- NAME: Francisco Franco
- OCCUPATION: Dictator
- BIRTH DATE: December 04, 1892
- DEATH DATE: November 20, 1975
- EDUCATION: Infantry Academy at Toledo
- PLACE OF BIRTH: El Ferrol, Spain
- PLACE OF DEATH: Madrid, Spain
- Full Name: Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde
- AKA: Francisco Franco Bahamonde
- AKA: Francisco Franco
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Franco joined the growing rebel movement. He soon led an uprising against the sitting administration and took control of Spain after the Spanish Civil War (1939). From then until his 1975 death, he presided over a military dictatorship.
Francisco Franco was born Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde in El Ferrol, Spain, in 1892. Franco’s father was an officer in the Spanish Naval Administrative Corps, and his mother was a conservative, upper-middle-class Roman Catholic. The previous four generations of Franco’s family, and his elder brother, were naval officers, and Franco himself seemed destined to follow that path. Reduced admissions to the Naval Academy, however, forced him instead to enlist in the army, and in 1907, when he was just 14 years old, Franco entered the Infantry Academy at Toledo. When he graduated three years later, he volunteered for active duty in the campaigns in Spanish Morocco and was stationed there in 1912.
In 1913, at age 20, he was promoted to first lieutenant and served in an elite company of the Moroccan-based Spanish cavalry. Franco was a quick study and a born commander, and he soon won a reputation for complete dedication to the profession and the troops under his command. In 1915, Franco became the youngest captain in the Spanish army, and in 1920 he was chosen to be second in command of the Spanish Foreign Legion (he took full command in 1923; he also married Carmen Polo that year, and she would give birth to a daughter, Carmen, three years later).
During the Moroccan campaigns, the Foreign Legion played a key role in subduing the Moroccan rebels and bringing the insurgency to an end, and Franco’s role in the suppression made him a national hero. In 1926, at age 33, he became a brigadier general, and just two years later he was named director of the General Military Academy in Saragossa, which found him visiting military schools in Germany and France.
In 1931, Spain’s King Alfonso XIII, under the pressure of his country’s sagging economy, agreed to hold democratic elections. It was the first time in nearly 60 years that free elections were allowed in Spain, and the people voted overwhelmingly for a republic and Spain’s monarchy was finished. Alfonso decided to go into exile to avoid large-scale violence, and he left the country in April 1931.
The leaders of the new Spanish republic initiated a major military reform, and Franco’s career was briefly sidetracked, as the General Military Academy was dissolved and Franco was placed on the inactive list.
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