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Behind Fascist Lines: A Firsthand Account of Guerrilla Warfare During the Spanish Revolution

Anna Starinov

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ISBN 10: 0345482247 / ISBN 13: 9780345482242
Published by Ballantine Books, 1995
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Behind Fascist Lines: A Firsthand Account of...

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Deep behind Nationalist lines during the Spanish civil war, modern guerrilla warfare came of age. In this extraordinary memoir, Russian guerrilla fighter Anna Starinov tells how it happened. . . .

Sent by Stalin with other Soviet advisers to help the Spanish overcome Franco, Anna Starinov arrived in Spain in November 1936. Originally assigned to a Russian demolitions and guerrilla-warfare expert as an interpreter, Starinov soon found herself helping him build an effective partisan army literally from scratch and acquitting herself as a talented guerrilla.

Anna helped train student guerrillas to make bombs and grenades, set ambushes, and carry out raids. Working under cover of darkness, the teams dodged enemy patrols as they pummeled the enemy in his own backyard: blowing up trains and bridges, destroying tunnels, and gathering valuable intelligence.

The Spanish revolution was ground zero for modern warfare. Breakthroughs in guerrilla techniques, weapons, and strategies were developed that would play an integral part in World War II. Anna Starinov performed a pivotal role in that enterprise and her memoir provides an inside look at that turbulent time.

From the Paperback edition.

About the Author:

A. K. Starinov (née Obrucheva) was born into a family of illiterate peasants in a backwater district of northern Russia. After graduating from the village parish school in 1915, she held various jobs, working at times as a baby-sitter, a laborer, and an aide to a wealthy reindeer breeder. By the mid-1920s she was active in Communist Party organizational work and was eventually able to finish college. By late 1936, after the outbreak of the Spanish revolution, Anna was a skilled Spanish interpreter who, because of her peasant background, had been trusted to work with Spanish Communist Party activists sent to the Soviet Union for "special training" at the Lenin International School.

In 1936, Anna volunteered for duty in Spain; she fought behind Nationalist lines and earned an excellent reputation as both a soldier and an interpreter. In 1937, she returned to the Soviet Union, where she eventually ran an orphanage and married the Soviet officer she'd accompanied to Spain. Though she wrote articles about her experiences in Spain, her memoir was never published. This is its first publication.

From the Paperback edition.

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