Varela file photo [9628]

José Enrique Varela

Given NameJosé Enrique
Born17 Apr 1891
Died24 Mar 1951


ww2dbaseJosé Enrique Varela Iglesias was born in Cadiz, Spain. He was an enlisted man during the second Rif War. Before the war was over, he returned to Spain and attended the infantry school, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant upon graduation. During the third Rif War, he was awarded the Honored Cross of San Fernando award twice by King Alfonso XIII, and at end of the war he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. During the early 1930s, he served as a member of a military mission that observed the armies of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and France. In 1932, he participated in the abortive José Sanjurjo uprising, and was imprisoned upon the uprising's failure. Upon release, in the mid-1930s, he traveled the Spanish Pyrenean countryside and trained a secret militia for a future uprising, and was caught and imprisoned once again in Apr 1936. When the Spanish Civil War began, he was in a prison in Cadiz. He was released on 18 Jul 1936, the day after the war began, and immediately led efforts to secure the city of Cadiz for the Nationalists. During the war, he participated in action at Seville, Cordova, Malaga, Extremadura, Tagus Valley, Alcázar, Madrid, Jarama, Brunete, Teruel, and the Ebro. At the end of the war, he served at the rank of major general. After Francisco Franco established his government, Varela was named the minister of war. When the European War began, he opposed Spain joining the Axis Powers, but he did support organizing a division of Spanish volunteers to fight under the German banner, which was later known as the Blue Division, also known as the 250th Division of the German Army. In 1942, political tension between the Carlists and the Falange broke out in violence during a religious ceremony at the Basilica of Begoña in Bilbao, resulting in several deaths. Being a Carlist, Varela resigned from his post, thus officially became uninvolved in politics for the remainder of the war period in Europe. In 1946, Franco appointed him the high commissioner in Tetuan, Morocco, where he worked diligently to improve relations between the Spanish government and the leaders of the Moroccan people. He passed away in Morocco in 1951 and was posthumously made the Marquis of San Fernando de Valera by Franco.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2010

José Enrique Varela Timeline

17 Apr 1891 José Enrique Varela was born.
24 Mar 1951 José Enrique Varela passed away.

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