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Inter War Years. Major Rascon. Learning Objectives. Comprehend why the interwar period represented only an armistice rather than genuine peace or international stability by describing attempts at peace and why they failed

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inter war years

Inter War Years

Major Rascon

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Comprehend why the interwar period represented only an armistice rather than genuine peace or international stability by describing attempts at peace and why they failed
  • Know and explain the bases of American isolationism in 1920’s - 30’s, and the resultant impact on defense preparedness
  • Know and explain the “doctrine of defense”, with emphasis on the Maginot philosophy and the thoughts/contributions of Liddell Hart
  • Dupuy and Dupuy, The Encyclopedia of Military History, pp. 1027 – 1050
  • Preston and Wise, Men in Arms, pp. 278 – 294
  • Ropp, War in the Modern World, pp. 275 – 313
  • Weigley, The American Way of War, pp 223 - 265
attempts at peace
Attempts at Peace
  • The Aftermath

- High costs of War in human and material

- New attitude of revulsion against war

- Need to recover and build a system to prevent war again

  • Out come of peacemaking endeavors;

- League of Nations; principle of collective security

- Disarmament; not total, but a limit on Arms

attempts at peace cont d
Attempts at Peace Cont’d
  • True peace or a 20-year cease-fire

-Temporary, shallow peace

- No practical solutions

americans withdraw
Americans Withdraw
  • Isolationism

- Avoid being dragged into war again

- Return to prewar strengths

- US its own best guarantor of peace

  • Isolationism deepens as the Depression years unfold

- Economic problems

- Reduction of military

- Anti-military service sentiment appears

  • Defense preparedness takes a back seat
doctrine of defense
Doctrine of Defense
  • An outgrowth of post-World War 1 reaction
  • Passive security dominates military thought

- Maginot Line in France

- Fortified with integrated firepower

- Created false sense of security

- Stifled offensive planning

composition of forces
Composition of Forces

Land Forces

  • Interwar Armies adjusted according to results of WWI
  • Reforms made by losers to avoid previous failures
  • Victors - returned to pre-1914, colonial type forces
  • Vanquished Countries developed new weapons
composition of forces9
Composition of Forces

Sea Forces

  • Principle Navies; United States, Britain, Japan, France and Italy
  • Adopted attitudes towards new weapons was conditioned by traditional position and potential enemies
  • Future roles of battleships, aircraft, and submarines obscured by technological uncertainty
    • Confusion reflected in naval conferences
    • Washington - 1921, Geneva - 1927, London - 1930 & 1935
air forces
Air Forces
  • Sought to achieve independent Roles
  • Air demonstrations of potential military value at every opportunity
  • Technological advances slow until early ‘30’s
  • Deterrence not practical until after 1935
  • Britain- where strongest against the incompetent way the war was fought on the Western Front
  • Theorists included:

- Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond

- Major General J.F.C Fuller

- Captain B. H. Liddell Hart

  • General Mitchell, U.S.- air power
  • Major C.D. Barrett, U.S – first manual for landing operations
  • Colonel DeGaulle, France – armor in France
national armed forces u s land
National Armed Forces, U.S. (Land)
  • Machine Gun recognized, Truck, Tank and Plane not fully appreciated
  • National Defense Act of 1920 - reverted to mobilization plans of 1927
  • Infantry Army envisioned, but no selective service
  • Isolationism - Army cut to 119,000 men
national armed forces u s sea
National Armed Forces, U.S. (Sea)
  • Navy revived 1916 program - rendered most ships under construction obsolete
  • Navy concentrated on Carriers and Air Ships - conference limitations on Battleships
  • Later returned to building battleships to balance fleet
  • Amphibious Warfare developed by USMC
national armed forces u s air
National Armed Forces, U.S. (Air)
  • Army Air Service championed by General Billy Mitchell (wartime hero)
  • Mitchell ahead of times - eventually sacked for disobedience
  • Later, Mitchell’s claims were evaluated and Army Air Corps was established
  • Strategic Bombing Doctrine Developed

and the B-17 prototype tested

national armed forces britain land
National Armed forces, Britain (Land)
  • British Army followed colonial heritage, fought mechanization
  • Growth extremely slow, despite Fuller and Hart publication in 1929 of army field manual
  • Result - British tanks technically superior to Germans, but were attached to trenched infantry that they were quickly destroyed by Germans
national armed forces britain sea
National Armed Forces, Britain (Sea)
  • Royal Navy reduced by politicians and disarmament treaties
  • Little effort to submarines, carriers, or antisubmarine Warfare
  • New dimensions in Naval Warfare were disregarded
national armed forces britain air
National Armed Forces, Britain (Air)
  • RAF used to police primitive tribal areas
  • Home defense handled better by RAF than by older two services
  • Counter-strike deterrent force developed
  • Stress of fighters for home defense came just in time to save Britain in 1940
national armed forces france
National Armed Forces, France
  • Fear of revived Germany dominated Paris
  • France retained most powerful army and air force in Europe
  • Cordon Sanitaire attempted around Germany by France
  • Maginot Line constructed
  • By 1940 - political struggles crippled military
national armed forces italy
National Armed Forces, Italy
  • 1922 - Mussolini’s fascist government revived prestige of military
  • Army modernized and highly mechanized
  • Air Force given full independence
  • Forces exercised in Ethiopia (1935-36) and Spain (1936 - 39)
  • However, as war began Italian armed services were in decline (lack of modern material, economic base or morale to fight)
national armed forces japan land
National Armed Forces, Japan (Land)
  • Dominated by Samurai tradition, developed along German lines
  • Mechanization, mobility, and jungle operations
  • Fought in China from 1931
  • Army Air Force - rapid progress, but fought second class enemies and technical developments neglected
national armed forces japan sea and air
National Armed Forces, Japan (Sea and Air)
  • Carriers - great strides in development (under British instruction)
  • Cruisers and destroyers excellent, torpedoes were highly potent
  • No strategic bombing force (no need for it)
  • Suspicious of U.S. and the lack of a stand by the Allies in Manchuria led to East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (expansion plan)
national armed forces russia
National Armed Forces, Russia
  • Badly demoralized - 1917 failure of Czar leadership
  • Made mechanization the symbol of the revolution
  • German help, British thought, and American ingenuity; highly mobile, infantry carrying tanks
  • Supply Corps established
  • Compromise between military/communist party
  • Military and political general staffs created
  • Air Force reborn with help from Germany
  • Hitler struck before work complete
national armed forces germany land
National Armed Forces, Germany (Land)
  • Deprived of power by treaty
  • Army experiments and remolds doctrine
  • Regular army became a cadre of officers
  • Works of Fuller and Hart translated and elaborated
  • Hitler gave the army more support
  • Mechanization proceeded and equipment tested in Spanish Civil War
  • General staff openly resumed Pre-Versailles power
national armed forces germany sea and air
National Armed Forces, Germany (Sea and Air)
  • Raeder developed new U-Boats
  • Pocket battleships developed
  • Bismark and Tirpitz constructed
  • Luftwaffe mushroomed under Goering
  • Tactical Air Force only good for Blitzkrieg, but not for long term war
  • Interwar years characterized by military peacetime problems (economy, cutbacks and complacency)
  • Major nations treated armed forces in the interwar years as diplomatic position
  • Disarmament movement acted as a brake until collapse in Geneva in 1934
  • Then there was a universal shift or rearmament, especially in the air