68th Mixed Brigade (People's Army of the Republic) - 68.ª Brigada Mixta (Ejército Popular de la República)

68th Mixed Brigade
Active January 1937-February 1939
country Spain
Fidelity Spanish flag Spanish Republic
Rama/s Red star.svg Regular People's Army
Type Infantry
Function Shock force
High command

Notable commanders
Etelvino Vega
Francisco Romero Marín
Wars and battles
Spanish Civil War

The 68th Mixed Brigade was a unit of the Popular Army of the Republic that participated in the Spanish Civil War . Considered a strike force , throughout the war it took part in some of the main battles such as Brunete , Teruel or the defense of Segre . At the head of the unit were prestigious officers such as Etelvino Vega or Francisco Romero Marín .


Center front

The unit was created in January 1937 in Madrid from the "October II" battalions of the 5th Regiment , initially being called the "C" Mixed Brigade. For the command of the same, the greatest of the militias Etelvino Vega was appointed, while Luis Cabeza Pérez was appointed for the political commissioner . During the training period, the 68th Mixed Brigade was deployed in Collado Villalba , where it remained until February, when it was equipped with weapons. The 4th Division of the II Army Corps would be assigned ; after the end of the battle of Jarama - in which it did not intervene - it was placed in the 7th Division .[ 1 ] Between April 10 and 14, he intervened with other units in the attack against theCerro Garabitasin Madrid, an operation that was saddened with failure. [ 2 ]

In July, ahead of the Brunete offensive , she was assigned to the 34th Division of the XVIII Army Corps . [ 3 ] The 68th WB had an outstanding performance during the fighting. [ 2 ] On July 9 he sent two of his battalions to support the 15th Division , which was in a difficult position. The following day, the 68th BM reached level 660 dominated by Villafranca del Castillo and, on July 11, launched an attack against the «Romanillos» vertex, without success. A flag of the Sevillian Falange resisted in Villanueva de la Cañada the attacks of the 68th BM and the 16th BM, [ 4 ] although this locality would end up being conquered. On July 19, a Franco attack forced the 68th BM to intervene quickly to try to contain the enemy pressure; [ n. 1 ] the following day he launched a counterattack to try to stop the Francoist counteroffensive, without success. On the 26th the brigade was withdrawn from the front. [ 2 ]

After the end of the fighting, Etelvino Vega was replaced at the head of the unit by the militia major Francisco Jiménez Flórez , who the following day would be replaced in turn by the militia major Francisco Romero Marín . The 68th BM was at the forefront in the Villanueva de la Cañada sector. [ 2 ]

Aragon and Catalonia

At the beginning of February 1938 the unit was assigned to the Teruel front , although its intervention was very limited given that it reached this sector when the outcome of the battle was practically decided; he devoted himself largely to clean-up operations in the rear. After the start of the Franco offensive , the 68th Mixed Brigade gave in to enemy pressure and lost the towns of Josa , Obón and Alcaina . By April 4 it had reached Cherta , from where it would retreat to Castellciutatmid April. From then on, the 68th BM went on to cover the positions in the Sierra de Crestal. Later he would intervene in operations against Serós . [ 2 ]

After the start of the Catalonia campaign , on December 24, 1938 the brigade moved to Artesa de Segre . Faced with the enemy offensive, he tried to maintain his positions, without success. By that time, the 34th Division was in a bad state, so the 68th BM forces would join the X Army Corps . In January 1939 he would withdraw to the French border along with other republican units, losing his trail in said withdrawal.


Francisco Romero Marín , in Soviet uniform.
Chiefs of Staff

See also


  1. The 68th BM defended the republican positions of the Guadarrama River against the attacks of the 12th Francoist Division commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Asensio Cabanillas . [ 5 ] In this work it was supported by the XIII and XV international brigades , as well as by the 16th Spanish Mixed Brigade. [ 5 ]


  1. a b Zaragoza, 1983 , p. 49.
  2. a b c d e Engel, 1999, p. 68.
  3. Martínez Bande, 1972 , p. 265.
  4. Rincón Serrano, 2010 , p. 456.
  5. a b Hills, 1978, p. 249.
  6. ^ Ruiz Ayúcar, 1976 , p. 303.
  7. Álvarez, 1989, p. 184.


  • Álvarez , Santiago (1989). Political commissars in the People's Army of the Republic . Editions do Castro.
  • Engel , Carlos (1999). History of the Mixed Brigades of the People's Army of the Republic . Madrid: Almena. 84-922644-7-0 .
  • Martínez Bande , José Manuel (1972). The Offensive on Segovia and the Battle of Brunete . Madrid: Editorial San Martín.
  • Rincón Serrano , Alfonso (2010). Flowers of war: The odyssey of the war that they did not tell me . Madrid: Ecobook. ISBN 978-84-96877-39-9 .
  • Ruiz Ayúcar , Ángel (1976). The communist party. Thirty-seven years in hiding . Madrid: San Martín.
  • Salas Larrazábal , Ramón (2000). History of the People's Army of the Republic . The Sphere of Books. ISBN 84-9734-465-0 .
  • Zaragoza , Cristóbal (1983). People's Army and Military of the Republic, 1936-1939 . Barcelona: Ed. Planeta.