fifth column

fifth column

an organized group of people sympathizing with and working for the enemy within a country at war or otherwise under attack

Fifth column is a translation of the Spanish phrase quinta columna : during the Spanish Civil War, an extra body of supporters was claimed by General Mola as being within Madrid when he besieged the city with four columns of Nationalist forces in 1936.

Related Idioms :

dodge the column

shirk your duty

avoid work - British informal

Column is a military term which refers to the usual formation of troops for marching.

fifth column :

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