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World War Two - 1930s Military Buildup

USS PANAY attacked

Germany's Lost African Colonies (Ken Magazine, 1938)

One thing about Adolf Hitler: he had a real bee in his bonnet when it came to the colonies that Imperial Germany had lost as a result of article 119 of the Versailles Treaty:

"Germany renounces in favor of the principal Allied and Associated Powers all her rights and titles over her overseas possessions."

Attached, you will find a nifty cartoon depicting a terribly upset Hitler as he contemplated the map of Africa and all the colonies he was having to do without - all rendered in that glorious 1930s manner.

Click here to read more about the African colonies lost to Germany as a result of the Versailles Treaty.


Japan Sinks an American Warship (Literary Digest, 1937)

"'Bombs rained like hailstones and churned the waters all around the ship like geysers.' said Earl Leaf, United Press correspondent in China and eyewitness of the sinking of the United States gunboat "Panay", by Japanese aviators, in the Yangtze River about 26 miles above Nanking....President Roosevelt stressed the seriousness of the situation..."

Historians are still at odds as to whether or not the sinking of the 'Panay' was deliberate.


President Roosevelt and the Panay Incident (Literary Digest, 1937)

Attached, you will find a survey of opinions drawn from diverse corners of the fruited plain regarding the restraint exercised by President Franklin Roosevelt in the wake of Imperial Japan's sinking of the U.S. gunboat "Panay":

"[President Franklin Roosevelt] should be sustained in his effort to make Japan realize that she cannot continue a policy of aggression with disregard of treaties and international law. A firm policy now for law and order will save many lives."

-Russell J. Clinchy,Washington Council for International Relations


Danzig Nazis (The Literary Digest, 1936)

The attached 1936 magazine article presents a picture of the Polish city of Danzig as it was during the mid-thirties. It was a city in which Danzig Nazis, like Arthur Karl Greiser, spoke of making that town a part of Germany once more (it was ordained a Polish city as a result of the Versailles Treaty) and Minister Joseph Beck who liked everything just the way it was, thank you very much.

"NAZI PATIENCE: Neither Beck nor Hitler is anxious to come to a break over Danzig. Hitler, a sworn enemy of Soviet Russia, advises his Danzig Nazis to forbear from mentioning their intention of completely abandoning League control for secession to Germany..."

Hitler's troops invaded Poland on August 31, 1939.


Fascist Italy Quits the League of Nations (Literary Digest, 1937)

Italy's "friction with the League of Nations began May 11, 1936, when her delegates stalked out of a lively League Council meeting after it had voted to continue economic sanctions against her over the Ethiopian war."

Nazi Germany quit the League years earlier, click here to read about it...


The Advance on the Rhineland and Other Forebodings (Stage Magazine, 1936)

One of the very few literati who recognized what a German military presence in the Rhineland meant was a one-legged American veteran of the last war named Laurence Stallings (1894 - 1968). This article appeared to be about the great benefit afforded to us all by hard working photo-journalists who supplied us daily with compelling images of various far-flung events, but it was in all actuality a warning to our grand parents that the world was becoming a more dangerous place.

"I think the unforgettable picture of the month will come from shots stolen near a French farmhouse by Strasbourg, when the French were countering Hitler's move into the Rhineland...Routine were the crustacean stares of the Italian children in gas masks last week, where they practiced first aid against chlorine and mustard barrages..."

Click here to read about the German concept of Blitzkrieg.


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