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Combat over Spain;: Memoirs of a nationalist fighter pilot, 1936-1939, Hardcover – 1966

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First Edition edition (1966)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007EY438
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,045,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D. Stafford on May 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Read in contrast to some pro-Republican, leftist book, this is a good counterweight. The author is an extremely sociable member of a Spanish noble family, who goes to war to defend his class, church and his way of life. He progresses from an inexperienced bombardier on a converted German transport/bomber to flight school, where he is trained for flying Italian-made Fiat fighter biplanes. Between passages on dogfights, he explains how Franco led his army to victory over the Republic, including mass killings and desecrations by his leftist enemies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clubpop on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The real HISTORY OF THE SPANISH WAR 36-39 had written by a pilot fighter Pepito Larios, Captain Larios.
A brave person, who left his comfortable life in England to fight beside the nationalist. Spain was in war and he moved to Spain as a good patriotic person to defend what was been attacked by the communism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Quinn on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I admit it: I'm a sucker for these kinds of books. I love the retrospective accounts of a point in time, with their broad, sweeping story lines and breezy narratives. I especially enjoy reading accounts from the late 1920s until the end of the Second World War, since that two decade era had the perfect balance of modern communications and transportation which enabled people to travel--and read about these accounts--yet the world was still a big enough place that a certain anonymity prevailed. A decade earlier and the world was too primitive; a decade later and the world ceased to be primitive enough.

It is through this particular geographic twilight era that Capt. Larios guides us. As other reviewers have noted, Larios came from a wealthy, connected family. In just the prologue he recounts his travels to Bombay, New Dehli, Kenya, Ceylon and Cairo, and he recalls that he happened to bump into Ernest Hemingway on a ship during that trip. Larios attended school in England and, therefore, was able to speak and read English fluently. It appeared to have been a charmed life, but Larios wastes no time in drawing the reader's attention to the deep, fundamental problems that afflicted Spain under the chaos of the Second Republic.

The bulk of the book goes into great detail and military analysis of the SCW and the role that the Air Force played in the victory of the Nationalists. Along the way, Larios provides multiple humorous (with precise dates and names, no less) accounts of his life in the fledgling Air Force. His descriptions of dogfights and other dangers associated with flying I found to be thrilling, though I should point out that I am deathly afraid to fly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Wickberg on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Less a war book than an autobiography of Jose de Larios, later Duke of Lerma, this is an idiosyncratic and at times rather amusing view of the Spanish Civil War. We know from other sources that most of it was dirty, unhealthy, grueling trench warfare interspersed with set-piece battles, most of which the Republic lost. Larios's view, however, was that of an elitist fighter pilot who lived a fairly comfortable life (compared to most Spaniards of the time) behind the lines, went up daily to shoot down a few Republican pilots (invariably referred to as 'Reds'), then landed and spent the rest of the day, and far into the night, sitting at sidewalk cafes eating, drinking and flirting with local senoritas. He comes across as a fairly simple military man who dealt in certainties (Republicans were all Communists, Nationalists (even the Muslim Moroccans) were all Christian crusaders, the war was one to save Christian civilization from Soviet destruction), and it is almost too easy to make fun of his formal, rather Victorian writing style (for example, he invariably refers to an episode of flirting as "I instantly became a slave to her charms"). But his memoirs are worth reading because they give not only a side of the Civil War rarely seen in Hugh Thomas's magisterial work and other Spanish Civil War histories, but a glimpse into what and how Franco's supporters, who seem at this distance so hard to understand, thought about the struggle they were engaged in.
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