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Week 8: The Interwar Years (1919-1941)

by: Amy Brogan

Week 8: The Interwar Years (1919-1941) HIST 2051-001

Marketplace > University of Cincinnati > History > HIST 2051-001 > Week 8 The Interwar Years 1919 1941
Amy Brogan
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

The evaluation by the military of their actions during WWI and thier preparing for WWI.
American Military History
James Streckfuss
Class Notes
Demobilization, Interwar, Red Scare 1.0, Naval Conference, Colored War Plans
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amy Brogan on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2051-001 at University of Cincinnati taught by James Streckfuss in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see American Military History in History at University of Cincinnati.


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Date Created: 03/03/16
Streckfuss Amy Brogan March 1 & 3, 2016 Week 8 The Interwar Years (1919-1941) America formed two armies to fight in Europe, and now that he war was over, a third army was put together to inhabit/occupy Germany. It was seen as an honor, but of course everyone wanted to go home as quickly as they could. The public wanted them back, and wanted to downsize the army once they got back. The only logistics challenge they didn’t face getting home was the U-Boats that were no longer shooting at them. One of the ways they kept the soldiers occupied while waiting for a ship home was to start the university of the AEF where they could take science, language, and history courses.  The Army of Occupation o Allied forces drove North and East to peaceably occupy Germany and Austria o Confiscated German ammunitions, the German fleet, required the surrender of the German air force  If found that peace couldn’t go on, then Germany would be without their arms o Gradually drawing down from 8 initial US Divisions, American remained on the ground until JAN 1923  Demobilization o Efforts to return 3.25 million troops to their homes and civilian occupation o Efforts to return US industry to peacetime footing and pursuits o Without disruption to domestic economy  A Difficult economic transition o The American economy had a few very difficult years between 1918 and 1921 during the transition back to a peacetime economy o Wartime production ceased, inflation rose, and unemployment spiked as the troops returned home to find jobs o Nativist sentiments were inflamed because some Americans viewed immigrants as economic competitors o The recession was short-lived, since WWI stimulated development and investment in new technology that contributed to business boom of the 1920’s o Farmers had a difficult time transitioning.  During the war they were doing well because three countries needed their goods (food, caster beans for castor oil)  After the war o 2 million men involved in civilian occupation  New Constitutional Amendments o Prohibition – 28 o Women’s Suffrage – 19 o Racial tension:  End of WWI called for abolition of 4 African American Regular Army regiments  Most African American officers were eliminated from active duty for alleged poor performance  With no allocations for officers to attend service schools, the lack of proficiency caused considerable attrition on the number of African American reserve officers  French passed out papers to their units before Americans came over to not to be too friendly with AA/blacks in the presence of American troops because of the racial tensions. The French had black units for some time before this  Summer 1919: Red Summer  Two dozen cities experienced violent, racially-motivated uprisings o Including: Washington DC, Chicago, and Omaha  Lynchings in the south occurred frequently  North: whites sometimes reacted violently to AA arriving as the Great Migration was underway  Red Scare (v1.0) o A growing climate of xenophobia (anti-radicalism and nativism) accompanied the repressive shift in the government’s attitude toward dissent during WWI and into the 20’s. o Many feared anarchism or Bolshevism would seize the United States o Units were sent into Russia during WWI to fight the Bolsheviks/Red Army on the side of the White Russians, Allied governments sent in forces to fight as well, but this information becomes smashed with WWI  Cold War: Most people believe that CW starts after WWII, but really has roots in 1918 when we had forces in Russia trying to turn back the Bolshevik revolution  Ignoring US Constitution during times of peril  German/Japanese internment camps during WWII  The First amendment rights of Americans were sometimes supplanted as the country succumbed to anti-communist hysteria.  During this period, “alien” residents were targeted and deported o Passed the espionage and expedition acts: restrictions on freedom of speech o Lots of anti-German hysteria  Large community of German immigrants in Over-the-Rhine, Ohio. Mostly seen in churches with German script  Banning of teaching of German in public schools  Changing of street names and Aglo-sized them  William Howard Taft = Hummbart Street  Taft Avenue = can see the old German street sign here  War Department o Congress says no to a larger standing army recommended by the department o Military made a sound argument that we needed a standing army instead of rushing a military up to speed after declaring war  “We need a standing Regular Army of about 500,000 and a systematized training system that will permit us a quick expansion of the force if needed.”  But public more interested in going back to way things were  Congress denied funding  National Defense Act 1920 o Regular Army: 9 infantry, 1 Calvary division (4 infantry, 1 Calvary active)  Max strength 17,726 officers (new promotion system), 280,000 enlisted o National guard: ready reserve, 18 infantry divisions (half-strength) o Reserve: 106,000 ROTC graduates, 27 infantry divisions (paper) o Represented a major redesign of the army o Did away with expansive army of old o Three organizations  Congress gave it what was supposed to be enough funding  Reserve triple the size of pre-war, but still less than the plan  Fluctuated depending on the budget o New Branches  Chemical, Aviation, Finance o War department charged with planning responsibilities and contingency plans o *meant the army was abandoning isolationism, means there would be an argument going on in the public  Postwar Operations & Responsibilities o Garrisons left over from Spanish-American War and from protecting the Canal  Panama Canal opened in 1914  Cuban, Philippine, and Panamanian Garrisons o Siberian Expedition: clean-up army o Mexican Border control: cleanup of left over stuff out of punitive expedition to capture Poncho Villa o Frontier forts: from Indian Wars, maintain presence to keep wars behind us o Mentor and Training reserve components: something new o Domestic employment: euphemism for 20’s to keep unions under control, war between coal miners’ union in West Virginia vs. Army (10,000) and owners  Violent coal miner’s strike  Army used aviators o Depression: army ran civilian conservation corps – golden jewel in New Deal = more successful practice – took young men into national park for conservation duties, served as another reserve force in WWII when group was disbanded and right into the army  Popular Attitudes o Isolationism became such a problem that FDR had to maneuver deftly to make America ready for WWII, even if public was not supportive of actions  We need to concern ourselves with American problems--- what they do over there is none of our business… we must remain neutral o Arms race important to WWI – become interested in arms downgrade  Scrapped 60% of surface fleet – (Prelude to War, next week) o Kellogg-Brian Pack: wars could be simply outlawed – many world powers signed on o Airplanes are cool – public infatuated with Aviation in 1920’s  Barn bombers, military sold their surplus plane, former pilots bought them and gave people rides, records made and broken  1919 – first flight of the Atlantic  Lindbergh flies the Atlantic solo  Military: airplanes were at center of key debate: argument over what WWI had proved about military aviation and what it would mean in the future  General Billy Mitchel: father was US Senator, grew up around DC, learned how to play power politics game, when WWI hit he was already overseas to be a military observer (April 1917). Once we involved in the War, Mitchel became aviation commander of US’s first army. After the war he used his skills to become leading advocate of forming a bombing force  Funding became a problem all over the world for their militaries. If part of one of the air forces, they were junior in rank of army and navy commanders who had been around for centuries. Aviation wasn’t always a popular assignment b/c considered something that would slow down promotion in the ranks. Getting funding for Royal navy vs. Airforce was easier because of former connections  Had to be an argument for why air forces were of any value and what they could accomplice. They used the argument that the air force was cheaper (then, not now). Could buy a whole air force with money of one battleship. Better for strategic bombing then whole army moving out. Cheaper in lives as well, will bomb industrial centers first to stop the enemy before the war can go too far. And factories are in cities, so bombing civilians, a price to pay, and civilian population will demand stop to war  Mitchel is stuck making it on an academic level. Trenchard (UK) has opportunities b/c of colonies in Africa with Mad Mullah rebel leader. Army had been in Somalia for decades and Mullah was popular with locals, so Trenchard convinced Parliament to use an ARAF, and they captured the Mullah in a few weeks. Aviation a cost effective way of policing the empire  Mitchel wanted to prove that bombers could sink a ship. Navy not taking him seriously. Old German U-boats laying around, so Navy agrees and feels like they could stand there and watch him fail. They sunk a large battleship in about 20 minutes. o Hammer effect – concussion of bomb exploding right next to the ship in the water o Navy is embarrassed  Day after Mitchel sinks ship, the Martin Bomber used is sent to West Virginia to use against the Coal miners in West Virginia. Newspapers invite to come see it, message that war comes to an end or the bombing will start. (No bombs ever dropped, but war did end quickly.)  Debate keeps going on. Mitchel sent out of Washington to Fort Sam Houston in Texas when Naval Airship Shenandoah goes on cross-country flight. Interested in Zeppelins like from WWI. Young naval officer in command of Shenandoah and it went down in a thunderstorm in sept. 1925 and Mitchel came roaring out of the box. Mitchel holds a press conference and claim gross incompetence against the leaders. He was put on trial, trial of the century, uses it to outline air strategies discusses possible air attack of New York. Outlined what air attack would look like (looked like what happened in 9/11 aftermath) and predicted that when the next war came it would not only be against Japan but would be started by the launching of an air attack on Pearl Harbor on a Sunday morning. Predicted 16 years before it happened. o Navy looking at taking a money cut as well. Thursday  The Washington Naval Conference o World’s first disbarment conference o Navies were the primary means of projected military power at the time  The more ships a country had, the more powerful they were o Number, size, and armaments of ships were the arms race of the day o United states hosed Japan, China, France, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal o Agreed on limiting Navies in order to prevent another war  Conversion Carrier o Navies of the time were primarily built round battle ships, like the Dreadknots. Going into the war the idea was that the navy was going to be built around big gun warships o WWI = end of the big battleship  Now it’s aircraft carriers and submarines o USS Langley - not a true carrier yet, but an early version of one  Cruise ship with a wooden flight deck built on the top  Advantage of type of ship: superstructure of crow’s nest and command was in the middle of the ship, with the new build this was eliminated  Neutrality Acts o Responses to Japanese invasion/German Neutrality Act of 1935 o Neutrality acts of 1936 o Neutrality acts of 1937  War planning and innovation in a time of relative peace o “Gone with the Wind”, Baseball, roaring 20’s  Geoffrey Till on Interwar Naval Decision-Makers o “They are not dealing with blacks and whites, but with shades of gray.”  Murray and Millett Military Innovation, 193  The Colored War Plans o The beginning of true contingency war planning o A bank of plans, continuously updated, each of which centered on US conflict with a different country  Each country coded by own color o Many contingency plans were highly unlikely at the time o The Plans  Orange – War with Japan – where we focused most of our thought Black Germany Gray Central America and Caribbean Brown Uprising in the Tan Intervention in Cuba Philippines Red Great Britain (With Red-Orange Two front war Vs. sub-variants: crimson, Japan and British scarlet, ruby, Garnet, empire; Came to and emerald for conclusion that we dominions) could not do both and needed to focus on the Atlantic Yellow China Gold France / French Caribbean Green Mexico o The colored war planning continued until, in 1938, it became clear that the excrement was impacting the oscillating air current distribution device in Europe, and the US could potentially be facing a war on two fronts. This lead to combinations and alterations of the colored plans to create the Rainbow Plans  R1: US alone; regional defense  R2: US, Br, Fr; R1 plus Pacific  R3: US alone; R1 plus Pacific  R4: US alone; R1 plus hemispheric  R5: US, Br, Fr; R1 plus Europe First  Strategic Options o 1919-1933 – orange plan is dominant o 1931-1940 – R2 o 1940: R4 recommended by Joint Board o 1940-41: FDR tacitly enacted R5 through commitments to Britain  Innovations o US Army Armor, 1930’s  Unclear mission  “Shoehorned” the tank; incremental progress  Invented to the need of an ability to cross no-man’s land between trenches, and to get through barbed wire and past enemy fire  Fitting the innovation into the existing military statement  Innovated when mission emerged (1940) o Used to be that inventors made the products and then talked to the army trying to sell their wares  Patterns of acceptance o Innovation  shoehorning  brigading, new combined arms, ubiquity o Shoehorning: force-fitting the innovation into existing practices o Brigading: setting the innovation off in its own organization  Homogeneous organizations: groups working with one type of innovation so only one type of any replacement parts  Penalty of being first o Research and development is always an expensive endeavor, became cheaper with time o Military today still operates some B-52’s, which have been around for half a century (though it’s been modified, basic airframe and need is the same) o Initial investments constraints options, initial investments exhausts resources  One Career Span, 1914-1945 o Avro 504  ME 266 o Horse Calvary  tanks o Early bombing efforts (small damage, 20 lbs. to 200 lbs.)  atomic bomb  Triangular Division: military design o Old square division+ 25,000 troops, strong, but not easily movable o Triangle: 15,000 in 3 subordinate divisions, two on the move and one in reserve  Made permanent in 1940  The rise of Military Air Power o Given high priority for R&D and budgeting o Recognized as separate branch 1920 o Renamed Air Corps, recognized as combat arm, given places in Secretary of War cabinet and General staffs 1962 o 1947 – air force becomes its own division, not in time for WWII or during  Air War over Britain o Spanish Civil War: Germany was not allowed to make certain things, but when Hitler came to power, the started to build them anyway. The developed air forces needed testing eventually o “Strategic Bombing System” – bomb force o Airpower was cheap enough in the 20’s that a small power could combat the larger powers with an air force  Italy came into WWII late on the side of Germany, at the end of the war the press of the day mentioned the big four (wit Italy) or three (w/out Italy) o 1938 projections: 3,500 tons of bombs on London/24 hours; 600,000 KIA/6 months; 1,200,000 WIA/6 months o 1940-41 “Blitz”: 18,000 tons of bombs on London/7 months; 90,000 KIA/7 months  Numbers aren’t the real story in the Battle of Britain  2 theories”: 1. Destroy industrial infrastructure, 2. Destroy civilian moral who will rise up and demand their country w=to surrender  The latter theory never develops; instead of capitulating, they grow even stronger and fight harder o Lesson we learn in Vietnam: we never destroy the civilian moral o Vs. Atomic bomb: at the end of a long war  Royal family advised to get out of the capital (and stay in the country) but they stay, the Queen “how can I ever look the population of east London in the eye again if I don’t stay?”  Stanley Baldwin – Member of Parliament 1932 o “I think it is well for the man on the street to realize that no power on earth can protect him from being bombed. Whatever people may tell him, the bomber will always get through.” o Make the statement when strategic bombing is still a theory o Radar: developed out of sound ranging in WWI  First conceptualized by a couple of artillery officers in hermetically sealed building. Officer is in the privy when an artillery battle happens miles away and is shaken off the seat by the vibrations – so the story says o Fighter command using Radar to scramble half the RAF  Not all because if a second attack comes soon after the first, there won’t be time for everyone to refuel  US Air War Plans? 15 November 1941 o “If war with the Japanese does come, we’ll fight mercilessly. Flying fortresses will be dispatched immediately to set the paper cities of Japan on fire. There won’t be any hesitation about bombing civilians – it will be all out.” o Time magazine reporter to his editor after off-the-record briefing by the Army chief of staff o Target: Japanese homeland and concurred territory  Seekt’s Charter to his Committees o We’re going to learn from experience (previous war and battles)  ROTC: right after fighting = Right After Action Review (RAAR) o Produce “short, concise studies on the newly gained experiences of the war and consider the following points;  What new situations arose in the war that had not been considered before the war?  How effective were our pre-war view in dealing with the above situations?  What new guidelines have been developed from the use of new weaponry in the war?  Which new problems put forward by the war have not yet found a solution?”  Shift in Sentiment o Common man ideologically supports the Allied Democracies but still wants to stay out of the hostilities o Support the strengthening the military to provide hemispheric defense – “Fortress America” o Protective Mobilization and the “Lend-Lease Act”  Lend-lease act: send ammunition and resources to Britain and France so they can win the fight with our help  Protective Mobilization Initiatives  France Attacked June 22, 1940 o President could send help without okay from Congress because it was not a declaration of war  Armored forces, anti-tank forces, 84-Group AAF (7,799 combat aircraft), Parachute/Airborne Force, Arm Merchant ships o Garrison Greenland and Azores: place we could put troops to stay off attack before war reaches could reach America  Protective Mobilization 1939-41 o Sept. 1939: RA 190,000*includes AAF  Aug. 1940 – 300,000 Guard and Reserve  Sept 1940 – 900,000 selective service o Dec. 1941: 1,600,000  4 field armies  9 corps, 1 armored corps  27 infantry, 2 Calvary, 4 armored divisions  December 29, 1940 – Year before we join the war o “We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we should show we were at war.” – FDR o We’re going to be building things and sending them to our allies  Louisiana Maneuvers, 1941 o Not joined the war yet, but everyone knows it’s coming o Conducting army maneuvers in Louisiana to practice


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