General Military Academy

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Group.png General Military Academy  
(Military academyYouTubeRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Coat of Arms of the Spanish Army General Military Academy.png
HeadquartersZaragoza, Spain
LeaderFrancisco Franco
Responsible for the initial training for officers of the Spanish Army, and for the officers of the Civil Guard.

The General Military Academy (in Spanish: Academia General Militar) is a higher training center of the Spanish Army, responsible for the initial training for officers of the Arms and Corps of the Army, and for the officers of the Civil Guard. It is currently located in Zaragoza, in a building complex the army used as a concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War.


First era

The General Military Academy was founded under the reign of Alfonso XII, on February 20, 1882.[1] The first training center was located in Alcázar de Toledo. The first head of the Academy was the General Méndez The Great.[2]

The Academy was dissolved in 1893, and later, the Armed Forces and Corps had their own separate training centers.[2]

Second era

In 1927, during the reign of Alfonso XIII, and under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the center was reestablished in Zaragoza. Primo de Rivera came to the conclusion that one of the reasons of the dissents between the Armed Forces on the promotion system based on seniority or merits of war was based on the lack of an academy in which all four Army Corps were trained together. After the Debarkation of Alhucemas, Primo de Rivera developed a great admiration for Francisco Franco, a soldier with a great reputation after the African campaigns and the foundation of the Tercio de Extranjeros with José Millán Astray. On January 4, 1928, by Royal Decree, Franco was named Director of the General Military Academy.[3]

After the Second Republic was established and the military reforms were applied in June 1931 by the provisional Ministry of War, the center was closed. Azaña didn't trust the instructions provided at the center and believed its budget was huge in a moment in which military spending was trying to be cut.[4] Conservative, anti-republican officials, thought the closure of the Academy was an attack to the very spirit of the Army, since the Academy was the only place in Spain in which soldiers of all kinds studied together.[5] Franco was devastated, and after the end of the Civil War he restored the institution.[6] However, he obeyed Azaña's commands at the time and closed the Academy.

During the Spanish Civil War, its abandoned facilities were used by the rebel side (which won) as the San Gregorio concentration camp. It operated at least from December 1936 to February 1939, exceeding its maximum capacity of 2,000 prisoners.[7]

Third era

After the end of the Spanish Civil War and the reorganization of military studies in Spain, the General Military Academy was established again on September 27, 1940 by Minister of the Army José Enrique Varela. The old buildings used for training in the second era were used. In 1942, 170 students started studying in the Academy. Francisco Hidalgo de Cisneros y Manso de Zúñiga was named Director of the Academy. Notable alumni are Juan Carlos I of Spain, and his son Felipe VI of Spain.[8][9]


Alumni on Wikispooks

Pedro Baños1960SpainSpook
A Spanish soldier and academic scheduled to become Director of the Spanish Department of Homeland Security but who was passed over after influence was applied by the Integrity Initiative.
Juan Carlos I of Spain5 January 1938SpainKing