The Chetwode Commission and British diplomatic responses to violence behind the lines in the Spanish Civil War

Peter Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years historians have broken years of silence on the brutal repression behind the lines that marked the Spanish Civil War. Despite this, we continue to know very little about British diplomatic efforts to put a stop to the repression carried out by the insurgents led by General Franco. By focusing on the understudied Chetwode Prisoner Exchange Commission, this article shows that the British, working alongside the International Committee for the Red Cross and at times the Republican government, did take steps to try and prevent Francoists from executing prisoners of war. However, these attempts largely came to naught because the insurgents refused to be swayed by humanitarian considerations and because the British faced with an imminent Franco victory and pursuing national self interest abandoned supporters of the Republic to their fate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-260
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


Cite this