1940 military maneuvers

First number of the magazine "Mundo Gráfico [1940-1948]", October 1940, directed by Artur Portela. Cover has a photo of Premier Salazar and Presiden Carmon during Autumn military maneuvers. 
In the same edition the opening article, signed byy the director, is entitled "O grande Churchill" (The Big Churchill).

Roosevelt to Portugal on USA intentions in Africa

Letter to the President of Portugal on America's Intentions in North Africa [November 8, 1942]

My dear Mr. President:

The Republic of Portugal and the United States of America have long enjoyed the full and complete friendship of each other. Because of this great friendship, and our mutual desire to insure its continuation, I desire to relate to you the urgent reasons that have compelled me to dispatch to the assistance of the friendly French possessions in North Africa a strong Army of the United States.

I have been advised by very reliable sources of information that in the near future it is the intention of Germany and Italy to occupy the French North African colonies with a large military force.

I know that it will be quite clear to you that prompt and effective action should be taken to deter such an attempt by the Axis Nations, with its inherent danger to the defenses of the Western Hemisphere.

To forestall occupation by the Axis Nations of the French North African possessions and protectorates, and thus to insure the defense of American Nations, is the only reason which prompts the dispatch of powerful United States forces to the area. It is hoped that French North Africa will not suffer in any way from the destruction of war on its own soil.

I desire to reassure you fully that the presence of American military forces in French North Africa presages in no manner whatsoever, a move against the people or Government of Portugal or against any of Portugal's continental or island possessions. Since I realize that Portugal really desires above all else to avoid the horrors and devastation of war, I hope that you will accept my solemn assurance that your country should have no fear of the motives of the United Nations.

I am, my dear Mr. President,
Your sincere friend,


[source here]

OSS termination: Truman Executive Order, 9621

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes, including Title I of the First War Powers Act, 1941, and as president of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. There are transferred to and consolidated in an Interim Research and Intelligence Service, which is hereby established in the Department of State, (a) the functions of the Research and Analysis Branch and of the Presentation Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (provided for by the Military Order of June 13, 1942), excluding such functions performed within the countries of Germany and Austria, and (b) those other functions of the Office of Strategic Services (hereinafter referred to as the Office) which relate to the functions of the said Branches transferred by his paragraph. The functions of the Director of Strategic Services and of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, relating to the functions transferred to the Service by this paragraph, are transferred to the Secretary of State. The personnel, property and records of the said Branches, except such thereof as is located in Germany and Austria, and so much of the other personnel, property, and records of the Office and of the funds of the Office as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall determine to relate primarily to the functions transferred by this paragraph, are transferred to the said Service. Military personnel now on duty in connection with the activities transferred by this paragraph may, subject to applicable law and to the extent mutually agreeable to the Secretary of State and to the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy, as the case may be, continue on such duty in the Department of State.

2. The Interim Research and Intelligence Service shall be abolished as of the close of business December 31, 1945, and the Secretary of State shall provide for winding up its affairs. Pending such abolition, (a) the Secretary of State may transfer from the said Service to such agencies of the Department of State as he shall designate any function of the Service, (b) the Secretary may curtail the activities carried on by the Service, (c) the head of the Service, who shall be designated by the Secretary, shall be responsible to the Secretary or to such other officer of the Department of State as the Secretary shall direct, and (d) the Service shall, except as otherwise provided in this order, be administered as an organizational entity in the Department of State.

3. All functions of the Office not transferred by paragraph 1 of this order together with all personnel, records, property, and funds of the Office not so transferred, are transferred to the Department of War; and the Office, including the office of the Director of Strategic Services, is terminated. The functions of the Director of Strategic Services and of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, relating to the functions transferred by this paragraph, are transferred to the Secretary of War. Naval personnel on duty with the Office in connection with the activities transferred by this paragraph may, subject to applicable law and to the extent mutually agreeable to the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, continue on such duty in the Department of war. The Secretary of War shall, whenever he deems it compatible with the national interest, discontinue any activity transferred by this paragraph and wind up all affairs relating thereto.

4. Such further measures and dispositions as may be determined by the Director of the Bureau of the Budge to be necessary to effectuate the transfer or redistribution of functions provided for in this order shall be carried out in such manner as the Director may direct and by such agencies as he may designate.

5. All provisions of prior orders of the President which are in conflict with this order are amended accordingly.

6. This order shall, except as otherwise specifically provided, be effective as of the opening of business October 1, 1945.

September 20, 1945

Refugees in Caldas da Rainha

To see the film shot in 1942/1943, click here

The author: «Isaac Margosis is the father of the Museum survivor-volunteer Michel Margosis. Isaac Ben-Seef Margosis was born in Odessa on December 5, 1889 and studied under the foremost Hebrew poet of the day, Chaim Nachman Bialik. He became an active Zionist and settled in Brussels where he edited and published two weekly papers, the Jewish "Yiddishe Voch" and the French "Notre Opinion". Isaac was in Switzerland covering the World Zionist Congress when war broke out in September 1939. Isaac attempted to get visas in Marseilles and Vichy, but the efforts failed. As a journalist his life was most in danger since he had been publishing editorials denouncing fascism and despotism. Isaac escaped to Portugal, settled in Caldas da Rainha, and did not see his family again for several years. Isaac came to the United States in 1946.»

The film: «Shot of Caldas da Rainha (30 miles from Lisbon), residence for all refugees living in Portugal, many of whom were Jewish. VS of cattle fair. 02:45:32 Refugee works garden, woman spreads wash. EXT of Cafe Boccage, then packed INT [cafe is meant to replicate artists' cafe in Montparnasse, "La Rotonde"]. INT of Hotel Lisbonse where refugees meet to talk, play cards, sit on sofas, and chat. At 02:46:14 is a side view of Isaac Margosis at the extreme right in the glasses talking to the people playing cards. VS. Quick EXT shot of Jews leaving improvised synagogue as young boy looks at doorway.»

The source: National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)

"Klop" Ustinov's in Lisbon

I wrote here [my Portuguese blog on  secret war in Portugal, 1939-1945] about Peter Ustinov's father, Ivan [Joan, alias "Klop"] biography written by Peter Day. 
Compared with what I knew from other sources, the author goes further claiming that, received in Lisbon, in February 1944, by Desmond ("Derry") Bristow [Mi6] "Klop" [Mi5 codenamed U-35] was sent here to meet not some German circles conspiring to assassinate Adolph Hitler, but specifically Otto John [Luftahansa lawyer in Madrid that was later exfiltrated to Gibraltar due to the combined efforts of PVDE's - Portuguese secret police - and Rita Winsor [Mi6 in Lisbon, posing as typist in the British Embassy].
Moreover he emphasizes that Ustinov was acting under the authority of Harold Russel "Kim" Philby [Section V of Mi6, Portuguese desk] a long term soviet mle in the British intelligence community. That I knew already from two different sources: Rufina, Philby's wife after he defeated to the Soviet Union, after the book she wrote Kim Philby Private Life and Genrikh Borovik, a Tass journalist wth KGB connections The Philby Files, published the first in 1999 the second 1994.
The mission of "Klop" served the strategic interests of URSS concerning the non-support of these who intended to kill Hitler. The coup failed and Hitler's life was saved. And war contnued...

Books of my shelves-Walford Selby-2

I continue to quote from Sir Walford Selby memoirs, this time concerning negotiations with Portugal about Portuguese attitude in case of war.The book contains, as an appendix, a lecture given by the author, in April, 8, 1941 addressing to the Royal Empire Society, entitled Portugal - her policy and reactions to the war.

-» 1938, Munich crisis: «I was consulted by the Foreign Office on the drafting of a message to be sent to our ally Portugal» [109], stating «the desire of our Government would be that Portugal should remain neutral», message that was sent by Lord Halifax to Dr. Salazar.

-» Admiralty [Admiral Godfrey] point of you was instead that, although the matter had not been discussed by the Committee of Imperial Defence, Portugal, despite the Alliance in case of war should not be called to be «on our side», but they will count «on her "benevolent" neutrality» [109]; «in the succeeding months many misunderstandings were to arise between us and Portugal as regards the interpretation of Portuguese neutrality» [110]; «this particularly applied to our blockade measures<«, because the Portuguese considered them «an infringement not only of the Portuguese neutrality but of Portuguese sovereignty as well» [111] and Mr. King's, Commercial Secretary, after consultations in London, negotiations with Conde de Tovar, head of the Economic Section of the Portuguese Foreign Office «came to a deadlock» [111].

-» A personal message from Lord Halifax was sent to Dr. Salazar; he «returned a courteous but firm reply» [...] re-emphasised his goodwill, at the same time he insisted on the right of Portugal to interpret her neutrality as seemed best to her in the interested of preservation of her own security. On this point Dr. Salazar made clear that he must reserve his complement liberty of action» [111-112].

... to be continued...

Books of my shelves-Walford Selby-1

I wrote here about him. Sir Walford Harmood Montague Selby, British Ambassador in Portugal (1937-1940). In 1953 his memoirs, under the title Diplomatic Twilight, were published by John Murray. Pages 103-130 are about his mission in Lisbon. This Saturday with the book in my hands, I start quoting some of its relevant material.

-» «On the submission of Lord Halifax», HM, the King conferred on General Carmona «the universally respected Head of the Portuguese Sate» the G.C.B. «correspondingly deep gratification was felt in the British communities in Portugal» [104]

-» «I exercised strong pressure upon Dr. Salazar to prevent him placing his armaments contracts in German and Italy» [104], and «by the summer of the year 1939 [...] we had made no progress in our negotiations with Dr. Salazar» [105]

-» «In the commercial field there had been no improvement of any kind to assist us» [105] so Sir Alexander Roger, of the Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company, «appeared in Lisbon in the spring and had submitted to Dr. Salazar a Memorandum which he affirmed would have the support of the Federation of British Industries», that «seemed to contemplate some kind of organisation of our commerce in England, which would provide us with resources to enable us to compete with the financial pressure of Germany» [105]

-» «Lord Stonehaven and Lord Davidson, who had visited me in Portugal, told me that they had made strong representations to Lord Halifax on this very point of German penetration» [105; Lord Stonehaven was Chairman of the Benguela Railway]

-» «I drafted three dispatches to take home with me covering the whole field of our relations with Portugal» [105], which were approved by Lord Halifax but implied seven weeks of discussions with the concerned departments of the British Government, evolving Mr. Hore-Belisha, Minister of War, Admiral Phillips, of the Admiralty, Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary for Air, and at last Sir Alexanderr Cadogan [106-108];

-» As a result those instructions «seemed to satisfy Dr. Salazar» and «shorthly afterwards he awarded to Great Britain the valuable three million contract for the construction of the defences of Lisbon, and from that moment onward he exercised all his good offices in Madrid to assist the British Government in their relations with the Spanish Government» [108]

... to be continued....

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart, Press Attaché at the British Embassy in Lisbon photographed at the party given when he left Portugal [source: O Mundo Gráfico]

Ronald Campbell:1944

O Mundo Gráfico dedicated his cover [15 Oct 1944] to Sir Ronald Campbell, British Ambassador of HMG Government in Portugal.

Leslie Howard lectures in Lisbon

I found a press cut concerning the two lectures de made un Lisbon. Here they are, published by  O Mundo Gráfico, the anglophile magazine directed by Artur Portela (father). Above a photograph of him and Dr. George West, from the British Institute, surrounded by journalists.
P. S. Professor Douglas Wheeler, a good friend and a most respected researcher on LH's fate, wrote me saying that Dr. West is not in the picture. I quote the mention from the original press cut, as it can be confirmed clicking above in the link. But I do trust in Professor's remark and remian most grateful for it.

Armindo Monteiro and the APS

Autumn 1942: Portuguese Ambassador in London, Professor Armindo Monteiro and former British Ambassador in Portugal [1929-1931], Sir Francis Lindley. The first lectures in London during an Anglo Portuguese Socitey meeting. BBC radiocasts the speech. [source O Mundo Gráfico, here]

Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell, Ambassador in Lisbon (1940)

Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell presents his credentials as British Ambassador in Lisbon. The source of the picture is O Mundo Gráfico, a magazine directed by Artur Portela (father).

Nathalie Sergueiew last adress

I wrote a book about her life, mostly as a double agent for the XX Committee. Now I found her last adress. Here in Mass. USA.

Bleck about Howard's death

Carlos Eduardo Bleck, air pilot, says in his book of memoirs [page 79] that he was the last person to shake hands with the actor Leslie Howard before Ibis of KLM/BOAC left for its last travel from Lisbon to Bristol because he was sunk by a Luftwaffe squadron over Biscaya's bay, as I wrote it in a booklet about the event.
Is the book Bleck refuses the idea that the attack was due to the wrong suspecting that Winston Churchill was aboard. The travel would be too dangerous for a prime minister, because the plain could not climb too high in case of an encounter with the Germans, was a slow one, a mere commercial line without RAF protection.
But he add a fact: the week before Captain Parmentier told him that another attack occurred to an aircraft of the "Lisbon Line", which arrived at Portela Airport in Lisbon with severe damages in the wing and fuselage.
So, if it was not the first time, there is reason enough to conclude there was not a specific motive for this action

Derry last adress

I wrote about him here after a meeting we had in Periana (Malaga, Spain). Now I found his last adress in this picture published here.
He wrote a book of memoirs, translated to Portuguese, his son Bill helping, that I found at Foyle's, signed. I phone him then just asking if he had been there autographing it. He reply: no!
Later when I met him he signed again «spies like us», joking!

More about "Jack" Beevor

More details here about John Beevor, head of SOE station in Lisboa: number 98083, parent unit Royal Artilleryborn 1.3.1905; educated Winchester College; Winchester College OTC (Cadet C.S.M.); commissioned Lieutenant,R.A. 30.8.1939; postwar resided Fulham, London; author "SOE Recollections and Reflections 1940-1945" (1981).
He is te father of Anthony Beevor, the military historian.

Azores facilities: Vintras book after Vernon Walters

An analysis concerning the book of Colonal Ronald Eugene Vintras [1908-194] about the Azores facilities: 

«The Portuguese Connection is an interesting anecdotal book that serves admirably to illustrate the unique 600-year treaty relationship between Great Britain and Portugal and the good use made of that relationship in 1943 to obtain essential base rights for Allied Naval and Air Forces in the Azores.
A 70-page appendix sets forth the original 1373 Treaty of Alliance and Friendship and the changes wrought in a half-dozen revisions by 1703. It is interesting, however, that the British in 1943 maintained that their request was still based on the principles set forth in 1373.
That treaty stipulated that if one signatory should find itself at war, the other should furnish such aid as was requested "in as far as is compatible with the danger threatening himself or his Kingdom." The Portuguese government, in fact, offered in 1941 to declare war on Germany in accordance with the treaty, but the United Kingdom at that time would have been hard-pressed to offer any reciprocal aid, and asked the Portuguese to stay neutral. As one byproduct, the Portuguese were to upgrade Azores air facilities to handle heavy aircraft such as Fortresses and Liberators, but the British would afford only long-range advice and send no personnel to the Azores.
The Battle of the Atlantic made the difference. In less than two years, the British came to realize that Azores bases were essential to extend air cover over the mid-Atlantic "gaps" where U-boat wolfpacks could tear at the convoys without interference.
The rest of the book concerns primarily the pulling and hauling within the British government over the proper approach: what guarantees could be offered to Lisbon and when? Was President Salazar pro-Nazi? And should it be a request, or an ultimatum, and should it be followed up by armed seizure if necessary?
Ironically, the documents show that on June 18* the British Ambassador handed Salazar a mild communication asking for the desired collaboration, and Salazar replied warmly on June 23 agreeing in principle, with details to be hammered out. A British force disembarked in the Azores on Oct. 8 to complete the preparations, and by Nov. 9 the aircraft had their first U-boat kill.
Except for a few scattered paragraphs, the intelligence reader has to dig for intelligence value in this book. It has to do primarily with the successful effort to conceal the negotiations from the Germans, who had a pervasive espionage system in Lisbon at the time.

Vintras, of course, is not the disinterested reporter here. A career RAF officer, he was a member of the joint Planning Staff of the British Chiefs of Staff, subordinate to the War Cabinet, from 1940 through most of 1943, and played a major role in the negotiations with Portugal. He finished the war as Director of Intelligence in the Air Ministry, and then served three years in the joint Intelligence Bureau of the Ministry of Defense before retiring.
In Vintras' book there is little, if any, mention of U.S. activities to help convince the Portuguese to make the Azores available to the Allies. In April 1943 I accompanied Lt. Colonel Craveiro Lopes and Major Costa Macedo on a two-month trip around the United States, showing them U.S. military installations and industrial power. (The U.S. entry into the war was, of course, the single greatest element in the ultimate Portuguese decision.) When initially I saw the schedule for the Portuguese visitors, I asked whether we were really going to show them all this — Lockheed at Fort Worth, building four-engine bombers on a visibly moving assembly line; Higgins, building landing craft at New Orleans; Kaiser, launching ships in California at an incredible rate; and Chrysler, building tanks in Detroit. I was told that we had reached the point where we no longer wanted to hide; we wanted to show.
When Craveiro Lopes and Costa Macedo arrived, they had recently visited the Eastern Front and were enormously impressed by the effectiveness of the German Armed Forces. Craveiro Lopes told me early in his visit that we could not invade Europe through the Atlantic wall. Before the end of his visit, standing in the Curtiss-Wright factory in Buffalo and looking at the long line of C-46 aircraft under construction, all of which had hooks on the tail to tow gliders, he looked at me, startled, and said, "Now I see you are going over the Atlantic wall." "Over and through," I replied. These hooks greatly impressed him, and he never again challenged the fact that we would land in Europe. Costa Macedo was staggered by the aircraft factories and tank production lines.
Diplomatically, the State Department was pressing the Portuguese Minister to the U.S., Joao de Bianchi, in support of the British efforts to get base rights. I recall one conversation with Bianchi in which he told me confidentially that he was in favor of granting the Allies the bases, but Lisbon feared a German attack in the islands. I pointed out to him that the Azores were beyond the range of almost every aircraft in the German Air Force. The Germans could strike at metropolitan Portugal only through Spain, and they would not want to get into an additional war at this stage.
Contrary to what Vintras says, the U.S. did recognize the importance of he Anglo-Portuguese Treaty relationship and it was made clear to me in 1943 that this was the umbrella under which we intended to slide into the Azores as subtenants of the British.
There are minor inconsistencies. Vintras says that English was the lingua franca in Portugal in 1943, not French. That is nonsense. To this day far more people in Portugal speak French than English. It is just much easier for them than English.
The book is an interesting account of the British efforts to obtain base rights from the Portuguese. It simply omits any reference to the significant part played by the U.S. and even Brazil which was prepared to conduct the Azores takeover if it became necessary.»

* Apparently the request was conveyed to Salazar on June 16, followed by the AideMemoire two days later. Vintras with obvious carelessness refers to a request on June 16 and an answer "the next day — 17th August." Vintras also has the British Military Mission to implement the agreement arriving at Lisbon on June 10.

 [author: Lt. General Vernon Walters, here]

Portugal in World War II

I found it in the National WW II Museum at New Orleans [see it here], a speech about Portugal during the conflitct. Walt Burgoyne lecture, starting with a reference to the Portuguese help to the crew of an aircraft sunk at Algarve.

Carol II: the story of a stamped letter

An envelope with a Post Office stamp with the picture of King Caroll II, of Roumania, dated 9th April 1939. The war was too close. King's dictatorship close to the end.
I bought it to a street seller in OPorto.
Adressed to AKO, Zürich, sent from Cluj, Rua Regele Ferdinand, n.º 48. Today is here.

Oswald Theodor Baron von Hoyningen-Huene

I found a picture of him, and an article [in Portuguese] concerning his role in Portugal in cultural affairs.
German Amabassador in Portugal since 1934 and during the major part of WW2.
Facing him António Ferro, the Director of the Propaganda Services of the Regime. [for more, in Portuguese, here]