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The ‘premature anti-fascists’? International Brigade veterans’ participation in the British War Effort, 1939–45

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number096834451877831
JournalWar in history
Early online date1 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2018


After fighting in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War of 1936–9, hundreds of Britons returned home to an uncertain future. While the anti-fascist left saw them as heroes, their Communist Party links met with official suspicion, complicated further by the advent of war in September 1939. Popular and scholarly narratives alike have concurred that International Brigade veterans were barred en masse from the armed forces, despite their experience and demonstrable hatred for fascism. This article complicates these narratives, exploring the extent and causes of discrimination, and placing these within the context of wartime anti-communist policy.

    Research areas

  • Britain, Communist Party, International Brigades, Second World War, security service, Spanish Civil War

ID: 115074159