MEMOIRS OF A NATIONALIST FIGHTER PILOT: 1936-39 by Captain Jose Larios

MEMOIRS OF A NATIONALIST FIGHTER PILOT: 1936-39

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Aside from his personal history as a Fascist fighter pilot against the Reds in the Spanish Civil War, Captain Larios presents a quite tenable picture of Franco's motives in turning the Army against the government. That Franco emerges as only slightly less glorious than Garibaldi or Bolivar will not please American readers. (In a recent film To Die in Madrid, we see very unflattering newsclips of Franco reeling with a megalomania as extreme as Mussolini's on his balcony.) And that the author sees Spain's last twenty-five years as a great flowering of social justice is a savagely amusing idea. Yet in a sense, the Nationalists were fighting to repel the very same type of Communist invasion that we fought in Korea and are resisting in Cuba and Vietnam. The question is too complex for this review; we can only say that Larios fails to mention the injustices of the Monarchy, while he does show some inescapable justice in the Fascist cause. He was himself a young and very high-living aristocrat when war broke out. We follow him through his first 68 missions as a bombardier and some 170 missions as a fighter pilot (six kills, five probables). The air war is thoroughly documented as well as army movements and battles. This is a valuable book about a war on which there can never be a final word.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1966
Publisher: Macmillan