Journal Article

The Ambassadorship of Hans Adolf von Moltke (1943): The Turning Point in German–Spanish Relations during the Second World War

Emilio Sáenz-Francés

in German History

Volume 31, issue 1, pages 23-41
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online February 2013 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghs124
The Ambassadorship of Hans Adolf von Moltke (1943): The Turning Point in German–Spanish Relations during the Second World War

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This article examines the nature of Spanish–German relations during the brief ambassadorship of Hans Adolf von Moltke in Madrid between January and March 1943. Using previously unknown material, it argues that this period marked a watershed in the relationship between the two dictatorships. Although Hitler had little interest in a Spanish declaration of war, in the aftermath of Operation Torch, Nazified elements within the German Foreign Office and the Madrid embassy sought to force Spain into a more strident pro-Axis policy through a series of plots aimed at destabilizing the Franco regime. The activities of these ‘parallel channels, which contributed to the dismissal of Eberhard von Stohrer as German ambassador in December 1942, were brought to an end by von Moltke. The article concludes by stressing that despite his premature death in March 1943, von Moltke laid the basis for a new phase in Spanish–German relations.

Keywords: Spain; Second World War; Hans Adolf von Moltke; diplomacy; Francisco Franco; Torch Operation

Journal Article.  10419 words. 

Subjects: European History

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