Design for Aggression: The inside Story of Hitler's War Plans

By Peter De Mendelssohn | Go to book overview

IV
FELIX AND ISABELLA German-Spanish relations, 1937-43

IN HIS SECRET SPEECH BEFORE AN ASSEMBLY OF GAULEITERS AT MUNICH on November 7, 1943, General Jodl attributes the fact that "the palm of victory has eluded us" to Germany's failure to attain three specific objectives. These were:

The impossibility of a landing in Britain;

The failure to bring the war against the Soviet Union to a victorious conclusion during the first winter;

The failure to draw Spain into the war at some time during the first two years of fighting.

It is noteworthy that the German chief-of-staff should have attached such importance to Spain. It is even more remarkable that he should attribute Spanish resistance to a man who was always regarded as Ribbentrop's understrapper, namely, Franco's foreign ministerSerrano Suñer. "Our third objective," says Jodl, "that of drawing Spain into the war on our side and thereby creating the possibility of seizing Gibraltar, was wrecked by the resistance of the Spanish, or better, Jesuit Foreign Minister Serrano Suñer."

Jodl does not explain this remark. Does it mean that Franco was ready and willing to resist a German entry into Spain with what arms and troops he had? The Nuremberg documents as well as the collection of captured German documents which was issued by the United States

-203-

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