Beyond the Pyrenees
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Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain, the author traveled to Spain to fight as a volunteer on the Republican side. He went to the Aragon front as an assistant machine gunner and spent two months on a hillock near Huesca. He became a witness to the death of many of his comrades. Unexpectedly, Vladimir Konstantinovich Glinoyedsky, colonel of artillery of the Tsarist army, and an artillery adviser at the headquarters of the Aragon front, visited their positions and transferred the author and his friend Balkovenko to one of the 27th Division’s artillery batteries. Later, because of Glinoyedsky’s insistence, the author reluctantly became a translator for Soviet military advisers. The author felt a lot of sympathy and respect for Glinoyedsky, a man of extraordinary courage and nobility, and he deeply mourned Glinoyedsky’s death, which occurred on December 27, 1936. In mid-March 1938, after the collapse of the Aragon front, the author crossed the French border near Bagnères-de-Luchon with retreating units of the 31st Division. From there he went to Paris, and after three days, returned to Spain, to the Catalan front. In August 1938, promoted to the rank of captain, he was sent to the 13th International Brigade. At the moment of his arrival at the place of service, he was wounded by a piece of shrapnel from an aerial bomb. On October 28, 1938 he participated in the historic farewell parade of the International Brigades in Barcelona. In early February 1939, along with other fighters of the International Brigades, he crossed the French border near the town of Le Perthus.
The story is illustrated with 189 photographs, including 70 archival ones, many of which are published here for the first time.