What Side Was Spain On In Ww2?

What Side Was Spain On In Ww2
Spanish and Nazi intelligence activities – Spain was nominally neutral during World War II, though under General Franco’s far-right Nationalist regime it was politically aligned with Nazi Germany. Spain did not actually join the Axis side but it collaborated with the Nazis in many areas.

  1. The Spanish intelligence service had a close working relationship with its German opposite number, the Abwehr;
  2. The two countries had common interests in Gibraltar;
  3. Spain had long claimed ownership of the territory, which had been held by Britain since 1703, and Germany wanted to break Britain’s control of the vital Straits of Gibraltar to secure naval access to the Mediterranean;

It was clear that Gibraltar’s naval dockyard and airfield would be high-priority targets in the event of war. The Abwehr had bases on both sides of the Straits, in Tangier and elsewhere in Spanish-ruled Morocco as well as in Algeciras on the opposite side of the Bay of Gibraltar.

  • The Germans were thus able to monitor Allied shipping movements into and out of the Mediterranean;
  • There was also a large Abwehr station in Madrid, which supervised sabotage operations against the Rock undertaken locally from the Algeciras office;

The Spanish intelligence service also had a strong presence along the coast between Gibraltar and Algeciras, where it had a regional HQ. The Spanish and German intelligence services often actively collaborated against Britain. Both had recruited local (mostly Spanish) agents, many of whom were fanatically anti-British.

One of the few factors in the DSO’s favour was the support that it received from a number of anti-Franco Spaniards. They had opposed Franco’s Nationalists during the Civil War of the 1930s, had survived the post-war purges, and were now fervently anti-Nazi.

The Double Cross System The Nazis and their Spanish allies initially seemed to have the advantage in the secret war for Gibraltar. However, the British were able to use the “Double Cross” technique – that of identifying enemy agents and “turning” them into double agents for the British authorities – just as effectively in Gibraltar as they did in Britain.

  1. DSO staff identified many hostile agents and either arrested them or turned them into double cross agents;
  2. No successful act of land-based sabotage occurred after July 1943, once the “screen” erected by the DSO’s double agent network was in place;

A total of 43 sabotage attacks on the naval base were forestalled through the use of double cross agents. Sea-borne attacks remained a problem; a number, including several carried out by Italian frogmen, were successful.

Was Spain an ally or Axis in ww2?

Diplomacy [ edit ] – From the very beginning of World War II, Spain favoured the Axis Powers. Apart from ideology, Spain had a debt to Germany of $212 million for supplies of matériel during the Civil War. Indeed, in June 1940, after the Fall of France , the Spanish Ambassador to Berlin had presented a memorandum in which Franco declared he was “ready under certain conditions to enter the war on the side of Germany and Italy”.

Franco had cautiously decided to enter the war on the Axis side in June 1940, and to prepare his people for war, an anti-British and anti-French campaign was launched in the Spanish media that demanded French Morocco, Cameroon and the return of Gibraltar.

On 19 June 1940, Franco pressed along a message to Hitler saying he wanted to enter the war, but Hitler was annoyed at Franco’s demand for the French colony of Cameroon, which had been German before World War I, and which Hitler was planning on taking back. At first Adolf Hitler did not encourage Franco’s offer, as he was convinced of eventual victory. In August 1940, when Hitler became serious about having Spain enter the war, a major problem that emerged was the German demand for air and naval bases in Spanish Morocco and the Canaries, to which Franco was completely opposed. After the victory over France, Hitler had revived Plan Z (shelved in September 1939) for having a huge fleet with the aim of fighting the United States, and he wanted bases in Morocco and the Canary Islands for the planned showdown with America.

The American historian Gerhard Weinberg wrote: “The fact that Germans were willing to forgo Spain’s participation in the war rather than abandon their plans for naval bases on and off the coast of Northwest Africa surely demonstrates the centrality of this latter issue to Hitler as he looked forward to naval war with the United States”.

In September, when the Royal Air Force had demonstrated its resilience in defeating the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain , Hitler promised Franco help in return for its active intervention. This had become part of a strategy to forestall Allied intervention in north-west Africa.

Hitler promised that “Germany would do everything in its power to help Spain” and would recognise Spanish claims to French territory in Morocco , in exchange for a share of Moroccan raw materials. Franco responded warmly, but without any firm commitment.

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Falangist media agitated for irredentism , claiming for Spain the portions of Catalonia and the Basque Country that were still under French administration. Hitler and Franco met only once at Hendaye , France on 23 October 1940 to fix the details of an alliance.

  1. By this time, the advantages had become less clear for either side;
  2. Franco asked for too much from Hitler;
  3. In exchange for entering the war alongside the alliance of Germany and Italy, Franco, among many things, demanded heavy fortification of the Canary Islands as well as large quantities of grain, fuel, armed vehicles, military aircraft and other armaments;

In response to Franco’s nearly impossible demands, Hitler threatened Franco with a possible annexation of Spanish territory by Vichy France. At the end of the day, no agreement was reached. A few days later in Germany, Hitler famously told Mussolini, ” I prefer to have three or four of my own teeth pulled out than to speak to that man again! ” It is subject to historical debate whether Franco overplayed his hand by demanding too much from Hitler for Spanish entry into the war, or if he deliberately stymied the German dictator by setting the price for his alliance unrealistically high, knowing that Hitler would refuse his demands and thus save Spain from entering another devastating war. Spain relied upon oil supplies from the United States, and the US had agreed to listen to British recommendations on this. As a result, the Spanish were told that supplies would be restricted, albeit with a ten-week reserve. Lacking a strong navy, any Spanish intervention would rely, inevitably, upon German ability to supply oil. Some of Germany’s own activity relied upon captured French oil reserves, so additional needs from Spain were unhelpful.

  1. [ citation needed ] The UK and the US used economic inducements to keep Spain neutral in 1940;
  2. From the German point of view, Vichy’s active reaction to British and Free French attacks ( Destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir and Dakar ) had been encouraging, so perhaps Spanish intervention was less vital;

Also, in order to keep Vichy “on-side”, the proposed territorial changes in Morocco became a potential embarrassment and were diluted. As a consequence of this, neither side would make sufficient compromises and after nine hours, the talks failed. [ citation needed ] In December 1940, Hitler contacted Franco again via a letter sent by the German ambassador to Spain and returned to the issue of Gibraltar.

Hitler attempted to force Franco’s hand with a blunt request for the passage of several divisions of German troops through Spain to attack Gibraltar. Franco refused, citing the danger that the United Kingdom still presented to Spain and the Spanish colonies.

In his return letter, Franco told Hitler that he wanted to wait until Britain “was on the point of collapse”. In a second diplomatic letter, Hitler got tougher and offered grain and military supplies to Spain as an inducement. By this time, however, Italian troops were being routed by the British in Cyrenaica and Italian East Africa , and the Royal Navy had displayed its freedom of action in Italian waters.

The UK was clearly not finished. Franco responded “that the fact has left the circumstances of October far behind” and “the Protocol then agreed must now be considered outmoded”. [ citation needed ] At Hitler’s request, Franco also met privately with Italian leader Benito Mussolini in Bordighera , Italy on 12 February 1941.

Hitler hoped that Mussolini could persuade Franco to enter the war. However, Mussolini was not interested in Franco’s help after the series of defeats his forces had recently suffered in North Africa and the Balkans. [ citation needed ] Franco signed the Anti-Comintern Pact on 25 November 1941.

  1. In 1942, the planning of Operation Torch (American landings in North Africa) was considerably influenced by the apprehension that it might precipitate Spain to abandon neutrality and join the Axis, in which case the Straits of Gibraltar might be closed;

In order to meet this contingency, it was decided by the Combined Chiefs of Staff to include a landing in Casablanca, in order to have an option of an overland route via Moroccan territory bypassing the Straits. [ citation needed ] Franco’s policy of open support to the Axis Powers led to a period of postwar isolation for Spain as trade with most countries ceased.

  • President Franklin Roosevelt , who had assured Franco that Spain would not suffer consequences from the Allies , died in April 1945;
  • Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S;
  • Truman, as well as new Allied governments, were less friendly to Franco;

A number of nations withdrew their ambassadors, and Spain was not admitted to the United Nations until 1955. [ citation needed ].

Did Spain Help Germany in ww2?

Francoist Spain remained officially neutral during World War II but maintained close political and economic ties to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy throughout the period of the Holocaust. Before the war, Francisco Franco had taken power in Spain at the head of a coalition of fascist, monarchist, and conservative political factions in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) with the aid of German and Italian military support.

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He was personally sympathetic to aspects of Nazi ideology including its anti-communism and anti-Semitism. It appeared possible that Spain might enter into an alliance with the Axis powers in 1940 and 1941.

In this period, Franco’s regime compiled a register of Jews resident in Spain and added Jewish identity to its official identity documents. Other pre-existing anti-Jewish measures remained in force. The regime failed to protect the vast majority of Spanish Sephardic Jews living in German-occupied Europe.

Why didn’t Germany invade Spain?

Hitler wanted an alliance with both Vichy France and Spain. Since he compromised when they requested stuff from him, neither was happy enough to become Hitler’s ally. So basically the Germans didn’t invade Spain since he considered them allies, but the allied powers didn’t either as Spain was neutral.

Who were the 3 main allies in ww2?

Skip to Main Content of WWII – In World War II, the three great Allied powers—Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union—formed a Grand Alliance that was the key to victory. But the alliance partners did not share common political aims, and did not always agree on how the war should be fought. Top Image: Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and british Prime Minister Winston Churchill (left to right) at the Teheran Conference, 1943. (Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-32833. ) British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “The only thing worse than having allies is not having them. ” In World War II, the three great Allied powers—Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union—formed a Grand Alliance that was the key to victory.

But the alliance partners did not share common political aims, and did not always agree on how the war should be fought. Churchill and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been working together for some time when the United States entered the war in 1941.

Roosevelt believed a British victory over the Axis was in America’s best interests, while Churchill believed such a victory was not possible without American assistance. In 1940, the two leaders worked to find ways for America to help Britain hold on without violating its neutrality.

The following year they met off the coast of Newfoundland to begin planning, in sweeping terms, the postwar world. Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin was a late addition to the Big Three. On New Year’s Day 1942, representatives of all three nations signed the United Nations Declaration, pledging to join hands to defeat the Axis powers.

The Big Three faced considerable challenges in coordinating their efforts. Thousands of miles separated their capitals, which meant important decisions often had to be made by telephone or telegraph. Although their representatives met frequently during the war, Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill only met twice in person.

  • Stalin was deeply suspicious, to the point of paranoia, of both Roosevelt and Churchill;
  • Politics and history also made the relationship difficult;
  • Stalin was deeply suspicious, to the point of paranoia, of both Roosevelt and Churchill;

He knew his capitalist allies would likely oppose any attempt to expand Soviet influence in eastern Europe when the war ended. Stalin also complained incessantly about the Allied failure to mount a second front in western Europe before June 1944. This front, he said, would reduce pressure on the Soviet Union by forcing Hitler to transfer forces from Russia to meet the Anglo-American invasion.

  1. Planning for the postwar era further strained relations between the Allied leaders;
  2. By the time the Big Three gathered for the last time at Yalta in February 1945, the Allies were closing in on Germany from both the east and west;

Several major questions had to be settled, chief among them the fate of Poland, which was then occupied by Soviet troops that were advancing on Berlin. Stalin demanded that part of Poland be transferred to the Soviet Union and that a Soviet-friendly communist government in the city of Lublin control the remainder of the country.

  1. He also insisted that each of the Soviet Union’s satellite republics in eastern Europe receive separate votes in the newly created United Nations, even though these countries were controlled from Moscow;

This alarmed Roosevelt and Churchill, but they were powerless to force Stalin to guarantee a democratic and independent Poland. Stalin’s armies already occupied most of the region, and the Western allies could not force them out without fighting the Soviet Union. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-112542 The Yalta Conference ended in a compromise. Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to Stalin’s demands regarding Poland and the United Nations. Stalin, in return, agreed to hold elections in Poland so its people could choose their own government. He also agreed to declare war against Japan shortly after the German surrender. .

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Did Mexico fight in ww2?

What Side Was Spain On In Ww2 A Mexican family leaving to cross the border during World War II to help wartime labor shortages, 1944. Corbis/Getty Images If you ask people to name the victorious Allied Powers in World War II , Mexico isn’t usually a name that comes to mind. But after declaring war against the Axis in mid-1942, Mexico did contribute to the Allied victory in important ways.

  1. Despite long standing tensions with the United States, Mexico would become a valuable ally to its northern neighbor, ramping up its industrial production and contributing vital resources to the Allied war effort;

In addition, thousands of Mexican nationals living in the United States registered for military service during World War II. Mexico’s own elite air squadron, known as the Aztec Eagles, flew dozens of missions alongside the U. Air Force during the liberation of the Philippines in 1945. What Side Was Spain On In Ww2 Mexican artillery men in the field during WWII as their country expects a declaration of war on the Axis Powers. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images).

Which countries weren’t involved in ww2?

Countries That Claimed Neutrality Throughout the War – Only 14 countries remained officially neutral throughout the entire war. They included Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as well as the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican City.

But even those states that managed to stay out of the war, such as Sweden and Switzerland, found their ability to maintain strict neutrality hampered by the intensity of the conflict, Woolner says. The result, he adds, is “they played a somewhat ambiguous—and still controversial—role in the war.

” A seminal 1998 U. State Department report helped dispel the myth that there was any standard form of neutrality, citing that the neutral countries continued trading with the Allied and Axis forces, sent troops to offer military assistance, and allowed one side or the other access to its territory.

What side were Norway on in ww2?

With the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, Norway again declared itself neutral. On April 9, 1940, German troops invaded the country and quickly occupied Oslo , Bergen , Trondheim , and Narvik. The Norwegian government rejected the German ultimatum regarding immediate capitulation.

The Norwegian Army, which received help from an Allied expeditionary force, was unable to resist the superior German troops, however. After three weeks the war was abandoned in southern Norway. The Norwegian and Allied forces succeeded in recapturing Narvik but withdrew again on June 7, when the Allied troops were needed in France.

The same day, King Haakon VII , Crown Prince Olaf, and the government left for London , and on June 10 the Norwegian troops in northern Norway capitulated. The government, through the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission (Nortraship), directed the merchant fleet, which made an important contribution to the Allied cause.

  • Half of the fleet, however, was lost during the war;
  • In Norway, Vidkun Quisling , leader of the small Norwegian National Socialist party (Nasjonal Samling, or National Union)—which had never obtained a seat in the Storting—proclaimed a “national government” on April 9;

This aroused such strong resistance, however, that the Germans thrust him aside on April 15, and an administrative council, consisting of high civil servants, was organized for the occupied territories. Political power was wielded by the German commissioner Josef Terboven.

  • In September 1940 the administrative council was replaced by a number of “commissarial counselors,” who in 1942 formed a Nazi government under the leadership of Quisling;
  • The Nazification attempt aroused strong resistance, however;

Initially, this took the form of passive resistance and general strikes, which the Germans countered with martial law and death sentences. Once the resistance movement became more firmly organized, its members undertook large-scale industrial sabotage, of which the most important was that against the production of heavy water in Rjukan in southern Norway.

At the end of the war the German troops in Norway capitulated without offering resistance. On their retreat from Finland in late 1944 and early 1945, however, the Germans burned and ravaged Finnmark and northern Troms.

The Soviet troops who liberated eastern Finnmark in November 1944 withdrew during the summer of 1945.

How did Sweden stay out of WW2?

But by a combination of its geopolitical location in the Scandinavian Peninsula, realpolitik maneuvering during an unpredictable course of events, and a dedicated military build-up after 1942, Sweden kept its official neutrality status throughout the war.

Could the US have avoided WW2?

If the countries had agreed to signing the fourteen points instead of the Treaty of Versailles, we could have avoided World War 2. Led to less resentment in Germany. It would have helped lessen the devastation of the great depression. And it could have helped monitor Hitler more closely.