Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939 - 1945

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Click for availability and more information Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939 - 1945, by Neill Lochery
While the role of Portugal in World War II might be considered minor by many, Neill Lochery, in his new book Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939 - 1945, has written an interesting account about how Portugal did manage to remain neutral during that conflict. The Portuguese government faced many issues threatening that avoidance of war involvement : mainly the possible invasion from Spain or Germany into its territory. Portugal has a great natural resource with its wolfram (tungsten) supply, which was a much-needed element in the manufacturing of armaments. Leading the Portuguese government was Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. He began as Portugal's finance minister and then became Prime Minister from 1932 until 1968. Salazar ruled as virtual dictator and guided Portugal through the tricky diplomatic waters of maintaining its neutrality during the war years. Salazar played both the Axis and the Allies against each other with its wolfram trade as well as other political issues.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the war years in Portugal was the collection of refugees and personalities that sought safety there. For many escaping the Germans, Lisbon was the port from which they left for foreign shores. Even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor found temporary refuge there after leaving Nazi-occupied France. Another notable character floating around Lisbon, as an intelligence office for the British government, was Ian Fleming, who gained widespread fame as the writer of the James Bond books after the war. Thus, especially for those who are interested in lesser-known aspects of the World War II years in Europe, Lisbon is a very enjoyable read.

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This page contains a single entry published on May 7, 2012 7:16 PM.

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