London, Jan.15 (ANI): Senior members of General Franco's military high command tried to alter the course of the Second World War by passing secret British intelligence documents to Nazi spies.
Ben Macintyre's book "Operation Mincemeat" names for the first time the senior figures within General Franco's military, who ignored Spain's neutrality to help the Nazi war machine.
According to The Times, the book details the web of deceit spun by British intelligence in 1943 to dupe the Germans into believing that the Allies would invade Greece and the Western Mediterranean, rather than Sicily.
When the corpse of a fictitious Major William Martin washed up on the southern coast of Spain, carrying faked documents detailing the "invasion", Nazi spies in Spain began a frantic race to get their hands on the papers.
The enemy was kept in doubt as to the time and place of the next blow in the Mediterranean
Colonel José López Barrón Cerruti, Spain's most senior secret policeman and an avowed Nazi sympathiser, eventually tracked them down and they were handed to the Germans by Lieutenant-Colonel Ramón Pardo Suárez, then a staff officer in the Spanish General Staff in Madrid.
The Nazis were also helped by Admiral Salvador Moreno, the Minister of Marine, and Francisco Gómez Jordana y Souza, the Spanish Foreign Minister, who helped to verify the documents.
An historian consulted by The Times believes that the Germans were helped by the Spanish military on the direct orders of General Franco.
Gabriel Cardona said: "I am sure that Franco would have seen these papers. He was worshipped like a kind of God by men like Pardo. Nothing happened within the military without him knowing it."
The involvement of senior figures in the Spanish high command is proof of the closeness of Franco's supposedly neutral Spain to Hitler.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pardo went on to become a high-ranking member of the Franco regime, rising to general director of civil protection. (ANI)