Will has emailed me with a link that provides a much fuller critique of Hobsbawm's piece on intellectuals in the Spanish Civil War than my earlier post. Steven Schwartz's "Eric Hobsbawm's Stalinist Homage to Catalonia" places the emphasis on Catalan and Spanish scholarship and experience to take a libertarian left position on the war and to launch an attack on Hobsbawm. He concludes,
The Spanish knew so many things that Hobsbawm will never know – and above all, they know that while Orwell’s methods might not have guaranteed the victory of the Spanish Republic, those of Stalin and his admirers assured its defeat.
It is long but worth reading. The full article is here.