The period of the Second World War was a crucial time for the bilateral relations between the British Government and General Franco’s Spain. On account of the legacy of previous marked antagonism dating back to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, such bilateral relations underwent three phases during the six years of global conflict. The first one was the time of forced neutrality in 1939, the second one was the phase of non-belligerency in 1940-1941 and the third one was the period of gradual return to neutrality by both impotence and convenience between 1942 and 1945. The article aims to review the whole period with due attention to the vast amount of historical literature available and the relevant archival primary sources. In essence, during the six years considered, Francoist Spain experienced but refrained its temptations to come into the war against Great Britain and her allies. This choice was the result of both Spain’s domestic problems and an efficient foreign policy articulated by the British Government to prevent Spanish armed intervention in the conflict.
Keywords: Franco, Francoism, Second World War, neutrality, non-belligerency, Anglo-Spanish relations