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4 The Formation of the Popular Militias and the Aragon Front

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Chapter Summary

The only way to challenge the military rebellion was by creating a volunteer army, building from the ground up new military units suffused with a combative spirit and supplied with arms. The source goes on to state that the citizen militia was made up of rank-and-file members of the CNT, FAI, UGT, POUM, the Communist Party, the Catalan State Party, the Socialist Party, the Esquerra, former soldiers, Assault Guards, and a solid contingent of women. The city of Tarragona also sent out militias. The first column, of two thousand Civil Guards, police, and militia volunteers, had already left on 24 July under the command of Ángel Martínez Peñalver. Another column was led by Commander Amadeo Insa Arenal and another by Lieutenant Colonel Máximo Mena Burgos. Alpine militias operating in the High Pyrenees comprised fighters from both Aragon and Catalonia.

Keywords: Alpine militias; Aragon; Catalonia; CNT; Esquerra; FAI; POUM; UGT



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