Crusade in SpainEoin O’Duffy
A comprehensive account of the experiences of the volunteer Irish Brigade, founded and led by General Eoin O’Duffy, fighting under the Nationalist flag in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).
The Brigade comprised Irish nationals who, like their leader, regarded the War as primarily a Christian crusade against Communism, with the very survival of Catholic Spain at stake. General O’Duffy, an experienced political activist, soldier, and ex-police Commissioner, was responsible for recruitment and transportation to Spain where the men were barracked at Cáceres, provided with uniforms and received basic military training. The Brigade of some 700 men remained in Spain for about six months, experiencing front-line fighting at La Marañosa and Ciempozuelos, with losses of fifteen dead and many wounded. By this time new Irish law forbade Irish citizens to join the Brigade, and with Nationalist forces well in control, it was time for the Brigade to return to Ireland.
In his book the author reveals a deep concern for the welfare of his men, a patriotic love for his country, and a strong devotion to his Catholic faith. He is proud of the courage and demeanour of his troops, echoing the praise received from Spanish military, civil, and religious authorities. History has been ambivalent in its views on the role of the Irish Brigade, but in the words of O’Duffy: “We have been criticised, sneered at, slandered, but truth, charity and justice shall prevail, and time will justify our motives. We seek no praise. We did our duty. We went to Spain.”
This republication is enriched with a foreword by noted independent academic Michael McCormack, historian and archivist of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Author: Eoin O’Duffy
Foreword: Michael McCormack