Hall Gran Vía

1940

Gran Vía. Sala de telefonemas de la nueva central interurbana con 40 posiciones.

The Spanish conflict gave way to World War II. The CTNE continues to deploy networks and links, including the one between Madrid and New York.

The telephone service is extended to 27 countries

01

On 31 December, despite the worldwide disruption caused by the war, telephone service is extended to 27 countries, in Europe (in Portugal and Gibraltar it had not been interrupted), America and Oceania (Philippines). Telephone service stations numbered more than 327,000 and inter-city and international conferences exceeded 27.5 million.

Servicio telefónico

Link to the US in the midst of World War II

02

In 1940, after the devastating German offensive and Italy's entry into the war, the only operational radio link between the United States and continental Europe was with Berne. In the autumn of that year, with the United States still a neutral country, it was decided to reuse the stations of the radio link with Buenos Aires to establish a new link between New York and Madrid. It had its importance, as a part was needed in the equipment in Madrid, which, although it is not detailed what it was, we know that it weighed about twenty kilos. It finally reached its destination, after a long journey, by plane to Lisbon and from there to Madrid by lorry. The link became operational in this year and remained so, so that when the United States went to war with Germany, it had direct communications in Europe with Switzerland, Spain and Portugal using the Spanish network. It worked throughout the conflict.

Enlace con EE. UU. en plena II Guerra Mundial

Post-war and heavy storms

03

After the major difficulties during the war, Spain experiences a difficult period following the war, with shortages in the supply of materials. This situation has an impact on Telefónica's business, and there are delays in the installation and repair of faults, which are also much more extensive and intense because of the war that has just ended. In addition, the letter from the chairman, Estanislao de Urquijo y Ussía, mentions the terrible year of storms that hit Spain, the impact of which he puts at four million pesetas (just over 24,000 euros) to the company, of which only 500,000 (3,000 euros) were used to repair the faults in the Santander network. The chairman also extends special thanks to Telefónica's staff for their extra effort "in very tough conditions".

Estanislao de Urquijo y Ussía

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