Early special operations in the civil war?

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
Number24
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Early special operations in the civil war?

Post by Number24 » 05 Nov 2019 13:55

Many of us have read Ernst Hemningway's "For whom the bell tolls" about the American volunteer working as a saboteur on the Republican side. How much truth is it to having the main character in this role in the war? Jordan's commanding officer in the novel is called "Febing" is suposedly based on the NKVD rezident (station chief) in Spain, Alexander Orlov.
Wikipedia: "Orlov arrived in Madrid on 15 September 1936. He organized guerrilla warfare behind Nationalist lines, as he had done in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War, but after his defection to the West the work was later credited to his deputy, Grigory Syroezhkin, to avoid mention of the defected general."

The Norwegian communist Asbjørn Sunde was also working under Orlov as a saboteur. After the civil war he returnied to Norway where he became the leader of the Oslo branch of the Wollweber Group, a NKVD organisation that sabotaged ships from fascist countries that visited harbours in Northern Europe. When Germany invaded Norway in 1940 he became one of the most active organisers and trainers for saboteurs, an assassin and a saboteur himself. His codename was "Osvald", so the resitnce group was caled the Osvald Group. In 1949 he was convicted for espionage for the USSR.

From the little I know about the subject it seems like the special operations durning the Spanish civil war was on the Republican side and supported by the USSR. The begining of soviet special forces was in the 1930's. "The grandfather of Soviet Spetsnaz", Ilya Starinov, served in Spain during the civil war.

That's everything I know on the topic. Wht do you know?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Early special operations in the civil war?

Post by Ironmachine » 06 Nov 2019 08:11

There is not much information available, and mostly about the XIV Cuerpo de Ejército Guerrillero of the EPR, which was created near the end of 1937.
Here you have some data about the OOB and some operations of that unit, and references about other "special operations" units:
https://elgrancapitan.org/foro/viewtopi ... es#p377465

An article about Republican guerrilla units and foreign involvement: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... 6ki5oyRJwp

A very good source about the subject of special operations in the SCW is the book FUERZAS ESPECIALES EN LA GUERRA CIVIL ESPAÑOLA: DEL XIV CUERPO DE EJÉRCITO GUERRILLERO A LAS PARTIDAS REQUETÉS DEL ALTO TAJO by Raúl C. Cancio. It includes information about units from both sides.

Number24
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Joined: 23 Jan 2019 13:33
Location: Norway

Re: Early special operations in the civil war?

Post by Number24 » 07 Nov 2019 01:11

Thank you. I'm dependent on Google Translate, but this is very informative.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Early special operations in the civil war?

Post by Ironmachine » 07 Nov 2019 07:52

If you have problems with the translation, I can help you with the relevant parts.

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