Although the IBMT does sterling work, it also pursues a narrative that plays-down the ‘Communist’ and ‘Socialist’ nature of the International Brigades, and the fact that the Soviet Union recruited, funded, armed and trained volunteers from around the world through the National Branches of the International Communist Party.
Interestingly, the Americans were represented by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade – which was commanded for sometime by African-American Communist Oliver Law (1900-1937) – who is believed to have been the first Black man to command White troops in any capacity in world history. Although the Republic was eventually destroyed by fascism in 1939, the bravery of the ‘foreign’ International Brigades has never been forgotten by the Spanish people!
Tom Wintringham returned to the UK after the Spanish Civil War and worked as a journalist. He used his experience of fighting fascism in Spain to call for the establishment of a ‘Home Guard’ in the UK made-up of ordinary people defending the area within which they lived from the threat of armed invasion. He wrote a number of progressive books on modern warfare which emphasized guerrilla fighting but were also critical of the class-based system of the UK military. This Communistic thinking immediately made him unpopular with the rightwing Winston Churchill and the middle class officer corps.