23-24 Junio “Men sense Gal Bawled out Klaus”

June 23-24, 1937

Robert Merriman’s diary for June 23 and 24, 1937

Merriman’s diary is fairly skimpy for these two days.  He gave a few lectures to the men during the day and decided on some personnel matters.   Moran is Marsden Moran.  Marsden Moran became the Alfarez in the 2nd Battalion of Instruction in Tarazona in August.¹ Previously we had identified the next line as saying “Lamb – Roger practice”,  but now we think the first word is simply “Lunch”.  Leonard Lamb was not in Tarazona at this time.  Frank Rogers we saw previously is a new arrival and he will become a Commissar in the Mac-Paps.

Marty Hourihan was to have given a lecture in the evening but he did not appear so Merriman gave his “history of the Lincolns” lecture.   Merriman announces an upcoming “Socialist competition”.  He also disciplines Tom Brown who is refusing to obey orders.   Brown would become a base instructor, be captured in Spring of 1938 during the Retreats, and be repatriated from Burgos Prison in April 1939.   Pierre Lamotte continues to struggle in finding a role in the Battalion.   He clearly did not do well on his exam on the machine gun.

In the evening or overnight hours, Merriman had a discussion with Allan Johnson and Bill Lawrence.  Likely that they were still debriefing about Harry Haywood’s attempt to represent American discontent with Vladomir Copic.  In an interesting revelation, Merriman says that the men sense that General Gal has bawled out Colonel Hans Klaus, who continues to fall in responsibility from the Brigade to the Battalion level.   Merriman does not reveal what the issue is with Klaus but we know from Eby and others that General Gal will throw a party on the 25th at his Ambite Mill villa and Colonel Klaus was a no-show.

Merriman tries to connect with Tom Wintringham but doesn’t so returns to Tarazona to play bridge in the evening with Bob Thompson and Jack Mullinger.  Mullinger should have been preparing his lectures for the following day since he apparently got in trouble the next day  because he wasn’t.

Tom Hyde continues to draw Merriman’s attention.   In this episode it appears that Hyde wishes to go to the front, since he apparently cannot work effectively in the rear without having the experience of having been in battle.  This may be a matter of gaining respect from the other men.

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¹ RGASPI Fond 545/Opis 2/Delo 265, pg 35.