The Betrothed of Death: The Spanish Foreign Legion During the Rif Rebellion, 1920-1927

Hardcover | January 1, 2001

byJose E. Alvarez

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Following her defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain shifted her colonial focus to her Protectorate in northern Morocco. When Spanish conscripts began to fight and to die by the thousands, political fallout forced the government to create a new unit of professional soldiers. This unit would serve the dual function of providing fighting men for Moroccan service, while sparing the lives of conscripted men. Under its founder, Jose Millan Astray, and his deputy, Francisco Franco, the Spanish Foreign Legion would quickly become the spearhead for Spain's army in Africa. This is the story of the creation, organization, and combat role of the Legion in its formative years from 1919 to 1927. Based upon archival sources in Madrid, Segovia, and Ceuta, this is the first and most complete history in English or Spanish of the early years of the Spanish Foreign Legion. The unit was instrumental in crushing Abd-el-Krim's rebellion against Spanish colonial authority. When the Riffians annihilated the army of General Silvestre at Annual in 1921 and were poised to attack the Spanish enclave of Melilla, it was the arrival of the Legion that pacified its panic-stricken citizens. The force would be in the vanguard of all major offensives undertaken in recapturing the territory lost in 1921, and its amphibious landing at Alhucemas Bay in 1925 marked the beginning of the end for the Rif Rebellion.

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Following her defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain shifted her colonial focus to her Protectorate in northern Morocco. When Spanish conscripts began to fight and to die by the thousands, political fallout forced the government to create a new unit of professional soldiers. This unit would serve the dual function of providi...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.52 × 6.44 × 1.13 inPublished:January 1, 2001Publisher:Greenwood PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313306974

ISBN - 13:9780313306976

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?A very well done, very readable treatment of the early history of one of the most formidable fighting forces of the twentieth century. The Betrothed of Deathr is very detailed, refreshingly even-handed, and well documented. Descriptions of battles are quite clear, and there are a number of excellent word portraits of some of the most interesting soldiers of the century, including not only Francisco Franco, but also such remarkable characters as Jose Millan Astray, Albert Castro Girona, and many others not well known outside of Spain. Worthwhile reading for anyone interested in colonial warfare, the Spanish Civil War, in which many of the legionaries would rise to high rank, and elite forces.??The NYMAS Newsletter