The two nations were allies who had helped each other in the past, most famously when Britain liberated Portugal from Napoleon’s empire over a century before.
Norway held a strategically important position, controlling ports with access to the North Atlantic and sitting astride trade routes for Swedish iron. But living just north of Germany and vastly outnumbered in terms of men and military might, they were in no position to offer real resistance.
Associated Press wire, "Report: Sweden Accepted More Nazi Gold Than Previously Known" (January 21, 1997).
World War 2 Countries References.
Göring's art dealer, Walter Andreas Hofer, for example, was denied an entry visa in May 1944 (the grounds were not specified -- only that "entrance cannot be granted in view of the present circumstances"33). At the end of the war it was preparing to invade Norway with the Allies should the occupying Wehrmacht forces refuse to accept a general German armistice. Spain – in WW2, despite being formally neutral, this country nevertheless never ceased providing Hitler with much-need diplomatic and even military support. . The concept of neutrality in conflicts is distinct from non-alignment, i.e., the willful desistance from military alliances in order to preserve neutrality in case of war, and perhaps with the hope of preventing a war altogether.
Switzerland famously profited from the war, thanks to Nazis depositing the art and gold of looted Europe in its banks. While the exact amount of that profit is difficult to determine, there are clues that convey its value.
The Republic of Ireland was the only Commonwealth country not to back Britain in the war. During World War II, the neutral powers took no official side, hoping to avoid attack.
In World War I, the neutral countries were Argentina, Chile, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Venezuela, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Generalissimo demanded colonies in French-held northwest Africa as payment for such a commitment.
19. By the end of the Spanish Civil War and the onset of World War II, Franco had incurred significant debts to the Germans and this increased Hitler's leverage over the Generalissimo. And despite the paucity of support for the idea of joining Hitler's Reich, there were many Swiss who envisioned some kind of role for Switzerland in the Nazi New Order.10.
Despite the apparent precision of these legal terms, neutrality for Switzerland during World War II, as well as for the other continental European countries that claimed neutral status during that period -- Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the Vatican -- can best be summed up by the phrase, self-interested noncombatant.1 These nations shared the common objectives of preserving relative independence in foreign policy and resisting encroachment into domestic affairs. Consider the recent statement by the Swiss envoy Thomas Borer in December 1996 to the U.S. Congressional Committee on Banking and Financial Services: "The Swiss have a reputation for being no-nonsense people, attached to values of hard work and exacting precision. Switzerland maintained its neutrality so as to protect its own banking interests from plunder by the Axis. Franco talked with Hitler, offering to join the Axis cause in return for food, material assistance, and territory in North Africa, but Hitler turned him down. The body of WWII airman that was found dangling from a tree but which turned out to be a moss covered vine, ‘Mad’ Jack Churchill – The Only Man to Dispatch a German Soldier With a Longbow in WW2, UC-47, Surveyed After a Century Lying on the Bed of the North Sea, Looking Back On The Hunt For The 140 Buried Spitfires, Navy Unveils a New 650-Round Ammo Backpack, Named ‘Avenger’, When The Egyptian Mamluks Crushed The Formerly Unstoppable Mongol Army, E Company’s Bill Wingett, One of the Famous ‘Band of Brothers’, Passes Away, Three Suicidal Military Maneuvers That Were Actually Successful, The Effects of the Lonely Queen Still Seen Among the Trees of Norway, Singing Saw: The Impressive MG 42 With Cool Footage.
Karsh, E. "Neutrality and Small States."
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