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“Who designed these uniforms—Tom of Finland?”: the real story behind these viral photos of Spanish soldiers

Deployed to cities at high risk of coronavirus, photos of the Spanish Legion provoked lust, loathing and comments about homoeroticism when they went viral on social media. Yet the history of the Legion makes these responses no contradiction at all

By Catherine Baker  

Photo of the Spanish legion went viral on social media. Photo: Twitter screengrab/Prospect composite

They are musclebound and tanned, with sage-green shirts open to the chest, bulges below their black leather belts, and chinstraps curiously slung along their chiselled jaws.

They are the elite troops of the Spanish Legion, and on an internet desperate to be distracted from pandemic lockdown, they are English-language Twitter’s latest thirst trap.

After the Spanish military was deployed to cities at high coronavirus risk, New York writer Jill Filipovic tweeted “Spain, hi, can you…

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