Friday, June 12, 2015

Homage to Catalonia

This week at work I read George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia , his 1936/37 account of his brief time in the Spanish Civil war, and the Barcelona fighting between the anarchists and communists. Mr. Orwell fought as a member of a later suppressed Marxist militia (POUM), and was seriously wounded on the front lines near Huesca. He then returns to Barcelona to find his organisation has been suppressed, and his membership in the party a liability, and manages to escape Spain.

The book itself is excellent, and very readable, as one might expect from Mr. Orwell. Reading it contrasts the civil war in Spain with the experiences of soldiers in the Great War, particularly as Mr. Orwell was involved in static trench fighting and sieges, neither changed much by the limited introduction of airplanes and tanks. Mr. Orwell himself comments on this, as much of the equipment issued at this stage of the war to the Anarchist Militias is very old, or home made.

War-gaming the Spanish Civil War is very popular, at least outside of Spain.  With the sort of "proto-WWII" feel of the war, but Great War style battles, and the large international aspect, it seems to attract war-gamers interested in the more colorful aspects of the war, as well as those interested in smaller scale actions. (company or smaller)

Another reason for its popularity may lie with the excellent miniatures sold by Empress Miniatures. Great looking figures, and at £7 for 4 figures, a nice price as well.

Picture from Empress

1 comment:

Scalene said...

Great book. Fascinating period with all its colourful factions.