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SPAIN: Cooperation with the Allies



Eric Boehm says: "I want to add a short P.S. to the discussion on Franco's Spain, based on information I gained late in 1944 and 1945 as an air force intelligence officer interrogating German prisoners of war at a "detailed interrogation center" near London. When we were not busy there, we were assigned to tour various Eighth Air Force bases to give "E and E talks" to the flying crews. "E and E" refers to the substantial commitment to evasion and escape, to bring our precious air crews back to England and hence into flight operations again. At that time we got some information of a sort of underground railroad that extended from Holland and Belgium through France over the Pyrenees into Spain. Once there the airmen were flown out of Spain back to England. I was surprised not only by the effectiveness of the underground railroad (or so it seemed to us as we probably heard only of the successes) but even more by the cooperation of the Franco regime -- because in the public image, Franco was associated more with other "Fascist" regimes than with the Allies. I have not heard of or read any literature that describes this Franco Spain / Allied relationship of support for our air crews, though I would be surprised if this is not reflected in the literature somewhere. Are there any WAISers who know more of this subject or who know of references in the literature? "

RH: This is an interesting subject. My impression is that Franco was working both sides of the street, so as to be on the right side of the victor, whichever it was.

Ronald Hilton - 7/29/03


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