Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mine Were of Trouble” as Want to Read:
Mine Were of Trouble
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mine Were of Trouble

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  534 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Spain, 1936. Escalating violence between left- and right-wing political factions boils over. Military officers stage a coup against a democratically elected, Soviet-backed, government. The country is thrown into chaos as centuries-old tensions return to the forefront. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards choose sides and engage in the most devastating combat since the First ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published 1957 by Cassell
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mine Were of Trouble, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mine Were of Trouble

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  534 ratings  ·  83 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mine Were of Trouble
Charles Haywood
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Among the many tools of the superbly effective Left propaganda machine, one of the most effective is its control of publishing. Leftists use this to ensure that innumerable books fitting the Left narrative stay in print indefinitely, primarily for use as indoctrination tools in schools, as a glance at any modern curriculum at any grade level will show you. On the other hand, books not fitting the Left narrative disappear—never republished, expensive to buy used, and impossible to read online bec ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great war account, told from a unique perspective.
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘This place is full of Fascists!’
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very informative, I’ve rarely read anything from the Nationalist point of view. I do wish Kemp had included some of his reflections regarding his philosophy of war, his ideologies, but maybe I’m just being picky. Overall a pleasant and refreshing read.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Buy buy buy
Aug 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arnhem
Lively Spanish Civil War memoirs by a british soldier of fortune. Can't find a lot of such accounts from Franco's side nowadays. Hence a mustread. ...more
It was a little more than 2 weeks ago that I became aware of the book "Mine Were of Trouble." It is Peter Kemp's memoir detailing his experiences as a officer in the Nationalist Army during the Spanish Civil War. Kemp was a recent graduate of Cambridge University, where he had studied law, when the Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1936. It was a war in which the Republican government (a popularly elected leftist government which drew support from workers and the Communist Party) in Madrid was ...more
Christopher Winter
This book was completely unknown to me until I started being recommended it by various anonymous accounts on Twitter. My curiosity peaked after I had heard the general theme of it; and I must say, I am extremely glad that I took the decision to buy and read it.

This is arguably one of the most interesting, thrilling, and charming books I have ever read, and most certainly is a contender for my favourite of the year. The author, Peter Kemp, has a superb skill for structure, detail, and storytelli
Monty Milne
Jul 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
The overwhelming majority of people who have read anything about the Spanish Civil War written by one who participated have read Hemingway or Orwell. Almost nobody reads anything written by anyone who served on the Nationalist side. This excellent memoir is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the conflict who wants to get a view from what was after all the winning side. In the case of the Spanish Civil War the old saying about history being written by the victors is of course stood ...more
Brayden Raymond
Dec 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
2.5 stars. This is worth reading if simply for the perspective it gives but the author for no fault of his own produces a painfully biased perspective. Y'know because he's fighting for Fascists. Reading between the lines makes things particular obvious the rose colored glasses Kemp is using while writing this account decades after it happens. Defining men he served alongside during the war as "good hearted" or "good natured" despite them gunning down men who had surrendered to them. Sure Kemp pr ...more
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
This book felt more like a travel guide than a war diary a lot of the time, and that was great. It's pretty much a fascist The Hobbit in which good-natured life-enjoyer Peter Kemp gets swept by wanderlust and travels through the untamed wilderness, quaint townships, and majestic imperial ruins of sunny Spain, where he encounters a plethora of colourful characters in a variety of military units and gets to watch them die violently. I especially liked the parts where every third person he meets is ...more
Prince Al
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Nationalist Homage to Catalonia. Heavy on the campaign history; you'll want a good map of Spain as you read along. Some editions have them, so check reviews if you're buying a print copy.

Details of Kemp's narrative corroborate Orwell's, especially when it comes to the dispositions of the competing forces: combat doctrines, esprit de corps, materiel, etc.

Kemp's tale of sacrifice and suffering is counterpointed by the pleasures of 1930s Spain. It's half gritty war memoir and half jaunty travel
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The second published book by Mystery Grove Publishing Co. (strongly recommend all of their published books), Mine Were of Trouble is Peter Kemps' firsthand account of his time as a volunteer fighter for the nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Kemp first published this account in 1957, but has been out-of-print for decades, only to be brought back my Mystery Grove. This account is one of the few firsthand accounts of the nationalist side, and is one of the only firsthand accounts of a Brit ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommend this book to your friends.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Kemp is an Englishman who served as a junior officer in the Spanish Civil War -- on the Nationalist side.

This doesn't go deeply into the causes of the war (which are complex), and is primarily told about activities which a single junior officer directly saw (with some other parts, for instance the Guernica incident, where propaganda widely believed was incorrect).

It was pretty interesting how easily one could slip across borders and participate in conflicts internationally at the time. Far
Miles Watson
Feb 21, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is a very readable and important book. It is practically the only account we have of the Spanish Civil War told by an Englishman who was fighting on the Nationalist/Fascist rather than the Loyalist/Republican side. It serves as a mirror-image of George Orwell's A HOMAGE TO CATALONIA, and gives a fascinating and curiously even-handed account of the war. There is bias, of course, but the author tries hard to be fair and critical, and succeeds, I think, more than Orwell did in seeing a certain ...more
Aug 14, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Hartley
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the most readable books on the Spanish Civil War I've read, largely thanks to Kemp's lovely turn of phrase. What makes this book stand out, too, is that it is told from an English volunteer who fought not to the Republican side but the Nationalist.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge of the War - for me it was something of a revelation.
Jeremiah Johnstone
Aug 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
An interesting personal account of the Spanish Civil War from the 'other' perspective, although Kemp doesn't pull too many punches criticising his own side either. Pairs nicely with, and as an opposite to, Homage to Catalonia. A clear and technical writing style is also a big plus. ...more
Jason Reese
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
An engrossing read for what represents for many people “the other side of the story.”
Oct 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I will make sure to read his other two war memoirs, I, personally, consider this the Storm of Steel of the Spanish civil war.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is the good book
Nick John
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent read. It had me glued to the book non stop since I opened it. Peter is not only a funny writer he is excellent when it comes to details of others character and settings as well as his experiences. You feel as though you are along for a young mans adventure through the spanish civil war right their with him every step of the way. If you love Historic Action and Adventure so far anything Mystery Grove Publishing has republished is for you. Very glad Peter Kempa writings ha e not ...more
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very underrated and obscure piece of literature (out of print for over half a decade) about one of the most overlooked conflicts of the first half of the 20th century. Astoundingly objectiv and witty reporting of an Englishman in the turmoil of the spanish civil war.
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Mine Were of Trouble : A Nationalist Account of the Spanish Civil War (1957) by Peter Kemp is an account of the Spanish Civil War from the Nationalist side. It’s a very interesting accompaniment to George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia.

Kemp had just finished Law and Classics at Cambridge and then volunteered to fight for the Nationalists in Spain. There were various other international volunteers for the Nationalist side but not nearly as many as for the Republicans. In parts of the book Kemp meet
Peter Bradley
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Mine Were of Trouble by Peter Kemp

Please give my review a helpful vote - https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-re...

This is a most unusual book. It recounts the experiences of Peter Kemp, a young British man who like many went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War to fight for civilization. While there are probably many similar books - George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" was one such book - Kemp's book is different in that he decides to fight on the side of the Nationalists, i.e., the "fascists."
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic tale of a foreign volunteer in Spain during the civil war. Kemp retells his time serving with detailed and engaging prose!
João Pereira
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and singular perspective on the Spanish Civil War by an Englishman volunteer on the Nationalist side, first enlisted in the Requeté Army (Carlists), then on the Foreign Legion (the elite army unit).

Kemp, taking the place of an Alferéz, describes the perks of everyday anecdotes compellingly enough for the non-war literature enthusiast. He brings to light a side of this war which is still considered, to this day, "unfashionable", although he makes it very clear why he found impe
Jun 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Mostly a dry read for the first ~100 pages or so; fortunately the book is redeemed by the last 50 pages which contain many stirring accounts, interesting encounters, and plenty of action.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Peter Kemp was a conservative law student and sometimes journalist with a strong dislike of communism when he went to Spain to volunteer as a soldier for the Nationalist cause during the Spanish Civil War. As so much of the war has been written from the Republican perspective, often by biased-bleeding heart writers who mingled with the foreign socialist, communist and anarchist volunteers who fought for the Republic, Kemp's memoir represents a much needed and balanced view of the conflict from t ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Always with Honor: The Memoirs of General Wrangel
  • Storm of Steel
  • Moscow Tram Stop: A doctor's experiences with the German spearhead in Russia
  • Daedalus Returned
  • To Hell and Back
  • Panzer Leader
  • The Wooden Horse
  • I Flew for the Führer
  • Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front
  • Bronze Age Mindset
  • Harassment Architecture
  • An Outpost of Progress
  • Heart of Darkness
  • Gothic Violence
  • Sun and Steel
  • The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam
  • 85 Days in Slavyansk
  • Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

It’s no secret that the digital 21st century has been rough on the average attention span. Even for dedicated readers, it can sometimes be...
74 likes · 10 comments
“I met another like him, nearly two years later, in San Sebastian, who informed me that he was so disgusted with the British for the way they had let down his Czar that he had ceased altogether to drink whiskey.” 0 likes
“I believe that all Spaniards⁠—even those fighting us—wish that this war could have been settled one way or another by Spaniards alone. We never wanted our country to become a battleground for foreign powers.” 0 likes
More quotes…