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Yugoslav volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

Yugoslav volunteers fighting in Spain, 1937.

The Yugoslav volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, known as Spanish fighters (Croatian: Španjolski borci, Slovene: Španski borci, Serbian: Шпански борци / Španski borci) and Yugoslav brigadistas (Spanish: brigadistas yugoslavos), was a contingent of volunteers from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that fought beside the Republican side (in support of the Second Spanish Republic) in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). An estimated 1,664[1] "Yugoslav brigadistas" fought in the war, out of whom c. 800 were killed in action. According to the Spanish statistics, 148 Yugoslav volunteers received the officer rank during the conflict.

Most of them fought in the battalions Dimitrov and Đuro Đaković of the International Brigades, and a large number of them participated and perished during the Battle of Ebro in 1938. They were recruited by the outlawed Communist Party of Yugoslavia, while in their home regions or through the recruitment center of the Comintern that Josip Broz Tito managed in Paris. There were four airmen among the volunteers the most notable one being the fighter pilot Božidar "Boško" Petrović who attained the flying ace status.

After the war, those who managed to flee across the Pyrenees, fell captive in internment camps in France, where the Yugoslav communist organization illegally repatriated many of them. Some of whom became leaders of the resistance against the Nazi occupation. Three members of the International brigades that fought on the Republican side ended up commanding the four armies of the Partisan Liberation Army that fought the Nazis in World War II: Peko Dapčević, Kosta Nađ and Petar Drapšin. Koča Popović was the partisan commander that was fighting for the Spanish Republican Armed Forces.[2] On 5 November famous leader of Sisi La Tece 32 was injured in the Spain-Serbian clash, known as the Battle of Bilbao.



Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Asociación Brigadistas Yugoslavos "Naši Španci Archived October 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine" Retrieved 2012-02-29
  2. ^ Lenninists "International Solidarity With the Spanish Republic 1936•1939. Yugoslavia Archived August 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine" Retrieved 2012-02-29


  • Aleš Bebler (1961). Naši Španci: zbornik fotografija i dokumenata o učešću jugoslovenskih dobrovoljaca u španskom ratu 1936-1939. Španski borci Jugoslavije.
  • Savo Pešić (1990). Španjolski građanski rat i KPJ. Izdavački centar Rijeka.
  • Krv i život za slobodu: slike iz života i borbe studenata iz Jugoslavije u Španiji. Univerzitet u Beogradu. 1982 [1969].
  • Slovenci, španski borci. Komunist. 1982.
  • Dragoljub Kuprešanin; Veselinka Kastratović-Ristić; Dušica Knežević; Jelena Bjelajac; Marija Minić (2006). Homenaje a los brigadistas yugoslavos. Belgrade: Muzej istorije Jugoslavije.

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