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.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
Not at all - and thank you so much for taking the time.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.
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.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.
Take it local wenches of foxbar are worshipping the sunCurrently 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.
Christmas 1953 I was given the Dinky Toy Miya - Mayo combination, we were stationed in Germany at the time.I have just finished this book - I ploughed through it in two nights and it was utterly brilliant.
The authors (AVM D.C.T. Bennett) views on politics are a little bit out of touch but very interesting.
His story is he landed in the RAF after then RAAF didn’t have the money to employ them after training them. He became a highly skilled pilot with expert level skills in navigation, first in fighters then in Seaplanes.
He left the service and joined imperial, regularly flying the Short Mayo composite (which possibly belongs in a number of threads) and although not named in wiki he was the pilot when “After modifications to extend Mercury's range, it established a record flight for a seaplane of 6,045 miles (9,728 km) from Dundee in Scotland to Alexander Bay, in South Africa between 6 and 8 October 1938.” Yeah, he flew that thing for 3 days from Scotland to Safferland. WTAF!
When war broke he rejoined the RAF at the rank of Wing Commander and was instrumental in setting up the Pathfinder Sqns - making much use of his navigational abilities.
The book is totally readable, it is like a boys own adventure in parts and mentions a number of things that were new to me - for example he talks about how they used pipelines of fuel alongside the runway, that were ignited on foggy nights in order to enable aircraft to land. I had only heard of this in the semi-autobiographical book ‘Glidepath’ by Arthur C Clarke and thought it was never actually used in real life.
If you can get a copy snap it up - I am not parting with my copy as it will be re-read.
The book View attachment 591550
Short Mayo composite
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Still trying to finish Thomas Kineally’s two books on Australia and her history. Was bought them by an ex way back (maybe 10-12 years back) and, while they are fascinating, it’s too much of a slog for casual reading.
So I’ve binned them off again and am reading ‘Battlecruiser’ by Douglas Reeman for the thousandth time.