Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo is born in El Ferrol (Galicia) on 4th December 1892.
His father, the naval officer Nicolás Franco, is authoritarian and domineering, a bully and womaniser, who despises his delicate and taciturn son. His mother, Maria del Pilar, tries to hide her sorrow behind a religious bourgeois façade. Throughout his life, Franco will remain close to her.
In 1907, 15-year-old Francisco Franco is admitted to the Military Academy of Toledo. In the three years at the Academy he proves to be an exemplary, hard-working and disciplined cadet. In 1910 he leaves the Academy with the rank of Second Lieutenant. For career reasons – he hopes for quick promotion – he expressly requests to be sent to Africa, where a bloody colonial war is raging. The Spaniards’ fight in Spanish Morocco is waged against the Rif tribesmen: rebellious Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains.