During the war…

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  • During the war…
  • andrewh

    Just thinking to myself, as I sometimes do, and was wondering why the Spanish didn’t take advantage of everything else that was going on in the early 1940s to recapture Gibralter?
    If they had done, and been able to deny the Royal Navy entry to the Med, we would almost certainly have lost North Africa and the Middle East, and of course the oil fields there.

    b r

    Because Franco was smart, and waiting to see the result first.

    You’ve also got to remember how backward Spain was in comparison to the UK and no way would they want us as an enemy. Plus Portugal is one of our oldest allies, so would’ve been an issue.


    Good points, but [devil’s advocate mode] a Spanish invasion could have tipped the balance, certainly in the early stages of the war. An invasion in 1945 would have been daft but in 1940/41 it may have tipped the balance in favour of the Italians and Germans in Libya and Egypt. And Portugal, although strictly speaking not fascist, did have three days of national mourning when Hitler died.


    Because it would have meant Spanish involvement in WW2, and Franco was smart enough to realise the folly of that. Spain had not recovered from the civil war and Franco’s regime was far from secure. Hitler did ask Franco for passage for German troops to Gibraltar but was refused. Which led Hitler to say to Mussolini of Franco, quote : “I would rather have four of my own teeth pulled out than go through another meeting with that man again!”


    Predictably, oil played its part

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