Franco, Francisco (Spain)
A general in the Spanish army Francisco Franco instigated a military revolt against the Republican Government, the catalyst for the Spanish Civil War. Appointed leader of the Falange (Fascist) Party, he proclaimed himself ruler of Spain in 1939. He led the country until his death in 1975.
Born in El Ferrol, Galicia on 4 Dec. 1892 to a naval paymaster, Franco’s military career began in 1907 when he entered the Toledo Infantry Academy. Joining the army in 1910, he was posted to Morocco in 1912, where he served until 1927. In 1915 he became the youngest captain in the Spanish army. At the end of his time in Morocco he was appointed director of the Zaragoza Military Academy, becoming its Chief of General Staff in 1935, and was appointed Governor of the Canary Islands in 1936.
The years preceding the Civil War were politically turbulent with the government alternating between left and right. In the presidential elections of 1936 the left gained a clear majority and...