Sources for the Spanish Civil War

An annotated bibliography for the Spanish Civil War.

I can point you to …

Web Sites

Military Units / Military History

Abraham Lincoln Battalion

AFVs in the Spanish Civil War

Aircraft that took part in the Spanish Civil War

Guardia Civil

La Cucaracha – quite impressive array of photos

Regulares de Melilla

The Spanish Foreign Legion

Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

Spanish Helmets of the Police and Military



Franco’s Irish volunteers. (GeneralEoin O’Duffy’s fascist blueshirts)

Quiet Fronts In The Spanish Civil War.


Anarchist View of the Revolution

Anarchism in Action

Ireland and the Spanish Civil War


Abanderado magazine – subscription form

Arriba España Fast Play Rules

Mark Hannam’s outstanding site on the Spanish Civil War (which seems to have disappeared)

Kelinor on ASL for the Spanish Civil War

More on ASL for the Spanish Civil War

Mexicanski – AK47 Variant for the Spanish Civil War

Square Bashing SCW Variant

Spanish Civil War Campaign


Palmer, R. (Director). (2005). Defenders Of The Faith – The Spanish Civil War In Colour (DVD).

Synopsis: Claimed to be the first picture of ‘actual warfare ever to be made in natural colour’, Defenders Of The Faith was made by American Russell Palmer, a committed Nationalist and shot entirely in colour making it possibly unique amongst all film records of the Spanish Civil War. From extraordinary air-to-air action footage of the Nationalist ‘Flying Turkeys’ squadron strafing enemy trenches and tanks, to rare film of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moor Units, and from coverage of the assault on Castellon to Nationalist armoured cars and tanks at the Front, this truly extraordinary film reveals the war as it has never been seen before.

One of the extras is:

The Spanish Earth is Ernest Hemingway’s own, powerful and evocative account of the siege of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. The film looks at the devastating effect of the siege on Madrid’s population, its fine architecture and magnificent palaces, and examines the fight to save the city, with genuine combat footage and a look at a raging tank battle to prevent the rebels from cutting Madrid’s supply lines. Beautifully filmed and with extensive use of original Spanish folk music, no other documentary comes close to capturing the fierce spirit of those turbulent times.


Beevor, A. (1982). The Spanish Civil War. Cassell & Co.

Good. A general history like the Hugh Thomas’ (1986) book but slightly thinner yet with slightly more military detail.

Bradley, K. (1994). International Brigades in Spain 1936-39. Osprey.


Bueno, J. M. (1971). Uniformes Militares en color de la Guerra Civil Española. Madrid: Libreria Editorial San Martin.

Spanish language book on the uniforms of the war. Very good. Apparently there is an English language version, but I haven’t seen it.

Cockburn, C. (1986). Cockburn in Spain: Despatches from the Spanish Civil War [J. Pettifer Ed.]. London: Lawrence and Wishart.

Too biased for my liking = very pro-communist. The man might have done a good job as a Journalist at the time, but the book makes pretty poor history.

Cordery, B. (1993). La Ultima Cruzada: A Wargamers guide to the Spanish Civil War (2nd ed.). Partizan Press.

Very good. Lots of interesting facts for a detail nutter like me. Includes a brief painting guide.

Del Vayo, A. J. (1940). Freedom’s Battle. William Heinemann.

Del Vayo was a Republican politician who wrote just after the war.

Henry, C. (1999). The Ebro 1938: Death Knell of the Republic. Osprey Campaign Series 60.

Hills, George. (1976). The Battle For Madrid. London.

Kurzman, Dan. (1980). Miracle of November: Madrid’s Epic Stand 1936. New York: Putnam.

Martínez Bande, J. M. (1966). Communist intervention in the Spanish war. Spanish Information Service: historical documents, no. 4.

Martínez Bande is/was a Colonel in the Francoist army, and this tends to influence his writing. In this particular booklet Martínez Bande is writing the Francoist Government’s official history of communist intervention during the civil war. As you would expect the book is biased, for example over emphasising the non-European elements of the International Brigades, and the impact of the International Brigades in the defence of Madrid in 1936. None the less I am happy to use most of the dates mentioned by Martínez Bande.

Martinez Bande, Jose Manuel (1968). La marcha sobre Madrid. Madrid.

Preston, P. (1995). Franco: A biography. London: Fontana (first published 1993).

Good biographical information, but depressingly sparse regarding military details. Too often refers to a conflict, without offering specifics.

Romilly, E. (1937). Boadilla: A Personal Record of the English Group of the Thaelman Battalion of the International Brigade in Spain. London.

Scurr, J. (1985). The Spanish Foreign Legion. Osprey.


Thomas, F. (1998). Brother against Brother: Experiences of a British Volunteer in the Spanish Civil War (R. Stradling, Ed.). Sutton.

Both Frank Thomas and Robert Stradling offer useful insights into the war. For Thomas this is a view from the trenches, whereas Stradling offers a historians perspective, and in the process corrects some of Thomas’ mistakes. I found Thomas’ account of the approach to Madrid in 1936 and the fighting in the University City particularly interesting.

Thomas, H. (1986). The Spanish Civil War. Simon & Schuster.

A comprehensive study of the war, but over fulsome from a wargamers perspective.

Toynbee, P. (ed.) (1976). The Distant Drum: Reflections on the Spanish Civil War. London.

It is exactly that: reflections in the 1970s by various foreigners who were in Spain during the Civil War. Lacks meat, hence not a favourite.

Turnball, P. (1978). The Spanish Civil War 1936-39. Osprey.


Willoughby, C. A. (1992). The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939: An American military perspective [P. Condray Ed.]. Editions Brokaw.

Wilson, J. (1989). Tanks & Trucks of the Spanish Civil War. Partizan Press.

Other sources I know about but haven’t seen

I thought I’d mention some books that I haven’t seen but which I know are out there.

Books I’m keen to get hold of …

Coverdale, J. (1975). Italian Intervention in the Spanish Civil War. Princeton, NJ.

Colodny, R. (1958). The Struggle for Madrid: The Central Epic of the Spanish Conflict 1936-37. New York.

Johnson, Verle. (1967). Legions of Babel: The International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. London.

Kemp, P. (??). Mine were of Trouble.

Wyden, Peter. (1983). The Passionate War: The Narrative History of the Spanish Civil War. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Books I’ll pick up as I go along …

?? (1948). Reason in Revolt. London.

??. (??). Legion Condor: Uniforms, Organization and History.

Abrahams and Stansky (1966). Journey to the Frontier.

Albert, F.C. (??). Carros de Combate y Vehiculos Blindados de la Guerra 1936-1939

Alexander, Bill (1986). British Volunteers for Liberty. London.

Alpert, M. (1994). A New International History of the Spanish Civil War. London.

Aznar, Manuel. (1969). Historica Militar de la Guerra de Espagna (3 vols). Madrid.

Bessie, Alvah (1960). Men in Battle. New York. [Originally printed 1939].

Blinkhorn, M. (1975). Carlism and the Crisis in Spain, 1936-1939. Cambridge.

Bueno Carrera, Jose Maria. (1997). Uniformes Militares de la Guerra Civil Espanola. Madrid.

Bueno, J. M. (??). Military Uniforms of the Spanish Civil War.

Carr, R. (ed.) (1971) The Republic and the Civil War in Spain. London.

Carroll, Peter N. (1994). The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Stanford.

Cook, Judith (1979). Apprentices of Freedom. London

Cortada, James W. (??). Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Civil War 1936-39.

der Szurek (1989). The Shattered Dream. New York

Duke of Lerma. (??). Combat over Spain: Memoirs of a Nationalist fighter pilot 1936.

Eby, Cecil (1969). Between The Bullet and the Lie. New York.

Galey, . (). The Spanish Foreign Legion.

Gregory, Walter (1986). The Shallow Grave. Gollancz.

Gurney, Jason (1976). Crusade in Spain. Newton Abbot.

Hoare, Victor (1969). The Mackenzie Papineau Battalion. Canada: Copp Clark.

Hywel, Frances. (1984). Miners Against Fascismn : Wales and the Spanish Civil War. London.

Kemp, Peter. (??). The Thorns of Memory.

Landis, Arthur. (??). Death in The Olive Groves.

Landis, Arthur. (1967). The Abraham Lincoln Brigade. New York.

Mazarrasa, Javier de. (1991). Blindados en España (I) La Guerra Civil 1936-1939. Quirón.

Volume 1 deals with the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

Merriman & Lerrode (1986). American Commander in Spain. Nevada.

Nelson, Steve (1953). The Volunteers. New York.

O’Riordan, Michael. (1979). Connolly Column. Dublin.

Perez Lopez, Franscico. (1972). Guerrilla Diary of the Spanish Civil War. London

Preston, P. and Mackenzie, A. (eds). (1996). The Republic Besieged: Civil War in Spain 1936-1939. Edinburgh.

Rolfe, Edwin. (1939). The Lincoln Battalion. New York.

Roubicek, M. (1987). Special Troops of the Spanish Civil War. Doncaster.

Ryan, Ed Frank (1974). Book of the XVth Brigade (reprint). Newcastle: Frank Graham.

Sommerfield, John. (1937). Volunteer in Spain. London.

Stein, Louis (1979). Beyond Death & Exile. Cambridge Mass.

Tisa, John (??). Recalling the Good Fight.

Whaley, Barton. (1969). Guerrillas in the Spanish Civil War

Wintringham, Thomas (1941). English Captain. London.


The Imperial War Museum’s Department of Sound Records has over one hundred recorded interviews with participants in the Spanish Civil War. Cassette tapes of these interviews are available at approximately £3.50 per half hour. A free synopsis of each tape is available upon request and is advisable to avoid disappointment. Mark Hamman recommended the interview with Legionary officer Peter Kemp (Tape 9769 Reels 1-2), particularly if you can’t get hold of his books. For more details, write to the museum at Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ ; or telephone 071-416 5363.

Gauntlet Bibliograph

Mark Hannam had a fabulous bibliography of the Spanish Civil War on his Gauntlet site (although the site seems to have disappeared).

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