By D. P. Stephens
A Memoir of the Spanish Civil conflict is one man's bittersweet account of struggling with with the foreign Brigades opposed to the forces of normal Francisco Franco in Spain from 1936 to 1939. Douglas Patrick (Pat) Stephens was once born in Armenia in 1910 and emigrated along with his kin to Canada in 1926. Like numerous others, his dream of discovering a brand new and extra filthy rich lifestyles was once critically shaken through the onset of the good melancholy, and he became to the Communist occasion of Canada in an try to wrestle the political and financial deterioration which had gripped a lot of the area. Franco's try to overthrow by way of army strength the republican executive of Spain looked as if it would Pat Stephens the fitting chance to place his political convictions into motion. via his connections within the Communist get together, he turned considered one of a few 1400 Canadians, and 40,000 overseas Volunteers in all, who went to Spain. a number of the volunteers, together with the Canadians, went to Spain opposed to the legislation and the needs in their governments. lots of them by no means got here again. Stephens' memoir, dictated to his spouse Phyllis Stephens almost immediately earlier than his loss of life in 1987, places a truly human face in this unusual and complicated warfare. it's a portrait of political and ethical conviction tinged by way of creeping disillusionment. it's also a compelling depiction of the power, frailty, doubt, and braveness which may consequence from the occasionally incongruous intersection of the non-public and the political. A Memoir of the Spanish Civil battle is a precious contribution to our realizing of the clash which right away preceded international conflict II, and of Canada's function in that clash.
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Extra resources for A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War: An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion
We could observe from our trenches bits of equipment being blown up out of their trenches. Life carried on as normal as it could be under war conditions. Once an outbreak of dysentery went through our Brigade, and more than half the men were away from the lines. The light cases were being treated at our cookhouse, where Dr. Pike was doing the best he could. The more serious cases were sent to hospitals in the rear. It was strange that the native Spaniards were not affected at all. One day I asked the commander of the Spanish contingent why the Spanish comrades were not affected by this outbreak.
Dry rations were distributed: a loaf of bread, a can of bully beef, two cans of sardines, cheese, oranges, and a pack of cigarettes. The convoy left for the front. We did not know which front we were going to, but we assumed it would be around Madrid. Around noon we arrived at a town where I bought some sausages and wine. We were told that we were going to the famous Jarama Front, where the International Brigades, along with Spanish forces, had held the rebels at the Arganda Bridge and saved the highway link from Valencia to Madrid.
I really think he was scared of being at the front; he was always applying for a transfer to the rear as a truck driver, which was always denied. One night when he was on guard at one of the machine guns, he let loose a steady barrage of machine gun fire. It takes only one machine gun to start firing and the whole front comes to life with machine guns and grenades. This lasts for about fifteen minutes to half an hour, and when no attack materializes, it subsides and the front becomes quiet again.
A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War: An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion by D. P. Stephens