Domènec Batet

Domènec Batet i Mestres

Domènec Batet photographed in 1931.
Born (1872-08-30)August 30, 1872
Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
Died February 18, 1937(1937-02-18) (aged 64)
Burgos, Castile and León, Spain
Allegiance Spain Spain (1887–1931)
 Spanish Republic (1931–1937)
Years of service 1887–1936
Rank General
Battles/wars Cuban War of Independence
Events of October the 6th
Spanish Civil War
Awards Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand

Domènec Batet i Mestres (Spanish: Domingo Batet Mestres. Tarragona, August 30, 1872 – Burgos, February 18, 1937) was a Catalan military man who became general of the Spanish Army.[1]

Starting as a lieutenant, Batet quickly escalated ranks during the Cuban War of Independence. After the Disaster of Annual, as a colonel, Batet took part in the investigation of the defeat taking part in the drafting of the Picasso Files. During the Second Spanish Republic, Domènec Batet was designated chief of the IV Organic Division in Catalonia and crushed the Catalan Uprising of October the 6th. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Batet remained loyal to the Republic and was deployed in Burgos, where his subordinates betrayed him and captured him for the Nationalists. After months of captivity, Franco ordered the execution of Batet.[2]


Early military career

Domènec Batet i Mestres started his career in the Spanish Army as a volunteer lieutenant in the Cuban War of Independence. During the war he won condecorations and was promoted multiple times, he also developed a pacifist facet.

After that, during the Rif War, as a colonel he was one of the instruction judges that wrote the Picasso Files, a report directed by Juan Picasso González that pointed out the corruption of the African deployed Spanish officers, including Francisco Franco.[2]

The Catalan uprising

Shortly after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic, Domènec Betet was deployed in Catalonia as chief of the IV Organic Division. In that position Batet was always deferent with the Generalitat of Catalonia, treated well the soldiers and promoted the use of the Catalan between them.[2]

In 1932, Batet led the repression of the general strike of the Alt Llobregat. Instead of using terror tactics, ordered by Manuel Azaña, he acted quickly and avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

Its most important action during the Republican years was the successfully suffocation of the Events of October the 6th, a Catalan attempt of secession. The uprising was fuelled by multiple issues, the most important: the inclusion of anti-republican ministers of the CEDA, a fascist-styled Spanish political party, and the cancellation of the Law of Contract of Cultivation (Llei de Contractes de Conreu). Approved by the government of Lluís Companys and banned by the Spanish government this law protected the peasants and the decision of cancelling it infuriated the Catalan working class.[3]

On October 6, 1934 a general strike collapsed Barcelona and, the next day, Lluís Companys decided to declare a Catalan Republic in response. Numerous squads of Catalan political parties occupied the streets of Barcelona and numerous other cities supporting the initiative. Lluís Companys also telephoned Domènec Batet who asked for a written request. While Companys wrote the request, Batet prepared the troops and directly attacked the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya avoiding confrontation with the revolted militias, who were ordered not to attack until they were told so. Then Batet surrounded the building and shoot multiple warning shots with a howitzer. After 10 hours, and isolated from the militians that had no orders, Lluís Companys was forced to surrender.[4][5]

Acting efficiently, Batet minimized the casualties and used the minimal brute force to fulfill the Spanish government orders. To avoid further fights against his own people Batet asked to be redeployed somewerhe else. Alcalá Zamora granted him his petition.

Spanish Civil War and execution

On June 13, 1936 Batet was transferred to the Organic Division of Burgos, where the general Emilio Mola, leader of the Nationalist faction, was also deployed. When the Spanish Civil War started, Batet was betrayed by his own men and they imprisoned him. While Mola, who respected Batet as a military man, was the leader of the Nationalists, Batet was kept in prison. When Franco became the Generalissimo of the Nationalist forces he ordered to execute Batet, in retaliation for the Picasso Files, where Batet accused Franco of corruption during the Rif War.[2]


  1. "Domènec Batet i Mestres" (in Catalan). Barcelona: Enciclopè Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Acte en reconeixement de la figura del general Domènec Batet" [Act in memory of the figure of the general Domènec Batet] (in Catalan). Museu d'Història de Catalunya. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  3. Finestres & López 2014, p. 29.
  4. Finestres & López 2014, p. 31-32.
  5. Gonzàlez et al. 2014, p. 165-170.


See also

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