The Spanish Civil War was supposed to be a great moment in communist history. Actually, the Republican Army and its efforts were pretty much a big farce.
I think that's because there were so many international dilitante pinkos who dropped in for a few weeks and then scooted, having their marxist street cred boosted - kind of like cutting sugar cane for Fidel. Their homilies for the glory of the Cause are to be understood in the same way as the various Hollywood award shows - "Look at me. Aren't I cool?"