International Brigades


International Brigades

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“The Internationals—United with the Spaniards We Fight the Invader,” poster by …—Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, Brandeis University Library

Groups of foreign volunteers who fought on the Republican side against the Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). So-called because their members initially came from some 50 countries, the International Brigades were recruited, organized, and directed by the Comintern, with headquarters in Paris. The U.S. contingent called itself the Abraham Lincoln Batallion. Many of the mostly young recruits were communists before they became involved in the conflict; more joined the party during the course of the war. The total number of volunteers reached about 60,000. The brigades were formally withdrawn from Spain late in 1938.

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