21-22 Julio Ralph Bates comes to warm up the crowd….

July 21-22
Robert Merriman’s diary for 21 and 22 July.

Merriman must have been busy with the deployment of the Mac-Paps because he did not keep up his diary for the week of July 21-28.  He caught up at one go.  (Believe me, I can understand how Merriman would have trouble keeping up on his diary….)

Ralph Bates
Ralph Bates lecturing to the Regiment de Tren, probably July 21, 1937, prior to going to Quinto. ALBA Photo 177-178037, Tamiment Library, NYU

Ralph Bates came to lecture to the men and it was inspiring according to Merriman.   Bates was acting as brigade commissar at the time and would soon go abroad to raise awareness and money for the Internationals.  The photograph on the right is believed to be Bates’ speech to the 5th Transportation Group.

Merriman gives a list of disappointments for the Lincolns.  David Mates was the Commissar of the Washington Battalion.  Harry Haywood’s story was mentioned on earlier diary pages.  Rodriguez could be one of a half-dozen men of that surname and if he was removed for cause, it has not been noted in the major texts on the Spanish Civil War.   Similarly, Murray is unknown.  Schneider is likely to be Murray Schneider who was placed in detention for misappropriation of food.   The story of Vincent Usera was given on the previous post.  While Merriman notes that Usera’s concern was with a fight with Steve Nelson, Nelson clearly was acting in his commissarial role in removing Usera from command.  Interesting comment on Usera “Your contribution to the Spanish War”.  This sounds like Merriman bucking Usera up that he still would make a contribution in training new men.  If Usera was really a plant from the US Army, Merriman had no inkling of that.

The rest of the diary posting dealt with issues of Lou Secundy being irritated by a problem with a vehicle and Joe Dallet missing an appointment because the spring broke in that vehicle.  It seems Dallet must have given heck to Secundy on the status of the auto park vehicles.