It should be noted that the following summary is based on a later edition of the book which contains some amendments that Orwell requested: the two chapters describing the politics of the time were moved to appendices. Orwell felt that these chapters should be moved so that readers could ignore them if they wished; the chapters, which became appendices, were journalistic accounts of the political situation in Spain, and Orwell felt these were out of place in the midst of the narrative.
Barcelona appeared to been "a town where the working class were in the saddle": a large number of businesses had been collectivised[?], "the Anarchists" (referring to the Spanish CNT and FAI) were "in control", tipping[?] was prohibited by workers themselves, and servile forms of speech, such as "Señor" or "Don", were abandoned. He goes on to talk about his time at the Lenin Barracks[?] there, where militiamen were given "what was comically called 'instruction'" in preparation for the front.
Most of the rest of this chapter is spent describing the faults of the POUM[?] workers' militia[?], as he saw them, half-complaining about the sometimes frustrating tendency of Spaniards to put things off until "mañana[?]" (tomorrow; literally, "the morning"), noting his struggles with Spanish (aggravated by the local use of Catalan) and praising the friendliness and generosity of the majority Spaniards he met. Orwell leads us on to the next chapter by describing the "conquering-hero stuff" -- parades through the streets and cheering crowds -- that the militiamen experienced at the time he was sent to the Aragón front.
Alcubierre[?] (in January 1937[?]) to witness the squalid conditions that had been aggravated by the village's proximity to the front line. He then mentions the arrival of various "Fascist deserters" and the poor weaponry that the militiamen in that area of the front received. The chapter ends on his centuria's arrival at trenches near Saragossa and his first near miss with a bullet.
trench warfare, the sneaking about in the mist and on night patrols. Here he praises the Spanish militias: for their relative social equality[?], for their holding of the front while the army was trained in the rear, and for the "democratic 'revolutionary' type of discipline[?]" which he says is "more reliable than might be expected." This democratic and egalitarian approach remained intact on the front, he said, even while it was being almost systematically destroyed behind the lines by the Communist-controlled government, police and press during that year. Throughout the rest of the chapter, Orwell describes the various shortages and problems at the front -- firewood, tobacco and poor firearms -- as well as the danger of accidents inherent in a badly trained and poorly armed group of soldiers.
ILP[?] to a position at Monte Trazo[?], closer to Sargossa. At this position, he witnesses the sometimes propagandistic shouting between the Fascist and Socialist trenches and hears of the fall of Málaga. In February[?], he is sent with the other POUM militiamen 50 miles to Huesca; he mentions the running joke phrase "Tomorrow we'll have a coffee in Huesca," which was first said, Orwell tells us, by the Government's general who made one of many failed assaults on the town.
lice. He was in (a "so-called") hospital at Monflorite[?] for ten days at the end of March[?] with "a poisoned hand." He describes rats that "really were as big as cats, or nearly" (in his famous Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell's character Winston Smith has a phobia of rats that Orwell himself shared to some degree). He makes a reference here to the lack of orthodox "religious feeling," telling us that the Catholic Church was to the Spanish "a racket, pure and simple." He muses that Christianity may have, to some extent, been replaced by Anarchism. The rest of the chapter briefly details various operations which Orwell took part in: silently advancing the Loyalist line by night, for example.
Jaca[?] road." It is described in chapter six. Orwell tells us of the offensive of that night, where his group of fifteen captured a Fascist position, but then retreated to their lines with captured rifles and ammunition, the diversion having been successful in drawing troops from the Anarchist attack.
International Column[?], so that he could go to the Madrid front. The second half of this chapter is spent describing the conflict between the Anarchist CNT and the Socialist UGT[?] and the resulting cancellation of the May Day demonstration and the build up to the street fighting of the Barcelona May Days[?].
3rd of May when Government Assault Guards tried to take the Telephone Exchange from the CNT workers who controlled it. For his part, Orwell acted as part of the POUM, guarding a POUM-controlled building. Although he realises that he is fighting on the side of the working class, Orwell describes to us his dismay at coming back to Barcelona on leave from the front only to get mixed up in street fighting. In his second appendix to the book (formerly "Chapter XI" of the book's first edition, moved at Orwell's request), Orwell discusses the political issues at stake in the May 1937 Barcelona fighting, as he saw them at the time and later on, looking back.
the war might turn out, and Orwell predicts that the "tendency of the post-war Government... is bound to be Fascistic." He returns the front, where he is shot through the throat by a sniper, an injury that finally takes him out of the war. After spending some time in a hospital in Lleida, he was moved to Tarragona where his wound was finally examined over a week after he'd left the front.
very day he had left to obtain discharge papers and POUM members were being arrested without charge. He spends the night in the ruins of a church; he cannot go back to his hotel because of the danger of arrest.
PSUC[?] (the Catalan Communists), the anarchists and the POUM. The second is an attempt to dispel some of the myths in the foreign press at the time (mostly the pro-USSR press) about the street fighting that took place in Catalonia in early May 1937. This was between anarchists and POUM members aginst Communist/government forces which sparked off when local police forces occupied the telephone exchange, which had until then been under the control of CNT workers.