Famous Spanish Military Leaders

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 1 Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain
Famous As: King of Spain (1556-1598)
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

El Cid
Famous As: Military leader
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 Hernán Cortés

Hernán Cortés
Famous As: Spanish conquistador
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Medellín, Spain
Died: December 2, 1547
Spanish "Conquistador" Hernán Cortés was one of the pioneers of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. He conquered the Aztec Empire and helped bring a massive portion of Mexico under the King of Castile’s rule in 16th century. As a reward, he was named the Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca.
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 4 Francisco Franco

Francisco Franco
Famous As: Former Caudillo of Spain
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.

 5 Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro
Famous As: Spanish conquistador
Birthdate: June 26, 1478
Sun Sign: Cancer
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.

 6 Felipe VI of Spain

Felipe VI of Spain
Famous As: King of Spain
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. 

 7 George Meade

George Meade
Famous As: Army Officer
Birthdate: December 31, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cádiz, Spain
Died: November 6, 1872

George Meade was a civil engineer and United States Army officer best remembered for decisively defeating Robert E. Lee in the American Civil War. After the war, he played an important role during the Reconstruction era. As a civil engineer, George Meade was involved in the construction of many lighthouses. 

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 8 Roland

Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: 0736 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: August 15, 0778

 9 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Famous As: Explorer
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.

 10 Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
Famous As: Statesman
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

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

 12 Pedro de Valdivia

Pedro de Valdivia
Famous As: Explorer, Military personnel
Birthdate: April 17, 1497
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castuera
Died: December 25, 1553

 13 Almanzor

Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: 0938 AD
Birthplace: Algeciras, Spain
Died: August 10, 1002

 14 Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Famous As: officer, military personnel
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.

 15 Abd al-Rahman III

Abd al-Rahman III
Famous As: Caliph
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.

 16 Gaspar de Portolá

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

 17 Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galliera

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

 18 Valeriano Weyler

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

 19 Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada

Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
Famous As: Conqueror
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.

 20 Juan O'Donojú

Juan O'Donojú
Famous As: Jefe Político Superior
Birthdate: July 30, 1762
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: October 8, 1821

 21 Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime

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

 22 Agustina de Aragon

Agustina de Aragon
Famous As: Military officer
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.

 23 Francisco Serrano, 1st Duke of la Torre

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

 24 Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria

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

 25 Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia

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

 26 Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare

Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare
Famous As: Last independent ruler of the O'Sullivan Beara sept
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Ulster, Ireland
Died: 1618 AD

 27 Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz

Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz
Famous As: Admiral
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.

 28 Pascual Cervera y Topete

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

 29 Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado

Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado
Famous As: Spanish official
Birthdate: April 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: December 15, 1995

 30 Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, count de Aranda

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

 31 Juan Prim, 1st Count of Reus

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

 32 Tomás de Zumalacárregui

Tomás de Zumalacárregui
Famous As: Spanish military leader
Birthdate: December 29, 1788
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ormaiztegui, Spain
Died: June 24, 1835

 33 John of Austria the Younger

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

 34 Baldomero Espartero, prince de Vergara

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

 35 Miguel Ricardo de Álava

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

 36 Leopoldo O'Donnell

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

 37 Maria Pacheco

Maria Pacheco
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Granada
Died: 1531 AD

 38 José de Gálvez, 1st Marquess of Sonora

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

 39 Álvaro de Luna, 1st Duke of Trujillo

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

 40 Ramón María Narváez, 1st Duke of Valencia

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

 41 Francisco Espoz y Mina

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

 42 Luis Méndez de Haro

Luis Méndez de Haro
Famous As: Political figure
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.

 43 Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto

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

 44 Antonio María de Bucareli

Antonio María de Bucareli
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: January 21, 1717
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sevilla, Spain
Died: April 9, 1779

 45 Manuel Pavía y Lacy

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

 46 Manuel Pavía y Rodríguez de Alburquerque

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