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World War Two - 1930s Military Buildup
|Vanity Fair Cover - May 1934
|Military Buildup in Germany (Ken Magazine, 1939)|
"The German Army is the greatest enterprise in the world. It has a million employees on it's payrolls, the active officers and soldiers, and, at a conservative estimate, feeds another million workers in the munitions industry. Actually the army employs all of Germany. Military needs alone determine the way of life in the besieged fortress into which 80 million Germans have more or less willingly formed themselves."
The Military Buildup in Imperial Japan (Literary Digest, 1936)
Attached is a short notice that was right at home among the headlines of 1936 reporting that Japan's military budget was 46% of it's total:
"Toward the end of November last year, the Japanese Cabinet, after an all-night discussion of the 1935-1936 budget, approved the largest military and naval funding in Japan's history."
The Military Buildup in France and Britain
(Literary Digest, 1936)
This 1936 magazine article reported that Germany had spent a considerable sum on munitions and armaments throughout much of the previous year and was not likely to stop anytime soon. In light of this fact, the French and British governments were moved to do the same:
"Winston Churchill, a cherubic reddish-haired Cassandra, bobbed up in the House of Commons again last week to warn his countrymen of the 'remorseless hammers' of the world."
Military Buildup in Belgium (Literary Digest, 1936)
With a clear understanding as to what was coming down the pike, Belgian Foreign Minister Paul Henri Spaak (1899 - 1972) "prevailed upon Prime Minister Paul van Zeeland to push through the Chamber of Deputies a bill increasing the military service from twelve to eighteen months for Belgium's 44,000 conscripts" while at the same time, reinforcing the fortifications along the French border.
Over half the article pertains to the fascist party of Belgium, REX, a group that hardheartedly resisted any such defensive posturing. A few weeks following this printing, Léon Degrelle (1906 – 1994), the leader of REX, the Belgian fascist party, marched on Brussels and brought down the van Zeeland government.
Military Buildup in Switzerland (Literary Digest, 1937)
"Little Switzerland will not be caught as Belgium was in 1914. The 'Isle of Peace', home of the League of Nations that was to forge all nations of the world together into a chain of amity, is fortifying her frontiers to the tune of war-rumbles. The army and air forces are being expanded in preparation for that 'inevitable' war Europe seems to be resigned to. She realizes that the only way to preserve her peace is to be prepared to fight for it."
"A Swiss statesman, in an interview with correspondents, summed up his individual reaction, which probably holds good for the majority of the population, when he said:
"War will come. We will try to stay out at any price, save our liberty. The moment a foreign soldier crosses our border, we will fight."
"And you may rest assured that we shall fight to the last man."
Military Buildup in the Soviet Union (Literary Digest, 1935)
"Premier Vyacheslav M. Molotov (1890 – 1986) pictured the Soviet Union as a lusty young giant strong enough to defend itself from both the East and the West in the keynote speech of the Seventh All Union Congress of Soviets, the Soviet Parliament."
"In proof of this claim it was shown that in the last two years the Soviet Government had increased the strength of the Red Army from 562,000 men in 1932 to 940,000 in 1934."
Read about all the various international treaties that the Soviet Union violated...
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