AKA ‘El Caudillo’ (The Leader).
Kill tally: Tens to hundreds of thousands. One source says 500,000 killed in the Spanish Civil War, another claims two million executed alone. More sober estimates for executions put the figure at 35,000 killed either summarily or after a hasty court martial. According to military historian Antony Beevor, the figure for non-combatants and surrendered troops killed by Franco’s Nationalists during the war “must exceed 100,000 and may be closer to 200,000.”
Background: Spain becomes a republic in 14 April 1931 when King so XIII abdicates and goes into exile. However, the country is unable to maintain any political stability. A provisional administration is replaced first by a republican left government in October 1931 then a conservative government in November 1933 and finally by the Popular Front, a coalition of socialists and left republicans, in February 1936. Spanish conservatives become concerned that the Popular Front will turn the country into a communist state. The right-wing National Bloc openly appeals to the military to save Spain. The military acts in July 1936, sparking the Spanish Civil War.
Mini biography: Born on 4 December 1892 in El Ferrol in Galicia, northwestern Spain. His full name is Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde. Franco’s father is a paymaster in the Spanish naval administrative corps. His mother is a pious and conservative upper middle-class Roman Catholic.
1907 – At the age of 14 Franco enters the Infantry Academy at Toledo, graduating three years later and receiving his first commission as second lieutenant. Read the rest of this entry »