The Road to War - April 1939

In this month John Steinbeck’s bestseller novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is first published.

1 – The Spanish Civil War comes officially to the end as the last fighting forces of the Republic surrender. The persecutions will be common in the following years as revenge and ideology come together in order to crush any attempts to bring down Franco. The democratic change will only take place in 1978, after the “Caudillo’s” death.

3 – Adolf Hitler gives orders to his High Command to secretly plan for the operation “Fall Weiss”, codename for the invasion of Poland

4 – Slovakia loses the War with Hungary and cedes all territorial demands.

7 – Italy invades Albania and King Zog goes into exile. Albania will surrender in just five days.

11 – Hungary leaves the moribund League of Nations

13 – Britain, in the aftermath of the end of Czechoslovakia, offers total guarantees to Romania and Poland

14 – In a turn of events, the French Foreign Minister, Georges Bonnet, proposes to the Soviet Ambassador to Paris a unified front with Great Britain, Poland and Romania to deter Germany.

18 – Soviet Union, although hurt by the way France and Britain led the Czechoslovakia issue (leaving the Russians out and playing Hitler’s game) proposes a “peace front” against German aggression

28 – Hitler renounces both the Anglo-German Naval Limitation Treaty and the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact.


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