109 Facts About Francisco Franco


Two years later, Francisco Franco became the director of the General Military Academy in Zaragoza.


Francisco Franco's career was boosted after the right-wing CEDA and PRR won the 1933 election, empowering him to lead the suppression of the 1934 uprising in Asturias.


Francisco Franco was briefly elevated to Chief of Army Staff before the 1936 election moved the leftist Popular Front into power, relegating him to the Canary Islands.


Francisco Franco consolidated all nationalist parties into the FET y de las JONS and developed a cult of personality around his rule by founding the Movimiento Nacional.


Francisco Franco became a leader in the anti-communist movement, garnering support from the West, particularly the United States.


Francisco Franco died in 1975, aged 82, and was entombed in the Valle de los Caidos.


Francisco Franco restored the monarchy in his final years, being succeeded by Juan Carlos, King of Spain, who led the Spanish transition to democracy.

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Francisco Franco's reign was marked by both brutal repression, with tens of thousands killed, and economic prosperity, which greatly improved the quality of life in Spain.


Francisco Franco Bahamonde was born on 4 December 1892 in the Calle Frutos Saavedra in Ferrol, Galicia, into a seafaring family.


Francisco Franco was baptised thirteen days later at the military church of San Francisco, with the baptismal name Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teodulo.


The young Francisco Franco spent much of his childhood with his two brothers, Nicolas and Ramon, and his two sisters, Maria del Pilar and Maria de la Paz.


Francisco Franco's brother Nicolas was a naval officer and diplomat who married Maria Isabel Pascual del Pobil.


Francisco Franco was the second sibling to die, killed in an air accident on a military mission in 1938.


Francisco Franco's father was a naval officer who reached the rank of vice admiral.


When Francisco Franco was fourteen, his father moved to Madrid following a reassignment and ultimately abandoned his family, marrying another woman.


Years after becoming dictator, under the pseudonym Jaime de Andrade, Francisco Franco wrote a brief novel called Raza, whose protagonist is believed by Stanley Payne to represent the idealised man Francisco Franco wished his father had been.


Conversely, Francisco Franco strongly identified with his mother and learned from her moderation, austerity, self-control, family solidarity and respect for Catholicism, though he would inherit his father's harshness, coldness and implacability.


At the age of fourteen, Francisco Franco was one of the youngest members of his class, with most boys being between sixteen and eighteen.


Francisco Franco was short and was bullied for his small size.


Francisco Franco's grades were average; though his good memory meant he seldom struggled academically, his small stature was a hindrance in physical tests.


Francisco Franco graduated in July 1910 as a second lieutenant, standing 251st out of 312 cadets in his class, though this might have had less to do with his grades than with his small size and young age.


Stanley Payne observes that by the time civil war began, Francisco Franco had already become a major general and would soon be a generalissimo, while none of his higher-ranking fellow cadets had managed to get beyond the rank of lieutenant-colonel.


Francisco Franco was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in June 1912 at age 19.


In 1913, Francisco Franco transferred into the newly formed regulares: Moroccan colonial troops with Spanish officers, who acted as elite shock troops.


In 1916, aged 23 with the rank of captain, Francisco Franco was shot in the abdomen by guerilla gunfire during an assault on Moroccan positions at El Biutz, in the hills near Ceuta; this was the only time he was wounded in ten years of fighting.

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Francisco Franco was recommended for promotion to major and to receive Spain's highest honour for gallantry, the coveted Cruz Laureada de San Fernando.


Francisco Franco appealed the decision to the king, who reversed it.


On 22 October 1923, Francisco Franco married Maria del Carmen Polo y Martinez-Valdes.


Francisco Franco held a tense meeting with Primo de Rivera in July 1924.


Francisco Franco led the first wave of troops ashore at Al Hoceima in 1925.


Francisco Franco was eventually recognised for his leadership, and he was promoted to brigadier general on 3 February 1926, making him the youngest general in Europe at age 33, according to Payne and Palacios.


Francisco Franco would have a close relationship with his daughter and was a proud parent, though his traditionalist attitudes and increasing responsibilities meant he left much of the child-rearing to his wife.


In 1928 Francisco Franco was appointed director of the newly created General Military Academy of Zaragoza, a new college for all Spanish army cadets, replacing the former separate institutions for young men seeking to become officers in infantry, cavalry, artillery, and other branches of the army.


Francisco Franco was removed as Director of the Zaragoza Military Academy in 1931; when the Civil War began, the colonels, majors, and captains of the Spanish Army who had attended the academy when he was its director displayed unconditional loyalty to him as Caudillo.


Francisco Franco was a subscriber to the journal of Accion Espanola, a monarchist organisation, and a firm believer in a supposed Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik conspiracy, or contubernio.


On 5 February 1932, Francisco Franco was given a command in A Coruna.


Francisco Franco avoided involvement in Jose Sanjurjo's attempted coup that year, and even wrote a hostile letter to Sanjurjo expressing his anger over the attempt.


The post was above his rank, but Francisco Franco was still unhappy that he was stuck in a position he disliked.


Some time after these events, Francisco Franco was briefly commander-in-chief of the Army of Africa, and from 19 May 1935, on, Chief of the General Staff.


Interested in the parliamentary immunity granted by a seat at the Cortes, Francisco Franco intended to stand as candidate of the Right Bloc alongside Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera for the by-election in the province of Cuenca programmed for 3 May 1936, after the results of the February 1936 election were annulled in the constituency.


In June 1936, Francisco Franco was contacted and a secret meeting was held within La Esperanza forest on Tenerife to discuss starting a military coup.


Francisco Franco decided to join the rebels and was given the task of commanding the Army of Africa.


Francisco Franco rose to power during the Spanish Civil War, which began in July 1936 and officially ended with the victory of his Nationalist forces in April 1939.


Francisco Franco's Nationalists were supported by Fascist Italy, which sent the Corpo Truppe Volontarie and by Nazi Germany, which sent the Condor Legion.


On one side, Francisco Franco had to win the support of the native Moroccan population and their authorities, and, on the other, he had to ensure his control over the army.

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Francisco Franco's method was the summary execution of some 200 senior officers loyal to the Republic.


Francisco Franco requested help from Benito Mussolini, who responded with an offer of arms and planes.


Francisco Franco felt that with Franco in undisputed control of Spain, the possibility of Italy intervening further or of its continuing to occupy the Balearic Islands would be prevented.


On 1 October 1936, in Burgos, Francisco Franco was publicly proclaimed as Generalisimo of the National army and Jefe del Estado.


Francisco Franco personally guided military operations from this time until the end of the war.


Francisco Franco himself was not a strategic genius, but he was very effective at organisation, administration, logistics and diplomacy.


The Nationalist victory could be accounted for by various factors: the Popular Front government had reckless policies in the weeks prior to the war, where it ignored potential dangers and alienated the opposition, encouraging more people to join the rebellion, while the rebels had superior military cohesion, with Francisco Franco providing the necessary leadership to consolidate power and unify the various rightist factions.


In 1937, Francisco Franco assumed as the tentative doctrine of his regime 26 out of the original 27 points.


Francisco Franco made himself jefe nacional of the new FET with a secretary, Political Junta and National Council to be named subsequently by himself.


Francisco Franco placed the Carlist Manuel Fal Conde under house arrest and imprisoned hundreds of old Falangists, the so-called "old shirts", including the party leader Manuel Hedilla, to help secure his political future.


Francisco Franco appeased the Carlists by exploiting the Republicans' anti-clericalism in his propaganda, in particular concerning the "Martyrs of the war".


An early indication that Francisco Franco was going to keep his distance from Germany soon proved true.


Francisco Franco had received important support from Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War, and he had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact.


Francisco Franco made pro-Axis speeches, while offering various kinds of support to Italy and Germany.


On 23 October 1940, Hitler and Francisco Franco met in Hendaye, France to discuss the possibility of Spain's entry on the side of the Axis.


Francisco Franco's demands, including large supplies of food and fuel, as well as Spanish control of Gibraltar and French North Africa, proved too much for Hitler.


Some historians argue that Francisco Franco made demands he knew Hitler would not accede to, in order to stay out of the war.


Francisco Franco allowed Spanish soldiers to volunteer to fight in the German Army against the Soviet Union, but forbade Spaniards to fight in the West against the democracies.


Francisco Franco was initially keen to join the war before the UK could be defeated.


Francisco Franco had cautiously decided to enter the war on the Axis side in June 1940, and to prepare his people for war, an anti-British and anti-French campaign was launched in the Spanish media that demanded French Morocco, Cameroon and Gibraltar.

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Francisco Franco was aware that his air force would be quickly defeated if going into action against the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Navy would easily be able to destroy Spain's small navy and blockade the entire Spanish coast to prevent imports of crucial materials such as oil.


However, an affected Mussolini did not appear to be interested in Francisco Franco's help due to the defeats his forces had suffered in North Africa and the Balkans, and he even told Francisco Franco that he wished he could find any way to leave the war.


Some historians have argued that not all of the Blue Division were true volunteers and that Francisco Franco expended relatively small but significant resources to aid the Axis powers' battle against the Soviet Union.


Francisco Franco was initially disliked by Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, who, during World War II, suggested a joint US-Latin American declaration of war on Spain to overthrow Francisco Franco's regime.


Francisco Franco felt Spain would be a burden as it would be dependent on Germany for help.


Francisco Franco signed a revised Anti-Comintern Pact on 25 November 1941.


Francisco Franco placed no obstacles to Britain's construction of a large air base extending from Gibraltar into Spanish territorial waters, and welcomed the Anglo-American landings in North Africa.


In 2010, documents were discovered showing that on 13 May 1941, Francisco Franco ordered his provincial governors to compile a list of Jews while he negotiated an alliance with the Axis powers.


Francisco Franco supplied Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Nazis' Final Solution, with a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain.


Francisco Franco had a controversial association with Jews during the WWII period.


Francisco Franco made antisemitic remarks in a speech in May 1939, and made similar remarks on at least six occasions during World War II.


In 2010, documents were discovered showing that on 13 May 1941, Francisco Franco ordered his provincial governors to compile a list of Jews while he negotiated an alliance with the Axis powers.


Francisco Franco supplied Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Nazis' Final Solution, with a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain.


Preston writes that, in the post-war years, "a myth was carefully constructed to claim that Francisco Franco's regime had saved many Jews from extermination" as a means to deflect foreign criticism away from allegations of active collaboration with the Nazi regime.


Francisco Franco personally and many in the government openly stated that they believed there was an international conspiracy of Freemasons and Communists against Spain, sometimes including Jews or "Judeo-Masonry" as part of this.


Francisco Franco was recognised as the Spanish head of state by the United Kingdom, France and Argentina in February 1939.


On paper, Francisco Franco had more power than any Spanish leader before or since.


The "Law of the Head of State," passed in August 1939, "permanently confided" all governing power to Francisco Franco; he was not required to even consult the cabinet for most legislation or decrees.


On 26 July 1947, Francisco Franco proclaimed Spain a monarchy, but did not designate a monarch.


Francisco Franco left the throne vacant, proclaiming himself as a de facto regent for life.

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Francisco Franco wore the uniform of a captain general and resided in El Pardo Palace.


Francisco Franco added "by the grace of God", a phrase usually part of the styles of monarchs, to his style.


Francisco Franco adopted Fascist trappings, although Stanley Payne argued that very few scholars consider him to be a "core fascist".


The first decade of Francisco Franco's rule following its end saw continued repression and the killing of an undetermined number of political opponents.


Francisco Franco used language politics in an attempt to establish national homogeneity.


Francisco Franco promoted the use of Castilian Spanish and suppressed other languages such as Catalan, Galician, and Basque.


Under Francisco Franco, Spain pursued a campaign to force a negotiation on the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and closed its border with that territory in 1969.


Francisco Franco initially pursued a policy of autarky, cutting off almost all international trade.


When Francisco Franco replaced his ideological ministers with the apolitical technocrats, the regime implemented several development policies that included deep economic reforms.


In 1969, Francisco Franco formally nominated as his heir-apparent Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon, who had been educated by him in Spain, with the new title of Prince of Spain.


On 19 July 1974, the aged Francisco Franco fell ill from various health problems, and Juan Carlos took over as acting head of state.


Francisco Franco's body was interred at the Valley of the Fallen, a colossal memorial built by the forced labour of political prisoners ostensibly to honour the casualties of both sides of the Spanish Civil War.


Francisco Franco was the only person interred in the Valley who did not die during the civil war.


Francisco Franco was buried a few metres from the grave of the Falange's founder, Jose Antonio.


The major European governments, who condemned Francisco Franco's regime, declined to send high-level representatives to his funeral.


On 24 August 2018, the Government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez approved legal amendments to the Historical Memory Law stating that only those who died during the Civil War would be buried at the Valle de los Caidos, resulting in plans to exhume Francisco Franco's remains for reburial elsewhere.


Francisco Franco's family opposed the exhumation, and attempted to prevent it by making appeals to the Ombudsman's Office.


The family expressed its wish that Francisco Franco's remains be reinterred with full military honors at the Almudena Cathedral in the centre of Madrid, the burial place he had requested before his death.


Francisco Franco's body was to be exhumed from the Valle de los Caidos on 10 June 2019, but the Supreme Court of Spain ruled that the exhumation would be delayed until the family had exhausted all possible appeals.


On 24 September 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the exhumation could proceed, and the Sanchez government announced that it would move Francisco Franco's remains to the Mingorrubio cemetery as soon as possible.

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Historian Stanley Payne described Francisco Franco as being the most significant figure to dominate Spain since Philip II, while Michael Seidman argued that Francisco Franco was the most successful counterrevolutionary leader of the 20th century.


Francisco Franco served as a role model for several anti-communist dictators in South America.


In 2006, the BBC reported that Maciej Giertych, an MEP of the clerical-nationalist League of Polish Families, had expressed admiration for Francisco Franco, stating that the Spanish leader "guaranteed the maintenance of traditional values in Europe".


Spaniards who suffered under Francisco Franco's rule have sought to remove memorials of his regime.