Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Franco’s Soldiers

Transnational and Sociological Analysis of Recruitment and Combat in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

Francisco J. Leira-Castiñeira is Postdoc Fellow at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). He was awarded the Miguel Artola Prize of the Association of Contemporary History and Centre of Political and Constitutional Studies at Ministerio de la Presidencia (Spanish Government). He also won the Juana de Vega’s Prize. He is currently a visiting fellow at University College Dublin Centre for War Studies.

“Francisco Leira makes a major contribution by showing more than the two or even three Spains that earlier analysts have scrutinized.” Bulletin ASPHS, Michael Seidman, University of North Carolina

 “An excellent and enlightening book”, Babelia, El País, Antonio Elorza 

The coup d’état of July 1936 split Spain in two, shaping a chessboard of terror, misery and death that would put an end to the Republic and give sustenance to dictatorship. In the rebel territory, Franco’s soldiers were often not convinced followers, but mere pawns forced to fight for the future of a Spain in which the only element of cohesion would be fear. The experience of the Spanish Civil War is defined by how the dictator placed citizens before a terrible dilemma: become executioners or die. This experience was not confined to Spain alone. as 

A transnational analysis, hitherto never undertaken, puts the Spanish war experience in the context of the political and military dramas of the first half of the 20th century. Issues of recruitment, terror, and propaganda dominate analysis. But deeper social and indeed psychological issues are equally important in understanding how dictatorship can shape society for the worse, and indeed come to be regarded by the majority as the norm. Special attention is paid to military ethos at all levels of the armed forces. 

Franco’s Soldiers, originally published to acclaim in Spain, provides a unique literary platform that better allows the Spanish Civil War experience to be understood in a wide historical context, thus furthering and encouraging international debate.

Published in collaboration with the Department of International History, London School of Economics 

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-177-1
Hardback Price: £85 / $99.95
Release Date: March 2023
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-178-8
Paperback Price: £55 / $65
Release Date: March 2023
Page Extent / Format: 340 pp. 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: Yes 


Contents to Follow

Review Quotes to Follow

Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email:
Web ordering:

Ordering in the United States and Canada
Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Direct sales tel.: (800) 888-4741
Web ordering:

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab

eBook Ordering
e-Book type availability can be sourced via by book title. Kindle availability is via Amazon .com and sites.