By Neill Lochery,

Book cover of Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945

Book description

Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of World War II, though not a gun was fired there. The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis power operated openly, it was temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty, over one million refugees seeking passage…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Lisbon as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I grew up with lots of stories and books about WWII because my father was a veteran. What is different about this book’s narrative is Portugal’s position of neutrality during the Second World War and the resulting web of political intrigue. Salazar, Portugal’s dictator at the time, played both sides, aligning with the British, all the while selling off Portugal’s Tungsten, a metal used to produce armor-piercing projectiles (which apparently melted the British tanks), to the Germans for gold that the Nazi’s looted. And at the end of the war, all that gold helped Portugal emerge economically intact. 

Journalist Lochery tracks how spies flowed through perhaps the most important hub of intelligence during the war - Portugal's capital. Neutral Portugal continued to deal with both Allies and the Axis powers throughout the conflict. Thousands of refugees passed through, fleeing Axis-held Europe for the United States. Lochery plumbs Portuguese sources and records of its secret police to show how, for example, the Nazis flipped officials and coerced diplomats in the struggle for Europe's future.

From David's list on spies and espionage in WW2.

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