Letter From General Franco to Mussolini.
Chief of State and Generalissimo of the Spanish Army
MADRID, August 15, 1940
Since the beginning of the present conflict, it has been our intention to make the greatest efforts in our preparations, in order to enter the foreign war at a favorable opportunity in proportion to the means at our disposal, since the lack of the most vital provisions and the interruption of communications with Italy and Germany hindered every operation at the moment.
The rapid and devastating victories in Flanders altered the situation; the defeat of France liberated our frontiers, lessening the grave tension which we along with our Moroccans have been bearing since our Civil War.
From this moment, our horizon became brighter, our operation became possible and could become very effective, once the difficulties of provisioning have been removed.
In this manner, upon the entry of your Nation into the war, we had to take a clearer stand, one of alertness, changing to one of non-belligerency, which, in the field of foreign affairs, could not fail to have great repercussions. This awakened jealousy and opposition, and unleashed an Anglo-American offensive against our provisioning, aggravated in these days by the new measures taken by the United States against our exports, and by the English blockade measures, causing grave tension in our relations with those countries.
The consequences, which the conquest of France is to have for the reorganization of the North African territories have made it advisable for me, now that the time has come, to charge my Ambassador in Rome with transmitting to Your Excellency the Spanish aspirations and claims traditionally maintained throughout our history in the foreign policy of Spain, today more alive than ever in our consciousness; to territories, whose present administration is a consequence of that Franco-English policy of domination and exploitation, of which Italy also bears so many scars. To the legitimate Spanish aspirations are added in this case the requirements for security necessitating the elimination of a weak and thinly protected frontier, and the assuring of our communications with the Canary Island group.
In this manner, Spain in addition to the contribution which she made to the establishment of the New Order, through our years of hard struggle, offers another in preparing herself to take her place in the struggle against the common enemies.
In this sense, we have requested from Germany the necessities for action, while we push forward the preparations and make every effort to better the provisioning situation as far as possible.
For all these reasons, you will understand the urgency in writing you, to ask your solidarity in these aspirations for the achievement of our security and greatness, while I at the same time assure you of our unconditional support for your expansion and your future.
With my greatest admiration for the brave Italian comrades who are fighting so gloriously, I send you my most cordial regards.F. FRANCO
To His Excellency
Senor BENITO MUSSOLINI
Head of the Italian Government Italy.
Source: THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT AND THE AXIS : Documents - DEPARTMENT OF STATE Publication 2483 - EUROPEAN SERIES 8 - Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1946. Published online by The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
This document has been published on 10May04 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.