Spanish Attitudes Towards Portugal

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Carl Schwamberger
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Spanish Attitudes Towards Portugal

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Dec 2022 16:31

In Neil Locherys history of Portugal in WWII (Lisbon: War in the Shadows City of Light) he refers very briefly to a faction in Spain that thought Portugal should be forcibly integrated into Spain. To that ned there were staff studies by the Spanish army & some degree of planning for invading Portugal. Does anyone here know of any other reliable references for this, collaborating or refuting Locherys remark? I understand the Portuguese disestablishment of the Catholic Church was a sore point among Iberias Catholics, but was this a serious idea among Spaniards or only a idea among a few?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Spanish Attitudes Towards Portugal

Post by Ironmachine » 22 Dec 2022 09:08

Well, it seems that there were some in Spain that thought the Portugal should be anexed by Spain, but the question is complex. For example, it is quite well known the remark that Serraño Suñer made to Von Ribbentrop in their meeting of 16 September 1939: "Geograficamente hablando Portugal en realidad no tiene derecho a existir" ("Geographically speaking, Portugal has no real right to exist"). However, in that same meeting, Serrano Suñer acknowledged that Portugal did had moral and political rights to its independence, and expressed the Spanish gratitude for the Portuguese attitude during the SCW. So what was really Serrano's opinion about the matter? In Franco's case, it is even more difficult to judge his opinion on the matter. IMHO, those really interested in anexing Portugal were at most a small minority in Spanish circle of power.
Anyway, what is fully clear is that the quite developed plan for the invasion of Portugal that existed in 1940 was in no way related with any interest in a forcibly integration of the country into Spain. The plan stated that the invasion should be a preventive measure in case of a danger of British invasion of Portugal when (if) Spain joined Germany in the war. The plan dealt only with the military aspects of the operation and there was no mention in it about what was going to happen after the conquest of Portugal.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Spanish Attitudes Towards Portugal

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Dec 2022 15:10

That clarifies it a bit for me. Thank you.

Id think the more ardent supporters of the Catholic Church would have ideas about a post integration Portugal. When I visited it fifteen years ago I was struck by how small the physical presence of the Church was. & show little of religion was visible in the public scene.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Spanish Attitudes Towards Portugal

Post by Ironmachine » 23 Dec 2022 08:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Id think the more ardent supporters of the Catholic Church would have ideas about a post integration Portugal.
Oh, surely, just as they could have had ideas about a post integration Soviet Union! :D
I mean, in the sense that, for example, they would have wanted for any anexed territory of Spain the same prevalence of the Catholic Church as was present in Spain, but that does not mean (and I have found no evidence of it) that there was a general desire or thought among the more ardent supporters of the Catholic Church that Portugal should be forcibly integrated into Spain.

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