By D. P. Stephens
A Memoir of the Spanish Civil conflict is one man's bittersweet account of struggling with with the overseas Brigades opposed to the forces of common Francisco Franco in Spain from 1936 to 1939. Douglas Patrick (Pat) Stephens used to be born in Armenia in 1910 and emigrated together with his relatives 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 nice melancholy, and he became to the Communist celebration of Canada in an try to strive against the political and financial deterioration which had gripped a lot of the realm. Franco's try and overthrow by means of army strength the republican executive of Spain looked as if it would Pat Stephens the proper chance to place his political convictions into motion. via his connections within the Communist celebration, he grew to become one among a few 1400 Canadians, and 40,000 foreign Volunteers in all, who went to Spain. the various volunteers, together with the Canadians, went to Spain opposed to the legislation and the needs in their governments. a lot of them by no means got here again. Stephens' memoir, dictated to his spouse Phyllis Stephens presently prior to his loss of life in 1987, places a really human face in this unusual and complicated struggle. it's a portrait of political and ethical conviction tinged via creeping disillusionment. it's also a compelling depiction of the power, frailty, doubt, and braveness that may consequence from the occasionally incongruous intersection of the non-public and the political. A Memoir of the Spanish Civil battle is a useful contribution to our realizing of the clash which right away preceded global conflict II, and of Canada's function in that clash.
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Extra info for A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War: An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion
On the second night after our arrival in Albacete we got our first taste of war. Six Italian bombers flew over the city. Itwas a beautiful moonlit night, and the enemy planes had the sky all to themselves. Not even a machine gun or a rifle was fired against them. They came in low and tried to hit the barracks, but the bombs fell short. They were over the city for about thirty minutes, but caused minimal damage. P. (Pat) Stephens squares and parks. Some residences, however, were hit and after the raid we went out in the city to help the people.
This was to be our position for the night. We arranged our ground sheets and blankets under olive trees on the slope of a hill. Below us in the valley, we could see our artillery guns firing away at the enemy. In a while a group of Divisional Staff Officers arrived to inspect us. One tall officer came to me and told me to go to the kitchen and draw some coffee for my men. I don't know why he picked on me; I suppose he thought I was in charge. In a way, I acted as if I was in charge, posting guards here and there on the hillside.
While there we saw General Miaja, the defender of Madrid, come in to have his supper with his entire entourage. Even in these times of distress, the old goat liked the atmosphere here, and liked to be seen and admired by friend and foe alike. Such is life. Later that night we took in a movie, and as we were coming out of the theatre, the enemy started shelling Madrid again. 51 Memoir of the Spanish Civil War Their artillery fire came from the Carabanchel Front, just outside Madrid. People started running for cover, but the shells were not close to us.
A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War: An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion by D. P. Stephens