Miguel Cabanellas

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Miguel Cabanellas
Cabanellas in 1936.
President of the National Defense Junta
In office
25 July 1936 – 30 September 1936
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byFrancisco Franco
(Head of State)
Fidel Dávila Arrondo
(President of the Technical State Junta)
Personal details
Miguel Cabanellas Ferrer

(1872-01-01)1 January 1872
Cartagena, Spain
Died14 May 1938(1938-05-14) (aged 66)
Málaga, Spain (rebel zone)
OccupationMilitary officer
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Spain
Spanish Republic
Nationalist Spain
Branch/serviceSpanish Army
Years of service1889–1938
Battles/warsRif War
Spanish Civil War

Miguel Cabanellas Ferrer (1 January 1872 – 14 May 1938) was a Spanish Army officer. He was a leading figure of the 1936 coup d'état in Zaragoza and sided with the Nationalist faction during the Spanish Civil War.


Born on 1 January 1872 in Cartagena, he joined the army in 1889.[1] A cavalry officer, as a major he managed the creation of the African Regular troops (Moroccan troops in the Spanish army). In August 1921 he participated in the reconquest of the surroundings of Melilla, occupied by rebel Rifian forces after the Battle of Annual. He was promoted to brigadier general and made envoy to the island of Menorca as military governor. Miguel Primo de Rivera permitted him to go into the reserves in 1926, which led him to participate in a revolt frustrated in 1929. For his support of the republicans, on 17 April 1931 the provisional government of the Republic named him commander-in-chief of Andalusia. Later he was named commander of the troops in Morocco and, after the events of Castilblanco and Arnedo, replaced José Sanjurjo in the main directorate of the Civil Guard.

Cabanellas was a freemason.[2] In 1934 he was a delegate of the Radical Republican Party. In July 1936 he was head of 5ª Organic division based in Zaragoza, where on 19 July he declared his support for the Nationalists. Due to his seniority, he was president of the National Defense Junta that on 21 September 1936 proclaimed Francisco Franco head of government and Generalissimo – though Cabanellas was the only one who dissented to this choice.[3] He warned his fellow rebel generals that "You don’t know what you have done because you don’t know him as do I, given that he was under my command in the African Army… If you give him Spain, he is going to believe that it is his and he will not allow anyone to replace him in the war or after it, until his death."[4] He was later Chief inspector of the Army until his death.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Núñez Calvo, Jesús Narciso (2015). La comandancia de la Guardia Civil de Cádiz en la Guerra Civil de España (1936–1939) (PDF). Madrid: UNED. p. 65.
  2. ^ Según-Alonso, Manuel (2015). "La influencia de la masonería madrileña en la política de la Segunda República Española (1931-1939)" (PDF). Revista de Estudios Históricos de la Masonería Latinoamericana y Caribeña. 6 (2): 113. doi:10.15517/rehmlac.v6i2.18199. ISSN 1659-4223.
  3. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Spanish Civil War. p. 117 ISBN 0-911745-11-4
  4. ^ Bernat Muniesa, Dictadura y transición. La España lampedusiana. I: La dictadura franquista. 1939-1975, p.41 y p.42. Cita original: Guillermo Cabanellas, Cuatro Generales. La lucha por el poder

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