Book Review: Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany, and World War II


by Stanley G. Payne

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 328. Notes, biblio., index. $30.00. ISBN:0300151225

Stanley G. Payne, the leading American authority on modern Spain , and among the most even-handed students of the subject, presents a very detailed, careful analysis of the relations between the Spanish Caudillo and the German Fuhrer during World War II. 
The work is divided into three parts. About a fifth of the book deals with the period from the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War to that of World War II, the second, and longest part, deals with the period of Spanish "non-belligerence," during which Franco tilted strongly toward the Axis, and the third, also about a fifth of the text, covers his disengagement from Axis ties.   

The work covers Spain' s military, diplomatic, and economic relations with Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy , as well as war planning by both sides, the internal politics of the Franco regime, and Franco's curious but generally positive actions during the Holocaust. Payne also has many interesting word-portraits of people prominent in these events. 

Although often criticized as being sympathetic to the Spanish Right, Payne clearly holds little affection for Franco, pointing out his prejudices, blunders, and opportunism. 

An important read for anyone interested in the diplomatic and strategic aspects of the war or in Spanish history and politics.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close