Famous Spanish Military Leaders

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Spanish Military Leaders

 1 
Philip II of Spain
(King of Spain (1556-1598))

Philip II of Spain
9
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.

 2 
El Cid
(Military leader)

El Cid
7
Birthdate: 1043 AD
Birthplace: Vivar, Burgos
Died: July 10, 1099
Spanish folk hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, or El Cid, was a Castilian knight from medieval Spain. He had been part of both Christian and Muslim armies and is also remembered for his heroic conquest of Valencia. He remains immortalized in the Spanish epic poem El Cantar de Mio Cid.

 3 
Felipe VI of Spain
(King of Spain (Since 2014))

Felipe VI of Spain
6
Birthdate: January 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Felipe VI of Spain is the current King of Spain, reigning since 2014. He ascended the throne upon the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I. His mother is Queen Sofía. As the king, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces as well. He also serves as the honorary president of several associations and foundations. 

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 4 
Francisco Pizarro
(Spanish conquistador)

Francisco Pizarro
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1478
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Trujillo, Spain
Died: June 26, 1541

Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador best remembered for his expeditions that eventually paved the way for the Spanish conquest of Peru. Along with Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Pizarro became the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean after crossing the Isthmus of Panama. After two failed expeditions to Peru, Pizarro led a third and successful campaign to conquer Peru.

 5 
Francisco Franco
(Former Caudillo of Spain)

Francisco Franco
11
Birthdate: December 4, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrol, Spain
Died: November 20, 1975

Francisco Franco overthrew the Second Spanish Republic by leading the Nationalist forces as their general during the Spanish Civil War. Subsequently, Franco ruled over Spain as a dictator from 1939 to 1975. He had such an impact as a dictator that the period between the Nationalist victory and Franco's death is known as Francoist Spain in the history of Spain.

 6 
Roland
(Military leader)

Roland
3
Birthdate: 0736 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: August 15, 0778

 7 
John of Austria
(Military Officer)

John of Austria
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1547
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: October 1, 1578
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Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Avilés, Asturias, Spain
Died: September 17, 1574

Remembered as the founder of St. Augustine in Florida, USA, Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés has also been credited with planning the first regular trans-Atlantic convoys. Ruthlessly loyal to the Spanish king, he massacred the entire population of a nearby French post and established a string of forts along the Atlantic coast to protect Spanish interests.

James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1670
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moulins, France
Died: June 12, 1734

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1507
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Piedrahíta, Spain
Died: December 11, 1582

An adviser of King Charles I and, Philip II of Spain, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba was a Spanish general and diplomat. A master of logistics, he had an unshakable self-confidence, which helped him to sail through most adverse situations. Notable for his conquest of Portugal, he is also remembered for his tyranny as the governor-general of Netherlands.

 11 

Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
5
Birthdate: August 27, 1545
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 3, 1592

 12 
Emilio Mola
(Leader of the Nationalist coup of July 1936, which started the Spanish Civil War)

Emilio Mola
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Placetas, Cuba
Died: June 3, 1937

 13 
Pedro de Valdivia
(Explorer, Military personnel)

Pedro de Valdivia
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1497
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castuera
Died: December 25, 1553

 14 
Almanzor
(Military leader)

Almanzor
2
Birthdate: 0938 AD
Birthplace: Algeciras, Spain
Died: August 10, 1002

 15 
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
(officer, military personnel)

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1453
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montilla
Died: December 2, 1515

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba had become part of the Castilian court at age 13. He earned the nickname El Gran Capitán for his successful military exploits, especially the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars. He also negotiated the final surrender of Granada and served as the viceroy of Naples.

 16 
Bernardo de Gálvez
(49th Viceroy of New Spain)

Bernardo de Gálvez
0
Birthdate: July 23, 1746
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Macharaviaya, Spain
Died: November 30, 1786

 17 
Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
(Military personnel, Noblemen)

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
2
Birthdate: November 10, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gries-San Quirino, Bolzano, Italy
Died: November 11, 1949

 18 

Gaspar de Portolá
2
Birthdate: 1716 AD
Birthplace: Os de Balaguer, Spain
Died: November 30, 1786

 19 

Valeriano Weyler
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1838
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palma, Spain
Died: October 20, 1930

 20 
Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galliera
(Duke, Military personnel)

Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galliera
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 6, 1975

Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
2
Birthdate: 1509 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: February 16, 1579

Legend has it that Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada had inspired the character Don Quixote penned by Cervantes. Initially a lawyer, Quesada later gained fame as a Spanish conquistador and explored parts Colombia, then known as New Granada. He also made unsuccessful voyages in search of El Dorado.

 22 
Juan O'Donojú
(Jefe Político Superior)

Juan O'Donojú
1
Birthdate: July 30, 1762
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: October 8, 1821

Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1849
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 29, 1936

 24 
Agustina de Aragon
(Military officer)

Agustina de Aragon
1
Birthdate: March 4, 1786
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reus, Spain
Died: May 29, 1857

Agustina de Aragon was a Spanish warrior best remembered for her valiant effort while defending Spain during the Peninsular War. Nicknamed the Spanish Joan of Arc, Agustina served in the Spanish Army. Regarded as a heroine in Spain, Agustina de Aragón has been the subject of several stories, folklore, and artwork. Her life inspired the 1929 film Agustina of Aragon.

Francisco Serrano, 1st Duke of la Torre
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1810
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Isla de León
Died: November 25, 1885

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria
1
Birthdate: May 16, 1609
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Died: November 9, 1641

Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia
1
Birthdate: September 10, 1550
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
Died: July 26, 1615

 28 
Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare
(Last independent ruler of the O'Sullivan Beara sept)

Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare
1
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Ulster, Ireland
Died: 1618 AD

 29 
Rafael del Riego
(General and liberal politician, who played a key role in the outbreak of the Liberal Triennium)

Rafael del Riego
1
Birthdate: April 7, 1784
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tuña, Spain
Died: November 7, 1823

 30 

Damaso Berenguer
1
Birthdate: August 4, 1873
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Remedios, Cuba
Died: May 19, 1953

Damaso Berenguer was a Spanish politician and general best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Spain from 30 January 1930 to 18 February 1931. He is credited with founding the Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas, volunteer infantry units of the Spanish Army. 

 31 

Pascual Cervera y Topete
1
Birthdate: February 18, 1839
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Medina-Sidonia, Cadiz province, Spain
Died: April 3, 1909

Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz
1
Birthdate: December 12, 1526
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Granada, Spain
Died: February 9, 1588

In his 50-year career, Spanish admiral Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz had remained undefeated. Born to a naval commander, he was quick to follow into his father’s footsteps. He was also behind the planning of the Spanish Armada, that attempted an invasion of England after his death.

 33 

John of Austria the Younger
0
Birthdate: April 7, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 17, 1679

 34 
Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado
(Spanish official)

Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado
1
Birthdate: April 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: December 15, 1995

Juan Prim, 1st Count of Reus
1
Birthdate: December 6, 1814
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reus, Spain
Died: December 30, 1870

Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, count de Aranda
1
Birthdate: 1719 AD
Birthplace: Siétamo, Spain
Died: 1798 AD

 37 
Tomás de Zumalacárregui
(Spanish military leader)

Tomás de Zumalacárregui
1
Birthdate: December 29, 1788
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ormaiztegui, Spain
Died: June 24, 1835

Baldomero Espartero, prince de Vergara
1
Birthdate: February 27, 1793
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Granátula, Spain
Died: January 8, 1879

 39 
Leopoldo O'Donnell
(Prime Minister of Spain)

Leopoldo O'Donnell
1
Birthdate: January 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Died: November 5, 1867

 40 
Maria Pacheco
(Military personnel)

Maria Pacheco
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Granada
Died: 1531 AD

 41 

Abd al-Rahman III
2
Birthdate: January 7, 0891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: October 15, 0961

Abd al-Rahman III, the 10th-century emir of Cordoba, established the Caliphate of Córdoba and ruled as its first caliph. He is remembered as one of the most significant Umayyad Arab rulers of Spain. Though short in stature, he was feared for his aggressive policy toward the rebels of his kingdom.

Álvaro de Luna, 1st Duke of Trujillo
0
Birthdate: 1390 AD
Birthplace: Cañete, Cuenca, Spain
Died: June 2, 1453

Miguel Ricardo de Álava
1
Birthdate: February 7, 1772
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Died: July 14, 1843

Ramón María Narváez, 1st Duke of Valencia
0
Birthdate: August 5, 1799
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Loja, Spain
Died: April 23, 1868

 45 

Francisco Espoz y Mina
0
Birthdate: June 17, 1781
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Idocin, Idocin, Spain
Died: December 24, 1836

José de Gálvez, 1st Marquess of Sonora
1
Birthdate: January 2, 1720
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Macharaviaya, Spain
Died: August 21, 1792

Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto
0
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Garde, Spain
Died: August 28, 1528

 48 
Luis Méndez de Haro
(Political figure)

Luis Méndez de Haro
0
Birthdate: February 17, 1598
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: November 26, 1661

Luis Méndez de Haro began his political career under the guidance of his uncle, Gaspar de Guzmán, who was the chief minister of King Philip IV and whom he succeeded. He also struck a peace deal, putting an end to a long war with France, with the Peace of the Pyrenees.

 49 

Manuel Pavía y Lacy
0
Birthdate: July 6, 1814
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: October 22, 1896

Manuel Pavía y Rodríguez de Alburquerque
0
Birthdate: August 2, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cádiz, Spain
Died: January 4, 1895