Neither friend nor foe: the European neutrals in World War II
At the outbreak of the war, in 1939, over thirty independent states spanned the European continent. As the Nazi war machine advanced across Europe, consuming almost everything in its wake, only five - Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and the Republic of Ireland - preserved their sovereignty and protected their populations from devastation. These were the "neutral" nations of the Second World War, which survived through a combination of strategy and sheer luck, and continual, strained negotiations with the Axis and Allies. Neutrality, in practice, often meant accommodating warring neighbors and appeasing the ascendant power. Until Germany lost its edge in 1942, it threatened invasion to exact costly compromises: Switzerland complied with press censorship and granted the Germans access to Italy via their Alpine tunnels; Sweden permitted transport of Nazi troops and war materiel to the Norwegian front. Spain's and Portugal's rightwing dictators paid homage to Hitler, and Franco went so far as to send Spanish soldiers to the Russian front. The Republic of Ireland, fearing British occupation as much as Nazi attack, maintained relations with the Germans, isolating themselves from the rest of the English-speaking world, and inviting accusations from the Allies of complicity with the enemy. Were these the policies of courageous leaders wishing to spare the lives of innocent citizens? Or, as the Allies alleged, cynical positions that prolonged the carnage? Jerrold M. Packard explores the ethical implications of the politics of neutrality, as he vividly evokes the complex forces at work during this tumultuous period. Here are stories of individual heroism and cowardice on a grand scale, dramatic rescues and mass slaughter, diplomacy and espionage. In this first comprehensive popular treatment of the subject, Jerrold M. Packard re-creates the war of the neutral powers, and the personalities who shaped the events, from Winston Churchill and Eamon de Valera to Raoul Wallenberg and Allen Dulles.
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Neither friend nor foe: the European neutrals in World War IIUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Although it is generally known that Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Ireland remained neutral throughout World War II, few realize just how and at what price each nation maintained its ... Read full review