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Anorak | Top Secret files reveals how Churchill saved Britain’s Nazi King

Top Secret files reveals how Churchill saved Britain’s Nazi King

by | 21st, July 2017

Biarritz, France. 1951. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are pictured at their villa.

 

Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower didn’t want us to know about King Edward VIII’s plans for peace with Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Papers released by The National Archives considered “too difficult, too sensitive” include a 1953 “top secret” memo from Churchill discussing German telegrams carrying reports by Nazi-sympathiser the Duke of Windsor, as Edward VIII was known after he abdicated in 1936.

“He is convinced that had he remained on throne war would have been avoided and describes himself as firm supporter of a peaceful compromise with Germany,” says one telegram from Portugal, where the duke was staying in July 1940. “Duke believes with certainty that continued heavy bombing will make England ready for peace.”

 

queen mum nazi salute

Edward ‘teaching the Queen how to give the Nazi salute’

 

Blomberg:

Edward abdicated so he could marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The couple set up home in France, but when World War II broke out they moved to Spain. The government in Madrid, formally neutral but sympathetic to Germany, asked for guidance from Berlin as to what should be done with them. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop replied, asking if they could be kept there. Then he ordered a watch on their house.

Ribbentrop’s interest was piqued when he was told, a few days later, that in private “Windsor spoke strongly against Churchill and against this war.” While he considered what to do, the duke and duchess made their way to Portugal, where they made similar comments. The Nazis decided to act.

“The duke should return to Spain under all circumstances,” Ribbentrop wrote, adding that they should then be “persuaded or forced” to stay there. His plan was then to offer the duke “the granting of any wish,” including “the ascension of the English throne.”

Churchill duly made the Nazi Windsor governor of the Bahamas.

When the Windsors were reluctant to leave Europe, Churchill threatened Edward, who held honorary military rank, with court-martial. Ribbentrop, anxious not to let his prize escape, launched Operation Willi to persuade the Windsors to return to Spain, kidnapping them if necessary. But despite sabotage attempts and bomb threats, the Germans failed.

The plan was “to persuade the duke to leave Lisbon in a car as if he were going on a fairly long pleasure jaunt, and then to cross the border at a specified place, where Spanish secret police will ensure a safe crossing,” according to a note sent to Ribbentrop.

You can read more on how close the UK came to being overrun by Nazis in this great story on Flashbak.



Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Royal Family Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink