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Francisco Franco
Franco
Historical Figure
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 1892
Date of Death: 1975
Cause of Death: Parkinson's Disease
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Soldier, Revolutionary
Spouse: Carmen Polo
Children: Duchess Carmen Franco
Military Branch: Spanish Nationalists, Spanish Armed Forces
Political Party: Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
"Cayos in the Stream"
POD: c. July, 1942
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War;
Coup d'Etat
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference (HW); Direct (CdE)
Date of Death: 1941
Cause of Death: Shot by an anti-tank gun (World War II)
Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (4 December 1892 - 20 November 1975) was the Caudillo (dictator) and Head of State of Spain from October 1936, as de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in 1975. He led the Nationalists to victory in the Spanish Civil War, and was actively supported by the Axis. However, Franco kept Spain neutral throughout World War II, offering only token assistance to Germany.

After World War II, Francisco consolidated power and ruthlessly oppressed his enemies. His anti-Communism made him a useful ally to the United States during the Cold War. Spain began its transition back to democracy almost immediately upon Franco's death.

Francisco Franco in The Hot WarEdit

Despite having been a nominal ally of the Axis during World War II, Francisco Franco became a U.S. ally[1] in the years leading up to World War III. However, he didn't enter the war when it broke out in February 1951, and stayed neutral to the end.[2]

Francisco Franco in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

After World War II ended, Francisco Franco's Spain (as well as António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal) gave refuge to fleeing Nazis and Fascists from defeated Axis countries. Reinhard Heydrich's wife and children fled to Spain in 1944.[3] The United States had expressed the desire to topple the governments of both Spain and Portugal after Germany fell, but could not muster support from its allies.[4]

Thus, when several members of the German Freedom Front hi-jacked several planes in 1947, they deliberately landed them in Spain. While they were ultimately arrested by Spanish authorities, Franco's soft touch with his former allies ensured that none would be turned over to the American authorities.[5]

Francisco Franco in "Cayos in the Stream"Edit

In Ernest Hemingway's mind, Francisco Franco was Adolf Hitler's toady. Without Hitler, Hemingway mused in 1942, Franco would have been one more tinpot general who tried for a Putsch but did not make it.

Francisco Franco in The War That Came EarlyEdit

While Francisco Franco (1892-1941) was perceived as a solid general amongst Spanish Nationalist forces, most felt him lacking in flair and charisma compared with Marshal José Sanjurjo, the Nationalist leader.[6] Thus, many Nationalists expressed a measure of gratitude that Sanjurjo was leading Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.[7]

Nonetheless, Franco was an able and tenacious strategist, a fact recognized by both the Nationalists and the Republicans. Franco spent much of the next five years giving the Republic substantial grief. That ended in the last months of 1941, when Vaclav Jezek, a Czechoslovakian sniper and refugee of the war that had engulfed the rest of Europe, killed Franco with his anti-tank rifle outside Madrid. Jezek had not known who Franco was, only that he was a high ranking Nationalist officer "too fascist to live."[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. See Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in The Hot War
  2. Bombs Away, pg. 311, ebook.
  3. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 279.
  4. Id., at pg. 511.
  5. Id. at pg. 515, generally.
  6. Hitler's War, pg. 7.
  7. Id., at pg. 205.
  8. Coup d'Etat, pgs. 408-409.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
Manuel Azaña
as President
Caudillo (Head of State) of Spain and Regent of the Spanish Kingdom
1939-1975
Succeeded by
Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel
for hand over to Juan Carlos I
Preceded by
Juan Negrín
Leader of the Government of Spain (de facto Prime Minister)
1939-1973
Succeeded by
Luis Carrero Blanco

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