What kinds of tools does an ambassador have to work with in wartime? In Spain they were a variegated lot.
The Foreign Service officer component was small, experienced, and effective. More than half became ambassadors. The Auxiliary officers, temporary appointees with legal or economic training, in some cases both, also were effective. One of them, Covey Oliver, became an ambassador and, later, an assistant secretary of state.
One of my first acts, after arriving in Madrid, was to examine the embassy files back to the First World War. Our ambassador at the time the monarchy fell was Erwin B. Laughlin, a career diplomat who, judging by what I read in the files, spent his summers quite properly in San Sebastián while the Foreign Office was installed there, his winters in Marrakesh where the climate is infinitely superior to Madrid's, and the rest of his time mostly with monarchists in Madrid, when