"Klop" Ustinov's in Lisbon


I wrote here [my Portuguese blog on  secret war in Portugal, 1939-1945] about Peter Ustinov's father, Ivan [Joan, alias "Klop"] biography written by Peter Day. 
Compared with what I knew from other sources, the author goes further claiming that, received in Lisbon, in February 1944, by Desmond ("Derry") Bristow [Mi6] "Klop" [Mi5 codenamed U-35] was sent here to meet not some German circles conspiring to assassinate Adolph Hitler, but specifically Otto John [Luftahansa lawyer in Madrid that was later exfiltrated to Gibraltar due to the combined efforts of PVDE's - Portuguese secret police - and Rita Winsor [Mi6 in Lisbon, posing as typist in the British Embassy].
Moreover he emphasizes that Ustinov was acting under the authority of Harold Russel "Kim" Philby [Section V of Mi6, Portuguese desk] a long term soviet mle in the British intelligence community. That I knew already from two different sources: Rufina, Philby's wife after he defeated to the Soviet Union, after the book she wrote Kim Philby Private Life and Genrikh Borovik, a Tass journalist wth KGB connections The Philby Files, published the first in 1999 the second 1994.
The mission of "Klop" served the strategic interests of URSS concerning the non-support of these who intended to kill Hitler. The coup failed and Hitler's life was saved. And war contnued...

Books of my shelves-Walford Selby-2


I continue to quote from Sir Walford Selby memoirs, this time concerning negotiations with Portugal about Portuguese attitude in case of war.The book contains, as an appendix, a lecture given by the author, in April, 8, 1941 addressing to the Royal Empire Society, entitled Portugal - her policy and reactions to the war.

-» 1938, Munich crisis: «I was consulted by the Foreign Office on the drafting of a message to be sent to our ally Portugal» [109], stating «the desire of our Government would be that Portugal should remain neutral», message that was sent by Lord Halifax to Dr. Salazar.

-» Admiralty [Admiral Godfrey] point of you was instead that, although the matter had not been discussed by the Committee of Imperial Defence, Portugal, despite the Alliance in case of war should not be called to be «on our side», but they will count «on her "benevolent" neutrality» [109]; «in the succeeding months many misunderstandings were to arise between us and Portugal as regards the interpretation of Portuguese neutrality» [110]; «this particularly applied to our blockade measures<«, because the Portuguese considered them «an infringement not only of the Portuguese neutrality but of Portuguese sovereignty as well» [111] and Mr. King's, Commercial Secretary, after consultations in London, negotiations with Conde de Tovar, head of the Economic Section of the Portuguese Foreign Office «came to a deadlock» [111].

-» A personal message from Lord Halifax was sent to Dr. Salazar; he «returned a courteous but firm reply» [...] re-emphasised his goodwill, at the same time he insisted on the right of Portugal to interpret her neutrality as seemed best to her in the interested of preservation of her own security. On this point Dr. Salazar made clear that he must reserve his complement liberty of action» [111-112].

... to be continued...

Books of my shelves-Walford Selby-1


I wrote here about him. Sir Walford Harmood Montague Selby, British Ambassador in Portugal (1937-1940). In 1953 his memoirs, under the title Diplomatic Twilight, were published by John Murray. Pages 103-130 are about his mission in Lisbon. This Saturday with the book in my hands, I start quoting some of its relevant material.

-» «On the submission of Lord Halifax», HM, the King conferred on General Carmona «the universally respected Head of the Portuguese Sate» the G.C.B. «correspondingly deep gratification was felt in the British communities in Portugal» [104]

-» «I exercised strong pressure upon Dr. Salazar to prevent him placing his armaments contracts in German and Italy» [104], and «by the summer of the year 1939 [...] we had made no progress in our negotiations with Dr. Salazar» [105]

-» «In the commercial field there had been no improvement of any kind to assist us» [105] so Sir Alexander Roger, of the Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company, «appeared in Lisbon in the spring and had submitted to Dr. Salazar a Memorandum which he affirmed would have the support of the Federation of British Industries», that «seemed to contemplate some kind of organisation of our commerce in England, which would provide us with resources to enable us to compete with the financial pressure of Germany» [105]

-» «Lord Stonehaven and Lord Davidson, who had visited me in Portugal, told me that they had made strong representations to Lord Halifax on this very point of German penetration» [105; Lord Stonehaven was Chairman of the Benguela Railway]

-» «I drafted three dispatches to take home with me covering the whole field of our relations with Portugal» [105], which were approved by Lord Halifax but implied seven weeks of discussions with the concerned departments of the British Government, evolving Mr. Hore-Belisha, Minister of War, Admiral Phillips, of the Admiralty, Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary for Air, and at last Sir Alexanderr Cadogan [106-108];

-» As a result those instructions «seemed to satisfy Dr. Salazar» and «shorthly afterwards he awarded to Great Britain the valuable three million contract for the construction of the defences of Lisbon, and from that moment onward he exercised all his good offices in Madrid to assist the British Government in their relations with the Spanish Government» [108]

... to be continued....

Michael Stewart


Michael Stewart, Press Attaché at the British Embassy in Lisbon photographed at the party given when he left Portugal [source: O Mundo Gráfico]

Ronald Campbell:1944


O Mundo Gráfico dedicated his cover [15 Oct 1944] to Sir Ronald Campbell, British Ambassador of HMG Government in Portugal.

Leslie Howard lectures in Lisbon


I found a press cut concerning the two lectures de made un Lisbon. Here they are, published by  O Mundo Gráfico, the anglophile magazine directed by Artur Portela (father). Above a photograph of him and Dr. George West, from the British Institute, surrounded by journalists.
+
P. S. Professor Douglas Wheeler, a good friend and a most respected researcher on LH's fate, wrote me saying that Dr. West is not in the picture. I quote the mention from the original press cut, as it can be confirmed clicking above in the link. But I do trust in Professor's remark and remian most grateful for it.

Armindo Monteiro and the APS


Autumn 1942: Portuguese Ambassador in London, Professor Armindo Monteiro and former British Ambassador in Portugal [1929-1931], Sir Francis Lindley. The first lectures in London during an Anglo Portuguese Socitey meeting. BBC radiocasts the speech. [source O Mundo Gráfico, here]

Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell, Ambassador in Lisbon (1940)


Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell presents his credentials as British Ambassador in Lisbon. The source of the picture is O Mundo Gráfico, a magazine directed by Artur Portela (father).

Nathalie Sergueiew last adress


I wrote a book about her life, mostly as a double agent for the XX Committee. Now I found her last adress. Here in Mass. USA.

Bleck about Howard's death


Carlos Eduardo Bleck, air pilot, says in his book of memoirs [page 79] that he was the last person to shake hands with the actor Leslie Howard before Ibis of KLM/BOAC left for its last travel from Lisbon to Bristol because he was sunk by a Luftwaffe squadron over Biscaya's bay, as I wrote it in a booklet about the event.
Is the book Bleck refuses the idea that the attack was due to the wrong suspecting that Winston Churchill was aboard. The travel would be too dangerous for a prime minister, because the plain could not climb too high in case of an encounter with the Germans, was a slow one, a mere commercial line without RAF protection.
But he add a fact: the week before Captain Parmentier told him that another attack occurred to an aircraft of the "Lisbon Line", which arrived at Portela Airport in Lisbon with severe damages in the wing and fuselage.
So, if it was not the first time, there is reason enough to conclude there was not a specific motive for this action

Derry last adress


I wrote about him here after a meeting we had in Periana (Malaga, Spain). Now I found his last adress in this picture published here.
He wrote a book of memoirs, translated to Portuguese, his son Bill helping, that I found at Foyle's, signed. I phone him then just asking if he had been there autographing it. He reply: no!
Later when I met him he signed again «spies like us», joking!

More about "Jack" Beevor


More details here about John Beevor, head of SOE station in Lisboa: number 98083, parent unit Royal Artilleryborn 1.3.1905; educated Winchester College; Winchester College OTC (Cadet C.S.M.); commissioned Lieutenant,R.A. 30.8.1939; postwar resided Fulham, London; author "SOE Recollections and Reflections 1940-1945" (1981).
He is te father of Anthony Beevor, the military historian.

Azores facilities: Vintras book after Vernon Walters

An analysis concerning the book of Colonal Ronald Eugene Vintras [1908-194] about the Azores facilities: 

«The Portuguese Connection is an interesting anecdotal book that serves admirably to illustrate the unique 600-year treaty relationship between Great Britain and Portugal and the good use made of that relationship in 1943 to obtain essential base rights for Allied Naval and Air Forces in the Azores.
A 70-page appendix sets forth the original 1373 Treaty of Alliance and Friendship and the changes wrought in a half-dozen revisions by 1703. It is interesting, however, that the British in 1943 maintained that their request was still based on the principles set forth in 1373.
That treaty stipulated that if one signatory should find itself at war, the other should furnish such aid as was requested "in as far as is compatible with the danger threatening himself or his Kingdom." The Portuguese government, in fact, offered in 1941 to declare war on Germany in accordance with the treaty, but the United Kingdom at that time would have been hard-pressed to offer any reciprocal aid, and asked the Portuguese to stay neutral. As one byproduct, the Portuguese were to upgrade Azores air facilities to handle heavy aircraft such as Fortresses and Liberators, but the British would afford only long-range advice and send no personnel to the Azores.
The Battle of the Atlantic made the difference. In less than two years, the British came to realize that Azores bases were essential to extend air cover over the mid-Atlantic "gaps" where U-boat wolfpacks could tear at the convoys without interference.
The rest of the book concerns primarily the pulling and hauling within the British government over the proper approach: what guarantees could be offered to Lisbon and when? Was President Salazar pro-Nazi? And should it be a request, or an ultimatum, and should it be followed up by armed seizure if necessary?
Ironically, the documents show that on June 18* the British Ambassador handed Salazar a mild communication asking for the desired collaboration, and Salazar replied warmly on June 23 agreeing in principle, with details to be hammered out. A British force disembarked in the Azores on Oct. 8 to complete the preparations, and by Nov. 9 the aircraft had their first U-boat kill.
Except for a few scattered paragraphs, the intelligence reader has to dig for intelligence value in this book. It has to do primarily with the successful effort to conceal the negotiations from the Germans, who had a pervasive espionage system in Lisbon at the time.


Vintras, of course, is not the disinterested reporter here. A career RAF officer, he was a member of the joint Planning Staff of the British Chiefs of Staff, subordinate to the War Cabinet, from 1940 through most of 1943, and played a major role in the negotiations with Portugal. He finished the war as Director of Intelligence in the Air Ministry, and then served three years in the joint Intelligence Bureau of the Ministry of Defense before retiring.
In Vintras' book there is little, if any, mention of U.S. activities to help convince the Portuguese to make the Azores available to the Allies. In April 1943 I accompanied Lt. Colonel Craveiro Lopes and Major Costa Macedo on a two-month trip around the United States, showing them U.S. military installations and industrial power. (The U.S. entry into the war was, of course, the single greatest element in the ultimate Portuguese decision.) When initially I saw the schedule for the Portuguese visitors, I asked whether we were really going to show them all this — Lockheed at Fort Worth, building four-engine bombers on a visibly moving assembly line; Higgins, building landing craft at New Orleans; Kaiser, launching ships in California at an incredible rate; and Chrysler, building tanks in Detroit. I was told that we had reached the point where we no longer wanted to hide; we wanted to show.
When Craveiro Lopes and Costa Macedo arrived, they had recently visited the Eastern Front and were enormously impressed by the effectiveness of the German Armed Forces. Craveiro Lopes told me early in his visit that we could not invade Europe through the Atlantic wall. Before the end of his visit, standing in the Curtiss-Wright factory in Buffalo and looking at the long line of C-46 aircraft under construction, all of which had hooks on the tail to tow gliders, he looked at me, startled, and said, "Now I see you are going over the Atlantic wall." "Over and through," I replied. These hooks greatly impressed him, and he never again challenged the fact that we would land in Europe. Costa Macedo was staggered by the aircraft factories and tank production lines.
Diplomatically, the State Department was pressing the Portuguese Minister to the U.S., Joao de Bianchi, in support of the British efforts to get base rights. I recall one conversation with Bianchi in which he told me confidentially that he was in favor of granting the Allies the bases, but Lisbon feared a German attack in the islands. I pointed out to him that the Azores were beyond the range of almost every aircraft in the German Air Force. The Germans could strike at metropolitan Portugal only through Spain, and they would not want to get into an additional war at this stage.
Contrary to what Vintras says, the U.S. did recognize the importance of he Anglo-Portuguese Treaty relationship and it was made clear to me in 1943 that this was the umbrella under which we intended to slide into the Azores as subtenants of the British.
There are minor inconsistencies. Vintras says that English was the lingua franca in Portugal in 1943, not French. That is nonsense. To this day far more people in Portugal speak French than English. It is just much easier for them than English.
The book is an interesting account of the British efforts to obtain base rights from the Portuguese. It simply omits any reference to the significant part played by the U.S. and even Brazil which was prepared to conduct the Azores takeover if it became necessary.»

* Apparently the request was conveyed to Salazar on June 16, followed by the AideMemoire two days later. Vintras with obvious carelessness refers to a request on June 16 and an answer "the next day — 17th August." Vintras also has the British Military Mission to implement the agreement arriving at Lisbon on June 10.

 [author: Lt. General Vernon Walters, here]

Portugal in World War II

I found it in the National WW II Museum at New Orleans [see it here], a speech about Portugal during the conflitct. Walt Burgoyne lecture, starting with a reference to the Portuguese help to the crew of an aircraft sunk at Algarve.

Carol II: the story of a stamped letter


An envelope with a Post Office stamp with the picture of King Caroll II, of Roumania, dated 9th April 1939. The war was too close. King's dictatorship close to the end.
I bought it to a street seller in OPorto.
Adressed to AKO, Zürich, sent from Cluj, Rua Regele Ferdinand, n.º 48. Today is here.

Oswald Theodor Baron von Hoyningen-Huene


I found a picture of him, and an article [in Portuguese] concerning his role in Portugal in cultural affairs.
German Amabassador in Portugal since 1934 and during the major part of WW2.
Facing him António Ferro, the Director of the Propaganda Services of the Regime. [for more, in Portuguese, here]

Beta Naphthol: Rogério de Menezes secret writing




The secret ink that was given by the German controller agent in Lisboa to Rogério de Menezes, the Axis agent who worked in the Portuguese Embassy in London, being Armindo Monteiro the Ambassador, was "Beta Naphthol".
With it he sent messages to the Sicherheitdiesnt contact in Portugal and to the Italian informant. 
Looking further details about it I discovered this topic: "dermatitis due to invisible ink". Se it here. The product is exactly the same. 


Once developed, by Mi5 scientist Dr. Henry Vincent Aird Briscoe, using ammonia gas and ultraviolet light to make it fluoresce, the messages could be read for some seconds and photographed.
In the process some of the letters were destroyed. Menezes notice that the letters he was sending to his sister, where the others clandestine letters where hidden, did not arrive.
Strange fact, because they were not sent by post but in the Portuguese diplomatic bag. 
Reason: the British Mi5 was violating it...

Mary Christine Beevor interview


Mary Christine Beevor interviewed: British civilian secretary with MI5 in London, GB, 1939-1940; secretary with MI6 in Lisbon, Portugal rorking with Richmond Stopford, 1940-1942; secretary with Planning Section, Air Ministry in London, GB and during Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, 1942-1945 [source, IMperial War Museum, London [here]
Beevor Mary Christine IWM interview (9599)

Portugal ammunition reserves: 1939


«In 1939, the ammunition depots of the Portuguese were estimated to withstand only 3 days of intense fighting», as can be read here, in the blog of João Paulo Maganinho.