The Road to War - 1936

1936 was a determinant year, marking the beginning of the separation of the waters between the European Powers.

King George V dies in January opening the way to the coronation of Edward VIII. The relationship of the new king with the American Wallis Simpson will open, in a few months, a serious constitutional crisis. He will have one of the shortest reigns in british history, conceading the throne to his brother Prince Albert before the end of the year.

In February Japan suffers a failed coup against the government by the Imperial Way Faction. Following this event, Emperor Hirohito orders the arrest of a large number of conspirators, 19 of them are executed until July. In March the radical militarist Koki Hirota becomes Prime-Minister.

On the 7th of March, the Rhineland is reoccupied and remilitarized by the Germans, in another clear violation of the Versailles Treaty. The German troops involved have specific orders to withdraw if a reaction from the French forces occurs. However with an electoral campaign going on, the thousands of French soldiers in the border will do nothing and the British will only react too late. Hitler, forcing the bar, gains another international victory that will give him more internal fame in a particularly difficult time.

On the same month, Hoover Dam in the Colorado River is completed and a severe heat wave hits all of North America.

In May, the Italians overrun the Ethiopians, forming the Italian East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalilan)

On the 18th of July the Spanish Civil War begins! It will rage between the Nationalists, defying the weak and young democracy and the Republicans, a mixed union of democrats, communists, anarchists and far-left forces. Using this conflict as a test field, Germany and Italy strongly support the Nationalist side with resources, weapons and military personnel.

The Republican side, abandoned by the Western democracies, is internationally aided by the USSR and México. In the next three years, both sides will commit numerous atrocities as this war reaches levels of violence never before tested. New weapons, tactics and strategies will be used by both sides in a rehearsal of the world war.

In August the Games of the XI Olympiad begin in Berlin in an attempted demonstration of the National-Socialist organizational capacity and German racial superiority. It was a major sports event and the only disappointment for the Germans came from the tremendous display of the American athlete Jesse Owens, who won 4 Gold Medals.

Germany and Italy sign a Friendship Treaty in October, in a first step of mutual approach that will end, a few years later, in an Alliance. Upset by the sanctions decided by the League of Nations after the Ethiopian invasion, the Italians become closer to the Nazi regime that was hungry for international recognition and support.

The next month Japan and Germany sign the Anti-Comintern Pact

Finally in December the constitutional crisis in Great-Britain ends with the formal abdication of King Edward VIII. The Duke of York becomes King George VI.


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