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General Franco as a military leader

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BOTH during his lifetime, and after his death, General Franco was reviled by his enemies on the left and subjected to the most absurd adulation by his admirers on the right. As the victor in a bloody civil war which inflamed passions throughout the world, that is hardly surprising. Leaving aside his personal political success in remaining in power for nearly four decades, his victory in the Spanish Civil War was his greatest and most glorious achievement, something reflected in the judgments of detractors and hagiographers alike. For the left, Franco the general was a slow-witted mediocrity whose battlefield triumphs were owed entirely to the unstinting military assistance of Hitler and Mussolini. For the right, Franco the general was the twentieth-century incarnation of Alexander the Great, of Napoleon and of the great warrior hero of Spanish legend, El Cid.

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