On June 27, 1940, German tank units, cutting through a defeated France, reached Spain's northwestern border on their way, many thought, to Gibraltar, Britain's last tiny foothold on the European continent and a natural target for Hitler's arms. Britain and its scattered empire were now fighting alone, while antiwar sentiment in the United States continued strong. It would be three months before President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be able to get a draft bill through a reluctant Congress, and then many of the draftees would have to train with broomsticks for rifles and wooden sawhorses for machine guns. It would be a year and a half before the United States entered the conflict, and that would come only after Japan, without a prior declaration of war, had bombed Pearl Harbor.
What was Spain's attitude toward Germany in that grave emergency? It was essentially a reaction to Germany's policy toward Spain. The aims of that policy were chiefly: to draw