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The Legion is born

“Nace La Legin” aims to contextualize the creation of the Spanish Legion, identify defining aspects in its organization and value the most representative actors in the process that made it a reality. This book is the result of five years of research and provides new data on both the organizational conditions of this centuries-old unit and the actors who took part directly in this task. Thanks to Mara Luz Martn’s contact with the Legion world and the desire to learn more about this unique universe, she was able to observe the lack of existing information about the prehistory of the Tercio. Interest in the texts she found was almost always focused on the military events in which she was involved from the earliest months of life.

These pages show how the Tercio de Extranjeros emerged from a non-trivial process, the prehistory of which goes back to the 19th century, when Congress demanded a colonial army. It details how it was a thoughtful process with a solid elaboration carried out for more than three years (1917-1920) by the War Ministry, which was at all times assisted by the General Staff. The creation of the Tercio de Extranjeros in an environment as complex as Spain in Africa during these years makes the task of its first chief, who managed to create something new in the army during an armed conflict, even more valuable. something that hadn’t existed before and that continues to be upgraded to this day. The story, which begins with the analysis of a predecessor of this type of unit in the Spanish army of the 19th century, moves as early as the 20th century to the areas where the Spanish-French protectorate was established in 1912. Morocco and witness to the first moments of the Spanish Legion.

The work is divided into seven chapters and contains an extensive appendix with additional documentation, photographs, notes, sources and bibliographies. I would like to highlight two chapters: Chapter 6, devoted to the project to create and organize the Tercio de Extranjeros, which contains the decisions of the Ministers of War and the rules that form the fundamental basis for understanding the project; and Chapter 7, where the print by Jos Milln-Astray is shown. This is very significant because if the Spanish Legion has reached the 21st century as a reference among elite infantry units, this is in large part due to the impression that then Lieutenant Colonel Milln-Streuner had a direct influence on their personality at the time of its founding the success of the project.

About the author, comment Mara Luz Martn Gmez has a degree in CC. Mathematics from Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), a degree in history from the National Open University (UNED) and a PhD in contemporary history from UCM and six other Spanish public universities. He has developed his professional activity in the world of business process consulting, particularly in the management of information technology projects, methods and adaptation to international standards and regulations for large multinational companies in Europe and the USA. He received his doctorate in contemporary history with the dissertation “The Spanish Legion before its centenary: from the prehistory to its foundation” under the direction of Professor Dr. Don Emilio de Diego Garca. (Gabriel Cortina)

The Legion is born
Background and origin of the Tercio de Extranjeros
Mara Luz Martn Gmez

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333 pages

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