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During the Spanish Civil war of 1936-1939 a beleagered Spanish Government put out a call for international volunteers to combat the forces of fascism arrayed against it. 40,000 volunteers from 53 countries answered the call forming the legendary International Brigades of the Spanish Civil war. 1500 of the volunteers travelled to Spain from Canada. Their battalion was the Mackenzie-Papineau – the “Macpaps”. They fought bravely throughout the war against terrible odds, suffering heavy losses. This website is dedicated to the memory of those volunteers, the sacrifices that they made and the spirit in which they made them.
The three pointed star was the symbol of the International Brigades. The Macpaps added to it a Maple Leaf for their battalion symbol.
The battalion was named after William Lyon Mackenzie and Louis-Joseph Papineau the leaders of the rebellions of 1837 in upper and lower Canada. They sought liberty, social justice and democracy, a spirit which the Canadian volunteers carried to Spain.
The Civil War in Spain
The Crisis in Spanish Government in the 1930's Spain inherited from the 19th century an autocratic monarchy, a privileged position for the Catholic Church, control of arable land by large
The Mac Paps
Brunete: July 1937 The Western approaches to Madrid pass through a broad valley 60 to 80 kilometers long and 15 to 25 kilometers wide. There are a number of towns
The International Brigade
The First Volunteers Hundreds of foreign volunteers were fighting in Spain pior to the formation of the Internation Brigades - mostly in Barcelona in the wokers militias although there also