Sunday, July 25, 2021

good morning justin



Nine new nations emerged from the crumbling

empires of Europe following the First World War.  

Among them Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria 

nations of ethnic diversity, including a notable 

share of German speaking people amidst the population.

 Germany needed additional land to become

a truly great nation - one able to access valuable

resources necessary to wage modern war

without fearing a strangling blockade from its

powerful adversary - Britain.

 1921 1 May       Germany defaults on reparations payments.

1928                   German output equals production prior to WW 1

1932                  German industrial production half that of 1928

                                                     Wall Street crash ruined capital lending.

                                                     Unemployment quadruples to 5.6 million

1933                      Hitler comes to power.

                     1935                     Germany announces military conscription

                                                          Army ceiling rises from 7 to 36 divisions

                    1936 March           Germany marches army into Rhineland

                    1937                      Germany builds 5,600 aircraft

                                                          France builds 700 aircraft 

                    1937 26 April        Germany bombs Basque town of Guernica

                                                         Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union used 

                                                          Spanish Civil War as opportunity to test 

                                                          their latest weapons systems. 


1938 29 September    Munich settlement

                                                                Czechs forced to surrender Sudetenland

                                                                Germany promises no new demands 

1939 23 August          Germany and Russia agree to split Poland 

 1939 1 September     Germany invades Poland

1939 3 September      Britain, France declare war on Germany 

                    1941 December        Hitler declares war on US

                                                              Guarantees overwhelming military strength

                                                              would now be brought against him                                                             



No one appreciated the nightmare France lived

with having Germany as its neighbor.  Paris 

was the Sheriff facing Hitler's hired guns alone...

the democratic nations, Britain and USA,

not wanting any part of this high noon showdown.

1919 June        Treaty of Versailles

                                                    Draconian measures to protect France.

                                          Hopes that League of Nations keeps peace.

                                          France exhausted by war - inferior to Germany

                                          in manpower and economic resources.

                                          France looks for allies in the face of the German


1920                  French alliance with Belgium.

1921                  French alliance with Poland

                                                      - member of Little Entente of Slavic nations 

1924                  France forms alliance with Czechoslovakia.

                                                     Nothing offered them real protection 

                                          from Germany. 

1934                  French economy begins collapse

                                                     Foreign trade plummets by two thirds.

1936                  France raises wages, limits work week

                          to 40 hours

                                                    Franc devalued - France dependent on

                                          Anglo-American financial support

1939                  France and Britain make military alliance

                                Both nations declare their intent to protect


1939 3 Sept.    Britain and France declare war on Germany.        

                    1940 10 May    German armor attacks France through Ardennes 


1940 14 June    German troops enter Paris. 





 Britain was overextended, no longer capable

of protecting its European maritime lifelines

while also defending its colonial interests from 

Japan's ambitions in the Far East.


Britain's drop in share of global commerce meant leaner military.

   year               commerce share                 

  1913                14.14%

  1929                10.75%

                  1937                   9.8% 

1935 June     Anglo-German naval agreement

                      Britain attempts covering weakness with


                      Deal releases ships for duty in Far East. 

1937 May     Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister

                                              Appeasement policy response to vulnerability:

                                              Britain's precarious economic, strategic outlook

  1937      German military spending three times that of Britain

  1938      Anthony Eden resigns as Foreign Minister over

                                        Chamberlain's German policy 


1938 Sept.  "Peace in our time" declared following Munich

                 Western Czechoslovakia surrendered to Germany 


                                 Britain's defense expenditures as percent of GNP:

  year                percent GNP________

1937                5.5%

1938                8.5%

1939               12.5%

1939       British Treasury:  no money for financing long war 

                    1939 March   Britain, France guarantee Poland's security 

1939 3 Sept.   War with Germany declared by Britain, France 





Russia was Hitler's target all along.  Barbarossa -

the plan to invade and conquer the Soviet Union

in the few short months prior to winter was fantasy.

Wargaming the idea resulted in repeated failure.

No one dare tell the Fuhrer his actions would bring

catastrophic defeat to Germany.

  Treaties following First World War leave Russia diminished

            Countries carved from Russian territory:

                        Finland, Baltic states and Poland - taking industry with them

                        Population falls 40 million to a total of 132 million in 1921

1917 - 1921        Russia suffers social and political chaos

1921     Lenin introduces New Economic Policy

                                    Gives up on trying to "communize" the peasantry.

1926     Agriculture returns to prewar levels

                     1928     Industrial output returns to prewar levels 

                                     War and revolution cost Russia thirteen years

                                     economic growth.

                    1933   Famine results from Stalin's rush to industrialize Russia.

                           Percent of farmers in population drops to 50% in 1940

                           from 70% in 1928.

                           25% of Russian GNP goes to industrialization, 

                           then education, science and defense.

                            Number of graduating engineers:

                            1928              47,000

                            1941            289,000

            Russian national income:

                                    1928        24.4 billion rubles

                                    1937        96.3 billion rubles 

                                    Russia's industrial output surpasses: 

                                    Britain, France, Japan and Italy


                                         Poor per acre agriculture yields

                                         Road system remains primitive

                                         Many industries rely on foreign expertise  

                                         Excessive emphasis on quantity and 

                                 "gigantism" of manufacturing process 

                                          - difficult to make product adjustments 

           1933       Manchurian crisis and Hitler's rise to power

           1935       Soviet army rises from 600,000 to 1.3 million men

                           Chief weakness remains poor training 

          1938        Soviet economy reoriented to producing armaments  

                          Meanwhile Stalin's political purges of the military

                           leaves the Red Army decapitated:

                            Generals        90% purged / shot or imprisoned

                            Colonels        80% purged

        1938        Munich settlement reveals to Stalin:

                        Hitler's ambitions are directed east towards Russia

                        France and Britain are not reliable partners against 


1939 August    Russia signs nonaggression pact with Germany

                                        Agrees to split Poland between them

                                        Stalin buys Russia time to build up military

        1939 Sept.    Soviet troops invade Poland

         1941 April    Japan signs neutrality treaty with Soviet Union

                                  Stalin free to focus on the German threat to his west 

        1941 June   Hitler launches invasion of Russia   

                                 Third Reich not properly equipped to fight this war.                        




Mussolini hoped to compete with great nations

on the cheap.  Three fourths of Italians lived as

peasants on small farms - hardly the kind of

revenue stream you looked to for financing

a modern air force, armored divisions and 

aircraft carriers for your navy.  

             Italy - weak in political power:  semi-developed nation with 

             Mussolini, its fascist leader, having great nation ambitions.

        1937    Italy conquers the African nation of Abyssinia

                    League of Nations reveals its impotence in global affairs

        1938    country relies on small scale agriculture

                    50% of family income goes to purchasing food 

                    Tariffs protect inefficient producers

        1939 Jan.   British PM Chamberlain travels to Rome in attempt

                           to dissuade Mussolini's drift into Hitler's camp

        1939        Bank of Italy reserves drop to near nothing

                        Nation unable to buy tools necessary to modernize 

                        Italy's air force and army

                        Army - inefficient, no initiative, stultifying career choice

                                    unable to recruit talented, ambitious males 

                       Il Duce - Mussolini:


                            inability to think effectively

                            congenital liar 

        1940 Sept.    Tripartite Pact signed between Japan, Germany, Italy

                            Alliance with Italy proves to be a net liability for Germany 




©  Tom Taylor


Sunday, July 11, 2021

good morning jack


The hundred years prior to 1914 brought
peace, prosperity and unprecedented progress
in all form of human endeavor in Europe.


great achievements in engineering 

a civilized society that was the envy of the world

Albert Einstein

Great imaginings having to do with

the speed of light and the

true nature of mass were woven

into our sense of existence and

described to all using the strange 

language of numbers.

Franz Ferdinand Assassinated

The final folly of monarchical rule was acted out

following the murder of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke.

One after the other the reigning powers of the 

nineteenth century found themselves at war

with one another for reasons no more compelling

than fulfilling contractual obligations 

of one's alliance.

First World War

It was a war where nothing went right.
An entire generation was bled from society
in France and Britain.  They were also bankrupt.
And to what purpose.  The bitter truth was
Germany appeared better positioned for
future dominance despite its recent defeat
than either of the war's two victors.


Empires collapsed as war brought an end 

to an old order that had long ruled Europe.

Four years of carnage, starvation and other

war-related deprivations spread political

instability through much of the continent.


Compromise in the resulting peace settlement 

was made impossible by the scale of sacrifice 

suffered by the victorious western allies.  

Blame need be set.  The defeated should pay.

Georges Clemenceau

Prime Minister, France 

France could never feel safe sharing 

their border with a strong Germany.

Security against future attacks would

require crushing the German state.

David Lloyd George
Prime Minister, Britain

There must be a balance of power among

the nations of Europe if war is to be avoided.

Peace is maintained so long as there is

a near-equality in strength between two 

opposing forces in a faceoff.

Morality is not the overriding concern.

Woodrow Wilson
President, USA

The League of Nations is to act as

the World's court - rendering the verdict

as to which party has broken the peace.

All nations will rise united in opposition

to the nation guilty of aggression against

its neighbor.

Wall Street

Following the First World War New York

became the world's financial capitol.

Wall Street's crash reverberated about 

the globe, helping to bring down

struggling democracies in both

Germany and Japan.


following the war to end all wars:

defeat... revolution... inflation...
economic depression... dictatorship...
the settling of scores

another world war


Industrial methods put to new uses.




©  Tom Taylor