During the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) a call went out from the Republican forces for communists and socialists around the world to come to Spain and join the fight against fascism. The democratically elected populist government had been challenged by General Franco’s Nationalist rebels.
As Franco had the support of Germany and Italy as well as some of the army units, the Republicans were soon at a disadvantage. Around 40,000 men and women from 52 countries responded and joined the fight on the Republican side. That number included a substantial number of Americans who become part of the XV International Brigade. The regiment was made up of volunteers from Britain, Ireland and South America alongside the American recruits.