Franco, General Francisco-Bahamonde, 1892-1975

Because Germany and Italy had supplied Franco with arms to help him win his Civil War, it was assumed that Franco and the Spanish Army would side with Nazi Germany when war broke out. This, however, was not the case. HITLER wasted a fair bit of time and effort trying to persuade Franco to join the Axis but Franco managed to remain neutral—his Army was tired of fighting and he could not be sure who would win the war. A skillful negotiator, Franco prompted Hitler to remark after the Hendaye meeting that he would rather visit the dentist to have teeth removed than do business with him (Franco) again. Over the years several possible alliances between Germany and Spain were considered but none actually materialized although Franco did send a division of volunteer and-Bolsheviks to Russia (the ‘Blue Division’).

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