Segismundo Casado

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Segismundo Casado López
Los líderes del Consejo Nacional de Defensa a su llegada al Reino Unido (Segismundo Casado).jpg
Segismundo Casado upon his arrival to the United Kingdom, fleeing from Franco's victory
Birth name Segismundo Casado López
Born 1893
Nava de la Mata, Segovia
Died 18 December 1968
Madrid, Spain
Allegiance Second Spanish Republic Spanish Republic
Service/branch Escudo de España (República).PNGSpanish Republican Army
Rank Colonel
Commands held Commander of an Army Corps (1938), Commander of the Army of the Centre (1939)
Battles/wars

Spanish Civil War

Segismundo Casado López (1893, Nava de la Asunción, Segovia – 1968, Madrid) was a Spanish Army officer in the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, commanding the Republican Spanish Army in 1939.

Together with Julíán Besteiro, a member of the Cortes Generales and a socialist, in 1939 Casado conducted a coup d'état against the government of Prime Minister Juan Negrín, claiming Negrín wanted a Communist takeover. Republican forces regained control of Madrid, and Casado's efforts to negotiate a peace with General Franco failed. He insisted on unconditional surrender, which occurred in 1939. Casado went into exile in Venezuela, not returning to Spain until 1961.

Early life[edit]

The son of a military man, Casado entered the Royal Cavalry Academy at Valladolid at age 15. He progressed as an officer, reaching the rank of major by 1936. At the time, he served as head of the military household of President Manuel Azaña, established under the Second Republic of Spain.[1]

Spanish Civil War[edit]

After the start of the Spanish Civil War, Casado helped to develop the tactics of the Spanish Republican Army in central Spain. He participated in[2] the defense of Madrid and the battle of Jarama. He was promoted to colonel in 1938 and fought in the battle of Brunete.[3] In 1938, he was the commander of one army corps (out of five) in the republican central zone.[4] In 1939 he was given command of the Republican Central Army.

Casado's coup and the end of the war[edit]

On March 5, 1939 Casado, claiming that Prime Minister Juan Negrín was planning a Communist takeover, conducted a coup d'état with the support of Julián Besteiro, the leader of the right wing of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, and disillusioned anarchist leaders. They established an anti-Negrín National Defence Council (Consejo Nacional de Defensa).[5]

General José Miaja in Madrid joined the rebellion on March 6 by ordering the arrests of Communists in the city. Negrin fled to France on 6 March. But Luis Barceló, commander of the 1st Corps of the Army of the Center, rejected the coup and tried to regain control of the capital. His troops entered Madrid and there was fierce fighting for several days in the capital. Anarchist troops led by Cipriano Mera managed to defeat the 1st Corps, and Barceló was captured and executed.

Casado tried to negotiate a peace settlement with General Francisco Franco, who refused anything less than unconditional surrender.[6] Surviving members of the Republican Army were no longer willing to fight. The Nationalist Army entered Madrid virtually unopposed on March 28, 1939.

Aftermath[edit]

Casado fled to Valencia, where he boarded a British ship at the end of March and went into exile in Venezuela.[7] He remained in exile in Venezuela until 1961, when he returned to Spain in 1961.

Besteiro was arrested and tried in a court martial. Charges against him were latter dropped. He died in a Madrilene hospital.[8]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p. 299
  2. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p. 462
  3. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p. 691
  4. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. 2001. London. p. 814
  5. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. pp. 391-392
  6. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. pp. 394-395
  7. ^ Beevor (2006), The Battle for Spain, p. 396
  8. ^ Luis Español Bouché (2009-04-24). "Segismunco Casado: el final de una guerra | Gente | Gente". Abc.es. Retrieved 2017-01-15.