"In February 1945, with his totalitarian dream a nightmare, Allied soldiers pressing in from three points of the continental compass, and defeat a certainty, Adolf Hitler spent precious moments in retrospective analysis. His concern was to find a satisfactory explanation for the total destruction of his empire. . . . Throughout these deliberations a single theme returned again and again-- Spain! Here was the key to German defeat! Hitler observed, 'Taking advantage of the enthusiasm we had aroused in Spain and the shock to which we had subjected Britain, we ought to have attacked Gibraltar in the summer of 1940, immediately after the defeat of France.' As he contemplated the premature end of his Thousand-Year Reich the Fuehrer found the Spanish stalemate sufficient rationalization for his failure."
What follows is a story of British-American diplomatic victory in Spain during World War II, a victory that is seldom hailed and never celebrated. It is also a story of seven Madrid actors in that victory: of Generalissimo Francisco Franco y Bahamonde, Chief of the Spanish State and Caudillo of Spain; of his foreign ministers, Colonel Juan Beigbeder Atienza, don Ramón Serrano Suñer, General Count Francisco Gómez Jordana y Sousa; of the British ambassador to Spain, Sir Samuel Hoare, and the American ambassadors, Alexander W. Weddell and Carlton J. H. Hayes.