Secret War in Portugal [1939-1945]
For SOE [British Special Operation Executive] 24 Land was the code name for Portugal

Hitler e Portugal

Há achados inesperados. Este surgiu pela hora do almoço, entre uma garfada e uma espreitadela ao que ando a organizar no campo dos meus estudos. Um artigo sobre a relação entre Adolph Hitler e a imprensa portugusa. Abre com uma entrevista dada ao "Diário de Notícias".

«Armando Boaventura deixa perceber, no seu relato, que Hitler havia sido preparado para receber o jornalista, conduzindo a conversação em forma de monólogo.

"Oiço a sua voz - forte, dum timbre metálico que fere, voz de comando, autoritária.
O dr. Ashmann diz-lhe quem somos. Hitler já o sabia, e até, sobre cada um de nós, os dois jornalistas portugueses, possuia informações.
As suas primeiras palavras são de cumprimento - protocolares:
Lamenta não conhecer Portugal, por nunca o ter percorrido, mas as suas belezas, tesouros artísticos e gloriosa história não os ignora.
Uma frase, que o dr. Ashmann traduz num francês correcto:
  1. -As relações entra a Alemanha e Portugal têm tanta maior razão de existir, estreitas, íntimas e francamente cordiais, quanto é certo que a actual situação política portuguesa se inspira em muitos dos princípios, directrizes e objectivos que informam o regime nacional-socialista da nova Alemanha."


E tudo o mais que o leitor quiser ler aqui.

Fleming's AU

In 2008 I wrote a book comparising Ian Fleming and his creature, James Bond. It is psychological essay, but in a sense it was a biography of both. Working during WW2 in Room 400, with Admiral Godfrey - and both were in Lisbon, where Bond visited the Casino at Estoril that later would inspired him to write Casino Royale - his feverish mind devises plans to fight Axis Forces. One of the tools was the assault unit now described in this book by Nicholas Rankin. The acronym for Assault Unit is AU, the symbol for gold, Golfinger, The Man With the Golden Gun. Alchemy, in short. Ian Fleming translated a paper from Carl Jung about Paracelsus. Did you know it?

A honra da Rússia

Chamava-se Galina e encontrámo-nos, como se clandestinamente, em Zurich, eu trazendo à vista um livro do Graham Greene. Tudo começara numa livraria escondida onde procurei, como pretexto, álbuns sobre São Petersburgo. Procurava-os sim aos russos brancos em Paris, e à sua organização, as ROV, às infiltrações alemãs. Por ela soube que a Marina Grey era a filha do general Anton Denikin. Mais tarde seguiria no encalço dos raptores do general Miller, do mesmo bando que raptara o general Koutiepov, os mesmos que assassinariam "Trotsky". 
Foram tempos em que li às pressas "Le General Meurt à Minuit" na nova Biblioteca Francesa, monumental, em forma de livro, em que hesitei escrever que o ouro do Banco de Espanha foi roubado pela "ajuda" internacionalista e carregada no porto de Cartagena. 
Tempos em que subi a Rue Daru, folheei-os aos álbuns sobre a honra da Rússia, de André Korliakov, vi, boquiaberto no "Nimas" em Lisboa "O Agente Triplo" de Eric Rohmer, sem saber que tinha estudado tudo isso, semanas antes, incluindo o papel ambíguo de Nikolai Skoblin.
Tudo isso para um livro, a biografia de uma extraordinária mulher. O meu melhor livro, acho eu, o menos lido.

Desmond Bristow

I met him in Periana (Malaga) after a press cut that a a friend, Emílio Sousa, send me of a letter to the editor he sent to The Daily Telegraph, about the Lt. Colonel Dudley Clark who acted as a spy in Madrid, disguised as a woman, being an expert on cross-dressing [see here]. 
In a small villa there he was, with his wife, a quiet life and was surprised by the letter he received from me remembering his past with the Secret Service in Lisbon.
"Derry" has talked with me about his work in Portugal and solve some doubts I had after reading his book of memoirs "A Game of Moles", already translated in Spanish. Here I publish a photograph of both of us [I was quite younger then...]
Later I traced an autographed copy of this book at Foyles, a strange event none of us could explain. 
A nice fellow, he receveid me as a friend. Worried about the healtof his spouse he died before her.
I will return on him. Tonight I found his obituary here.

Aterrem em Portugal

A gentileza de Carlos Guerreiro permitiu a gentileza da entrevista. Milita no mesmo campo que eu, no seu caso, no da aviação. Pode ler-se aqui. Tem um blog e um livro que resume assim: «O nome deste blogue é igual ao de um livro chamado “Aterrem em Portugal”, editado em finais de 2008 e que contém histórias de aviões e aviadores alemães, britânicos, americanos e outras nacionalidades que durante a II Guerra Mundial aterraram ou caíram no nosso país.São mais de uma centena os aparelhos que tiveram esse destino e mais de seiscentos os homens que passaram por aqui durante esse período. Foi possível entrevistar vários destes homens ou consultar documentos – incluindo diários pessoais- onde a passagem por Portugal é referida».
Um trabalho notável.

Velasco, the plot against the Duke of Windsor

According with my records, and an article I've publish in a book edited by Cascais Council, the former bullfighter Angél Alcazar de Velasco, Press Attaché of the Spanish Embassy in London, a rabid Falangist, posing as "agent Viktor" brought a letter, signed in July 1940 by the Marquis of Estella, adressed to HH the Duke of Windsor, then at Ricardo Espírito Santo's villa in Cascais, inviting him for move to Spain where he would be safe. This was part of the plot organised by the Germans to kidnap him.This was revealed by Velasco in October 1963 to Michael Bloch, who wrote a book concerning what was called "Operation Willi".
What really happened remain obscure. In his Memoirs [The Heart has its Reasons, page 343] the Duchess wrote: «one day we received a call from a distinguished Spaniard. Our visitor said he had come on a confidential mission on behalf of the Spanish Government to offer us a house in Spain. David thanked him, saying 'A have accepted a post under the British Colonial Office. I inted to serve my country'».
Now that the British National Archives published declassified secret material concerning this Abwehr agent, the true about the Duke of Windsor's saga in Cascais could be confirmed.

Letters from Goa

As the 2nd edition of my book about Operation Longshanks - SOE coup in Marmagoa harbour in 1943 - goes to the publisher I do regret because no access was possible to any document from Goa's Archives [may I ask for help?], despite the case was judged there, and from the Portuguese Ministry of the Navy,  and it was ate least two official inquiries conducted by harbour authorities about the nature and cause of the incidents.
The book now quotes a decision from the Portuguese Supreme Court after an appeal made by the crew after their arrest and long proceedings that I could finally trace. Arrested in Aguada some wrote to the family. Here is one of the letters, written by Eng. Gerhard Brandt, from the Ehrenfels ship. See mucha more here with an English translation.
Some mysteries still remain, mainly the fate of Commander Röffer, the Captain of the Ehrenfel and Robert Koch and his wife, Grete, living in Altinho, allegedly shot in Castle Rock, after being kidnapped.