A Labor of Love: Frente Rojo
Three years ago, Marc and I and another friend started up a Spanish Civil War reenacting group that at the time we called La Brigada. In the first year, we only attended two events and it was just the three of us. After awhile, we decided to start up a Facebook group to help with recruitment, organization, and to gauge the reenacting community’s interest in this niche period.
We were blown away at the amount of interest. Even with the page originally in “secret” status, we had 40 or so members who were regular contributors within a year. Around that time, our friend left the unit and a couple new faces (Sean Edwards and Mateo Ehrlich) stepped in to help, as our numbers were rapidly increasing. We had our first event as “Frente Rojo” around that time, with 10 members in attendance. We decided on the name change in order to allow “La Brigada” to become the umbrella organization in the event that we could eventually bring in some Nationalist reenactors and/or other factions. Around the time our numbers started to grow, as others in the reenacting community began to see the photos that had popped up online. In another year, we more than doubled our numbers again.
Two weeks ago, Frente Rojo had our first truly “public” event when we attended Military Through the Ages with 18(!) members in attendance. We got a lot of really positive attention and commentary from other reenactors and from the public, and we even got a few new recruits over the weekend! All in all, I’m really happy to see that a unit that I helped create, and that recreates a part of history that I feel is both exceptionally important and yet often forgotten, is doing so well. I hope that we continue to grow, and once our unit website is up, I hope that we can become a source of information for those interested in the period in much the same way that some of our European sister units (such as La Columna, Frente del Nalon, and Frente de Madrid) have become.