the Putsch of 23. To be established February 1981, colloquially 23-F, was a recent dictatorship an unsuccessful attempt of parts of the Guardia civil and the military the democracy in Spain to be terminated and. A cause was the frustration of parts of the army and the trailer Francos over the reforms come since the death of the Dikators on to a modern, democratic constitutional state. The Putsch failed because of the resistance of the population and because of the decided occurrence of the Spanish king Juan Carlo, who back-instructed the army in its role as a commander in chief of the armed forces in a television speech held in uniform into the barracks and itself clearly for the democracy and the Spanish condition expressed.

The personal intervention extracted not only the soil from the Putsch, but strengthened in the consequence also crucially the role of the king. Up to the Putsch Juan Carlo applied as puppet and a pupil Francos and was accordingly unpopular. Since the Putsch its position no more is not questioned and a majority to Spaniards admits themselves openly than trailers the king (colloquial: Juancarlisten).


as Franco died, began his successor king Juan Carlo to Spain a democracy to introduce. The recent monarchy must set itself against an economic crisis as well as the terror of separatists (ETA) and fascist (FRAP) to the resistance. The right forces, led of former beneficiary of the Franco regime, recruited themselves among other things from the former unit party Falange and the “federation civil war veterans”. They held conspiratorial meetings, threatened the government in addition, openly. By the so-called “operation de Gaulle” wanted to establish it a “government of the national rescue”. This should be led by general Alfonso Armada. As to 23. February 1981 Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo to the Prime Minister to be selected should, came it to the Putsch.


at 18.23 o'clock stormed lieutenant colonel Antonio Tejero with two groups of one hundred of the Guardia civil the parliament, shots fell. The political elite had become in a hand caper hostages. The policemen destroyed the cameras in the parliament. One the Putschisten stepped to the Rednerpult and reported the delegates:

“Good day! It will happen to you nothing. We wait, until the responsible authority is here. Those will then determine, what continues to pass and it us to communicate. You are calmed down. I do not know, whether it will take one quarter of an hour, 20 minutes or a half hour - longer I hardly believe. “

Simultaneous drove tanks into Valencia on instruction of the general captain of the eastern military region Milans del Bosch on the roads. Proclaiming of the state of emergency was prepared and taken place also in other regions.

The conspirators were sure itself that itself the king, just as large parts of the military would strike, on their side.

Differently than expected condemned the king however in a television speech at 01.10 o'clock the Putschversuch and placed itself on the side of the democracy:

“The crown, symbol of the unit of Spain, may bear actions or ways of acting of persons, who try to interrupt the democratization process, which was determined in the condition by force in no case, on those the Spanish people in a referendum decided.”

When desired the king was the Crown Prince then under age Felipe during the crucial instants present, among other things during the television speech. How Felipe told later, its father wanted to mediate to him that it was the most important task of a king to serve the people.

Against five o'clock recalled Milans del Bosch the tanks. The parliamentarians were free.

See also: History of Spain.

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