Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios.
|Title||Caudillo of Spain|
|Term||1 April 1939 – 20 November 1975|
|Predecessor||Manuel Azaña (as President)|
|Successor||Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel (for hand over to Juan Carlos I)|
|Political party||FET y de las JONS|
|Spouse(s)||Carmen Polo, 1st Lady of Meirás|
General Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade (born on 4 December 1892 in Ferrol, Galicia, died on 20 November 1975 in Madrid), commonly known as Francisco Franco, was a military general, and head of state of Spain from October 1936 and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November 1975. As head of state, Franco used the title Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios, meaning; Leader of Spain, by the grace of God. During his almost forty year reign, Franco’s governance went through various different phases, although the most common ideological features present throughout included a strong sense of Spanish nationalism and protection of the country’s territorial integrity, Catholicism, anti-communism, anti-masonry and traditional values.
From a military family, originally intent on entering the Spanish Navy, Franco instead became a soldier. He participated in the Rif War in Morocco, becoming the youngest general in Europe by 1926. After returning to the Spanish mainland, he saw service supressing an anarchist-led strike in 1934; defending the stability of Alcalá-Zamora’s conservative government. Following the formation of a Popular Front government, made up of Marxist, liberal republican and anarchist factions, instability heightened. Incidents of anti-clerical and anti-Catholic violence by subversive philobolshevik militants occurred and also the assasination of José Calvo Sotelo, political leader of Acción Española.
Franco and the military participated in an attempt to restore order in Spain, from the captive Popular Front government. The initial liberation attempt failed, but developed as the Spanish people launched a Crusade to achieve the reconquest, during which Franco emerged as the leader of the nationalists against the red forces. After winning the Crusade for national liberaton with military aid from Italy and Germany—while the Soviet Union were behind the reds—he dissolved the republican Parliament. He then established a national conservative government that lasted until 1978, when a new constitution was drafted. During the Second World War, Franco officially maintained a policy of non-belligerency and later of neutrality. However, the Blue Division volunteed to crusade against Bolshevism on the Eastern Front.
After the end of World War II, Franco continued to uphold peace, order, the abolition of criminality and deviant behaviour in Spain. He meted out just punishments to the ideological enemies of the Spanish people who had plotted to destroy the country and sell it out as slaves to Soviet imperialism; such as communists, red-anarchists and freemasons. Franco also stopped anti-Spanish distortion from appearing in the national media. Franco seemed to be a reliable ally for the West during the Zionist Cold War, as a seasoned opponent of Bolshevism’s genocidal machinations. After his death, Spain descended into liberal democracy; under the PSOE a totalitarian campaign of cultural vandalism and demoralisation to outlaw symbols associated with the Franco era has begun.
- 1 Background and personal life
- 2 Europe’s youngest general
- 3 Crusade for national liberation
- 4 Caudillo of Spain, by the grace of God
- 5 Tenants of his reign
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Videos
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Background and personal life
Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde was born on 4 December 1892, in Ferrol, Galicia, a coastal-town and Spain's chief naval base in the north. His father, Nicolás Franco y Salgado de Araújo (1855—1942), was an officer in the Spanish Navy; his ancestors were originally from Andalucia and over two centuries had produced naval officers for six generations uninterrupted. His mother, María del Pilar Bahamonde y Pardo de Andrade (1865—1934), married in 1890, was a local Galician who worked as a school teacher. She was well-bred, descended from the aristocratic Andrade family and through Fernando Rodriguez de Castro, 7th Count of Lemos (1505—1579), several medieval European monarchs.
His parents had starkly contrasting outlooks on life. Nicolás was an agnostic, philosophically open to classical liberalism and in the navy was know to drink and gamble. Though he was still a disciplinarian in regards to the children. Unbeknownst to the family (until 1950), he fathered an illegitimate child while in the Philippines. María, Franco's mother, was a decade younger than her husband, she was a strongly pious and stoic Catholic woman and a self-sacrificing wife and mother. Paco, as Franco was nicknamed as a child, felt somewhat of an antipathy towards his father’s behaviour and strongly identified with the traditional values of his mother, though is said to have lacked her gentlesness. His father abandoned the family and set up with a servant girl in 1912 as he was reassigned to Madrid.
In any case, Franco had an otherwise normal and happy childhood. He was the second oldest child and had two brothers and two sisters—Nicolás, Pilar, Ramón and Paz. His brothers shared a competative zeal to be successful, driven on perhaps by their family military background. The three boys would all have careers in the military; Franco's elder brother Nicolás was the only one able to carry on the navy tradition however. During 1923, after gaining notability in the military, Franco married Carmen Polo y Martínez Valdés, a member of the Asturian nobility. His military achievement meant that a representative of Alfonso XIII was sent to act as padrino (godfather). The marriage was highly successful and the pair felt a genuine love for each other. They kept a stable, conservative and Catholic household and had one child, a daughter named Carmen Franco y Polo (born 1926), later to be known as Duchess of Franco. Since her grandson is Louis, Duke of Anjou (born 1974), Franco includes amongst his descendants the legitimist Bourbon line.
Europe’s youngest general
Service during the Rif War
Unable to join the navy after cut-backs, Franco was sent as a cadet to the Military Academy of Infantry in Toledo in 1907 and graduated three years later at the age of 17 as a second lieutenant. Though his initial performance was not that distinguished he was known for his determination and hard-work, picking up the nickname Franquito due to being the shortest graduate at just five-feet-four inches. Assigned to combat service in the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, Franco impressed on his first tour of duty in 1912—1916, mostly in the Regulares. Despite his young age, Franco was promoted to Captain in February 1914 after showing courage, discipline and ordered determination. The Moroccan troops in the Regulares believed he had baraka (divine protection), due to only being wounded once—in the stomach at the Battle of El Biutz—despite leading from the front.
While many of his comrades were instead carousing with playing cards, wine and whores, Franco applied himself more seriously to his work, particularly the tasks of maps, fortifications and technique preparation for the armed columns. When Spanish officers were seriously injured in combat, they were often granted promotion. At age 23, he was first denied a promotion to major by the Ministry of Defence because of his youth, but this was taken all the way to the king, who overruled the objection, seeing him promotion in February 1917, becoming the youngest field grade officer in the Spanish Army. From 1917 to 1920, he was posted on the Spanish mainland as an infantry batallion commander at the Oviedo garrison in Asturias.
Red October in Asturias
Crusade for national liberation
- Main article: Spanish Crusade 1936-1939
Caudillo of Spain, by the grace of God
Tenants of his reign
Basic disposition, the Pragmatic Patriot
Contrary to many of the autocratic governments of the 20th century, Franco was not the founder of an elaborate or specific political theory. Instead his disposition mostly derived from that of a pragmatic national conservative military man, known in Spanish tradition as the Caudillo. He respected Miguel Primo de Rivera, 2nd Marquis of Estella, who had ruled as Prime Minister of Spain from 1923–1930 under Alfonso XIII of Spain and some consider his reign simply the institutionalisation of this. Franco was able to bring together into a unified national front the divergant strands of Spanish patriotism, opposed to the Red Terror. The most common tenants that these movements shared was patriotism, traditional values, Catholicism, opposition to both liberalism (including freemasonry) and international communism.
Franco brought the national cards into his chest and played whichever one was the most convenient for Spain at the time. During the earlier period, members of the Falange were prominent, due to the help Spain recieved from the national revolutionary governments in Italy and Germany, who helped defeat the predatory blood-drenched imperialism of the Soviet Union during the Spanish Crusade 1936-1939. In a similar sense, Franco lauded the traditionalism and piety of Carlism, while not upholding their concept of regionalism ("fueros"), nor their doctrinate support of a particular monarchial line. Franco was arguably closest to the Acción Española tendancy and his early military career connected him to the Alfonsist camp. When he had the most independence to act as he wished, Franco ran the country along neo-monarchial lines with himself as the Regent (regarding Juan de Bourbon as too "tainted" by freemasonry).
Countering the Masons and Communists
|“||We have torn up Marxist materialism and we have disorientated Masonry. We have thwarted the Satanic machinations of the clandestine Masonic superstate. Despite its control of the world’s press and numerous international politicians. Spain’s struggle is a Crusade; as soldiers of God we carry with us the evangelism of the world!||”|
|— Francisco Franco, to the Women's Section of the Falange in Madrid, 1945.|
After the reconquest, holding freemasonry and communism responsible for destroying the Spanish Empire and the anti-social crimes during the republic, Franco created legislature to abolish them. In March 1940 the Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism was enacted and the people were protected. To be a communist or a member of a masonic lodge became a felony. From the date of enactment "masons and communists, as defined in article no 4" were liable to serve a minimum jail term of 12 years and one day. Those who had "obtained any of the Degrees from the 18th to the 33rd inclusive, having taken part in any Annual Communications or being part of any Committee or Board of the Grand Orient of Spain", were guilty of Aggravated Circumstances and some of them recieved capital punishment.
- António de Oliveira Salazar — leader of Portugal
- Philippe Pétain — leader of France
- Ioannis Metaxas — leader of Greece
- Engelbert Dollfuß — leader of Austria
- "Francisco Franco". Spartacus.Schoolnet.co.uk. 2 December, 2009. Check date values in:
- Blinkhorn 1988, p. 26.
- Beevor 1982, p. 49.
- Payne 2000, p. 67.
- Payne 2000, p. 68.
- Payne 2000, p. 69.
- Payne 2000, p. 72.
- Payne 2000, p. 73.
- Payne 2000, p. 70.
- "Rif War: Biographies of Key Players". Balagan. 2 December, 2009. Check date values in:
- Payne 2000, p. 71.
- "Freemasonry and the Spanish Civil War". Freemasonry Today. Autumn 2004. (Freemasonic)
- "Freemasonry banned in Spain by General Franco". Freemasons-Freemasonry.com. 2 December 2009. (Freemasonic)
- Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco
- The Orthodox Nationalist: General Francisco Franco at Voice of Reason