Valentín González

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Valentín González
Nickname(s) El Campesino (The Peasant)
Born (1904-11-04)November 4, 1904
Malcocinado, Extremadura, Spain
Died October 20, 1983(1983-10-20) (aged 78)
Madrid, Spain
Buried at Carabanchel Cemetery, Madrid, Spain
Allegiance Spain Spanish Second Republic
Service/branch Escudo de España (República).PNGSpanish Republican Army
Years of service 1936-1939
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands held 10th Mixed Brigade
46th Division
Battles/wars Corunna Road
Jarama
Guadalajara
Brunete

Battle of Belchite (1937)
Battle of Teruel
Aragon Offensive
Catalonia Offensive
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is González and the second or maternal family name is González.

Valentín González González (November 4, 1904 – October 20, 1983) was a Republican military commander during the Spanish Civil War. Known as El Campesino (The Peasant) he served in the Ejército Popular (People's Army) of the Second Spanish Republic.

Born in Malcocinado, Badajoz, Spain, Gonzalez worked as a miner and was a member of a communist party, establishing one of the first militia units to counter Francisco Franco's Nationalist Army upon the outbreak of the Civil War. As a brigade commander, González personally took part in all of the major actions that occurred during the Nationalists' assault on Madrid in 1936. He also commanded formations during the battles of the Corunna Road (December 1936),[1] the Jarama, and Guadalajara (March 1937).[2] In the summer of 1937, he led the 46th Division in the Battle of Brunete.[3]

He led his men in the Battle of Belchite,[4] Teruel,[5] and Catalonia throughout the war, before being forced to emigrate to the Soviet Union upon the Nationalist victory in 1939. He was later imprisoned in Gulag labor camps in Vorkuta where he worked as a brigadier of miners. Following this, he escaped the Vorkuta gulag and the Soviet Union.[6]

He eventually moved to France, where he published a book entitled La vie et la mort en U.R.S.S. (1939-1949). The English translation is entitled LISTEN COMRADES: Life and Death in the Soviet Union, and was published in the UK by Heinemann in 1952.

After the fall of Francoist Spain in 1978, he returned to live in Spain. He died in Madrid.

References in other Media[edit]

Valentín González is mentioned in Ernest Hemingway's book For Whom the Bell Tolls through the thoughts of Robert Jordan, who described him as brave and tough, a man who "never knew when everything was lost and if it was he would fight out of it." (Hemingway, 246) [7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.477
  2. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.581.
  3. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.691
  4. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.701
  5. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.773
  6. ^ Thomas, Hugh. (2001). The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. p.924
  7. ^ Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. USA: Scribner, 1968. 246