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The Advance on the Rhineland and Other Forebodings <br />(Stage Magazine, 1936)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..."

President Roosevelt and the Panay Incident <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)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

Japan Sinks an American Warship <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)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.

Fascist Italy Quits the League of Nations <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)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."
The Military Buildup in France and Britain<BR> <br />(Literary Digest, 1936)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."

British Civilians Trained to Use Gas Masks <br />(The Literary Digest, 1936)British Civilians Trained to Use Gas Masks
(The Literary Digest, 1936)
This article appeared in 1936 and reported that the populations of both England and France were being trained in the general use of gas masks in anticipation of a German invasion.

"Even babies will be protected in covered perambulators, into which masked 'Nannies' can pump air, forcing it through filter cans. Researchers are working on an infant's mask with a nipple attachment."

"For months, Englishmen have been hardened to gas drills. Trucks loaded with tear gas were sent throughout the kingdom. Civilians practiced donning the masks, then stepped into gas-chambers to see how they worked."

Versailles Treaty Violations <br />(Literary Digest, 1936)Versailles Treaty Violations
(Literary Digest, 1936)
Attached is an interesting article that announced the Nazi march into the Rhineland as well as the island of Hegoland. The journalist also listed various other Versailles Treaty violations:

*"The treaty said that Germany should have no troops in the Rhineland. On March 7 of this year, they marched in.

*The treaty said that Germany should never have a conscript army. On March 16 of this year, conscription was announced by Chancellor Hitler.

*It said that Germany should have no military aviation. She has it.

*It said that the Great German General Staff should be abolished. It was never disbanded.

*Violations of the Versailles Treaty began, in fact, a week before it was signed."

Click here to read an additional article concerning the Versailles Treaty violations.

 Danzig Nazis <br />(The Literary Digest, 1936) 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.

The Growth of the German Airforce  <br />(Ken Magazine, 1939)The Growth of the German Airforce
(Ken Magazine, 1939)
By the time this magazine profile of Field Marshall Hermann Goering (1893 – 1946) went to print, he had already made his entry on the world stage as the master-mind behind the 1937 bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War (an event that was not mentioned at all in this article).
Published four months before Germany's attack on Poland (September 1, 1939), this article outlines Hermann Goering's efforts to build the Luftwaffe from scratch, the creation of various flight schools, the Luftwaffe collaboration with the Hitler Youth organization, and his aspirations to out-class the air forces of the United States and Britain.

The article also addresses the business dealings of American manufacturers Boeing and Douglas Aircraft had with the German Luftwaffe.

Military Buildup in the USSR <br />(Literary Digest, 1935)Military Buildup in the USSR
(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...

Military Buildup in Germany <br />(Ken Magazine, 1939)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."
Military Buildup in Switzerland  <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)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."

Anticipating the War with Japan <br />(The Saturday Review, 1925)Anticipating the War with Japan
(The Saturday Review, 1925)
The Great Pacific War was one of the truly remarkable books to hit the shops in 1925; the problem was that this would not be recognized until at least 1944. Unlike the unfortunate writers charged with the task of reviewing the novel, the author, Hector C. Bywater (1884 - 1940), was something of a clairvoyant, and was able to spell out how the war between Japan and the United States would unfold; the contested islands and the American victory. He wrote that the war would commence with a Japanese surprise assault, he recognized the importance that naval aviation would play and he predicted the Kamikaze attacks. Some elements of the war he did not predict, such as Hiroshima, but in 1945, after the smoke had cleared and the bodies were buried, many were amazed to pick the book up and read how much he got right.
Germany's Lost African Colonies <br />(Ken Magazine, 1938)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 Rejects the Washington Naval Treaty <br />(Literary Digest, 1935)Japan Rejects the Washington Naval Treaty
(Literary Digest, 1935)
"The first successful attempt in world history to limit armaments was marked for the scrap-heap on December 31, 1936, when Hirosi Saito, the slim and smiling Japanese Ambassador to the United States, bowed himself into the State Department building in Washington last Saturday and handed to Secretary Cordell Hull a document that the world has expecting for many months - Japan's formal denunciation of the Washington Naval Treaty."
The World Navies Expand <br />(The Literary Digest, 1937)The World Navies Expand
(The Literary Digest, 1937)
Here is a concise report illustrated by a chart that indicates the size and tonnage of the leading naval powers in 1937.

"In 1922, when a halt was called on the vicious race for bigger and better battleships by conclusion of the Washington Naval Treaty, later supplemented by the London Pact of 1930, there were but five major sea powers: America, Britain, Japan, France and Italy. Today, the world picture has changed and two new faces are on the list, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia."

"All in all, as the treaties end, the United States Fleet stands on par, if not superior to, the armada of the British Empire..."

Click here to read more about the expansion of the U.S. Navy.
Click here to read another article about the pre-WW II expansion of the world's Naval powers.
Click here to read more about the demise of the Washington Naval Treaty.

Japan and the Road to War <br />(Literary Digest, 1933)Japan and the Road to War
(Literary Digest, 1933)
A collection of opinions gathered from the newspapers of the world concerning the belligerency of Imperial Japan and its poor standing in the eyes of the League of Nations:

"Feeling grows among the Japanese that events are shaping toward a second world war, with Japan in the position that Germany occupied in 1914...A Canadian Press dispatch from London, in THE NEW YORK TIMES, estimated war supplies sent from England to China and Japan. According to statistics of the British Government for 1932, the largest individual items were 7,735,000 small-arms cartridges for China and 5,361,450 for Japan...Japan also purchased 740 machine guns."

Click here to read about a 1925 novel that anticipated the war with Imperial Japan.

Military Buildup in the United States <br />(Literary Digest, 1936)Military Buildup in the United States
(Literary Digest, 1936)
"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.

The World Wide Military Expansion <br />(The Literary Digest, 1935)The World Wide Military Expansion
(The Literary Digest, 1935)
A 1935 magazine article which presented a table of statistics regarding the the European military expansion and then concluded by stating:

"It seems fair to offer the opinion that a major war is likely within the next ten years because the pressure of rising armament expenditure promises to be so great as to develop the explosion that bound to come."

In 1940 former W.W. I Prime Minister David Lloyd George wrote an editorial in which he condemned the leaders of Europe for procrastinating rather than dealing with Hitler when Germany was still weak.
Click here
to read it.

Military Buildup in Belgium <br />(Literary Digest, 1936)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, Lιon Degrelle (1906 – 1994), the leader of REX, the Belgian fascist party, marched on Brussels and brought down the van Zeeland government.
The Military Buildup in Imperial Japan <br />(Literary Digest, 1936 & Newsweek, 1939)The Military Buildup in Imperial Japan
(Literary Digest, 1936 & Newsweek, 1939)
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.
Preparing for War with Motorcycles <br />(Literary Digest, 1937)Preparing for War with Motorcycles
(Literary Digest, 1937)
A short news piece from THE LITERARY DIGEST reported on an investment that the Nazi forces were making to insure a lightening-fast attack:

"Motorcycles, a cool million of them, have become a German army specialty. The new Wehrmacht specializes in them. (it knows it will be short of horses; as when in March, 1918, the Teuton cavalry arm was virtually abolished,west front and east.) The British and French have only half a million machines apiece. Each German motorcycle-cum-sidecar carries three or four mechanized men; more mobile and versatile than a truck carrying 8 to 15 men. A motorcycle column travels twice as fast as a column of transport trucks: 20 to 40 miles an hour. With tank cooperation, motorcycles can make frontal attacks, infiltrate, out-flank, or strike in rear."

Read about the mechanics of W.W. II German motorcycles...

 A Soviet Need to Update <br />(The Literary Digest, 1937) A Soviet Need to Update
(The Literary Digest, 1937)
"While strong on land and in the air, [the Soviet Union] is weak on the water. Most Russian ships are World War or pre-War in origin, and many of her best vessels are in the Baltic, facing Germany, or in the Far East, where Japan looms up."
America Prepares... <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1941)America Prepares...
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1941)
By late November, 1941, only children and the clinically optimistic were of the mind that America would be able to keep out of a war - as you'll be able to assume when you read the attached article that appeared on the newsstands just ten days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It extolls the industrial prowess of the United States as the country prepared for war:

• "William S. Knudson (1879 – 1948), Director of the OPM, declared U.S. arms output will soon 'assure Hitler's defeat'. Proof of this claim was seen in the celebration in New Haven, Connecticut, of one company's production of it's 10,000th machine-gun within a year of the time the contract was signed to build a plant."

• "The launching of the 35,000-ton battleship INDIANA at Newport News, Virginia, the third battleship to come off the ways this year, indicated the increased tempo of defense production, which Admiral Land, of the Maritime Commission, said neared 'superhuman'."

U.S. Congress Approves Naval Expansion <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1934)U.S. Congress Approves Naval Expansion
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1934)
In 1934, the members of the U.S. Congress were able to see how ugly the world was becoming - and with this forethought they approved the Vinson Act. This legislation did not violate any of the restrictions agreed to under the Washington Naval Treaty and provided funds for 102 additional ships to be added to the American fleet by 1942.
The Era of the Dictators <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)The Era of the Dictators
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)
"If necessity can be called the mother of invention, then deep public dissatisfaction can be called the mother of the authoritarian or 'totalitarian' state. In Europe, the [First] World War resulted in post-war conditions that walked arm-in-arm with profound social change. The aftermath was a great political and economic headache that grew slowly in intensity until it lead people to embrace anything that promised a cure... In Europe there are no less than 11 nations operating under systems far removed from democracy as we know it in this country."
Beefing Up <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1939)Beefing Up
(Newsweek Magazine, 1939)
"Displaying an almost seismographic sensitivity to foreign rumblings and domestic tremors alike, Congress last week hastened to put United States defenses in shape for any eventuality."
The Arms Race <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)The Arms Race
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)
"Stirred by [the] Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and by subsequent German scrapping of the Versailles Treaty, military experts of every nation have been altering the smallest details of army life to make their forces bigger, faster and more deadly than those of their neighbors."

"Nowhere was there any indication that the pace of armaments might slacken. No nation gave any sign of dropping out of the race."

More Babies, Please <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)More Babies, Please
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)
"Italy, Germany and Russia, leading exponents of Europe's Fascist and Communist camps, have each asked for more prolific mothers and decreed measures designed to fetch in the bambini, kinder and kodomos. Their dictator's desires for more babies and still more babies have developed into a population race."

Click here to read about the Nazi struggle to increase their birthrate...

Diplomacy Goes South <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1939)Diplomacy Goes South
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1939)
Eight months prior to the day when W.W. II would commence, diplomatic relations between Berlin and Washington got ugly; the carefully controlled German press declared that matters between the two camps "were at their lowest point since 1917". Hitler's diplomats demanded apologies and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee clarified the American position by stating that the American people have a general dislike for Fascism. The Department of the Navy announced that it was expanding its presence in the Atlantic.

Japan: More power For The Military <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1937)Japan: More power For The Military
(Newsweek Magazine, 1937)
As 1936 came to an end in Tokyo, the aftershocks of the February 26, 1936 failed military coup could still be felt throughout the halls of Japan's Government. The uprising of the military hardliners resulted in four assassinations and a suicide before the constitutional powers regained control. This article covers a more peaceful dust-up on the Parliament floor - and when it was concluded the Generals had the upper hand.

"Still the country's most privileged class, military leaders - modern equivalent of the Samurai, medieval knights - can exert pressure on the government by reason of a 42-year-old imperial edict: the War and Navy Ministries must be headed by army and navy officers; if either resigns, the Cabinet falls."

The Consequences of the Munich Agreement <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1938)The Consequences of the Munich Agreement
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1938)
"When England and France yielded to Germany in the Munich Agreement of last September, a significant change took place. The balance of power in Europe shifted from the democracies to the dictatorships... [and] the United States had to stop thinking of England and France as America's 'first line of defense' in the time of a European war."