This is a very complete essay about a delicate and no much known affair: the difficult relations between Spain and the Allies, over all, Great Britain, during World War II. We see the background: WW II just began at ending of Spanish Civil War, with Spain exhausted, destroyed economy and communications. And in despite of the victory of Franco's side, half of the country was republican and against him. Many Spanish republicans were exiled mainly in France, Britain, Russia, South and North America, but most losers remained in Spain. Also, much generals of Franco didn't wanted him as a dictator, but restoration of monarchy.
Franco was more prone to totalitarian regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, as furthermore, he owed much military aid to both countries. Without that aid of the Nazis and Fascists, he hardly could have won; England, France and the USA had responsibility in the defeat of the Spanish Republica, as they declared the arms embargo and the USA sold oil and carburant to Franco's side. But once WW II began, the situation turned different and very complex, as the international interests varied considerably. Franco was cautious with the pressure of Hitler to entry at war. He wanted to do so, but with the country at edge of general hunger and the blockade of British Royal Navy of indispensable raw materials and food, only possible to pass with the "navicert", a permit or naval certificate for cargo ships mainly from South America, this was impossible. However, Franco believed firmly in a German victory until 1942. U- boats and German ships tied up in Spanish harbours and German spies and military Abwehr worked freely in Spain with radio stations near Gibraltar.
But after battle of Britain, firsts defeats of Germany in Russia and murders of Spanish catholic priests and Philippine Spanish- speaking people by the Japanese troops in the Pacific area, many of his generals, not all full adherents to Franco began to think the Allies will won, impeded the intervention and maintained Spanish neutrality. "Operation Torch" in North Africa was perhaps the definite turning point of the opinion of Franco about war, as he was promised Spanish colonies in Morocco should be respected by the Allies. British occasional weakening of the food embargos and money subornation in Sterling Pounds to some Spanish key military personages completed the landscape. OSS and SOE, the USA and British Special Services forced to Spanish authorities to concede a way of escape toward the Pyrenees mountains for allied pilots shot down in missions over Europe. Franco knew no doubt much of that, and he was counselled by his minister of Foreign Affairs, Serrano Suñer, a man much more pro- fascist that Franco and his generals, as he admired Mussolini.
Well, Franco was at last a cautious man. He managed Hitler and British ambassador Samuel Hoare with interminable worrying demands about French colonies in North Africa, food, money and material demands and summing up, played during all WW II with two games of cards. The first USA ambassador was more hard, as president Roosevelt disliked Franco, but later, these relations become better, with more supplies of petrol with the condition of no re- sell the supplies to the Axis powers. Spain exported both to the Axis and the Allies, some iron mineral, pyrites, coal, and must of all, tungsten, a metal that Germans estimated very much for armour and projectiles.
The title of this book refers to the final situation and ending of war. Then, Lord Atlee, secretary of the Foreign Office, recommended to Winston Churchill to force Spain to return to democracy, forcing Franco to abandon his regime. But Churchill was frontally opposite to this, arguing England didn't had a war with Spain and the principle of no intervention in internal politics of another countries. At the bottom of this, many interpreters think the problem of communism in Greece and the rising confrontation between USA and England and the USRR and the Iron Curtain was decisive. All that favoured greatly Franco's remaining as a dictator. This book is rich in details and numbers of these hard times.