Dragon Wagon Visual History Series by David Doyle

By David Doyle

Изображения: цветные и черно-белые фото, цветные рисункиИздание посвящено американским тягачам-транспортерам

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In spite of efforts to expand the aviation industry; only 4,500 had been achieved by spring 1938 and many of these were obsolescent types, ordered under previous schemes. The French aviation industry was in a very much worse state and could only produce a fraction of the aircraft required. In 1936 it was nationalized, but it was to take time for the beneficial effects of this to be felt. By 1939, it was still producing only 600 aircraft a year, while the Germans were building 3,000. As in 1914 the French agreed tha t the British should take the lead when it came to naval operations, with the French navy concentrating most of its effort in the Mediterranean.

The manpower for this was to be found through limited conscription, which came into force in spring 1939. Unfortunately, given that air and naval expansion continued to enjoy priority; the industrial resources required to equip this larger army were not initially availaple. As these new measures were being introduced, there wa-s another development on the continent of Europe, this time in the south-east. Mussolini, jealous of Hitler's successes, decided to copy him and sent troops across the Adriatic to Albania, which had been under Italian influence for the past fifteen years.

While Comintern, Moscow's instrument for the export of Communism, agreed to support the left-wing Republican government with volunteers and money, German and Italian aircraft arrived in Spanish Morocco, at Franco's request, and airlifted his troops across the straits to Spain. The British and French, alarmed that the conflict might widen, declared their non-intervention and tried to persuade other nations to do the same. Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, while agreeing in principle to do so, in practice ignored the plea.

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