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about 23th spanish commando of 8th Army 1940-1942  XML
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Joined: 19/10/2017 10:27:23
Messages: 1

My name is Georges living in France.
A friend of my parents recently died. A former Spanish republican soldier engaged in the French foreign legion in 1939, made the Norwegian campaign in June 1940.
Repatriated to Trentham Park in July 1940, he refused to continue fighting in the French army and was incorporated with his Spanish legionary comrades in the 23rd Spanish commando of the 8th British Army.
In November 1942 he returned to the French army and fought in the troops of the Foreign Legion in Tunisia.
I am looking for information on this Spanish commando.
This friend did not want to tell me more.
Could someone tell me where I can find information about this Spanish commando?
With thanks
Research & Administrator

Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
Messages: 2908
Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Hi Georges,
Thank you for contacting the Commando Veterans Association. As we are an an association, we do not have access to official government files and archives so I can't give you a definitive answer.
However, I do know that a number of Spanish Republicans fought on the side of the Allies during the WWII and a number of Special Forces had Spaniards in their numbers.
I have not however, ever heard of the 23rd Spanish Commando!

All these British Special Forces units had Spaniards in the ranks:
50 Middle East Commando; 1941
D Battalion of Layforce; Crete 1942
1 Special Service Regiment
2nd Special Air Service (SAS)
Long Range Desert Group
Between 62 - 65 Spanish Republican members of this 50 ME Commando were amalgamated into D Battalion of Layforce on Crete. Most of D Battalion were captured when the Germans landed but some escaped or went on the run. Of those who escaped some went to 1 Special Service Regiment and from there onto 2nd SAS.

There are three books which may give more detailed information -

"Los Espanoles de Churchill" by Daniel Arasa, which covers most units in the British Army where Spaniards served.
"Tobruk Commando" by G Landsborough
"The Middle East Commandos" by Charles Messenger

That's all the information I have at the moment but I will look to see if I can dig out more (I have a feeling that I have a list of names for the 63 Spaniards in D Battalion somewhere...)


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 19/10/2017 15:10:21

Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"

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