|“||We do not believe in government through the voting booth. The Spanish national will was never freely expressed through the ballot box. Spain has no foolish dreams.||„|
|~ Francisco Franco|
Francisco Franco Bahamonde (December 4th, 1892 - November 20th, 1975) was the leader of the Spanish Falange movement and a conspirator of the Spanish Civil War. He then became dictator for about forty years, officially holding the title of Caudillo. He led the Spanish far-right movements to overthrow the government and then shoved away any one deemed as a threat to Spain. While he stayed neutral during World War II, he was considered an ally of the Axis Powers and sent aid to both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in the form of a volunteer groups like the spanish Blue Division. He also tried to banish a large portion of the country. He has caused vast amounts of death and destruction to his own country. But the growth proved too much for the economy, with shortages and inflation breaking out towards the end of the 1950s.
A staunch enemy of Communism, Franco was a strong ally of the West during the Cold War, and aided them against the Soviet Union until his death in 1975.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was born to Spanish nobility on December 4th, 1892 in Ferrol Spain. As a child Franco aspired to be a naval officer. (A custom within his family.)
These dreams however would soon be crushed as a result of the Spanish losing almost all of their colonies following their defeat in the Spanish-American war.
Franco mostly underwent abuse by his alcoholic father and was mostly neglected. Franco's mother tended to spoiled Franco on the other hand.
His mother's belief of a Traditional Spain inspired him to carry on a career in military service.
Military Service (Rif War)
Francisco Franco resorted to setting up a career in the Spanish military. During the Rif wars, Franco was sent to defeat moorish rebels in Spanish Morocco . Franco eventually was promoted to the rank of Colonel at the age of 33. During combat he was wounded after being shot in the intestines and losing a Testicle.
Franco was particularly known for his cruelty when commanding the Spanish Army of Africa. It is known that Franco killed any rowdy soldiers and forced his battalion to march around the corpses. As well the Moors carried out savage acts of beheading their enemies.
Military Service (Asturias Uprising)
In 1931, King Alfonso the XIII abdicated the throne of Spain after massive political strife calling for his Abdication. Spain thus became a Republic. Franco was opposed to the Republic, even though he still served in the Army. Much to the dismay of Franco, the government under the Republic was very liberal. Abortion and Gay Marriage were legalized, land was to be redistributed, the Catholic Church would lose its power in the government, and Autonomous regions such as Basque and Catalonia would be granted greater autonomy from Spain.
This concept terrified many Right-Wing peasants living in Southern Spain as well as other military officers like Franco. Eventually the right wing party C.E.D.A took power in the general election of 1933. Most of the leftist reforms were slowed down and the government shifted to the right. Many Communists, anarchists, trotskyists, and socialists feared that their revolution against the forces of Spanish reaction had shifted against their favor.
In 1934 left wing parties revolted against the government (Mostly In Asturias) Franco was sent in to counter the revolutionaries using the Moors and Foreign Legion.
Spanish Civil War and Rise to Power
In 1936, the left wing united into the Popular Front Movement and ran for office against the C.E.D.A and won by a narrow victory. Franco was in exile by the leftist government to avoid the possibility of a mainland coup attempt by right wing generals. On July 17th, 1936, Franco agreed to join in a plot to over throw the republic. With support of the Germans and Italians, Franco and his moorish troops arrived on the main land joined by many followers of the Falange and the Monarchist Requetes. Three years later after brutal fighting, Franco and his forces destroyed the republic and announced the victory on April 1rst, 1939.
World War Two
After the Civil War, Spain's economy was decimated and starvation began as a result of Republican forces destrting Spanish Farms. Adolf Hitler saw an increasing need to have the Spanish as an ally in order to Capture Gibraltar from the British.
In the 1940's, Hitler and Franco held several talks and negotiations. Franco promised to join the Axis Powers but only if the Axis powers could provide economic support and territorial gains. However, Hitler saw the requests Franco made as Damaging to his own regime (Ceding Territories of Petain's Vichy French govornment.)
In the end, Hitler realized that having Spain as an ally would be a nuisance and counter productive to the war effort. Hitler later stated, "I'd rather pull my teeth than hear another word from that man!"
Franco's reception of Hitler was not much better. Franco thought that Hitler was secretly gay. Due to Franco's homophobia, he feared that he would go to Purgatory for coming into contact with a homosexual.
Despite this, Spain and the Axis Powers had a good relationship through the duration of the war and Franco provided aid to both Hitler and Benito Mussolini of Italy when they needed it.
In Spain and abroad, the legacy of Franco remains controversial. The length of his rule, the suppression of opposition, and the effective propaganda sustained through the years has made a detached evaluation impossible. For 40 years, Spaniards, and particularly children at school were told that Divine Providence had sent him to save Spain from chaos and poverty. With time, the regime evolved and the ferocious oppression of the early 1940s was reduced over the years. The economic success of the latter part of his regime won support from many citizens, who found the dramatic rise in the everyday standard of living more significant than his regime's human rights abuses, although strong anti-Francoist views are held by large numbers of Spaniards to this day.