Thursday, March 02, 2006

Paco Ranas "The Frog" -Frederico Francisco Franco

You have met some of the good guys, on to the bad.

Born the son of a Naval Officer,in El Ferrol, Spain, Dec. 4th 1892,Frederico Francisco Franco aspired to a military career emulating his father. He graduated from The Toledo Military Academy in 1910 and was stationed to Morocco in the occupying Spanish Army in 1913. Undoubtedly a talented little fascist bastard he rose to the rank of Major by 1917. He was brought back to Spain in 1918 to help suppress a general strike in Andalusia (a region of Southern Spain that includes the Costa Del Sol, Seville and Cordoba) instigated by the Anarchist CNT syndicate; whose leadership included not co-incidentally our friend Buenaventura Durruti. At this juncture “The Frog” began in earnest his vainglorious career. His forces brutally invaded Andalusia and suppressed the strike killing hundreds of peasants and workers.
As reward for his brutality and success in breaking the strike he was appointed command of the newly formed Spanish Foreign Legion and led them back to Morocco to put down rebellion there. The "Tercio de Extranjeros" quickly developed a reputation for brutality. Franco encouraged the killing and mutilation of Moroccan prisoners. Arturo Barea, who served under Franco in Morocco in 1921, later wrote: "When it attacked, the Tercio knew no limits to its vengeance. When it left a village, nothing remained but fires and the corpses of men, women and children." Nice.
Franco’s style of warfare was simple. Know the terrain and kill without hesitation or scruple. After taking over the leadership in the uprising against the elected democracy of Spain, one of his first calls was to the demented housepainter Hitler. Hermann Goering testified at Nuremberg “When the civil war broke out in Spain Franco sent a call for help to Germany and asked for support, particularly in the air. Franco with his troops was stationed in Africa and he could not get his troops across, as the fleet was in the hands of the communists. The decisive factor was, first of all, to get his troops to Spain. The Führer thought the matter over. I urged him to give support under all circumstances: firstly, to prevent the further spread of communism; secondly, to test my young Luftwaffe in this or that technical respect.”

And test it they did. On April 26th, 1937 the “Condor Legion” bombed Guernica . I will borrow some excerpts here so the story will be told properly. “It was market day in Guernica when the church bells of Santa Maria sounded the alarm that afternoon in 1937. People from the surrounding hillsides crowded the town square. "Every Monday was a fair in Guernica," says José Monasterio, eyewitness to the bombing. "They attacked when there were a lot of people there. And they knew when their bombing would kill the most. When there are more people, more people would die." For over three hours, twenty-five or more of Germany's best-equipped bombers, accompanied by at least twenty more Messerschmitt and Fiat Fighters, dumped one hundred thousand pounds of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the village, slowly and systematically pounding it to rubble. Those trying to escape were cut down by the strafing machine guns of fighter planes. "They kept just going back and forth, sometimes in a long line, sometimes in close formation. It was as if they were practicing new moves. They must have fired thousands of bullets." (eyewitness Juan Guezureya) The fires that engulfed the city burned for three days. Seventy percent of the town was destroyed. Sixteen hundred civilians - one third of the population - were killed or wounded.”

By all accounts Franco was a devout Catholic. Like some “true believers” of most any religion he considered the lives of those not of his faith to be inconsequential when defending it.
The Saturday night after Franco’s death on Nov. 20, 1975, Chevy Chase eulogized him on Saturday Night Live. Reading a quotation from Richard Nixon calling Franco “a great friend and ally” as the “Update” screen displayed a photo of Franco and Hitler glomming onto one another, Chase deadpanned “Franco is still dead.” And he did so for the next several shows. And I repeat that good news today with some merriment. Franco is still dead - and may he burn in hell.

13 Comments:

Blogger durrati said...

Whattheheh,

I left a reply to your last on the previous post.

4:55 PM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

Durrati-

Hey there.

What did you mean by "carry that weight" over at the General's site?

Wasn't sure what you were saying.

7:58 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

I saw the frowny face the other day and thought you were pissed at me

8:29 PM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

Hey-

That was years ago.
I wasn't P.O.ed. Was just giving you crap cause you were giving me some. If you ever think I'm mad just ask me.

Blog commenting is like email- its so easy to misinterpret. I once wrote a friend and asked... "How are you my friend?" He thought I was questioning our friendship when I just forgot the comma and what I meant to say was... How are you doing, my friend?

Drop me a line if you ever think I'm being weird. I hate that you've thought I was mad at you for days now.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Franco was a pig, not a frog. Good post, as usual. I picked up your comment, and responded to Marks and you. Thanks bud. How goes the daily slog?

5:44 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

fixit, sorry for bein' a dumbass, good to know we're O.K.

Whattheheh,
it reminds me of a snippet from a Brecht pem...

The soilders takes this to his mind,
And puts it in his heart:
Once the trudgery of the mountains is behind,
The trudgery of the plains is due to start.

7:12 AM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

All is good.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Libby said...

Durrati,

Have you written a post that gives us a bit of history about why you have an interest in the Spanish Civil War? If so, direct me to it, as I'd be interested.

1:35 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

the closest post to what you are looking for is my first I suppose, but maybe I should post a fuller explanation. For now, Libby, suffice it that my love of George Orwell and his book "Homage to Catalonia" set the hook. When I began exploring I realized that Catalonia was perhaps preeminent (sp?) in it's contribution to the art of the twentieth century (Piccaso, Lorca, Dali et al).

Studying the war it struck me that their are some unquieting similarities between this prelude to WWII and our own time. Nations led by unimaginative and reactionary thugs; supression or neglect of thought and individuality; and perhaps a huge conflagtation looming (Islam vs. the world).

The heroes and villians I find in Civil war Spain are fascinating to me. I hope to hold your valuable interest and input with them.

D.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

Officers of his own army called him secretly "Paca la culona". Don't ask for a translation.

12:44 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

dear guest,

I won't ask but does it have something to do with fighting a "reargaurd" action?

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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