Why did some men from South Wales fight in the civil war ?

The Spanish civil war took place in 1936 and onwards, this happened because an important right wing politician was murdered in 1936. There fore this resulted in general Francisco attempting to take over Spain. In total 174 Welsh men volunteered to go and fight in Spain, only 144 returned. I believe the most important reason for why the Welsh men volunteered was because of their left wing beliefs.

A fairly important long term reason why men from south Wales decided to go to Spain was because of their political left wing beliefs. Some men believed in communism and wanted to stop fascism in the world. It says (1) “the fight of the Spanish workers against fascism is your fight”. This was a long term reason because what the welsh communists felt had been felt for a long time. The fight was against fascism and this hatred would go on forever. Welsh workers knew what it was like to be ruled by fascists and they didn’t want it to continue anywhere else. Will Paynter says in source 3 (2) “destroy something, if allowed to continue would crush the people of the democratic countries”.

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Another fairly important long term reason why men volunteered was because of their economic situations. Most people in south Wales were severely poor during the 1930’s because of unemployment. So men from south Wales went because they could at least make some more money for their families, it says (3) “the wages were only just enough to live as, but it was a job”. This is a long term reason because unemployment caused them to have little money and they needed more money for their families to survive.

A short term reason why men volunteered to go to Spain was because of their social reasons. Some of the volunteers lived in large communist families, which had a long tradition. It says (4) “for these families it was a question of family honour”. Some men had to join because family members and friends joined. A man called Lewis Jones encouraged a lot of people so groups of friends might have signed up together. Some men went for fun and adventure. It says (5) “if I can shoot rabbits I can shoot fascists”. Men like Lewis Jones rallied around Wales to get volunteers; he encouraged a lot of people. I think this is a short term reason because the volunteers might have made the decisions on the ‘spur of the moment’. Some might have been thinking ‘why did I join’ while in Spain.

Another moderately imperative long term reason why men volunteered to go to Spain was because of their cultural reasons. People in Wales had a lot of things in common with the people of Spain; both countries had the same economical situations. It says (6) “both had long experience of poverty, oppression and persecution”. Some Spanish people actually worked in Wales so people would have become good friends. They would have had important information about what was going on. It says (7) “a number of skilled Spanish workers had come to live in south Wales”. Some of were used to danger in working in the mines. So they thought they might as well fight for a good cause. It says (8) “most of the volunteers were used to a culture of daily danger.” I think these are long term reasons because people in Spain have had the same things happening to them over the years. Welsh and the Spanish people had lived together for a long time so it was a duty to help.

Another quite important reason why men volunteered to go to Spain was because of their religious beliefs. Although most volunteers rejected religion, they had been brought up non-conformist. They believed that the enemy was equal. It says (9) “it had helped to develop a strong social and political conscience.”

Another reasonably important factor was the enabling factor. For all the volunteers the costs of the trip and transport was all paid by the communist party, there was no need for passports.

I believe the most important reason for why the welsh men volunteered was because of their left wing beliefs. I think this was the main reason because that’s what people went to fight for, all the volunteers were communists so they hated fascism. If they weren’t communists they wouldn’t care about Spain. They didn’t want fascism to take over Europe like it had taken over Britain. All the other reasons just gave men more incentives and motives to go.