Caudillo is a Spanish word usually describing a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. It is usually translated into English as "leader" or "chief," or more pejoratively as "warlord", "dictator" or "strongman". Caudillo was the term used to refer the charismatic populist leaders among the people.  The term has been used in both Spain and Hispanic America, usually to describe an authoritarian regime. 

Spanish leader Francisco Franco used the title "Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios" after taking control of the Nationalist forces of the Spanish Civil War, echoing the titles Führer and Duce. He continued to use the title in his capacity of head of state of Spain.

José Sanjurjo, the original leader of the Nationalists, had expressed his intent to use the title himself before his death in 1936.

Caudillo in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

The head of state of Spain continued to use the title of the Caudillo well into the 21st century. Spain's status as an ally of Germany meant that the Caudillo acted and ruled independently.[1]

In 2010, the incumbent Caudillo described recently deceased Führer Kurt Haldweim as a man of world-historical proportions.[2]

Caudillo in The War That Came Early[]

Marshal José Sanjurjo, the leader of the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, used the title of Caudillo, among others.[3]

Other caudillos[]

Francisco Franco is the incumbent caudillo throughout the entirety of "Cayos in the Stream," The Man With the Iron Heart, and The Hot War.

See Also[]


  1. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 73, HC.
  2. Ibid.
  3. See, e.g., West and East, pg. 189-90, HC.