The Fate of Gaston Delaselle

Major Gaston Delaselle was the commander of the XIV International, which when sent into battle in the Battle of Corunna Road was virtually untrained. Like the militiamen in similar circumstances, most of them turned and ran on being surprised by enemy machinegun fire. Their commander was accused of incompetence and arrested, not only for incompetence but on the charge of being a fascist spy and a coward. He was found guilty in a hastily assembled court martial led by the communist Andre Marty. Ilya Ehrenburg later described Marty as speaking like 'a mentally sick man' and Gustav Regler commented that Marty would rather shoot anyone on suspicion, rather than waste time with what he felt was 'petit bourgeois indecision'.

The interpreter at the trial described Delaselle's fate. 'He was found guilty, and one comrade went up behind him with a pistol and shot him through the head.".

The Nationalists and their Axis backers, in the face of the determined Republican resistance, began to adjust themselves reluctantly to a protracted war. Hitler was not surprised by the turn of events, and was unperturbed, as a long war suited his purposes better.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.