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SPAIN: The Civil War and Shirley Temple



Shirley Temple Black lives near here. Born in 1928, she was only eight when the Spanish Civil War broke out, but she was already a famous film star. Doing research for the printed version of my book on my experiences in Spain during that period, I consulted The Spanish Civil War by that famous WAISer Hugh Thomas. Describing the situation in Madrid in late 1936, he says this in his account of the morale of the workers and government forces there: "Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel, which was shown in Madrid at this time, had an effect on tactics of which Captain Liddell Hart might heen proud. The greatest possible success was also enjoyed by Groucho Marx, who was represented as a Colonel in Duck Soup. Looking very like a Spanish regular officer, he remarked before a map: 'A child of three could solve this problem'. A pause. 'Fetch me a child of three'. The militiamen on leave from the Sierra found this relevant."

I wonder if Shirley Temple Black realizes that she had an influence on the military strategy in the Spanish Civil War.

Ronald Hilton - 2/16/01


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