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Scots and the Spanish Civil WarSolidarity, Activism and Humanitarianism$
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Fraser Raeburn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474459471

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474459471.001.0001

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The Volunteers

The Volunteers

(p.34) 2 The Volunteers
Scots and the Spanish Civil War

Fraser Raeburn

Edinburgh University Press

Of the many ways that Scots responded to the war in Spain, those who joined the International Brigades have always been at the centre of historical and popular memory. This chapter seeks to establish exactly who these volunteers were and what connections they shared before coming to Spain, offering detailed new evidence and analysis regarding their collective identities. Instead of viewing them as a relatively small, disparate collection of individuals, it is shown that the Scottish volunteers were heavily clustered along the lines of geography, class and political affiliations. Rather than understanding these volunteers as the representatives of Scotland, or even the Scottish left, it is argued that they are best understood as a more concentrated mobilisation of quite narrow socio-political sphere, defined by formal and informal links to the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Keywords:   International Brigades, Communist Party of Great Britain, Communism, Scotland, Foreign fighters, War volunteering

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