Canadian Military Heritage Project
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Past Voices Scads of letters from 1800s & 1900s
SPANISH CIVIL WAR
Over twelve hundred Canadian soldiers supporting Republican Spain took part in the Spanish Civil War to defend the Spanish Republic against the military rebellion led by General Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. These men created a unique military unit: the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion of the XVth International Brigade of the Spanish Republican Army: 'the Mac-Paps.'
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade (The Lincolns) fought alongside approximately 35,000 anti-fascists from fifty-two countries. In keeping with Popular Front culture, the Americans named their units the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, the George Washington Battalion, and the John Brown Battery. Together with the British, Irish, Canadian, and other nationals they formed the Fifteenth In- ternational Brigade.
The International Brigade consisted of, for example, US volunteers in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, German volunteers in the Thaelmann Battalion, and Canadians in the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion. The International Brigades were 40,000 strong coming from 52 countries
When the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion arrived in Spain it was incorporated into the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. Later it became part of the 15th International Brigade.
The battalion first saw action at Fuentes de Ebro on 13th October 1937. In this offensive 60 were killed and 200 were wounded. The Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion also took part in the battles at Teruel in December 1937 and Ebro in July 1938. By the end of the Spanish Civil War almost half of the Canadian volunteers had been killed.
Some 16,000 gave their lives fighting fascism. The
contingents were approximtely
An International Non-Intervention Committee, and the Foreign Enlistment Act prohibiting travel to Spain cut down on relief troops for the International Brigade. In October 1938 the International Brigade was withdrawn from combat and disbanded. The financial problem of getting home to Canada was solved by two private citizens.
Search the roster of Canadians in the MacKenzie Papineau Battalion
Visit Other SitesOverview
House of Commons Private Members Business MACKENZIE-PAPINEAU BATTALION
Selected Reading List Brandeis University Libraries
Canadians in the Spanish Civil War
Abraham Lincoln Brigade (includes info on Canadian participation)
Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
The Spanish Revolution & Civil War
Spanish Civil War Index from Canadian Forces College
Spanish Civil War Collections at University of Toronto National Library of Canada Special Collections
Memorials for the Mac-Paps
The Spanish Revolution & Civil War
Read the BooksCANADIAN VOLUNTEERS: Spain, 1936-1939 by W.C. Beeching
The Gallant Cause - Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, 1936 - 1939 Mark Zuehlke
Name: John Greenless Age: 23
Birth Date: abt 1782 Birth Place: Fermanagh [Ireland]
Military Date: 7 May 1805 Unit: 54th Foot Soldiers
The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; Class Number: WO 25; Class Title: 54 Foot; Piece Number: 420; Piece Title: 54 Foot.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. Canada, British Regimental Registers of Service, 1756-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
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