sticks and assaulted simulated machine guns (men beating rhythmically on oil drums). For anti-tank practice they hurled bottles at a pram. All this while Hitler was arming Franco.


[ and Stalin was ordering attacks on Republican non-Communist factions ]

The effect of military discipline is to suppress individuality, but in the preposterously unmilitary International Brigade, the collection of volunteers who flooded into Spain to fight in the Republican cause, individuality was never suppressed.

"They were (as I was) part of the skimmed-milk of the mid-1930's.
You could pick out the British by their nervous jerking heads, native air of suspicion, and constant stream of self-effacing jokes.
These, again, could be divided up into the ex-convicts, the alcoholics, the wizened miners, dockers, noisy politicos and dreamy undergraduates busy scribbling manifestos and notes to their boyfriends


Based on comments here, I will also look out a Library copy of the Anthony Beevor book, written in 2006.
Beevor I find is generally much better than the Spanish historians on the CW as he doesn't take sides as such. With no axe to grind he looks at what there is and judges on merit. Definitely worth reading.
BTW he has written more than one book on the subject. Check them out.
 

TamH70

MIA
Currently working my way through the first book in Saskia Walker's "Taskill Witches Trilogy", "The Harlot". It's a "Mills and Boon Spice" joint, which means that the bodices don't just get ripped, oh no. What happens next is fully described. In great detail.
 
Currently working my way through the first book in Saskia Walker's "Taskill Witches Trilogy", "The Harlot". It's a "Mills and Boon Spice" joint, which means that the bodices don't just get ripped, oh no. What happens next is fully described. In great detail.
Take it local wenches of foxbar are worshipping the sun
 

TamH70

MIA
Take it local wenches of foxbar are worshipping the sun

Mibbies. I'm

A/ quite far from Foxbar.

B/ a sun dodger of the old school, i.e. not a submariner. Just Scots.
 
B/ a sun dodger of the old school, i.e. not a submariner. Just Scots.
Scots don't dodge the sun, the sun dodges Scotland.
 

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