Statement from the UGT, FAI, CNT Defence Committee, 17/1/37 to the People of Madrid.
Men and women of Madrid, Workers of Spain, and Proletarian lovers of Liberty around the world!
The hour of the greatest danger to the Second Republic and our liberty has come! The Fascist hyenas who wish to destroy Liberty and progress are twenty kms to the south and twenty kms to the North of our beloved Madrid! But they are being held by our Mixed Brigades of militia and Regulars who love freedom!
Who can forget the march of the XII International Brigade through our Madrid on their way to the Front, and the wild enthusiasm they inspired! They have already turned back the Carlist from the east, and the Chatos of our Gallant aviation have aided in the defeat of the Reqeutes in the North.
The Army of Africa who boasted that they would be in Madrid by Xmas are now saying they will be here by Easter. But which Easter, we ask? Already their General has admitted publicly that losses among the Moors and Regularares have been "heavy and irreplaceable”. Who can forget the Battle of Cordoba? Anarchist and Socialist Militia columns attacked a Brigade of Moors in a pincer movement, and routed them. Our forces were led by effective armoured trucks, home made but well made. Even the Falangist High Command admitted a defeat, but blamed ill luck and the dead Brigadier for carelessness.
What then of the repeated failed assaults on Jaen, the Verdun of the Republic? For two months the Rebels have attacked and for two months they have been repulsed by our militias! Is that ill luck, as well? These have not been the only Republican Victories!
In Gijonin in the North the Simancas Barracks held out for a month, until blasted out by the dinamiteros. Stern justice was visited upon the surviving traitors. Near Adulajar in the South the monastery of Santa Maria was seized by the Insurgents in the opening days of the Revolt. It held out for two months and surrendered on generous terms, with all Insurgent civilians sent across the lines and only the deluded few who refused to take on oath to the Republic who had been in arms against it were shot. The rest of the garrison were disarmed and sent to their homes.
The Republic can be generous, even to its' foes! The same generous terms were offered to the garrison in Alcazar in Toledo by the Luis Moscardo, to the Colonels’ son by phone. There has been a ridiculous story put about by our enemies about this exchange. Colonel Moscardo the commander of the fortress stated that his son said that if the Alcazar was not surrendered he would be shot. This is an obvious slander as Luis Moscardo was not shot. He fell out of the third floor window of the Toledo CHECA office by accident two weeks later while he was watching a an aerial dogfight. The Alcazar was mined by the same Asturian dinamiteros who took the Simancas Barracks, and stormed on the 18th October. It must be said the garrison fought like Spaniards, and it was only after bitter fighting that it fell. It was a first test for a properly trained Peoples Army brigade and they were victorious!
It must be made clear that the day of amateur militias is over, and to win we must become professional and disciplined soldiers! Also fortune favours the just! It can be revealed that operational orders for the Falange attack at Santa Maria de Flores were found on a dead Italian officer who was killed on a recon patrol. Reinforcements were rushed to the area, and the Blue Shirts were defeated with heavy loss. Another victory!
Of course, there have been defeats. Badajoz and Malaga have both fallen, with great slaughter of those who hold progressive opinions. Will this happen in Madrid? No Never! This is MADRID! There is no truth in the slander the Government have fled the city. They have withdrawn to Valencia so the government’s capacity to govern and wage war would be unimpaired, which would be difficult in a city besieged. This move is a long planned contingency plan, not a panicked flight, as our Enemies would style it! The XI international Brigade is now in Madrid! Trained soldiers, anti-fascists from thirty-seven countries are on the way to the Front, where their deeds will no doubt rival in daring the XII Brigade. Russian tanks are on their way, Russian aircraft already rule our skies, and our fortifications are strong!
Let us make Madrid the Graveyard of Fascism!
To resist is to win!
THEY SHALL NOT PASS!