Hitler’s Spanish fighter planes go on sale in US

Five Spain-made fighter planes licensed by der Fuhrer during WWII have been rescued from a dusty warehouse and go on sale in Texas on Monday, each expected to reach at least €600,000 ($800,000).

Hitler's Spanish fighter planes go on sale in US
Hitler licensed Spain to build the «Hispano Aviación HA-1112 “Buchon” fighter plane but changed his mind at the last minute. Photo: AFP/Platinum Fighter Sales

Spain may not have taken part in in the fighting in World War II, stricken by its own deadly Civil War, but it did supply military weaponry to its fascist associate Germany.

Using the design of the Nazi Messerschmitt Bf 109, one of the most agile and modern fighter planes of the time, Hitler licensed Spain to build the Hispano Aviación HA-1112 or “Buchon” fighter plane.

Unfortunately for Spain’s Royal Air Force, in desperate need of an overhaul despite the post-war turmoil it was going through, Hitler pulled out of the deal at the last minute.

The Fuhrer was by that stage more concerned about ensuring the German Luftwaffe aerial warfare branch has a ready supply of components to continue fighting during the final months of the war, thus deciding he wouldn’t supply Spain with the engines for their fighter planes.

RED ALSO: MI6 kept Spain from Hitler with bribes 

Sixty-five out the 200 aircraft planned were finally built.

They were never used by either German or Spanish forces during the WWII period, ending up instead as Hollywood ‘show’ planes in movies such as Battle of Britain, directed by Guy Hamilton in 1969.

The film’s producers couldn’t afford to pay the head of the stunt pilots, Connie Edwards, once shooting had finished, deciding instead to reward him with all the Spanish planes as gifts.

Edwards kept them in a dusty warehouse for over half a century before he decided to start selling them at auction.

Texan company Platinum Fighter Sales is now organizing the commercial sale of the last six aircraft, telling Spanish daily ABC they hope the grounded Spain-made planes return home. 

Although Spain was neutral during WWII, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler met on several occasions, the Fuhrer at one point trying to convince Franco to help Germany seize Gibraltar from Britain (Operation Felix). 

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Pope warns against populism and ‘saviours’ like Hitler

Pope Francis warned on Saturday against populism, saying it could lead to the election of "saviours" like Hitler.

Pope warns against populism and 'saviours' like Hitler
Pope Francis gives his audience at the Vatican on January 18. Photo: Andreas Solaro/ AFP
In an hour-long interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais conducted as Donald Trump was being sworn in as US president, the pontiff also condemned the idea of using walls and barbed wire to keep out foreigners.
“Of course crises provoke fears and worries,” he said but added that for him “the example of populism in the European sense of the word is Germany in 1933”.
“Germany… was looking for a leader, someone who would give her back her identity and there was a little man named Adolf Hitler who said 'I can do it'.”    
“Hitler did not steal power,” the pope said. “He was elected by his people and then he destroyed his people.”
The Germans at that time also wanted to protect themselves with “walls and barbed wire so that others cannot take away their identity,” he said.
“The case of Germany is classic,” he said, adding that Hitler gave them a “deformed identity and we know what it produced.”
Pope Francis however underscored that it was too early to pass judgement on Trump.
“Let's see. Let's see what he does and then we will evaluate,” he said.