Gibraltar Through The Ages:
Gary says that there is a cartoon in the UK Telegraph today about the Gibraltar stand off. It has May dressed like like Elizabeth 1 in a pose that is positively regal. The title of the cartoon is The English Armada. You can see out through a window behind her the Straits of Gibraltar and the Rock of Gibraltar. But why would a British admiral be quoted as saying that the English could singe the beard of the King of Spain? Why is he allowed to talk like that?
Apparently the British got Gibraltar during the War of the Spanish Succession. The British captured Gibraltar in 1704, over three hundred years ago. If the British had gotten their candidate on the Spanish throne, then they probably would have given up Gibraltar to him. But they didn’t succeed, and in the Peace Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Gibraltar was ceded to the British. They have been there ever since. At the time the British thought it was a strategic location and saw the advantages of it despite the three year siege of Gibraltar at the end of the eighteenth century between 1780 and 1783. The Spanish and the French were trying to get Gibraltar back. The British were way outnumbered, and they started hollowing out tunnels in the rocks. They were firing cannon down on the enemy. The Spanish and French were trying to starve them out, and there had to be relief expeditions sent by the British to keep the garrison well-supplied. The Spanish have been complaining about it ever since even during WW2. Franco right after the Fall of France was making noises about Gibraltar. Hitler even offered to give Franco Gibraltar if he would fight on his side. Once it became clear that the British were not going to be defeated, Franco called that off. And the British have held onto it ever since. There is no way they could give up now — except to the US. And the US is very reluctant to take on overseas territories. It is just too key a strategic position.
Gibraltar is a setting in the upcoming Edward Ware Thrillers at War title Hitler’s Agent. Even the apes of Gibraltar play a role. Dora and Edward find themselves docking there to refuel on their flight from Hitler and Mussolini in Italy back to Paris to meet Churchill at the Ritz and finally to Southampton.