World War Two - 1930s Military Buildup
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.
Attached are two short notices from 1936 and '39 reporting that Japan's army and navy budgets were expanding. Mention is also made concerning the growth of the Soviet military.
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."
"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."
"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...
"At midnight, December 31, the Naval Limitations Treaty of 1930 will expire and, tho a treaty of a sort was negotiated last April, apparently it will not be ratified and put into effect by the end of the year."
With this in mind, Congress authorized the construction of two battleships at the cost of $50,000,000 each.
"And is it worth it, in these days of fleet and deadly torpedo planes or great diving bombers clutching demolition bombs weighing a ton apiece? Naval experts think so. The Battleship, they say, is still the backbone of the battle-fleet. In the phrase of the street, the battleship can dish it out."
The Navy would soon learn that they were actually living in the age of the aircraft carrier.
Click here to read more about the expansion of the U.S. Navy.
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