On April 1, 1939, the bloody Spanish Civil War finally ends, with the victory of the Republican faction.
Madrid - the crowd celebrates the end of the war.
of the defeated nationalists take refuge by the thousands in
neighbouring Portugal - at the time ruled by Dr. Oliveira Salazar, whose
authoritarian regime had given great help to General Franco, both with
logistics and military personnel.
The "Viriatos" - Portuguese soldiers who fought under the Spanish Nationalist flag.
his exile in South America, Franco orchestrates guerilla activity,
based on Portuguese territory. Sympathizing with the nationalist cause,
the Portuguese Government and authorities turn a blind eye to these
During 1940 the
nationalist guerrillas launch several attacks deep into Spain, despite
the repeated warnings and threatening tone of the Spanish Government.
Large sections of the Army and society seek to reduce the political
threat of a fascist neighbor, and are eager to settle the score for the help
given to the enemies of the Republic.
Salazar visits Spain in the Summer of 1940, apparently in an attempt to calm the waters.
Dr. Oliveira Salazar is coldly welcomed at the Sevilla Summit - June 1940
propaganda move: support to the Nationalists increases and so does the
tone of bellicist rhetoric on both sides of the border.
Spain decrees the general mobilization and starts extensive military maneuvers near the Portuguese borders.
General Miaja reviews the troops - March 1941.
Portugal responds in the same way, speeding up the general mobilization.
A Portuguese Infantry regiment on its way to the border - May, 1941.
Some never before released colour photographs of the Portuguese troops, manouvering somewhere in Northern Portugal:
On June 22, 1941, Germany attacks Russia, thus making England and the USSR unwilling allies.
that England would not intervene in the defense of her oldest European ally
- which was nevertheless providing strategic materials and food to the
Axis... - the Spanish Government closes the borders with Portugal, and
withdraws its Embassador in Lisbon ...
On 28 May 1940, the 13e DBLE moved on Narvik. The legionnaires crossed Rombaksfjorden
and landed squarely in the middle of the German positions. German air
attacks forced the supporting British ships to withdraw, leaving the 13e
DBLE ashore without fire support.
The legionnaires engaged in the difficult task of clearing-out German
machine gun nests located in railway tunnels and concealed terrain.
Lieutenant-Colonel Magrin-Vernerey commanded from the front, patrolling
his front-lines to point out German positions to his troops with his