Diplomacy and Strategy of Survival: British Policy and by Denis Smyth

Strategy

By Denis Smyth

An research of Britain's diplomatic efforts to maintain the non-belligerency of Franco's Spain, through the interval from overdue 1940 to the top of 1941. Making large use of lately on hand British and Spanish documentary files, Dr Smyth explains how Britain's uphill fight to safe Spanish non-belligerency have been rewarded with luck by means of December 1940. satirically, British policy-makers have been blind to the earl), luck in their efforts, so that they remained alert all through 1940-41 to the chance of unexpected Spanish aid for a German movement throughout their territory to Gibraltar. the realization notes how carrying on with Spanish neutrality helped the British undergo 'their best hour' and the Franco regime to outlive the destruction of its former Fascist buyers.

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Hoare argued, as early as 26 June 1940, that since Franco and Beigbeder were set on keeping Spain out of the war, Britain should support them to the hilt, and that that support should be twofold. 95 Equally, he felt that since Franco and Beigbeder had such an intense desire for a Moroccan Empire, Britain could well benefit by showing sympathy with Spanish aspirations for replacing France in Morocco. He concluded by telling Halifax that since he was forced to play 'an almost impossible game' the former would have to be willing to act as his partner in managing his meagre hand.

74 But, as also noted above, there were obvious internal political reasons for Yagiie's removal from ministerial office. Moreover, as is emphasised in what follows, neither the real possibility of Franco's intervention in the war in 1940, nor British anxiety in 1940-1 over such an eventuality, were seriously diminished by Britain's bribery of the Spanish generals. However, aside from the problematic influence afforded by such covert methods on the ultimate direction of Spanish foreign policy, the political position which the British attempted to uphold in Spain in the summer of 1940, was slight in comparison with that which their enemies had managed to establish.

Moreover, as is emphasised in what follows, neither the real possibility of Franco's intervention in the war in 1940, nor British anxiety in 1940-1 over such an eventuality, were seriously diminished by Britain's bribery of the Spanish generals. However, aside from the problematic influence afforded by such covert methods on the ultimate direction of Spanish foreign policy, the political position which the British attempted to uphold in Spain in the summer of 1940, was slight in comparison with that which their enemies had managed to establish.

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