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  • Spanish Red Army Soldiers?

    Does anyone have any information on Republican Spaniards veterans of the Spanish Civil War serving in the Red Army during WWII?

    I heard that General Enrique Lister helped defend Leningrad; that they were face to face against the Spanish Blue Division that were attacking them. And that la Pasionnara's son was killed defending a point north of Stalingrad.

    Are there any books on the subject?

  • #2
    It's obviously not too much data about Spanish volunteers in RKKA.
    I met some details about Spanish volunteers in team of Colonel I.G. Starinov only in his books.

    A small article about Ruben Ibarruri see here
    http://eng.bashvest.ru/showinf.php?id=1491



    Regards
    Alex
    Last edited by amvas; 26 Aug 09, 01:55.
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow! Well done. I'll look for Col. I.G. Starinov's book either in English or French. Thank you Amvas!

      Laurent

      Originally posted by amvas View Post
      It's obviously not too much data about Spanish volunteers in RKKA.
      I met some details about Spanish volunteers in team of Colonel I.G. Starinov only in his books.

      A small article about Ruben Ibarruri see here
      http://eng.bashvest.ru/showinf.php?id=1491



      Regards
      Alex

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, there were some pilots who flew in VVS
        http://www.acesofww2.com/spain/Spain.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          There is a pretty rare book "Spaniards in the Great Patriotic War" - Russian translation of Heroísmo español en Rusia, 1941-1945 by Roque Serna Martínez.

          Some general info can be found here (in Russian and Spanish)
          Last edited by Rambow; 26 Aug 09, 20:21.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by olivenstein View Post
            Wow! Well done. I'll look for Col. I.G. Starinov's book either in English or French. Thank you Amvas!

            Laurent
            I'm not sure they were ever published in English...
            I could meet those books only in Russian
            If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

            Comment


            • #7
              http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/spain_lario.htm

              Juan Lario Sanchez Republican/Soviet ace

              Comment


              • #8
                Found this on militaria.lib.ru

                Although the vast majority of spetsnaz is made up of Slavonic personnel, there are some exceptions.

                At first glance you would say he is a gypsy. Tall, well-built, athletic in his movements, handsome, with a hooked nose and flashing eyes. The captain plays the guitar so well that passers-by stop and do not go away until he stops playing. He dances as very few know how. His officer's uniform fits him as if it were on a dummy in the window of the main military clothing shop on the Arbat.

                The officer has had a typical career. He was born in 1952 in Ivanovo, where he went to school. Then he attended the higher school for airborne troops in Ryazan, and he wears the uniform of the airborne forces. He commands a company in the Siberian military district. All very typical and familiar. At first glance. But he is Captain Roberto Rueda-Maestro — not a very usual name for a Soviet officer.

                There is a mistake: the captain is not a gypsy. And if we study him more carefully we notice some other peculiarities. He is wearing the uniform of the airborne troops. But there are no airborne troops in the Siberian military district where he is stationed. Even stranger is the fact that after finishing school Roberto spent some time in Spain as a tourist. That was in 1969. Can we imagine a tourist from the Soviet Union being in Spain under Franco's rule, at a time when the Soviet Union maintained no diplomatic relations with Spain? Roberto Rueda-Maestro was in Spain at that time and has some idea of the country. But the strangest aspect of this story is that, after spending some time in a capitalist country, the young man was able to enter a Soviet military school. And not any school, but the Ryazan higher school for airborne troops.

                These facts are clues. The full set of clues gives us the right answer, without fear of contradiction. The captain is a spetsnaz officer.

                * * *
                During the Civil War in Spain thousands of Spanish children were evacuated to the Soviet Union. The exact number of children evacuated is not known. The figures given about this are very contradictory. But there were enough of them for several full-length films to be made and for books and articles to be written about them in the Soviet Union.

                As young men they soon became cadets at Soviet military schools. A well-known example is Ruben Ruis Ibarruri, son of Dolores Ibarruri, general secretary of the Communist Party of Spain. Even at this time the Spaniards were put into the airborne troops. Ruben Ibarruri, for example, found himself in the 8th airborne corps. It is true that in a war of defence those formations intended for aggressive advancing operations were found to be unnecessary, and they were reorganised into guard rifle divisions and used in defensive battles at Stalingrad. Lieutenant Ibarruri was killed while serving in the 35th guard rifle division which had been formed out of the 8th airborne corps. It was a typical fate for young men at that time. But then they were evacuated to the Urals and Siberia, where the Spanish Communist Party (under Stalin's control) organised special schools for them. From then on references to Spanish children appeared very rarely in the Soviet press.

                * * *
                One of the special schools was situated in the town of Ivanovo and was known as the E. D. Stasova International School. Some graduates of this school later turned up in Fidel Castro's personal bodyguard, some became leading figures in the Cuban intelligence service — the most aggressive in the world, exceeding its teachers in the GRU and KGB in both cruelty and cunning. Some of the school's graduates were used as 'illegals' by the GRU and KGB.

                It has to be said, however, that the majority of the first generation of Spanish children remained in the Soviet Union with no possibility of leaving it. But then in the 1950s and 1960s a new generation of Soviet Spaniards was born, differing from the first generation in that it had no parents in the USSR. This is very important if a young man is being sent abroad on a risky mission, for the Communists then have the man's parents as hostages.

                The second generation of Spaniards is used by the Soviet Government in many ways for operations abroad. One very effective device is to send some young Soviet Spaniards to Cuba, give them time to get used to the country and acclimatise themselves, and then send them to Africa and Central America as Cubans to fight against 'American Imperialism'. The majority of Cuban troops serving abroad are certainly Cubans. But among them is a certain percentage of men who were born in the Soviet Union and who have Russian wives and children and a military rank in the armed forces of the USSR.

                For some reason Captain Roberto Rueda-Maestro is serving in the Urals military district. I must emphasise that we are still talking about the usual spetsnaz units, and we haven't started to discuss 'agents'. An agent is a citizen of a foreign country recruited into the Soviet intelligence service. Roberto is a citizen of the Soviet Union. He does not have and has never had in his life any other citizenship. He has a Russian wife and children born on the territory of the USSR, as he was himself. That is why the captain is serving in a normal spetsnaz unit, as an ordinary Soviet officer.

                Spetsnaz seeks out and finds — it is easy to do in the Soviet Union — people born in the Soviet Union but of obviously foreign origin. With a name like Ruedo-Maestro it is very difficult to make a career in any branch of the Soviet armed forces. The only exception is spetsnaz, where such a name is no obstacle but a passport to promotion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is From a book by Vladimir Rezun.... it is named: Making the Soviet SAS or something like that...
                  “For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when he comes to the central point of his lunacy.”

                  Max Sterner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hello to all of you!!
                    This is my first quote as I have recently entered the comunity of Armchair General, so sorry if I do some mistake and also forgive my bad english.

                    About Spanish Civil war veterans serving in the Soviet Army during WWII, I have a few books about that theme, but written in spanish, and catalonian (the mother tongue of my region, Catalonia).
                    One is titled "Taran", and was written by Andrés Fierro Menu in year 2000 and is selfedited by himself. It is very interesting as he talks about his experience during the Spanish Civil war as I-16 pilot, his period of training in Russia, the combats against the Messers 109 in the civil war. Later with the soviet army, he talks about his partisan and commando period before entering as at first, Hurricane and later Yak-7 pilot (during that period he did two Taran against german bombers).

                    Another cool book that is written in catalonian is "Un Catalŕ a L´Exčrcit Roig" (edited in 2002 by Llibres Dels Quatre Cantons), and is similar in the argument to the "Taran" one, as tells about the experience of young boy Francesc Pararols (the author) as a private in the North Aragon front, later he did the studies for artillery officer, but he stoped as the place where he was doing the studies was Barcelona, that fell in few weeks. So he have to scape of Nationalist army and end going to Russia. He tells about his partisan activities, very interesting stuff. As well as interesting stories when he was in transit in the Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other middle east republics during the war.

                    "Así Como Fue" is a similar book of a spanish republican pilot that ended fighting in Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War his name was Francisco Merońo, but this one was written by his daughter, after his death in 1995, It is based on personal notes and is very interesting as that notes talk also about personal life and the difficulties of living in Soviet Union during the war. This one was published by Dolores Merońo (the said daughter, in 2005).

                    One very interesting document I have was edited in the magazine Cuadernos De Aviación, Dossier 3, and is entitled "Diario de Un Piloto De Caza En Kirovabad" written by Carlos Lázaro Ávila. The strong point of this one is because is a diary of a young boy named José García Sáez, that went to Russia to be trained as fighter pilot. On the editorial say that this personal diary was given to the great spanish jounalist Vicente Talon by some high authority of the Soviet the first time he was in the Soviet Union, in the decade of 60´s (maybe early 70´s). This diary was given as a sort of gift, and Vicente Talon gave this diary at his return to Spain to the authorities of the Ejército Del Aire (spanish Air Force) to keep it in their archives. Is really interesting as this diary talk about the training process of republican spanish pilots in Russia with a personal and some idealist views of the protagonist and a look on diary life in the aire base, as well as political stuff, very important to understand this diary and the period during it was written, I think.

                    There are a good amount of books edited in Spain about republicans that served in the Soviet Union, I only have very few, as the ones I have talked about, but if you search in spanish forums sure you will find some info.



                    Originally posted by olivenstein View Post
                    Does anyone have any information on Republican Spaniards veterans of the Spanish Civil War serving in the Red Army during WWII?

                    I heard that General Enrique Lister helped defend Leningrad; that they were face to face against the Spanish Blue Division that were attacking them. And that la Pasionnara's son was killed defending a point north of Stalingrad.

                    Are there any books on the subject?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Salva View Post
                      Hello to all of you!!
                      This is my first quote as I have recently entered the comunity of Armchair General, so sorry if I do some mistake and also forgive my bad english.

                      About Spanish Civil war veterans serving in the Soviet Army during WWII, I have a few books about that theme, but written in spanish, and catalonian (the mother tongue of my region, Catalonia).
                      One is titled "Taran", and was written by Andrés Fierro Menu in year 2000 and is selfedited by himself. It is very interesting as he talks about his experience during the Spanish Civil war as I-16 pilot, his period of training in Russia, the combats against the Messers 109 in the civil war. Later with the soviet army, he talks about his partisan and commando period before entering as at first, Hurricane and later Yak-7 pilot (during that period he did two Taran against german bombers).

                      Another cool book that is written in catalonian is "Un Catalŕ a L´Exčrcit Roig" (edited in 2002 by Llibres Dels Quatre Cantons), and is similar in the argument to the "Taran" one, as tells about the experience of young boy Francesc Pararols (the author) as a private in the North Aragon front, later he did the studies for artillery officer, but he stoped as the place where he was doing the studies was Barcelona, that fell in few weeks. So he have to scape of Nationalist army and end going to Russia. He tells about his partisan activities, very interesting stuff. As well as interesting stories when he was in transit in the Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other middle east republics during the war.

                      "Así Como Fue" is a similar book of a spanish republican pilot that ended fighting in Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War his name was Francisco Merońo, but this one was written by his daughter, after his death in 1995, It is based on personal notes and is very interesting as that notes talk also about personal life and the difficulties of living in Soviet Union during the war. This one was published by Dolores Merońo (the said daughter, in 2005).

                      One very interesting document I have was edited in the magazine Cuadernos De Aviación, Dossier 3, and is entitled "Diario de Un Piloto De Caza En Kirovabad" written by Carlos Lázaro Ávila. The strong point of this one is because is a diary of a young boy named José García Sáez, that went to Russia to be trained as fighter pilot. On the editorial say that this personal diary was given to the great spanish jounalist Vicente Talon by some high authority of the Soviet the first time he was in the Soviet Union, in the decade of 60´s (maybe early 70´s). This diary was given as a sort of gift, and Vicente Talon gave this diary at his return to Spain to the authorities of the Ejército Del Aire (spanish Air Force) to keep it in their archives. Is really interesting as this diary talk about the training process of republican spanish pilots in Russia with a personal and some idealist views of the protagonist and a look on diary life in the aire base, as well as political stuff, very important to understand this diary and the period during it was written, I think.

                      There are a good amount of books edited in Spain about republicans that served in the Soviet Union, I only have very few, as the ones I have talked about, but if you search in spanish forums sure you will find some info.
                      Excellent first post, man! By the way, have you read anything about the battles between the Republicans and the Blue Division? I've heard some hearsay there was a "little Spanish civil war" around Krasny Bor - Sinyavino area.
                      www.histours.ru

                      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanx my friend for your encouraging words!!
                        I didn´t knew about that "little Spanish civil war" in Russia, but sure there is some truth on it, but I don´t know any details about. I know, by reading it on some book, that Stalin himself ordered not to send the spanish republicans to fight against the Blue Division, as he wanted to avoid that "little Spanish civil war". But I imagine that some of the republicans ended there, as on the opposite to Blue Division, spanish republicans didn´t were put alltogether in one unit or division, they were all over the front and rearguard, doing very different tasks and things (a lot doing political stuff).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Salva View Post
                          Thanx my friend for your encouraging words!!
                          I didn´t knew about that "little Spanish civil war" in Russia, but sure there is some truth on it, but I don´t know any details about. I know, by reading it on some book, that Stalin himself ordered not to send the spanish republicans to fight against the Blue Division, as he wanted to avoid that "little Spanish civil war". But I imagine that some of the republicans ended there, as on the opposite to Blue Division, spanish republicans didn´t were put alltogether in one unit or division, they were all over the front and rearguard, doing very different tasks and things (a lot doing political stuff).
                          I suppose they were at least writing political pamphlets for the Blue Division's soldiers, I've heard something to this effect. By the way, I've recently talked to a Spanish tourist couple and they told me their city officials had just changed the name of "Heroes of the Blue Division" street in their city. Are there any other streets in other cities named after them?
                          www.histours.ru

                          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is very, very interesting, Salva! Do you have any details about what General Lister did on the Eastern Front--I heard that he helped defend Leningrad.

                            Also about the Blue Division, or later the Ghost Division, did some fight in the Battle of Berlin along with Scandinavian and French Waffen SS?

                            I also heard a former Republican Catholic Basque captain was in the Ghost Division but ended up being anti-Franco again and pro-Basque separatist (don't have his name unfortunately).


                            Originally posted by Salva View Post
                            Thanx my friend for your encouraging words!!
                            I didn´t knew about that "little Spanish civil war" in Russia, but sure there is some truth on it, but I don´t know any details about. I know, by reading it on some book, that Stalin himself ordered not to send the spanish republicans to fight against the Blue Division, as he wanted to avoid that "little Spanish civil war". But I imagine that some of the republicans ended there, as on the opposite to Blue Division, spanish republicans didn´t were put alltogether in one unit or division, they were all over the front and rearguard, doing very different tasks and things (a lot doing political stuff).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This you talk about changing names of streets is some common in my region, Catalonia, as here the dictatorship repression was very very strong. Some years after the death of Franco, streets with names refered to that regime were changed, but I don´t know any case, at least here in my town, as many of that refer to the civil war, not to Blue Division specificaly. A lot of names of politicians of Franco as Primo de Rivera street, or Carrero Blanco Avenue changed names (well this kind of streets also had other names before the civil war in fact) For example, in my town, there is a avenue called back then Carrero Blanco, and later renamed 11th September (note that the date is refered to the national day of Catalonia, not the bombing of the twin towers!!! a very curious coincidence!!).I know in some places of Spain, were the addiction to the Franco´s regime was more strong, there are still streets, squares and avenues with names refered to the dictator, such as Victoria square, Generalisimo (this was how Franco was named) square, 18th´s July avenue (the date Franco started the war) etc, etec. Recently there was some polemics about removing some Franco statues and monuments in Madrid and Zaragoza, as little by little that kind of symbology is retired. Is curious, as in Spain is happening the contrary than for example in Germany, where the comunistic era symbols, names of the streets etc keept intact, as the germans thought that was better keep it to remember their history. Although some symbols are hard to remove as the El Valle De Los Caídos, megaconstruction made during early years of the dictatorship, where Franco is buried. Also in militay quarters there are a lot of that symbols, as I saw during my military service years ago.

                              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                              I suppose they were at least writing political pamphlets for the Blue Division's soldiers, I've heard something to this effect. By the way, I've recently talked to a Spanish tourist couple and they told me their city officials had just changed the name of "Heroes of the Blue Division" street in their city. Are there any other streets in other cities named after them?

                              Comment

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