Galicia and World War II

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The cannons of the Monte de San Pedro in A Coruña, with their 38 km scope, allowed the sure use of the Galician ports of Ferrol and A Coruña on the part of the Nazi Germany

The participation of Galicia, Spain, in World War II was marked by its location on Spain's Atlantic coast.[1] Despite Spain's neutrality in the war, the country was affected due to its strategic location. The tungsten mines, such as the Mines of San Fins, were used for the Nazi war industry. The extraction and transport of the mineral carried out by front companies, such as the Finance and Industrial Corporation (Galician: Sociedade Financeira e Industrial).[2]

Hundreds of Galicians traveled to fight with the Germans on the Eastern Front, in the Blue Division. On the other side, former republican combatants fought with the allies, many of them having been confined in concentration camps.


Raw materials were vital in economic warfare. Tungsten was one of those used to manufacture armaments. Before the war, the main producers were China (36%), Burma (17%) and the United States of America (11%). During the war, British sea power gave the Allied powers access to these countries, and denied them to the Axis powers. Germany had to seek sources in Europe. Spain and Portugal were the only producers, with Galicia accounting for almost 70% of Spanish reserves. For this reason, it became the main center of extraction.

Year Quantity (t) Value in millions of pesetas
1939 76 0,755
1949 563 6,985
1941 156 3,623
1942 159 18,751
1943 1396 241,054
1944 2502 406,455
1945 1662 246,221

Lorenz beam[edit]

Radius of scope of the signal of the Arneiro Towers.

In 1939, the Germans built a 112m high aerial, in Arneiro in the municipality of Cospeito. It carried the communications of the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe, with a radius of a thousand miles. The station had two repeating lower and auxiliary buildings.[3]

It formed part of a German network of nineteen stations. The Allies' sabotage plans were not carried out, since Spain was treated as a neutral country. The Lorenz beam was also eventually used by the British and Americans.[4][5][6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Un estudio constata la relevancia de Galicia en la II Guerra Mundial. (in Spanish)
  2. ^ [2] HISMA, ROWAK y SOFINDUS, las empresas pantalla alemanas (in Spanish)
  3. ^ [3] Características de la Estación Sonne Consol de Lugo
  4. ^ [4] Submarinos
  5. ^ [5] Los radiofaros Consol (Elektra-Sonne)
  6. ^ [6] El servicio móvil aeronaútico en España
  7. ^ [7] Sonne Consol
  8. ^ [8] El sistema Sonne en Galicia