Airplane crash in Alcocero



(Ver la versión en español)

The Airspeed Envoy Mola used as personal airplane, painted with a strange and unofficial combination of colors and symbols.


General Emilio Mola, with his habitual attitude of busy executive, took his personal airplane to make the passage from Vitoria to Valladolid, where the generalissimo Franco, the super-general with control over all of them, was waiting for him. Mola was the warlord in the North as Queipo was in the South, although that qualification, at the height of early June 1937, was becoming less real, as the national state was militarily and politically organized. As second in command, Mola had his own plane, a great twin-engine Airspeed Envoy that left behind the hulk of Queipo, a single engine corrugated plate Junkers . Only the Air Chief, Kindelan, even had a comparable airplane, a Lockheed Electra, but that would be advanced war.

Mola was distracted from his important mission in Vitoria – organizing the final attack on Bilbao, the last phase of the northern offensive begun on March 31 – by a Republican attack on the northern slope of the Guadarrama mountain range, one of the classic reactive attacks of the Republican Army. Although it gave rise to the famous novel For Whom The Bells Tolls, the one that would be called offensive of La Granja militarily did not serve of nothing, and Bilbao fell in the nationalistic hands the 19 of June. On the third day of that month, Mola started the flight from Vitoria, hoping to make the 250 km distance to Valladolid (at least four hours by road with the cars and the roads of the time) in just 50 minutes thanks to the Excellent cruising speed of your Envoy.

Low clouds and some navigation error distracted the pilot, and the twin engine crashed on the slope of a hill belonging to the last foothills of the Iberian system before falling into the Duero valley. He was the second prominent general of the Uprising killed in a plane crash after Sanjurjo in July of the previous year and, like Sanjurjo, was the only one who could have shadowed General Franco. Such luck aroused suspicion. But Mola did not oppose the appointment of the Caudillo as dictator, and we do not know what would have happened had he been alive. The vociferous Queipo de Llano was politically deactivated very easily, which may indicate that the case of Mola would not have been very different. Today you can see in Alcocero a huge monolith reminiscent of the episode.



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