36th Mixed Brigade (People's Army of the Republic) - 36.ª Brigada Mixta (Ejército Popular de la República)

36th Mixed Brigade
Active January 1, 1937 - March 1939
country Spain
Fidelity Spanish flag Spanish Republic
Rama/s Red star.svg Regular People's Army
Type Infantry
Size Mixed Brigade
High command

Notable commanders
Justo López de la Fuente
Wars and battles
Spanish Civil War

The 36th Mixed Brigade was one of the Mixed Brigades created by the Popular Army of the Republic for the defense of the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War .


The brigade was formed on January 1, 1937 in the Madrid front from the old Prada column and was integrated into the 4th Division of the II Army Corps , covering the Usera Front . [ 1 ] Its first commander was the militia major Justo López de la Fuente , [ 2 ] who had previously commanded the famous "Steel Battalion" of the 5th Regiment . [ 3 ]

Despite the fact that the Francoist command decided not to storm Madrid, Usera was still a "hot" front. The 36th WB managed to repel two rebel attacks against its lines that took place on January 13 and 15, and again on January 25 and 28. During the following months under the command of Justo López, an important fortification work was undertaken in Usera. [ 4 ]As of February 20, the fighting for control of several key positions on the front will begin: "House Demolished", "Trench of Death" and "Vertice Trash." The fighting for positions and trenches will replay on March 23, May 7, and during the month of July. But before the counterattacks of the 36th BM, on September 28 the Francoist forces had to withdraw from these conquered positions, which were definitively occupied by the brigade. It was later added to the 65th Division . [ 5 ]

In June 1938, the 36th Mixed Brigade was placed in the 53rd Division of the XX Army Corps and headed for the Levante front, where it would arrive on June 28. At the beginning of July, the forces of the 53rd Division could not resist enemy pressure and had to withdraw from Nules and Villavieja, managing to establish new defensive positions at the height of the Vall de Uxó and Alfondeguilla. They managed to resist all the enemy's assaults until July 21, when the Levante Offensiveit was definitely stopped. Between November 7 and 10, the brigade participated in a failed attack on Nules and Castellón, after which it would not intervene in any other operation until the end of the war, remaining on this front. [ 3 ]

Usera's death tunnel

After the end of the war and the entry of the Francoist Army in Madrid, in the Usera neighborhood a mass grave was found with several dozen bodies. The subsequent Franco General Cause considered that officers and members of the 36th Mixed Brigade had been responsible for these extrajudicial executions. [ 6 ] [ 7 ] In any case, the episode of the "tunnel of death" of Usera has been little studied by specialists and historians, not their true implications or circumstances really know. During the postwar period, some members of the brigade considered responsible or participants in the murders were tried and executed. OwnJusto López de la Fuente was arrested by Franco's police in a 1964 raid and sentenced to long prison terms, dying in prison from cancer. [ 8 ]



See also


  1. ^ Jorge Martínez Reverte (2004). The Battle of Madrid , Ed. Criticism, p. 496
  2. ^ Jorge Martínez Reverte (2004). The Battle of Madrid , Ed. Criticism, p. 170
  3. ^ A b Carlos Engel Masoliver (1999). History of the mixed brigades of the People's Army of the Republic , Almena Ediciones, p. 47
  4. Asenjo Ramos, Victoria Ramos (2008) [1999]. Malagón: Autobiography of a forger , El Viejo Topo, p. 59
  5. ^ José Manuel Martínez Bande (1981). The battle of Pozoblanco and the closing of the Merida stock market , Ed. San Martín, p. 166
  6. ^ Rafael Torres, Rafael Torres Mulas (2002). Disappeared from the war in Spain: 1936-? , The Sphere of Books, p. 160
  7. ^ Douglas Edward Laprade (2005). Censorship and reception of Hemingway in Spain , University of Valencia, p. 134
  8. ^ Hugh Thomas (1988). The Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939 , Grijalbo, p. 837
  9. ^ Santiago Álvarez (1989). Political commissars in the People's Army of the Republic , Ediciós do Castro, p. 182