Following her defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain shifted her colonial focus to her Protectorate in northern Morocco. When Spanish conscripts began to fight and to die by the thousands, political fallout forced the government to create a new unit of professional soldiers. This unit would serve the dual function of providing fighting men for Moroccan service, while sparing the lives of conscripted men. Under its founder, José Millán Astray, and his deputy, Francisco Franco, the Spanish Foreign Legion would quickly become the spearhead for Spain's army in Africa. This is the story of the creation, organization, and combat role of the Legion in its formative years from 1919 to 1927.