American Volunteers by Unattributed

January 3, 2020


The Volunteer for Liberty, Vo. II, No. 2, January 13, 1938

The month of January is an especially significant month for Americans in Spain. It was on January 2, 1937 – a year ago – that the first large group of American volunteers set foot on Spanish soil. Reaching Albacete four days later they were officially incorporated into the International Brigades on January 6th. During the entire month there continued to arrive those additional Americans – among them were Canadians and Cubans – who, together with our Irish comrades, made up the original Lincoln Battalion which moved up to the Jarama lines in the middle of February.

These men were the pioneers, the first of the more than 3,000 American volunteers who followed them into Spain, forming the Washington Battalion (merged after the Brunete offensive with the Lincolners) and a good part of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. These were, and are, the men who now fight shoulder to shoulder with the British and Spanish comrades in our own brigade: the 15th International Brigade.

In marking this firs anniversary, we salute our predecessors: the people of Spain whose bravery held the fascists at bay in those early , critical days of July and August, 1936; the German and French comrades who were the first international volunteers in Spain; and the British comrades of our own brigade, whose arrival in Spain preceded ours by three months.

And, in noting this anniversary, we look forward with confidence to that celebration which will be the greatest and most satisfying of all; the final victory of the Spanish people over fascism. On that day, as now, we will be here to take part in the victory, as we do now, in the struggle.