General Franco

Dan Snow's History Hit

09-01-2023 • 29 mins

From 1939 to 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco ruled Spain as a nationalist dictator. For many, he was Spain incarnate, a tenacious leader and warrior in the same vein as El Cid. Under his guidance, the regime was able to navigate 36 years of political turmoil and conflict, vanquishing Communism, surviving the Second World War and bringing about economic prosperity. For others, this idealised portrait stands in stark contrast to the reality of his rule, which was instead defined by incompetence, violence and self-interest. So who exactly was Francisco Franco, and why is he such a divisive figure? Sir Paul Preston, the acclaimed historian and biographer of General Franco, joins Dan to untangle the complex and conflicted legacy of Spain's most famous 20th-century leader.

Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.

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