Biography GEN José Sanjurjo y Sacanell

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Biography GEN José Sanjurjo y Sacanell

GEN José Sanjurjo y Sacanell

Birth 28 March 1872 Pamplona, Provincia de Navarra, Navarra, Spain

Death 20 July 1936 Cascais, Cascais Municipality, Lisboa, Portugal

Burial Navarra a sus Muertos en la Cruzada Pamplona, Provincia de Navarra, Navarra, Spain

Spanish patriot, soldier, monarchist, anticommunist and statesman.


Capt. Justo Sanjurjo Bonrostra (?-?) a Carlist.

Carlota Sacanell Desojo (?-?)

General José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 1st Marquis of the Rif, served in Cuba in 1896, in the First Rif War in 1909, and in the Second Rif War of 1920, including the reconquest of lost territory in Melilla after the Battle of Annual in 1921. In 1922, he was assigned to investigate corruption in the army command of Larache, Larache province, Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, Morocco. He was High Commissioner of Spain in Morocco and reached the rank of lieutenant general. In 1925 he participated in the amphibious landing at Alhucemas. In 1928 he was namee chief of one of the Guardia Civil directorates. On 28 March 1931 King Alfonso XIII awarded Sanjurjo with the Gran Cruz de Carlos III for services rendered in 1920.

Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja (1870-1930) came to power in a military coup in 1923, but support faded and Primo de Rivera resigned in January 1930. General Dámaso Berenguer y Fusté (1873-1953) was ordered by Alfonso XIII to form a replacement government, but Sanjurjo considered himself far better qualified. In the municipal elections of 12 April 1931, little support was shown for pro-monarchy parties in the major cities, and riots threatened in the streets of Madrid. Asked if the government could count on the support of Sanjurjo's Civil Guard, he said no. King Alfonso XIII abdicated and the Second Spanish Republic was formed.

Under the subsequent leftist government of Manuel Azaña Díaz (1880-1940) Sanjurjo retained his Civil Guard post.

Sanjurjo became one of the first generals appointed to the command of the Spanish Republican Army. His sympathies, however, were monarchist. When he clashed with Prime Minister Manuel Azaña over the military reforms, he was replaced by General Miguel Cabanellas Ferrer (1872-1938). He was demoted to chief of the customs officers in 1932 as a result of the events of Castilblanco and Arnedo. His confrontation with the ministry, Azaña's military reforms, and the grants of regional autonomy to Catalonia and the Basque Country, led Sanjurjo to plot a rebellion with some Carlists of Manuel Fal Conde (1894-1975), Tomás Domínguez Arévalo, 7th Count of Rodezno, 12th Marquis of San Martin (1882-1952), and others. This rebellion, which was known as the sanjurjada, was proclaimed in Seville on 10 August 1932.

Sanjurjo asserted that the rebellion was only against the current ministry and not against the Republic. It achieved initial success in Sevilla and complete failure in Madrid. Sanjurjo tried to flee to Portugal, but in Huelva he decided to give himself up.

He was condemned to death, a sentence which was later commuted to life imprisonment in the penitentiary of the Dueso. In March 1934 he was amnestied by Alejandro Lerroux y García (1864-1949) and went into exile in Estoril, Portugal.

Sanjurjo died in a plane crash. With the similar death of Emilio Mola y Vidal (1887-1937) also in a plane crash, the path was clear for Francisco Franco as Caudillo of Spain.

On 31 August 2016 the mayor of Pamplona, Joseba Asirón (EH Bildu), the process of exhuming with the utmost discretion and respect" the remains of Mola, Sanjurjo and six other franquistas buried in the monument's pantheon was agreed with the families and with the Archbishopric of Pamplona. It was carried out by a team of forensic scientists from the Aranzadi Science Society led by Francisco Etxeberria, a professor at the University of the Basque Country. The exhumation of Mola, without opposition of the family, was advanced to 24 October 2016 and the rest of the military was completed on 16 November 2016.


Submitted: January 14, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Ralph Monclar. All rights reserved.

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