Reluctant Warriors challenges traditional political interpretations of the Spanish Civil War, and sets it in a new and immediately human light. It is a comparative study of Nationalist Army and Republican Popular Army conscripts, and analyses the conflict from the perspective of those who were involved against their will. While militants on both sides joined the conflict voluntarily, millions of Spanish men coped with the military uprising as an unwanted intrusion into their lives. James Matthews firstly examines the climate in which both sides implemented mass conscription within their zones. He analyses the process of conscription from call-up to placement in a unit, and looks at the methods employed to motivate and maintain the morale of drafted men, as well as the approaches to discipline in the two armies. Finally, he examines situations in which men avoided front line service. These accounted for constant manpower losses on both sides, and were particularly marked for the Republic. Reluctant Warriors reveals that the Nationalist Army managed its conscripted men better than the Republican Popular Army; a vital factor in determining the ultimate outcome of the war.