Book Review
They Shall Not Pass!
They Shall Not Pass! – The British Battalion At Jarama – The Spanish Civil War
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


The Spanish Civil War was a military revolt between the Spanish Nationalists and the Spanish Republicans from July 1936 to April 1939. The Spanish Nationalists received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Spanish Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union and from other European countries as well as the United States. Among the countries that assisted the Spanish Republicans was Great Britain. A group of British volunteers became known as the British Battalion and they participated in the fighting in the Spanish area of Jarama. The phrase “They Shall Not Pass” was used by the Spanish Republicans in 1936 during the fighting at Madrid and it became one of their most powerful battle cries.

Osprey Publications Ltd book They Shall Not Pass! – The British Battalion At Jarama – The Spanish Civil War is a hardback book with a paper dust jacket and consists of 272 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs and images with detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-549-6. The book examines and discusses a group of British volunteers that joined the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.


- Author’s Note
- List of Illustrations
- List of Maps
- Preface
- Introduction
- Dramatis personae

Part One
‘A Crowd Of Boy Scouts’
- Chapter 1 – First Blood
- Chapter 2 – Departures
- Chapter 3 – Training
- Chapter 4 – The Advance
- Chapter 5 – White House Hill

Part Two
Death Stalked The Olive Groves
- Chapter 6 – ‘The bodies were rolling down the hill’
- Chapter 7 – Retreat!
- Chapter 8 – ‘The Moors were mowed down in scores’
- Chapter 9 – The Dark
- Chapter 10 – Dawn
- Chapter 11 – The Feint
- Chapter 12 – Capture!
- Chapter 13 – The Second Night
- Chapter 14 – Tank Attack!
- Chapter 15 – The Great Rally

Part Three
- Chapter 16 – From Jarama to Brunete
- Chapter 17 – The Nationalist Breakthrough
- Chapter 18 – The Ebro Offensive and the Farewell Parade
- Epilogue – Back to Britain
- Appendix 1 – The Battlefield Today
- Appendix 2 – Order of battle
- Notes
- Bibliography
- Index

The Text:
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. It is obvious that Hughes has gone to great lengths to research all aspects of the British Battalion’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

The Photographs and Illustrations:
There are a total of 20 black and white photographs, 1 black and white illustration, 12 color photographs and 2 color illustrations included in the book. Also included is an English to metric conversion chart. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book.

The Captions:
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.

The Maps:
There are 9 black and white maps throughout the book and they show:
- Spain: February 1937
- Overview of Jarama
- The British Battalion’s Area of Operations: 5.30am, 12 February 1937
- The Advance: 10.00–12.30am, 12 February 1937
- The Retreat: 5.00pm, 12 February 1937
- The Morning Feint and the Afternoon Attack on the Machine-Gun Company: 12 February 1937
- Tank Attack! 14 February 1937
- The Great Rally: 14 February 1937
- Spain: February 1937–August 1938


All in all I am very impressed with the book. It discusses the British Battalion’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.





This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text. Detailed captions. Nice photographs and artwork.
Lows: Some of the photographs have a blurry look to them. Some of the photographs appear to be too dark.
Verdict: This is a very nice book that is well researched and written and contains interesting photographs with well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal library and will also be a benefit to the military enthusiast and historian
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-549-6
  Suggested Retail: $25.95 US/£20.00 UK/$30.0
  PUBLISHED: Jul 29, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Spain / España

About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


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