Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco and Gibraltar
Here is your answer to a lot of things. This may even answer what my aunt remembered about Franco in 1972. I get the chills when I hear in the news that Spain sent a gunboat into your territorial waters near Gibraltar. You say it has been going on every five years for the past 300 years. No American would permit such an intrusion. Here it would be considered suspicious and odd that a country like Spain would even remember Gibraltar for 300 years let alone act on it. It would get everybody stirred up on this side of the Atlantic, and the population here would demand it be stopped. In Britain you say it does not mean anything to you. Your nerves have gotten used to more violence, more intrusions, more gunboats, more soldiers, more air force planes, more shooting, more everything that has to do with war. To us here in the US the gunboat in Gibraltar’s waters seems to spell real trouble in the future. The Spanish are not to be trusted. I bet you anything that when the Brits were staying in Madrid during the time period of Franco, too, they saw soldiers in the streets, they noticed that the soldiers were trying to keep them isolated from the other Spanish citizens, and they had a hard time coming and going as they wished. The difference is that Brits and Europeans in general think nothing of this sort of behavior. They may even prefer it in fact because it brings peace and order to the capital city of Spain under the Fascist Dictator Franco, and we all remember that the Brits were willing to make another deal with another Fascist Dictator. It was the same thing in 1968 with De Gaulle and I’m sure it was the same thing in Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. What even western Europeans may think odd is what my aunt experienced in Athens in 1973 with soldiers in the street. But here things were so disorderly that even the local population was not listening to the soldiers. And terrorists were sneaking into the Athens Airport. In fact, they did not even have to sneak. They could just walk right in because there were no guards on duty at all. Employees of any kind were hard to find in the Athens Airport in those days which is why only weeks later Americans really were massacred there. When you say that “gunboats are part of the drama” in Gibraltar, I know I am onto a real difference between Americans and Europeans.
Mr. Benley in Key to Lawrence: Special Edition is always lecturing his daughter, Dora Benley, about her fiance, Edward Ware, the British lord. Winthrop Benley is the quintessential successful Robber Baron type who berates the Old World for starting World War. Later it would be World War 2. Americans are still having a hard time getting used to this sort of thing. Even the terrorists come from the Old World. Certainly Franco did.
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Key to Lawrence: Special Edition Promotion
Key to Lawrence: Special Edition has only a few hours left of its Special Free Promotion. The special promotion, not to be repeated this year, ends at midnight tonight, Monday, April 10. The historical thriller about the sinking of the Lusitania and America’s entry into World War 1 one hundred years ago on April 6, 1917 ranks 36 on Amazon under historical thrillers for free downloads. You should not miss it.
Water rushed into the four, great smoke stacks of the ship as they, too, hit the waves. Tremendous, churning whirlpools sucked victims inside. A few were ejected, blackened with soot. Propellers rose above the maelstrom. The rudder lifted higher than the smoke stacks. The ship’s prow pointed down toward the deep. It looked as if the ship’s nose would hit the sea bed hundreds of feet below. The Lusitania sank in only 18 minutes after being torpedoed on May 7, 1915. Dora Benley vowed revenge on the enemy. Key to Lawrence tracks the beginning of her quest for justice in this special edition of the first volume of the Edward Ware Thrillers At War Series. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Great War.
Key to Lawrence is brought to you by Edward Ware Thrillers At War, an imprint of Cheops Books, LLC. If you liked the first volume of the series you might want to try book two, 1935 Plot, also available on Kindle. The series progresses to the 1930’s with more ominous political developments, particularly the coming to power of Adolf Hitler. Dora Benley, now Lady Ware, meets her foe, Hitler’s chiefest spy.
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Egypt and Terrorism: A Setting in Salisbury Plot
And today we wake up and find out that there was an attack on the Coptic Pope and Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday in Egypt and that the Roman Pope is supposed to visit there. It reminds me that there used to be a time long, long ago when Egypt was in the forefront of civilization. Back in the ancient world it was the breadbasket of the world supplying grains and crops to Rome and Greece. Back then the Hellenistic Greeks ran the country through the Ptolemy dynasty especially Cleopatra. The library of Alexandria was the standard for the world. Alexandria was full of scholars and writers. Even the New Testament was written in Greek in Alexandria. Then came the Arabs and the place has never been the same since. At least under the British Empire it was peaceful. Dora and Edward in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series were able to live in a house on Geizira Island in Cairo and not be disturbed by the population there while Edward worked at British Mid-East Headquarters. The locals in those days weren’t allowed on Geizira except as servants. Only other Europeans such as Rommel caused a flap and made the British think of deserting — not Arab terrorists. The scene of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile, now Egypt has fallen so low that even cruise ships won’t dock there anymore. QM2 used to but now they just sail past.
Several Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels take place in Egypt. Captive at the Berghof is partially set at British Mid-East Headquarters. Even Key to Lawrence Special Edition mentions it in letters from Edward and his family. The novel that features the Egyptian setting the most is the upcoming Salisbury Plot, the second volume of the series. It is to be published by Cheops Books LLC on May 1. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
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Wilson to Trump: 100 Years War:
Is The End Of Terrorism Near?
In the Edward Ware Thriller Series Dora and Edward are always reflecting that Hitler is everywhere and they can’t escape him — a kind of terrorism. And if it’s not Hitler it is Hitler’s spies or earlier the Kaiser’s spies looking for the fabled Lawrence maps, key to world domination. Dora finds a saboteur in her shed in Pittsburgh in the South Hills. She ends up having to shoot him herself. At other times saboteurs interrupt them on the beach outside New York City, Coney Island. At another time the spies find them in a cabin in the woods outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. They follow them to Yellowstone. They steal items from their house in England at Ware Hall. There is nowhere Dora and Edward can go in the world to be safe.
Oddly enough it feels like that right now for real in the US and the world in general. Terrorists nowadays might not be after the Lawrence maps. But they seem to be after YOU and everybody else just to make a political point or whatever. Starting two years ago they focused on scaring everybody in Europe. It all seemed to have to do with the migrant crisis. More refugees were on the move than at any time since World War 2. But because Europe, particularly Germany, opened its doors to them Europe now seems to be vulnerable to terrorists in a big way. The Mediterranean in particular seems to be a hotbed of unrest. If you can say that the migrant crisis helped to lead to Brexit, then it helps to explain by there was just recently a confrontation at Gibraltar between England and Spain, the entrance to the Mediterranean. Apparently migrants have used the Mediterranean to cross in boats. The French Riviera town of Nice was shot up in a big way. And now we have Trump launching missiles from a ship in the Mediterranean, making it a war zone, not just a zone of terrorism.
Even if Trump’s missile strike helps to deter the use of chemical and biological weapons by big states, it does not do much to deter terrorism. In the days before the strike there was a terrorist attack in London on Westminster Bridge. The day AFTER the missile strike, another terrorist struck in Stockholm of all places. What is a terrorist doing in Stockholm in Scandanavia? You would think it would be the last place they would go. Are they going to appear in Oslo or Copenhagen next? Is there no place safe? The top of Mt. Everest? The North Pole?
Hopefully the terrorist situation will be resolved somehow during the next few years. I view it as the last stage of the Great War which has turned out to be a 100 years war indeed. All the liberation movements and revolutions that it unleashed have to become history someday. That some day should be soon. But somebody like Trump will have to take the lead. His opening volley is good. He made a big splash with his missile strike. But the big question is what will he do next?
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Friday Selection: Dark Horse
The Cheops Books LLC Friday Selection this week is Dark Horse, an Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel about the election of 1940. What would happen if Hitler won the Battle of Dunkirk? Colonel Sir Edward Ware is about to find out when Rommel pushes him off the French beach with all his troops and then beats him to Britain in 1940. At the Republican Convention of 1940 in Philadelphia a dark horse candidate is being selected with plenty of Nazi involvement. What can Edward and Churchill do to avoid the straight arm salute in this alternative history thriller?
Dark Horse is book five of the Edward Ware Thrillers At War Series.
Here are some early reader comments: Do you have anything to add?
1)A very awesome book cover December 12, 2016
1940, Coronado Island, CA. Benley Compound. Mr. Winthrop Benley & Mrs. Etta May Benley, were entertaining Dora Ware (wife/daughter, nee Benley), & Colonel Sir Edward Ware (husband/son-in-law). Lieutenant Hoare was to make up a Republican Presidential candidate campaign schedule for Winthrop. Later what would happen to Wendel Willkie (aka Dark Horse)? Who is Helga von Wessel?
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.
A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written pre-& WWII historical fiction book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great pre-& WWII historical fiction movie, or better yet a mini TV series. To be continued. A very easy rating of 5 stars.
Thank you for the free Goodreads; MakingConnections; Cheops Books LLC; RC; paperback book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
2)Obviously a book backed by lots of research, I would recommend it for the World War 2 history buff in your life. It wasn’t really my style, but a good book nonetheless.
3)This book was an interesting “what if” reading experience. As far as I know, this book was well researched and I think the history buff and WWII buff would enjoy this book.
*won as a GoodReads Giveaway* by Noelle Walsh
4)Novel and interesting approach to “what if”.
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Remember the Lusitania America Enters WW1:
One hundred years ago on April 6, 1917 America declared war on Germany and entered the Great War, the First World War, or World War 1. Dora has been reading missives from her fiance, Lieutenant Edward Ware who is off at the front fighting in the Middle East with Lawrence of Arabia. She interrupts her reading to answer the phone to hear the news from her best friend, Rita Jolivet, the French actress, who was a fellow survivor of the Lusitania two years before. The Lusitania was one of the many causes of America’s entry into the European conflict “over there”. The scene is slightly edited to make sense out of context. You can read the rest in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel, Key to Lawrence Special Edition:
“Hello?” Dora answered automatically, jolting awake from her trance.
“It’s me!” exclaimed Rita. “I’m in New York City. Listen to this.”
Rita must have been holding her phone up to an open window. A paper boy cried as if in a far off world removed from her present devastation: “Read all about it! Read all about it! President Wilson calls for Declaration of War against Germany.”
Her father burst through the door grumbling and shoved a newspaper into her free hand. She gaped at the bold headline:
PRESIDENT CALLS FOR WAR DECLARATION, STRONGER NAVY, NEW ARMY OF 500,000 MEN, FULL CO-OPERATION WITH GERMANY’S FOES
Below that was the text of the President’s address from the previous day when he spoke before the Joint Houses. At the bottom of the page it read: The War Resolution Now Before Congress.
“We’re in. Wilson’s done it, damn the fellow.” Mr. Benley threw up his hands.
Dora just gaped at him.
Her father nodded grimly. “I’ll have Wilson impeached. I’m going to start getting signatures today. I’ll send them to my congressman and senators. We want to keep America pure from European wars!”
Dora thought, So Ali and the Kaiser have forced us into this war!
Her father exclaimed, “It’s enough to make you want to move to the Alaska Territory!”
On the phone Rita deduced, “I guess the American President and Congress finally remembered the Lusitania.”
Infanta Christina and Edward Ware:
Apparently a Spanish patrol vessel, the Infanta Christina, has been accused of trespassing in Gibraltar’s waters. This was just one day after Madrid called on Britain to “calm down” about rising tensions concerning the future ownership of the Gibraltar territory. The Infanta Christina entered the territory’s waters at around lunch time Gibraltar time on Tuesday. Gibraltar’s government called the intrusion an “illegal incursion”. The Royal Navy’s HMS Scimitar challenged the vessel. The Infanta Christina finally left. This incident came only a day after Spain’s Foreign Minister was talking about negotiations about Gibraltar’s future with the British government. This all followed remarks from a former Conservative leader, Lord Howard, that England would be willing to go to war over Gibraltar to protect the Rock just like Margaret Thatcher did in the Falklands.
This all occurred after the EU documented said that Spain would be given a veto on post-Brexit agreements concerning the overseas territory called Gibraltar. Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, said the EU had made “an absolutely catastrophic error” and “Britain would not be bullied or intimidated”. He said on his nightly TV show on LBC: “We are not some little nation that is going to get bullied around by overpaid, unelected bureaucrats. We will simply not put up with it.” He was no doubt referring to the politicians in Brussels whose houses we saw two years ago on our trip to Waterloo.
A spokesman for the Gibraltar government said on Tuesday: “This is a timely demonstration of the way Spain routinely conducts itself in breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is almost as if Lord Howard has unnerved someone senior in the Spanish Navy.”
I don’t know if all this news about Gibraltar makes Britain look stupid across Europe as you say. I think it makes Spain look out of control and untrustworthy. It also reminds me that Britain is not really part of the Continent. Edward Ware, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, would certainly approve of Brexit. If there was a war against Spain, he would certainly be fighting in it.
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Tariq Ibn Ziyad: The History of the Pillars of Hercules
Originally captured in 711 AD and fortified by Tariq Ibn Ziyad, the Moorish invader of Spain, Gibraltar didn’t belong to Spain again until 1462. (Before that it must have been Roman. Remember the Pillars of Hercules?) That was only thirty years before Granada fell and Columbus sailed for the New World. It belonged to Spain from 1462 to 1711, less than three hundred years. The British captured it in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. So the British have held Gibraltar longer than the Spanish ever did. At the end of the war the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar to the British. Then during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, the French and Spanish unsuccessfully tried to take it back from 1779 to 1783. The same Treaty of Paris that gave the US its independence confirmed that Gibraltar would still belong to the British. In 1830 Gibraltar was made a British Crown Colony. They adopted a new constitution for Gibraltar in 1969. Spain closed the border between Gibraltar and Spain from 1969 to 1985. All residents of Gibraltar were granted British citizenship in 1981. So you see this sovereignty dispute has been going on for quite awhile. The Spanish never give up. I don’t think they are about ready to give up either.
You say Franco organized a smooth transition to democracy, and he was so enlightened. But one of my relatives visited Spain in 1972 before the end of Franco and told tales. Did you ever visit Franco’s Spain? Did any of your relatives? It didn’t seem so enlightened from what I heard. For one thing Franco dictated your itinerary. You could not go on any tour outside Madrid without visiting the Valley of the Fallen to commemorate the Spanish Civil War. Everywhere you went you were accompanied by guards. Soldiers marched outside your hotel and you couldn’t go anywhere without their permission. My aunt said that you weren’t even allowed to speak to the Spanish people outside the hotel at all. She claimed that she felt uncomfortable being there. A tour guide at the Prado in Madrid told her that line about the smooth transition to democracy after Franco’s death under the King Juan Carlos who would have full control until then. She scoffed and said that she wondered when Spain had ever been democratic BEFORE that, so what were they converting back to? Spain had no idea what democracy was.
Spain is the repressive regime that wants Gibraltar back, not the enlightened state that you think it is.
Located at the ancient Pillars of Hercules at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar is one of those exotic locales that form the backdrop of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels published by Cheops Books LLC. Edward and Dora visit Gibraltar in Hitler’s Agent. It is also mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the Vesuvius Plot. The famous apes of Gibraltar are mentioned again by Pliny the Elder in Old Faithful Plot along with many other infamous locales.
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Gibraltar Through The Ages:
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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.
First Spanish War Since Napoleon:
Gary wonders if there is going to be another war with a Spanish speaking entity, this time about Gibraltar instead of the Falklands. He is quoting some British Admiral named Rear Admiral Chris Parry. He said that Britain isn’t as powerful as it was during the Falklands War but it is 3 times more powerful than Spain when it comes to the navy. He claimed that in the defense of Gibraltar during the breakup of the EU Britain could singe the King of Spain’s Beard, and that is a quote. How is it that British Admirals can go around talking like that unless it is with the permission of the PM? In the US American generals and admirals NEVER talk like that even with the permission of the President. The President and the Secretary of State, Defense, etc usually make all the politically charged statements — not the military. Gary claims that if we were on a Mediterranean Cruise and anchored at Gibraltar especially on the QM2, there we would be in the middle of a war zone and the British navy would probably commission the ship!!! We would be stuck having to fly back to the States.
I think I should add all this as an Afterword to my Napoleonic novel, Inn at the Crossroads — about the modern day Napoleonic tiff that might just occur though I don’t see how the US would permit a war in Western Europe. Back in the days of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain. An uprising in Madrid was crushed, but there were guerilla attacks out in the countryside. They were doing hit and run on the French troops. The British under Sir Arthur put in a small force to support the guerillas in Spain to stir things up. This was the last time that the British fought in Spain. But at Trafalgar Nelson was fighting a combined French-Spanish fleet in 1805. So earlier in the Napoleonic Wars British was actually fighting Spain itself.
Here is the plot of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series: Lizette receives an urgent missive from her mother and sister in the town of Waterloo to come and rescue them and bring them to Ave et Auffe where she is married to the old man innkeeper of the Inn at the Crossroads. The British under the Duke of Wellington are invading Waterloo in preparation for the Battle after campaigns in Spain where they fought the French and the Spanish. When she gets to Waterloo, she finds that her family couldn’t wait. They went to Brussels to help her aunt sew dresses for the ball. The crazy Duchess of Richmond has decided to have a grand ball on the eve of the battle, the soldiers be damned. Gaston, Lizette’s husband’s only son, shows up and threatens his stepmother he will expose her and drag her home if she doesn’t get information for the cause of the Emperor Napoleon. She is to dance with the officers, including Edward Ware’s great-grandfather, and report to him. But little does Gaston realize the complications that he creates. Lizette is arrested and thrown in jail. Will Gaston be able to rescue her? Will he be able to help Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo? Read Inn at the Crossroads, an historical thriller.
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