Francisco Franco Bahamonde


Francisco Franco Bahamonde Famous memorial

Ferrol, Provincia da La Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Death 20 Nov 1975 (aged 82)
Madrid, Provincia de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Burial El Pardo, Provincia de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Memorial ID 1552 View Source

Spanish General and Fascist Dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. Born in El Ferrol del Caudillo, in La Coruna province, his father was a Spanish Navy Officer. Young Franco was trained as an Army officer at the Infantry Academy of Toledo, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1912. Between 1912 and 1927, he commanded units in Spanish Morocco, where his troops put down a rebellion against Spanish rule. For his superior leadership, he was promoted to Brigadier General at the age of 34, in 1927. In 1931, Spain became a republic, and over the next five years, political disputes became increasingly more violent. Initially, Franco stayed out of politics, but in 1933, he identified himself with the moderately conservative Falange political party and supported their program in the 1933 elections, helping them to win the election. The following year, liberal leftists, aided by socialists and the communist party, attempted to seize control of the government, and Franco helped to put down their revolt. As a result, he was promoted to Army Chief of Staff. But in the 1936 election, leftists won the election and upon taking power, sent Franco to command the Canary Islands, effectively exiling him. Military leaders then plotted to overthrow the leftist government. Initially Franco did not support the military coup, but when offered command of the Army, he joined in the revolt, which became known as the Spanish Civil War. From July 1936 to April 1939, Franco commanded the Nationalist forces, receiving military aid from Germany and Italy, while the Socialist Government's Loyalist (Republican) forces received aid from Communist Russia. Historians often considered the Spanish Civil War as a prelude and testing ground for the various European powers in the soon-to-start World War II. On April 1, 1939, Franco's forces had captured Madrid and the Republican Army collapsed. Taking power, Franco combined the functions of President, Prime Minister, Commander-in-Chief, and leader of the Falange Party, the only political party allowed. Following the lead of Hitler and Mussolini, he adopted the title of El Caudillo (the Leader), and in his early years of power, he tried to eliminate all opposition. During World War II, Franco was officially neutral, but did have friendly relations with Nazi Germany due to Hitler's support in the Spanish Civil War. Following World War II, the Western powers viewed Franco as pro Fascist, but Cold War politics soon made them allies, since Franco disliked Communism. In 1953, Franco permitted the United States to construct naval and air bases in Spain, in exchange for economic and military aid. This aid enabled Spain to expand its industrial capability, while raising the standard of living. During the 1960s, Franco began to relax controls on political opposition and press censorship, and prepared for the transition of power after his death. In 1969, he named Prince Juan Carlos, grandson of the last Spanish King, Alfonso XIII, to become King and head of state following his death. Following Franco's death in 1975, King Juan Carlos moved the country politically from dictatorship to democracy.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 1552
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Francisco Franco Bahamonde (4 Dec 1892–20 Nov 1975), Find a Grave Memorial ID 1552, citing Cementerio de El Pardo, El Pardo, Provincia de Madrid, Madrid, Spain ; Maintained by Find a Grave .