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Neither Friend Nor Foe: The European Neutrals in World War II Paperback – July 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Fireword Publishing (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930782004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930782006
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,895,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Packard's assiduously researched study examines how the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Ireland reacted to pressures from the Axis to declare themselves either allies or enemies during WW II, and how events forced these nations to accommmodate first the Axis powers and then the Allied ones. Packard brings their plight into sharp focus: their neutrality depended more on Hitler's whims than on their own brave declarations. He credits Portugal's premier Antonio Salazar with materially influencing Francisco Franco to keep Spain out of the war. He shows how Sweden avoided German incursion by threatening to destroy the high-grade ore desperately needed to keep the Nazi war machine rolling, and how Switzerland vowed to block the tunnels linking Germany to Italy. Finally, Packard emphasizes that Eire (the 26 southern counties of Ireland) was the only one of the five neutrals to have risked invasion by both the British and the Germans. A professor of history at the University of Portland in Oregon, Packard ( Sons of Heaven ) writes elegantly and informatively of an important but long-ignored aspect of WW II.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Although it is generally known that Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Ireland remained neutral throughout World War II, few realize just how and at what price each nation maintained its precious status. Packard chronicles the perilous diplomatic path followed by each nation during the war, clearly defining the degree to which all were forced to accommodate the ever-increasing requests for war material, transport, and even military installations demanded by the belligerents. Based largely on memoirs and secondary sources, the work provides an excellent overview of the internal politics of the neutrals from the end of World War I through 1945. The sections on Spain, Sweden, and tiny Switzerland are especially strong, largely owing to Packard's superior biographical sketches on Francisco Franco, Per Albin Hansson, and Swiss General Henri Guisan. Although it would have been bolstered by a greater reliance on archival records, this is an excellent work suitable for all academic libraries with diplomatic or World War II collections.
- Joseph W. Constance Jr., St. Anselm Coll. Lib., Manchester, N.H.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on May 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who likes to view World War II history from the "road less traveled", "Neither Friend Nor Foe" is a excellent selection. From a distance we see the big picture of an historical event, without noticing the distortions apparent on closer inspection. In World War II, the big picture is that all of Europe ganged up on the evil Fascists in Germany and Italy, except for a few sacrosanct neutrals, such as Switzerland and Sweden. As "Neither Friend Nor Foe" points out, this is not the whole truth.

At the start of World War II there were four belligerent states: Germany, Poland, France and the United Kingdom. Every other European state declared its neutrality. Only five would maintain that neutrality throughout the war: Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. This book is the story of how each of them avoided the ravages of war by a careful and varying balancing of relations with the powers warring around them.

I suspect that most people view the neutrality of Switzerland as an accepted fact of European politics. In this book, Jerrold Packard shows how it was jeopardized in World War II. In cooperation with the Nazi program to unite all German people under one Reich, Pro-Nazi political parties in Switzerland supported the incorporation of at least the German speaking cantons of Switzerland into that Reich. The Swiss tradition of hospitality toward the refuges from its neighbors s an irritant to Germany. What ultimately saved Swiss neutrality was the fact that it was of more value to Germany as an independent nation than it would have been as a conquered one. The Swiss had a plan to destroy its industrial facilities and defend its "Fortress Switzerland" would have rendered useless an essential source of supply to the Germany.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Jerrold Packard tackles the uneviable task of having to sort out how five very different countries managed to stay neutral during World War II. Packard gives a country by country view in a concise chronology. Packard is not an appologist for any of these countries and in light of the controversy regarding Switzerland's role during the war it's very timely. Packard provides great insight into how precarious the situation was for all five countries in light of the presure from not only the Axis powers but the Allies. Packard touches on some of the complicity between Sweden, Switzerland and Spain with regard to the Germans but fails to delve in too deeply. It's a shame this was written before the Swiss controversy became more public, but in fairness that's a book in itself. The thumbnail sketches of the principals shows they were truly equals of Machiavelli and learned how to survive in precarious times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jerrold Packard tackles the uneviable task of having to sort out how five very different countries managed to stay neutral during World War II. Packard gives a country by country view in a concise chronology. Packard is not an appologist for any of these countries and in light of the controversy regarding Switzerland's role during the war it's very timely. Packard provides great insight into how precarious the situation was for all five countries in light of the presure from not only the Axis powers but the Allies. Packard touches on some of the complicity between Sweden, Switzerland and Spain with regard to the Germans but fails to delve in too deeply. It's a shame this was written before the Swiss controversy became more public, but in fairness that's a book in itself. The thumbnail sketches of the principals shows they were truly equals of Machiavelli and learned how to survive in precarious times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Taking the scholarly approach, Packard illuminates the politics of European alliances in WW II. Considering that land armies often violated borders when marching to conquer another, that conflict grew from the original Italy + Germany -vs- Great Britain + France + Poland. As time wore on, no declaration could protect other countries.
For one thing, they had desirable factories, seaports, farms, mines and, most important, national treasuries. Czechoslovakia had munitions shops, Norway their fleets and ports facing England, Belgium had Antwerp's docks. Ukraine was the fabled 'lebensraum' of grain and land for Aryan expansion. Of all, Greece handed Mussolini a defeat, and was taught a lesson.
But modern citizens forget that there were five countries in Europe which negotiated, bartered or threatened belligerents into granting a sort of peace. They did not escape with unblemished conscience: Spain had to leave Gibraltar untouched, Sweden quietly traded rare ore and ball bearings, the Swiss allowed German rail traffic and the Irish, without their own shippers, coalmines, gas or oil :
' ...The disastrous shortages of imported fertilizers, which had long contributed heavily to Eire's own food supply and to the raising of cattle, the country's only big export, led to coastal farmers utilizing seaweed and their inland brothers to the use of animal manure to replace unavailable man-made fertilizers. With additional government-mandated burdens on crop plantings coupled with the fertilizer shortages, Ireland's soil, would- like its rails- be damaged to an extent that would take years to be redressed.
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