Enemies within, everywhere

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


It is widely known that the notion of the ‘Fifth Column’ – that is, an organised group of subversive elements seeking to overthrow the enemy from within – arose in the early part of the Spanish Civil War. During the putschists’ drive to take Madrid it was General Mola who allegedly claimed that apart from the four columns of armed forces bearing down on the capital, there was also a ‘fifth’ column of sympathisers working to liberate the city from within. In fact, the liberation or capitulation of Madrid was still years away; and as so often in history, the Fifth Column was more a figment of the imagination than a reality. As this masterful study by Robert Loeffel shows, Australian history in this regard is no exception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-309
Number of pages2
JournalHistory Australia: Journal of The Australian Historical Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Australia
  • Second World War
  • Fifth Column
  • Spanish Civil War


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