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Guerrilleros and Neighbours in Arms

Identities and Cultures of Anti-fascist Resistance in Spain

Translated from the Spanish by Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom

Jorge Marco is a lecturer in Spanish Politics, History and Culture at the University of Bath. He is the author of several books and articles on Francoist violence, anti-Francoist resistance and traumatic memory.

The Spanish Civil War, fought between 1936 and 1939, was the first battle against fascism in Europe. Five months after the victory of dictator Francisco Franco in Spain the conflict moved to Europe with the outbreak of the Second World War. Fascism and anti-fascism again faced each other on the battlefield. Amid the heat of the Nazi invasions in Europe, anti-fascist resistance groups formed by ordinary citizens emerged in virtually all European countries. Although the Franco dictatorship was not directly involved in the world war, in Spain an anti-Franco resistance movement was organized in 1939 and lasted until 1952. Although the Spanish resistance constituted the first and last anti-fascist resistance movement in Europe, the Spanish case has been consistently overlooked by international studies.

This book inserts the Spanish anti-Franco resistance into the European context, proposing a new narrative of anti-fascist resistances in Europe. At the same time, the book offers a new interpretation of guerrilla phenomena with a strongly peasant character, as was the case of the resistance in Spain. The author underlines the importance of primary groups (kinship, neighbourhood, friendship) and secondary groups (camaraderie and political loyalties) in the mobilization and organization of armed groups. For this study, Jorge Marco establishes twelve variables that permit him to distinguish between ‘neighbours in arms’ and ‘modern guerrilla’. The studied combinations of groups and types demonstrates the plurality of the identities and cultures of the anti-fascist resistance in Spain.

Published in association with the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-752-0
Hardback Price: £60.00 / $74.95
Release Date: January 2016
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-868-8
Paperback Price: £27.50 / $39.95
Release Date: January 2016
Page Extent / Format: 224 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes



Part One: Guerrilla Identities

Chapter 1
From peasants to soldiers, from soldiers to guerrilla fighters: youth, masculinity and camaraderie.
Chapter 2
Carrillo’s men: PCE and the anti-Francoist guerrilla
Chapter 3
The long journey towards unification: resolution and resistance
Chapter 4
“A strange guerrilla group”: identities and local community

Part Two: Anatomy of Resistance

Chapter 5
“I swear on my honour as a guerrilla fighter”: discipline, recruitment and desertions
Chapter 6
Beyond sabotage: combat, robbery, kidnapping and murder
Chapter 7
Voices of the resistance: propaganda and communication
Chapter 8
The invisible front: false guerrillas and crime



Combining microhistory, anthropology, and cultural history, this narrative of the Spanish Civil War and resistance against the Franco regime places the Spanish struggle in a wider context of European anti-fascism and analyzes the role of kinship, neighborhood, and friendship groups in the mobilization and organization of guerrilla groups. The study compares 64 armed groups located in eastern Andalusia, finding 48 groups exhibited the characteristics of neighbors in arms and 15 resembled the model of modern guerrilla.

Jorge Marco’s Guerrilleros and Neighbours in Arms offers fascinating insights into the heterogeneity and complexity of the anti-Francoist guerrilla groups operating in Spain in the 1940s and 1950s. ... The volume will be an important resource for both students and scholars interested in Franco’s regime as well as researchers specializing in anti-fascist resistance movements. ... This is an original, nuanced and very well-researched study which represents an important step in the understanding of anti-Francoist Spanish guerrilla groups. ... Future attempts at reassessing anti-fascist resistance in Europe will certainly have to take into consideration the complex transformation of neighbours in arms into a modern guerrilla during Franco’s dictatorship.
Reviewed by Jordi Cornella-Detrell in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, XCV (2018),

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