Unión Militar Española

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Unión Militar Española (Spanish Military Union) was a pro-fascist[1] secret society of officers of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces involved in a conspiracy to bring about the restoration of the monarchy during the 1930s. Members of this organization became part of the nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

Formation[edit]

This clandestine group was founded in late 1933 by Colonel Emilio Rodríguez Tarduchy and soon linked up with the conspiracies of Juan Antonio Ansaldo.[2] Tarduchy, who had been a partisan for the Falange under Miguel Primo de Rivera, was seen as too sectarian and soon replaced by Captain Bartolomé Barba Hernández.[3] The group soon established cells within many garrisons, although its influence was somewhat limited as it only really attracted younger, lower-ranked officers.[3]

Conspiracies[edit]

It was late summer 1935 before Francisco Franco made direct contact with the group through his ally and UME member Valentín Galarza Morante and made them part of his own plans. Franco would later claim that the main reason for the contact was so as he could ensure that the officers did not launch a premature coup themselves.[4] By early 1936 the UME had placed itself at the disposal of Emilio Mola and was a full participant in nationalist coup plans.[5] Its membership was now estimated at almost half of all serving officers and included many who held dual membership with the Falange.[6]

Involvement in the Civil War[edit]

The group was closely associated with fascism and maintained a list of leading republican officers to be assassinated and in the build up to the war the top two names, Carlos Faraudo and José del Castillo, were both killed.[7] The murders, and the reprisal killing of José Calvo Sotelo, were instrumental in bringing about the war itself.[8] The group disappeared after the war.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hermenegildo Franco Castañón, Por el camino de la revolución: La Marina española, Alfonso XIII y la República, Editorial Neptuno, Valladolid 2004, pg. 214
  2. ^ Paul Preston, Franco, London, 1995, p. 92
  3. ^ a b Stanley G. Payne, Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism, 1961, p. 86
  4. ^ Preston, Franco, p. 110
  5. ^ Preston, Franco, p. 129
  6. ^ Filipe Ribeiro De Meneses, Franco and the Spanish Civil War, 2001, p. 27
  7. ^ Preston, Franco, p. 136
  8. ^ Paul Preston, The Politics of Revenge: Fascism and the Military in Twentieth-Century Spain, 1995, p. 26