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

29 June 2013

Dino Grandi escape to Portugal

«Grandi, Dino Conte di Mordano (1895-1988) – WWI service as mountain troops officer; member of Italian Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista - PNF) Oct 1920; appointed Regional Secretary of Fascists in Emilia Romagna (Fasci dell' Emilia Romagna), Apr 1921; PNF Deputy May 1924; Interior Ministry Undersecretary Jul 1924; Foreign Ministry Undersecretary May 1925; Italian Foreign Minister Sept 1929-1932; Italian Ambassador to London Jul 1932-Jul 1939; Justice Minister (Ministro Guardasigilli) Jul 1939; appointed President of the Chamber of Fascists and Corporations (Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni), Nov 1939-Feb 1943; service, Greek campaign Nov 1940; member, Italian Fascist Grand Council {fled to Portugal; charged with treason for supporting the ouster of Benito Mussolini in Sept 1943; convicted by a special Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiano - RSI) tribunal for the defense of the State at Verona and sentenced to death in absentia (NYT 8 Jan 1944:4:5; 10 Jan 1944:5:2; 11 Jan 1:7 & 5:4; NYT 12 Jan 1944:5:5); put on trial in absentia before an Italian court at Rome 25 Nov 1947 (LT 26 Nov 1947:3d); acquitted at trial in absentia by High Commission for the Expurgation of Fascism court 1 Dec 1947 (LT 2 Dec 1947:3f; Fascist Italy pps. 254-60); arrived at Buenos Aires, Argentina c. 1949 under the name "Domenico Galli" and claiming to be a Portugese attorney (NYT 27 Mar 1949:21:1); died 21 May 1988 at Bologna (ABR-Italy; Fascist Italy pps. 254-260).}» [source here]

While in Portugal, firts in Viana do Castelo [Hotel Santa Luzia] then in Monte do Estoril, till 1948, he assumed to be "Dr. Domenico Galli". A mensual subvention was granted through the Portuguese Government [see here]. For more see here  [in Italian].

José Cabral, his role during Operation Longshanks

Here he is. José Cabral The Governor General of Mozambique [1926-1938] and India [1938-1945] who had a relevant role on behalf of the British during SOE Operation Longshanks in Marmagoa in 1943. ANglophile, decorated by HM the King, entitled to use the Sir. [source here]. Now the full story can be understood.

14 June 2013

Shinjuwan, Risubon, Tōkyō

It's the book of the memoirs written in 1950 by the Japanese Ambassador in Lisbon, Morito Morishima. You may find it here. Written in Japanese. Good luck!

Crowd reading latest dispatches about African occupation

«Crowd read news about African occupation in Lisbon, Portugal during World War II. Exterior of office of newspaper 'Seculo' shows crowd reading latest dispatches about African occupation. Exterior of office of newspaper 'Diario de Lisboa'. Newsboys around a door. News vendors rush down stairs with bundles of papers. News vendor's kiosk where papers of all countries are sold. Newsstand with foreign papers. First edition of Diario de Lisboa is sold at barber shop on the day of occupation of North Africa.»

Stock Footage - Crowd reading latest dispatches about African occupation outside newspaper offices in Lisbon, Portugal during World War II.

Charles de Salis, Mi6 in Portugal

I met him some years ago in his house in the South of England. A kind man he gave all the instructions I need to arrive there from Victoria Station, London. After a lunch at his house when expectating for the train we were talking about Graham Greene his colleague at Section V of Mi6. He died on Feb, 27, 2007, aged 96. He worked under "Kim" Philby supervision.

13 June 2013

Passage to Lisbon

«(...) In July 1940, my brother Elisha and I left Tangier. After the fall of France, Spanish troops from the neighboring Spanish protectorate occupied the international city of Tangier, then the diplomatic capital of Morocco. I was on the beach the day of the occupation, surprised to see Spanish military trucks carrying Moroccan mercenary troops speeding along the Avenida d'Espana. A Portuguese schooner was scheduled to sail to Lisbon the next day... A fifteen minute ride took us to the middle of the bay where the schooner was anchored. We approached it aft and as we closed in we saw the metal letters of its name: INESPERADO. It could not have been a more appropriate name (...)». [full story here]

John G. Beevor

At last I found a photograph of him. John Beevor the man in charge of SOE mission in Portugal. I wrote about his work here and in a detailed form in my book Traição a Salazar. It's the first time I met him personally if I may say so.

SOE, Special Operations Executive

«Go and set Europe ablaze». Sir Winston Churchill ordered Hugh Dalton and SOE was born. A clandestine army of amateurs was sent to help Resistance to the Axis forces. Even in neutral countries like Portugal. It was illegal and a source of diplomatic conflict.

09 June 2013

Walford Selby

Sir Walford Harmood Montague Selby, British Ambassador in Lisbon (1937/1940). Source: National Portrait Gallery. His papers can be found here. Died in Rodesia in 1965 [obituary here]. Wrote his memoirs, a book entitled Diplomatic Twilight.

"A Revolução de Maio"

Directed by António Lopes Ribeiro [see here for more], this is a film [full version] produced in 1937 about the 28 May Revolution 1926 that created te Estado Novo. The 1st Republic came to its end.

"Kim" Philby lies...

He lies and lies and lies. Harold Russel ("Kim") Philby was a long standing "mole" in the British Secret Service. Reporter for The Times of London during Spanish Civil War the made several pro-fascist speeches in order to hide his clandestine liaison. 
During WW2 at Section V of MI6 he was in charge of the Portuguese Desk. Trapped, at the press conference his face show how tense he was. Later he escaped to the Soviet Union where he wrote his memoirs, the book My Silent War.
He was there, at Old Bailey Central Court, in London, when Rogério de Menezes, the typist of the Portuguese Embassy, whose biography I wrote was under trial for espionage.

Oswald, Baron von Hoyningen-Huene at Nuremberg

Oswald, Baron von Hoyningen-Huene [photo, left] was Ambassador in Lisbon between between 1943-1944. His biography can be read here [in German]. The documents concerning his hearing at Nuremberg can be found here.

German Legation in Lisbon, 1940

Oswald von Hoyningen-Huene, German Ambassador at Lisboa wrote for the magazine of the Lisbon Council in 1940 about the city of the Tagus. The text can be read here.
The Palace where the Legation was instaled remains there. Today is - oh tempora! - belongs to the Communist China Embassy! -

Salazar Doctor Honoris Causa

Many tributes were granted by the British authorities to the Portuguese Government between 1940 and 1945. 19 April 1941 Oxford, represented by Thomas Higham, William Entwissete e Jonh Weaver nominatted Salazar as Doctor Hornoris Causa.

Portugal, 1939, Legião and Salazar

1939. Portuguese Legião parades. Salazar read his speech. «Determination to keep our frontiers», is the message read by British Pathé.

Renato Bova Scoppa

Renato Bova Scoppa Head of the Italian Legation between 1940/1941. Writing for the magazine of the Lisbon Council he shows his enthusiasm for the Mocidade Portuguese where he saw clear similarities with the Fascist Youth, the Ballilas. The text can be read here. [for his books see here, and about the ballilas, here]

British Embassy in Lisbon, 1940

The photo shows the Cabinet of the British Ambassador in Lisbon during WW2 and the known as the Red Room.
Sir Walford Selby, HRM Ambassador in Lisbon [later replaced by Sir Ronald Campbell] wrote the article for a magazine published by the Lisbon Council, giving some historical background of the premises. The text can be read here.
The building was at the corner between São Francisco de Borja Street and Arriaga Street.
Lord Howard de Walden [see his private papers here] instaled the Embassy there in the first half of the 19th Century. He was diplomat in this country in 1933. Before it was at the Janelas Verdes Palace and in the building where today remains the Grémio Literário.

08 June 2013

Masterman revisited

One cannot say the Americans are nice toward the Brits. See here what CIA writes about John Cecil Masterman, head of XX Committee, the deception organisation that worked against the Axis during WW2.

Lunch With a Stranger and a mission in Lisbon

(...) he was recalled- trained for special services-assigned to what he terms the second team and sent to Lisbon, there to help manufacture ""sibs""- the psychological warfare of rumors, gossip, etc. designed to break morale (...), excerpt from Lunch With a Stranger from David E. Walker [review here]

The Conspirators

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo Quintanilla, knows that one of their number is spying for the Nazis, and needs Van Der Lyn to help identify the traitor. Directed by Jean Negulesco, Starring Hedy Lamar, Pau Henreid, Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstret. Written by Ken Yousten [see here about him and here about the movie].

02 June 2013

Cabo Ruivo: Clipper terminal

It was not cheap. One may say it was for the very few. Flight from and to America was made by this carrier: New York/Horta/Lisbon. During WW2 it was also a route of escape and the normal way of travel for these who could afford it, besides officials, diplomats and spies.

1943, The Azores facilities and Brits arrival

The film (voice in Portuguese) shows the arrival of the British Forces to the Terceira Island in Azores, after the facilities given by Salazar to the Allied Forces. Americans came later in December. Portugal demanded that the Brits would be in command. Berlin, when the fact was known, stated, in an official note, that the Azores facilities did no affect Portuguese declaration of neutrality.

Wilhelm Gustloff, 1938 in Portugal

It is not only the travel of the Wilhelm Gustloff [see here for more] to Lisbon an Madeira. The relevant are the images of this country in 1938. War was close. In 1945 the ship was sunk by a Soviet torpedo with more than 10 000 refugees aboard [see here and here]. It was the greatest disaster in Maritime History. Many try to hide the fact.Titanic's story with 1 500 casualties is more romantic for the general audience and better for the political correctness.


There are not many images of Portugal during the war. This film shows daily life in the context of information and propaganda that put the country under pressure. Portugal was neutral. Both sides aimed to win the simpaty of the people and of ruling class. 

Grande Exposição do Mundo Português (1940)

1940. Europe at war. Neutral Portugal opened the doors to the Portuguese World Exhibition. The country was celebrating the centenaries, 1140, 1640, 1940. It was the fundamental year for the régime. The British Crown tributed the due respect at the highest level, by the presence of the Duke of Kent. We were not visited by Hitler or Mussolini. This means something, I am sure.
The documentary was filmed by António Lopes Ribeiro [see more here, in Portuguese].