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Britain, Switzerland, and the Second World War$
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Neville Wylie

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206903.001.0001

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The Evolution of British Policy

The Evolution of British Policy

(p.84) 3 The Evolution of British Policy
Britain, Switzerland, and the Second World War


Oxford University Press

This chapter summarises the principal findings of the book, and shows how British policy towards Switzerland evolved over the course of the war. London's success in extracting economic and intelligence advantages from Switzerland after the fall of France was used to justify treating Switzerland as a ‘special case’ in the blockade and reigning in those in the Air Ministry and Special Operations Executive, who were intent on overriding Swiss interests in pursuit of Britain's military objectives. The dominance of political interests over British policy continued until the end of the war, being only briefly eclipsed in late 1943. Appreciation of Berne's ‘protecting power’ work on behalf of British prisoners of war, and the desire to secure Swiss support for Britain's post-war objectives, encouraged London to overlook Switzerland's gold purchases from Germany and resist U.S. attempts to impose draconian economic and financial demands on the Swiss government.

Keywords:   Britain, Switzerland, blockade, policy, financial demands, United States, gold, intelligence

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