Leading figures

Azaña, Manuel (1880-1940): Intellectual, writer and main republican leader in the 1930s, Minister of War, Prime Minister (1931-33 and February-April 1936) and President of the Republic from May 1933. Crossed into France when the defeat of the Republic was imminent; resigned and died in Montauban in November 1940.

Franco, Francisco (1892-1975): An army general, he plotted and rose against the Republic and on 1 October 1936, his brother officers designated him head of the three branches of the armed forces, Generalísimo, and principal leader of Nationalist Spain against the Republic. He won the war and became dictator of Spain until his death on 20 November 1975.

Gil Robles, José María (1898-1980): Lawyer, Catholic politician and founder of the CEDA. An advocate of a corporative and authoritarian State, he was the Republic's Minister of War in 1935; he supported the military coup of 1936 and, once the war had started, Franco's cause, although from Portugal and without taking active part in the war.

Largo Caballero, Francisco (1869-1946): Principal leader of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español and its trade union organisation UGT, he was Minister of Labour (1931-1933) and wartime President of the Republic between September 1936 and May 1937.

Lerroux, Alejandro (1864-1949): Republican leader, he was part of the republican-socialist coalition which took power in April 1931, but broke with this coalition in December of that year, and was Prime Minister during 1934 and 1935, together with the non-republican rightist party CEDA. He took no part in the civil war.

Martínez Barrio, Diego (1883-1962): A republican leader, Prime Minister after the dismissal of Azaña in September 1933, he was Speaker of the Cortes in the spring of 1936 and throughout the civil war.

Mola, Emilio (1887-1937): An army general and principal organiser of the July 1936 uprising, which he coordinated under the alias of El Director. He accepted Franco as leader and died in a plane accident in June 1937.

Montseny, Federica (1905-1994): An anarchist leader, she was Minister of Health in Largo Caballero's government, between November 1936 and May 1937, thus becoming the first female minister in Spain's history.

Negrin, Juan (1892-1956): A socialist leader, distinguished Professor of Physiology in the University of Madrid, having studied in Leipzig, Germany. Leader of the republican government from May 1937 onwards, he preached discipline and order on the home front and resistance to the end.

'Pasionaria', Dolores Ibarruri (1895-1989): A Communist leader, she became famous during the civil war for her speeches defending the Republic and for her slogan No pasaran, when Franco's troops were trying to take Madrid in the autumn of 1936.

Serrano Suner, Ramon (1901-2003): Leader of the Catholic right during the Republic, he managed to escape from prison in Madrid at the beginning of 1937 and became the principal champion of Fascism in the zone ruled by Francisco Franco, his brother-in-law. It was he who was responsible for organising a single party, FET y de las JONS, founded in April 1937.

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