Franco: Silent Ally in World War II

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1986 - Biography & Autobiography - 233 pages
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During World War II, Beaulac, as a member of the United States diplomatic mission to Spain, partici­pated in the delicate intrigue as Hitler tried to entice or coerce Spain into fighting for the Axis while the Allies sought to keep the Franco forces neutral.


Spain’s policy was aimed at frustrating German designs, which made it, in effect, pro-Allied. Yet for survival Franco had to maintain an overt attitude of friendship with the Axis as well as a posture of enmity toward Russia. This friendship that Franco, his aides, and the controlled media professed for Hitler provided Spain’s sole defense against German invasion.


Once Spanish policy became clear, the Allied poli­cy was to be as helpful as possible. Spain was starving, weary of war, divided politically and spiritually. The United States and Britain chose not to punish Spain for her avowed friendship with the Axis but instead to make it as easy as possible for Franco to stay out of the war. Both countries continued to trade with Spain and supply her with com­modities that would enable her to survive. That the Allies and the Spanish were able to carry out a policy that was often unpopular and difficult constitutes a great diplomatic victory— one that may have altered the course of World War II.

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User Review  - pjsullivan - LibraryThing

When World War II broke out in Europe, Spain was already in ruins from years of civil war. Hitler could easily have grabbed it and Gibraltar, thus gaining control of the Mediterranean Sea. This is the ... Read full review


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About the author (1986)

Willard L. Beaulac served in Spain during World War II as United States Counselor of Embassy and, from time to time, Charge d’Affaires, from June 1941 to May 1944.

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