Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War

Paperback | April 12, 2008

byMichael Petrou

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Between 1936 and 1939, almost 1,700 Canadians defied their government and volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War. They chose to leave behind punishing lives in Canadian relief camps, mines, and urban flophouses to confront fascism in a country few knew much about. Four hundred died there.

Michael Petrou has drawn on recently declassified archival material, interviewed surviving Canadian veterans, and visited the battlefields of Spain to write the definitive account of Canadians in the Spanish Civil War. It reveals who these men and women were, why they volunteered, how they lived and died in Spain, and how the Canadian government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reacted to their decision to illegally join another country’s war.

Renegades is an intimate and unflinching story of idealism and courage, duplicity and defeat. It will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Canada, the Spanish Civil War, and the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism in the 1930s.

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From the Publisher

Between 1936 and 1939, almost 1,700 Canadians defied their government and volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War. They chose to leave behind punishing lives in Canadian relief camps, mines, and urban flophouses to confront fascism in a country few knew much about. Four hundred died there.Michael Petrou has drawn on recently decl...

Michael Petrou, a senior writer atMaclean'smagazine, has covered wars and conflicts across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. He holds a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford. He lives in Ottawa with his family.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.98 × 5.95 × 0.81 inPublished:April 12, 2008Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774814187

ISBN - 13:9780774814188

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Table of Contents

Timeline Preface: Spanish Tinderbox Introduction

Part 1. Origins of the Volunteers 1. Who Were the Canadian Volunteers? 2. Why Did They Fight?

Part 2. International Brigades 3. Going to War 4. Protecting Madrid 5. Aragón Battles 6. Retreats 7. Back to the Ebro 8. Leaving Spain

Part 3. Discipline in the International Brigades 9. Crimes 10. Punishments

Part 4. Renegades 11. The Photographer: Bill Williamson 12. The Idealist: William Krehm 13. The Doctor: Norman Bethune

Part 5. Aftermath 14. Undesirables

Conclusion

Postscript

Appendix

Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Based on massive research, this is the best and most complete account of Canadians in the Spanish Civil War we are ever likely to get. - J. L. Granatstein, author of Canada's Army": Waging War and Keeping the Peace. "More than 1,500 Canadian men and women fought to save Spain's republic from its fascist opponents; over 400 died in the struggle. Not until the Cold War was over could Michael Petrou get us the fascinating details of who and what and why so many Canadians struggled and died in a war the democracies made it easy for General Francisco Franco to win." - Desmond Morton, author of A Military History of Canada