Wednesday, 16 November 2011

German Control of Europe in History

Conspiracy theorists love to talk about how the Eurozone is just a shadow mechanism for Germany to assert its imperialistic goals to control Europe. I'm not personally a buyer of the theory, but watching Eurozone negotiations unfold, it's clear that most are looking to Germany for leadership.

For some off-beat analysis, a comparison of different periods of European consolidation. Just eyeballing the maps, it looks like the 3rd Reich was able to consolidate a bit more than the 4th. Still, considering Hitler was using tanks and Merkel is only armed with the power of persuasion, it's pretty impressive how much of Europe modern Germany "controls."

Eurozone member states

German Occupation in WW2

For reference, here's what Napoleon accomplished:

Of course, the most impressive empire has to be the Roman, if for no other reason than that no one came close to consolidating Europe to the extent they did for another 1500 years.

Germany and rearmament

When Nazi Germany openly started re-armament in 1935, few should have been surprised as Hitler had made it very clear both in his speeches and in "Mein Kampf" that he would break the "unjust" terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Hitler had made it plain what the basis of his foreign policy would be. He had clearly stated that he would :undo what had been imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles re-unite all Germans into one nation re-arm Germany"Mein Kampf" also clearly stated what he thought of east Europeans and the Jews. Both groups were the "untermenschen" - the sub-humans of Europe who had no place in the Europe Hitler dreamed of. Eastern Europe, in the mind of Hitler, would be where Germans would find the space to live - lebensraum - where they would use the land in a modern and productive manner, thus fulfilling the belief that Hitler held that all good Germans would work off the land and produce the food that the state would need.

Hitler saw Nazi Germany as being at the centre of Europe and as the great power of Europe, the nation needed a strong military. Throughout the 1920’s, Germany had been technically keeping to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles but in reality she had been bending the rules regarding training. Versialles had not stated that Germany could not train submarine crews abroad or that pilots for the banned German Air Force could train on civilian planes. Therefore, on paper Hitler inherited a weak military but this was not in reality the case. However, Hitler knew that publicly Nazi Germany was still seen within Europe as being held to the terms of Versailles and he was determined to openly break these terms and re-assert Germany’s right to control its own military.

In 1933, Hitler ordered his army generals to prepare to treble the size of the army to 300,000 men. He ordered the Air Ministry to plan to build 1,000 war planes. Military buildings such as barracks were built. He withdrew from the Geneva Disarmament Conference when the French refused to accept his plan that the French should disarm to the level of the Germans or that the Germans should re-arm to the level of the French. Either way, the two main powers of Europe would be balanced. Hitler knew that the French would not accept his plan and therefore when he withdrew from the conference, he was seen by some as the politician who had a more realistic approach to foreign policy and the French were seen as the nation that had caused Nazi Germany to withdraw.

For two years, the German military expanded in secret. By March 1935, Hitler felt strong enough to go public on Nazi Germany's military expansion - which broke the terms of the Versailles Treaty. Europe learned that the Nazis had 2,500 war planes in its Luftwaffe and an army of 300,000 men in its Wehrmacht. Hitler felt confident enough to publicly announce that there would be compulsory military conscription in Nazi Germany and that the army would be increased to 550,000 men.

How did Europe react to this flagrant violation of Versailles?

Essentially, the French and British did nothing. Britain was still recovering from the Depression which had devastated her economy. She could not afford a conflict. The French preferred a defensive policy against a potential German threat and she spent time and money building the vast Maginot Line - a series of vast forts on the French and German border. The most Britain, France and Italy did (at this time, Italy did not view German as a potential ally as the above was pre-Abyssinia) was to form the Stresa Front which issued a protest against Hitler's rearmament policy but did nothing else.

It seemed that Britain was even supporting Germany’s breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty had clearly stated what Germany’s navy should be - no submarines and only six warships over 10,000 tons. In June 1935 the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed. This allowed Germany to have one third of the tonnage of the British navy’s surface fleet (probably the largest in the world at this time) and an equal tonnage of submarines. Why did Britain agree that Nazi Germany could break the terms of Versailles?

This event saw the start of what was to be called appeasement. It was believed that Nazi Germany would develop her navy regardless and that an official agreement between Nazi Germany and Britain would do much to foster relations between both countries. There was also a feeling in some quarters in Britain, that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh on Germany and that the time was right to loosen the terms as time had moved on and Europe had to live together. It was felt that this approach would satisfy Hitler and that Europe would benefit from this approach as Nazi Germany would have no reason to be angered or feel cornered by the old terms of Versailles. Such an approach would do much to stabilise Europe and end the anger felt by Germans at the terms of Versailles. Above all else, if Nazi Germany kept the1935 Agreement, Britain would have a very good idea of the size of Germany’s navy as she would know how big her navy was and could work on a third of that figure equalling the German’s navy.

However, if this agreement served any purpose it was to confuse the British public. Only two months earlier, Britain had signed the Stresa Front which had condemned Germany’s military build up. Now, Britain was agreeing that Germany could do exactly what Britain had condemned !! It also showed Hitler that he could push Britain and get away with it. Were there other aspects of Versailles he could challenge ?

Haile Selassie and the League of Nations

"I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.

There is no precedent for a Head of State himself speaking in this assembly. But there is also no precedent for a people being victim of such injustice and being at present threatened by abandonment to its aggressor. Also, there has never before been an example of any Government proceeding to the systematic extermination of a nation by barbarous means, in violation of the most solemn promises made by the nations of the earth that there should not be used against innocent human beings the terrible poison of harmful gases. It is to defend a people struggling for its age-old independence that the head of the Ethiopian Empire has come to Geneva to fulfil this supreme duty, after having himself fought at the head of his armies.

I pray to Almighty God that He may spare nations the terrible sufferings that have just been inflicted on my people, and of which the chiefs who accompany me here have been the horrified witnesses.

It is my duty to inform the Governments assembled in Geneva, responsible as they are for the lives of millions of men, women and children, of the deadly peril which threatens them, by describing to them the fate which has been suffered by Ethiopia. It is not only upon warriors that the Italian Government has made war. It has above all attacked populations far removed from hostilities, in order to terrorize and exterminate them.

At the beginning, towards the end of 1935, Italian aircraft hurled upon my armies bombs of tear-gas. Their effects were but slight. The soldiers learned to scatter, waiting until the wind had rapidly dispersed the poisonous gases. The Italian aircraft then resorted to mustard gas. Barrels of liquid were hurled upon armed groups. But this means also was not effective; the liquid affected only a few soldiers, and barrels upon the ground were themselves a warning to troops and to the population of the danger.

It was at the time when the operations for the encircling of Makalle were taking place that the Italian command, fearing a rout, followed the procedure which it is now my duty to denounce to the world. Special sprayers were installed on board aircraft so that they could vaporize, over vast areas of territory, a fine, death-dealing rain. Groups of nine, fifteen, eighteen aircraft followed one another so that the fog issuing from them formed a continuous sheet. It was thus that, as from the end of January, 1936, soldiers, women, children, cattle, rivers, lakes and pastures were drenched continually with this deadly rain. In order to kill off systematically all living creatures, in order to more surely to poison waters and pastures, the Italian command made its aircraft pass over and over again. That was its chief method of warfare.

Ravage and Terror

The very refinement of barbarism consisted in carrying ravage and terror into the most densely populated parts of the territory, the points farthest removed from the scene of hostilities. The object was to scatter fear and death over a great part of the Ethiopian territory. These fearful tactics succeeded. Men and animals succumbed. The deadly rain that fell from the aircraft made all those whom it touched fly shrieking with pain. All those who drank the poisoned water or ate the infected food also succumbed in dreadful suffering. In tens of thousands, the victims of the Italian mustard gas fell. It is in order to denounce to the civilized world the tortures inflicted upon the Ethiopian people that I resolved to come to Geneva. None other than myself and my brave companions in arms could bring the League of Nations the undeniable proof. The appeals of my delegates addressed to the League of Nations had remained without any answer; my delegates had not been witnesses. That is why I decided to come myself to bear witness against the crime perpetrated against my people and give Europe a warning of the doom that awaits it, if it should bow before the accomplished fact.

Is it necessary to remind the Assembly of the various stages of the Ethiopian drama? For 20 years past, either as Heir Apparent, Regent of the Empire, or as Emperor, I have never ceased to use all my efforts to bring my country the benefits of civilization, and in particular to establish relations of good neighbourliness with adjacent powers. In particular I succeeded in concluding with Italy the Treaty of Friendship of 1928, which absolutely prohibited the resort, under any pretext whatsoever, to force of arms, substituting for force and pressure the conciliation and arbitration on which civilized nations have based international order.

Country More United

In its report of October 5th 193S, the Committee of Thirteen recognized my effort and the results that I had achieved. The Governments thought that the entry of Ethiopia into the League, whilst giving that country a new guarantee for the maintenance of her territorial integrity and independence, would help her to reach a higher level of civilization. It does not seem that in Ethiopia today there is more disorder and insecurity than in 1923. On the contrary, the country is more united and the central power is better obeyed.

I should have procured still greater results for my people if obstacles of every kind had not been put in the way by the Italian Government, the Government which stirred up revolt and armed the rebels. Indeed the Rome Government, as it has today openly proclaimed, has never ceased to prepare for the conquest of Ethiopia. The Treaties of Friendship it signed with me were not sincere; their only object was to hide its real intention from me. The Italian Goverment asserts that for 14 years it has been preparing for its present conquest. It therefore recognizes today that when it supported the admission of Ethiopia to the League of Nations in 1923, when it concluded the Treaty of Friendship in 1928, when it signed the Pact of Paris outlawing war, it was deceiving the whole world. The Ethiopian Government was, in these solemn treaties, given additional guarantees of security which would enable it to achieve further progress along the specific path of reform on which it had set its feet, and to which it was devoting all its strength and all its heart.

Wal-Wal Pretext

The Wal-Wal incident, in December, 1934, came as a thunderbolt to me. The Italian provocation was obvious and I did not hesitate to appeal to the League of Nations. I invoked the provisions of the treaty of 1928, the principles of the Covenant; I urged the procedure of conciliation and arbitration. Unhappily for Ethiopia this was the time when a certain Government considered that the European situation made it imperative at all costs to obtain the friendship of Italy. The price paid was the abandonment of Ethiopian independence to the greed of the Italian Government. This secret agreement, contrary to the obligations of the Covenant, has exerted a great influence over the course of events. Ethiopia and the whole world have suffered and are still suffering today its disastrous consequences.

This first violation of the Covenant was followed by many others. Feeling itself encouraged in its policy against Ethiopia, the Rome Government feverishly made war preparations, thinking that the concerted pressure which was beginning to be exerted on the Ethiopian Government, might perhaps not overcome the resistance of my people to Italian domination. The time had to come, thus all sorts of difficulties were placed in the way with a view to breaking up the procedure; of conciliation and arbitration. All kinds of obstacles were placed in the way of that procedure. Governments tried to prevent the Ethiopian Government from finding arbitrators amongst their nationals: when once the arbitral tribunal a was set up pressure was exercised so that an award favourable to Italy should be given.

All this was in vain: the arbitrators, two of whom were Italian officials, were forced to recognize unanimously that in the Wal-Wal incident, as in the subsequent incidents, no international responsibility was to be attributed to Ethiopia.

Peace Efforts

Following on this award. the Ethiopian Government sincerely thought that an era of friendly relations might be opened with Italy. I loyally offered my hand to the Roman Government. The Assembly was informed by the report of the Committee of Thirteen, dated October 5th, 1935, of the details of the events which occurred after the month of December, 1934, and up to October 3rd, 1935.

It will be sufficient if I quote a few of the conclusions of that report Nos. 24, 25 and 26 "The Italian memorandum (containing the complaints made by Italy) was laid on the Council table on September 4th, 1935, whereas Ethiopia's first appeal to the Council had been made on December 14th, 1934. In the interval between these two dates, the Italian Government opposed the consideration of the question by the Council on the ground that the only appropriate procedure was that provided for in the Italo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1928. Throughout the whole of that period, moreover, the despatch of Italian troops to East Africa was proceeding. These shipments of troops were represented to the Council by the Italian Government as necessary for the defense of its colonies menaced by Ethiopia's preparations. Ethiopia, on the contrary, drew attention to the official pronouncements made in Italy which, in its opinion, left no doubt "as to the hostile intentions of the Italian Government."

From the outset of the dispute, the Ethiopian Government has sought a settlement by peaceful means. It has appealed to the procedures of the Covenant. The Italian Government desiring to keep strictly to the procedures of the Italo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1928, the Ethiopian Government assented. It invariably stated that it would faithfully carry out the arbitral award even if the decision went against it. It agreed that the question of the ownership of Wal-Wal should not be dealt with by the arbitrators, because the Italian Government would not agree to such a course. It asked the Council to despatch neutral observers and offered to lend itself to any enquiries upon which the Council might decide.

Once the Wal-Wal dispute had been settled by arbiration, however, the Italian Govemmcnt submitted its detailed memorandum to the Council in support of its claim to liberty of action. It asserted that a case like that of Ethiopia cannot be settled by the means provided by the Covenant. It stated that, "since this question affects vital interest and is of primary importance to Italian security and civilization" it "would be failing in its most elementary duty, did it not cease once and for all to place any confidence in Ethiopia, reserving full liberty to adopt any measures that may become necessary to ensure the safety of its colonies and to safeguard its own interests."

Covenant Violated

Those are the terms of the report of the Committee of Thirteen, The Council and the Assembly unanimously adopted the conclusion that the Italian Government had violated the Covenant and was in a state of aggression. I did not hesitate to declare that I did not wish for war, that it was imposed upon me, and I should struggle solely for the independence and integrity of my people, and that in that struggle I was the defender of the cause of all small States exposed to the greed of a powerful neighbour.

In October, 1935. the 52 nations who are listening to me today gave me an assurance that the aggressor would not triumph, that the resources of the Covenant would be employed in order to ensure the reign of right and the failure of violence.
I ask the fifty-two nations not to forget today the policy upon which they embarked eight months ago, and on faith of which I directed the resistance of my people against the aggressor whom they had denounced to the world. Despite the inferiority of my weapons, the complete lack of aircraft, artillery, munitions, hospital services, my confidence in the League was absolute. I thought it to be impossible that fifty-two nations, including the most powerful in the world, should be successfully opposed by a single aggressor. Counting on the faith due to treaties, I had made no preparation for war, and that is the case with certain small countries in Europe.

When the danger became more urgent, being aware of my responsibilities towards my people, during the first six months of 1935 I tried to acquire armaments. Many Governments proclaimed an embargo to prevent my doing so, whereas the Italian Government through the Suez Canal, was given all facilities for transporting without cessation and without protest, troops, arms, and munitions.

Forced to Mobilize

On October 3rd, 1935, the Italian troops invaded my territory. A few hours later only I decreed general mobilization. In my desire to maintain peace I had, following the example of a great country in Europe on the eve of the Great War, caused my troops to withdraw thirty kilometres so as to remove any pretext of provocation.

War then took place in the atrocious conditions which I have laid before the Assembly. In that unequal struggle between a Government commanding more than forty-two million inhabitants, having at its disposal financial, industrial and technical means which enabled it to create unlimited quantities of the most death-dealing weapons, and, on the other hand, a small people of twelve million inhabitants, without arms, without resources having on its side only the justice of its own cause and the promise of the League of Nations.

What real assistance was given to Ethiopia by the fifty two nations who had declared the Rome Government guilty of a breach of the Covenant and had undertaken to prevent the triumph of the aggressor? Has each of the States Members, as it was its duty to do in virtue of its signature appended to Article 15 of the Covenant, considered the aggressor as having committed an act of war personally directed against itself? I had placed all my hopes in the execution of these undertakings. My confidence had been confirmed by the repeated declarations made in the Council to the effect that aggression must not be rewarded, and that force would end by being compelled to bow before right.

In December, 1935, the Council made it quite clear that its feelings were in harmony with those of hundreds of millions of people who, in all parts of the world, had protested against the proposal to dismember Ethiopia. It was constantly repeated that there was not merely a conflict between the Italian Government and the League of Nadons, and that is why I personally refused all proposals to my personal advantage made to me by the Italian Government, if only I would betray my people and the Covenant of the League of Nations. I was defending the cause of all small peoples who are threatened with aggression.

What of Promises?

What have become of the promises made to me as long ago as October, 1935? I noted with grief, but without surprise that three Powers considered their undertakings under the Covenant as absolutely of no value. Their connections with Italy impelled them to refuse to take any measures whatsoever in order to stop Italian aggression. On the contrary, it was a profound disappointment to me to learn the attitude of a certain Government which, whilst ever protesting its scrupulous attachment to the Covenant, has tirelessly used all its efforts to prevent its observance. As soon as any measure which was likely to be rapidly effective was proposed, various pretexts were devised in order to postpone even consideration of the measure. Did the secret agreements of January, 1935, provide for this tireless obstruction?

The Ethiopian Government never expected other Governments to shed their soldiers' blood to defend the Covenant when their own immediately personal interests were not at stake. Ethiopian warriors asked only for means to defend themselves. On many occasions I have asked for financial assistance for the purchase of arms That assistance has been constantly refused me. What, then, in practice, is the meaning of Article 16 of the Covenant and of collective security?

The Ethiopian Government's use of the railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa was in practice a hazardous regards transport of arms intended for the Ethiopian forces. At the present moment this is the chief, if not the only means of supply of the Italian armies of occupation. The rules of neutrality should have prohibited transports intended for Italian forces, but there is not even neutrality since Article 16 lays upon every State Member of the League the duty not to remain a neutral but to come to the aid not of the aggressor but of the victim of aggression. Has the Covenant been respected? Is it today being respected?

Finally a statement has just been made in their Parliaments by the Governments of certain Powers, amongst them the most influential members of the League of Nations, that since the aggressor has succeeded in occupying a large part of Ethiopian territory they propose not to continue the application of any economic and financial measures that may have been decided upon against the Italian Government. These are the circumstances in which at the request of the Argentine Government, the Assembly of the League of Nations meets to consider the situation created by Italian aggression. I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is a much wider one. It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression.

League Threatened

It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties. It is the value of promises made to small States that their integrity and their independence shall be respected and ensured. It is the principle of the equality of States on the one hand, or otherwise the obligation laid upon smail Powers to accept the bonds of vassalship. In a word, it is international morality that is at stake. Have the signatures appended to a Treaty value only in so far as the signatory Powers have a personal, direct and immediate interest involved?

No subtlety can change the problem or shift the grounds of the discussion. It is in all sincerity that I submit these considerations to the Assembly. At a time when my people are threatened with extermination, when the support of the League may ward off the final blow, may I be allowed to speak with complete frankness, without reticence, in all directness such as is demanded by the rule of equality as between all States Members of the League?

Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgement in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgement.

Assistance Refused

I have heard it asserted that the inadequate sanctions already applied have not achieved their object. At no time, and under no circumstances could sanctions that were intentionally inadequate, intentionally badly applied, stop an aggressor. This is not a case of the impossibility of stopping an aggressor but of the refusal to stop an aggressor. When Ethiopia requested and requests that she should be given financial assistance, was that a measure which it was impossible to apply whereas financial assistance of the League has been granted, even in times of peace, to two countries and exactly to two countries who have refused to apply sanctions against the aggressor?

Faced by numerous violations by the Italian Government of all international treaties that prohibit resort to arms, and the use of barbarous methods of warfare, it is my painful duty to note that the initiative has today been taken with a view to raising sanctions. Does this initiative not mean in practice the abandonment of Ethiopia to the aggressor? On the very eve of the day when I was about to attempt a supreme effort in the defence of my people before this Assembly does not this initiative deprive Ethiopia of one of her last chances to succeed in obtaining the support and guarantee of States Members? Is that the guidance the League of Nations and each of the States Members are entitled to expect from the great Powers when they assert their right and their duty to guide the action of the League? Placed by the aggressor face to face with the accomplished fact, are States going to set up the terrible precendent of bowing before force?

Your Assembly will doubtless have laid before it proposals for the reform of the Covenant and for rendering more effective the guarantee of collective security. Is it the Covenant that needs reform? What undertakings can have any value if the will to keep them is lacking? It is international morality which is at stake and not the Articles of the Covenant. On behalf of the Ethiopian people, a member of the League of Nations, I request the Assembly to take all measures proper to ensure respect for the Covenant. I renew my protest against the violations of treaties of which the Ethiopian people has been the victim. I declare in the face of the whole world that the Emperor, the Government and the people of Ethiopia will not bow before force; that they maintain their claims that they will use all means in their power to ensure the triumph of right and the respect of the Covenant.

I ask the fifty-two nations, who have given the Ethiopian people a promise to help them in their resistance to the aggressor, what are they willing to do for Ethiopia? And the great Powers who have promised the guarantee of collective security to small States on whom weighs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia, I ask what measures do you intend to take?

Representatives of the World I have come to Geneva to discharge in your midst the most painful of the duties of the head of a State. What reply shall I have to take back to my people?"

Haile Selassie's passionate speech came to nothing. Italy invaded Abysinnia and defied international opinion.

The crisis in Abyssinia from 1935 to 1936 brought international tension nearer to Europe - the crisis in Abysinnia also drove Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy together for the first time. The affair once again highlighted the weakness of the League of Nations.

Like Britain and France, Italy had joined in the so-called "Scramble for Africa" in the C19. However, the prize territories had been conquered by others and Italy was left with unimportant areas such as Eritrea and Somaliland. The Italians had attempted to expand in eastern Africa by joining Abyssinia to her conquests, but in 1896, the Italians were heavily defeated by the Abyssinians at the Battle of Adowa.

This defeat had an enormous impact on Italian pride. The loss of 6000 men against a poorly equipped army from Abyssinia was difficult for the Italian people to comprehend. However, this defeat did not stop politicians in Italy planning for a new attempt to take over Abyssinia.

The desire to show the world how powerful Italy was became the prime motivation of Benito Mussolini. He saw himself as a modern day Julius Caesar who would one day be in charge of a vast Italian empire as had existed in the days of Caesar. In 1928, Italy signed a treaty of friendship with Haile Selassie, the leader of Abyssinia but an invasion of the country was already being planned.

In December 1934, Mussolini accused the Abyssinians of aggression at an oasis called Wal Wal. He ordered Italian troops stationed in Somaliland and Eritrea to attack Abyssinia. Large quantities of ammunition and supplies had been stockpiled there.

In October 1935, the Italian army invaded Abyssinia. The Abyssinians could not hope to stand up to a modern army - they were equipped with pre-World War One rifles and little else. The Italians used armoured vehicles and even mustard gas in their attack. The capital, Addis Ababa, fell in May 1936 and Haile Selassie was removed from the throne and replaced by the king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel. Somaliland, Eritrea and Abyssinia were all united under the name Italian East Africa.

When the Italians had invaded in October 1935, the Abyssinians had appealed to the League of Nations for help. The League did two things:it condemned the attack all League members were ordered to impose economic sanctions on Italy.

It took six weeks for the sanctions to be organised and they did not include vital materials such as oil.

Three League members did not carry out the sanctions. Italy could cover the sanctions imposed on gold and textiles but a ban on oil could have had a major impact on Italy’s war machine. The argument put forward for not banning oil, was that Italy would simply get her oil from America - a non-League country. Britain and France were also concerned about provoking Mussolini in the Mediterranean Sea where Britain had two large naval bases - Gibraltar and Malta. In fact, the Italian Navy was vastly overestimated by both the British and French but it was this fear which also led Britain to keeping open the Suez Canal. If this route had been cut, then Italy would have had extreme difficulties supplying her armed forces in the region during the conflict.

It is also possible that both Britain and France considered the war too far away to be of any importance to them. They were not prepared to risk their naval power in the Mediterranean for the sake of a country barely anybody had heard of in either France or Britain.

Britain and France also had another input into this affair.

In an effort to end the war, the British Foreign Secretary - Samuel Hoare - and the French Prime Minister - Pierre Laval - met in December 1935. They came up with the Hoare-Laval Plan. This gave two large areas of Abyssinia to Italy and a gap in the middle of the country - the "corridor of camels" - to the Abyssinians. The south of the country would be reserved for Italian businesses. In return for this land, the Italians would have to stop the war.

Mussolini accepted the plan but in Britain there was a huge national outcry. It was believed that a British government minister had betrayed the people of Abyssinia. The protests caused Hoare to resign and the plan was dropped. Mussolini continued with the invasion. However, what this plan had indicated was that the two major European League members were prepared to negotiate with a nation that had used aggression to enforce its will on a weaker nation. Coupled with this, the sanctions also failed.

The League’s involvement in this event was a disaster. It showed nations that its sanctions were half-hearted even when they were enforced and that member states were prepared to negotiate with aggressor nations to the extent of effectively giving in to them. Also, actions by the League - even if they were a failure - lead to Italy looking away from the League - an organisation it did belong to.

Mussolini turned to the man he had considered a "silly little monkey" when they had first met. Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Manchuria 1931

Manchuria, on China’s eastern seaboard, was attacked by Japan in 1931. The League effectively did nothing.

What was the background behind this attack and the League’s response ?

Just one week before Japan invaded Manchuria, Viscount Cecil, Britain’s chief representative at the League of Nations, said in a speech to the League :
"I do not think there is the slightest prospect of any war."

Japan, the League’s strongest member in the Far East, proved him wrong. 

Why did Japan invade Manchuria ? 

Japan was becoming increasingly crowded due to its limited size as a nation and its rapidly increasing population. Manchuria offered nearly 200,000 square kilometres which, as part of a Japanese empire, would easily accommodate any over-spilling population. The Japanese people had a very low opinion of the Chinese - a Japanese form of "untermenschen" - and, therefore, would have given no thought to the Manchurian people whatsoever. It was also believed in Japan that Manchuria was rich in minerals, forestry and rich agricultural land. With the problems that Japan was experiencing at home, Manchuria seemed an obvious solution to these problems.

By 1931, Japan had invested vast sums of money into the economy of Manchuria effectively controlled by the South Manchuria Railway Company. To guard all of its investments, Japan kept a large army in southern Manchuria.

The 1929 Depression hit Japan hard. The civilian government found that it had no solutions to the problems presented by the world-wide depression and to the army the civilian government looked weak. Many people admired the more robust response of the army. The unemployed of Japan looked to the strength of the army to assist their plight rather than to what weak politicians were doing. The voices of senior army generals were heard and they argued for a campaign to win new colonies abroad so that the industries there could be exploited for Japan. The most obvious target was a full-scale invasion of Manchuria.

An explosion on a section of the South Manchuria Railway, gave the army the excuse it needed to blame the local population of sabotage and to occupy the nearest Manchurian town of Shenyang. The League at China’s request immediately ordered the Japanese army to withdraw. Japan’s delegates at the League’s headquarters in Geneva, agreed to this demand and blamed the event on army "hot-heads". 

The Japanese government in Tokyo also agreed to this demand. However, the army did not listen and it launched a full-scale invasion of Manchuria and by the end of 1931, it had occupied the whole of the province. The civilian government had clearly lost control of the army, and the League’s position was that it would deal with the government of the aggressor nation. But how could this succeed when the government had no control over the army which was the cause of the problem ?

The League could introduce three sanctions. Verbal warnings clearly did not work. However, the impact of the Depression meant that those nations that traded with Japan did not want to risk losing this trade. If a nation did give up trading with Japan, as Britain pointed out, their place would quickly be taken by another country willing to get trade started with the Far East’s most powerful nation.

Britain was also concerned about her colonies in the Far East, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore. Would Japan attack them if Britain sided with those who wanted to carry out economic sanctions on Japan ?

How did the League deal with this problem of aggression ?

It established a Commission of Enquiry lead by Lord Lytton of Great Britain. This Commission, after a lengthy visit to the Far East including Manchuria, reported in October 1932. Lytton concluded that Japan should leave Manchuria but that Manchuria itself should be run as a semi-independent country instead of returning to Chinese rule. The report was accepted and approved by the League in 1933. In response to the report and the League accepting it, Japan resigned from the League and occupied a region around Manchuria called Jehol, which it claimed gave the Japanese army the ability to defend Manchuria.

What did this affair prove ?The League could not enforce its authority. A major power could get away with using force An issue so far from Europe was not likely to attract the whole-hearted support of the major European powers in the League - Britain and France. The affair had indicated that Britain was more concerned with her territories in the Far East than in the maintenance of law and order. Other powers would almost certainly see this episode as a sign that they too could get away with the use of force The League also lost its most powerful member in the Far East and ultimately Japan was to unite with the two other nations that broke League rules - Germany and Italy.


World War Two was not caused solely by short term events in the 1930's such as Austria and Czechoslovakia. The anger and resentment that built up in Nazi Germany - and which was played on by Hitler during his rise to power and when he became Chancellor in January 1933 - also had long term causes that went back to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Patriotic Germans had never forgotten their nation's treatment in Paris in that year.

The League had some successes in this decade (the Aaland Islands, as an example) but the weaknesses of the League had also been cruelly exposed on a number of occasions when an aggressor nation successfully used force to get what it wanted and the League could do nothing. This process set the mould for the 1930’s and any would-be dictator would have been very well aware that the League did not have the ability to enforce its decisions as it lacked an army. Those nations that were best equipped to provide the League with a military force (Britain and France) were also not prepared to do so for domestic reasons and the aftermath of the Great War in which so many were killed or wounded. From a political point of view, the British and French publics would not have tolerated a military involvement in an area of Europe that no-one had heard of. Politicians were responsive to the attitudes of the voters and neither Britain nor France were prepared to militarily support the League in the 1920’s - despite being the strongest nations in the League.

However, the apparent stability in Europe after 1925 and its apparent prosperity, meant that conflicts rarely occurred from 1925 to 1929.

In fact, Europe could have been confident in assuming peace would last as two treaties were signed that seemed to indicate that a new era of peace and toleration had been ushered in.

The Locarno Treaties were signed in December 1925. The major politicians of Europe met in neutral Switzerland. The following was agreed to :

France, Germany and Belgium agreed to accept their borders as were stated in the Treaty of Versailles. France and Belgium would never repeat an invasion of the Ruhr and Germany would never attack Belgium or France again. Britain and Italy agreed to police this part of the treaties. Germany also accepted that the Rhineland must remain demilitarised. In other treaties, France promised to protect Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia if Germany attacked any one of them. Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia all agreed that they would never fight if they had an argument between themselves - they would allow the League to sort out the problem.

However, nationalists in Germany were furious with their government for signing these treaties. By signing, the German government effectively agreed that it accepted the terms of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. This to the nationalists bordered on treason and was totally unacceptable. Their claims of treason went unheard as Weimar Germany was experiencing an economic growth and the hard times of 1919 to 1924 were forgotten. Moderate politicians were the order of the day in Germany and the extreme nationalists such as the Nazi Party faded into the background. The success of these moderate politicians was emphasised when France backed Germany’s right to join the League of Nations which Germany duly did in 1926.

The other major treaty which seemed to herald in an era of world peace was the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.

This pact was signed by 65 countries. All 65 nations agreed never to use war again as a way of solving disputes.

Therefore, Europe was effectively lulled into a false sense of security by 1929 as the politicians of Europe had made it plain that war was no longer an option in solving disputes and that previous enemies were now friends. This new Europe relied on nations being at peace and harmony with one another. The stability of Germany was shattered by the Wall Street Crash of October 1929 and the nationalists who had spent 1925 to 1929 in relative obscurity, rose to the political surface once again. They had no intention of accepting either Versailles or the Locarno treaties and the League’s weaknesses in this decade had also become apparent. The League could only function successfully, if the politicians of Europe allowed it to do so. Hitler and the Nazis were never going to give the League a chance once they had gained power.

Some cool facts about human body:

  • Scientists say the higher your I.Q. The more you dream.
  • The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the smallest is the male sperm.
  • You use 200 muscles to take one step.
  • The average woman is 5 inches shorter than the average man.

  • Your big toes have two bones each while the rest have three.
  • A pair of human feet contains 250,000 sweat glands.
  • A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball.
  • The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades.
  • The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • It takes the food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
  • The average human dream lasts 2-3 seconds.
  • Men without hair on their chests are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.
  • At the moment of conception, you spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  • There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
  • Your body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to bring half a gallon of water to a boil.
  • The enamel in your teeth is the hardest substance in your body.
  • Your teeth start growing 6 months before you are born.
  • When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate, and they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.
  • Your thumb is the same length of your nose.

Most Popular Guard Dogs of the World

Guard Dogs belong to the special breed category because they possess special talent or skill that make them naturally effective as protectors of life and property. Btw have you ever wondered that what is the difference between a watch dog and a guard dog?
Both guard dogs and watch dogs bark to alert their owners of an intruder’s presence and scare away the intruder. The watch dog’s function ends here; a guard dog is capable of attacking or restraining the intruder.
Here are some of the most popular guard dogs from around the world. I may have missed out some so share your guard dog’s suggestions in comments section.
German shepherd

German Shepherds are well known for their police work. Because of their keen sense of smell and their ability to work under extreme conditions, they are widely used in search and rescue operations, including explosives searching and narcotics detection, cadaver searching, among others.
Doberman pinscher

Although Doberman Pinschers are ideal for companionship because of their being lively and energetic, the earlier breeds were commonly used as guard dogs, because of their intelligence and alertness. Doberman Pinschers are generally gentle, intelligent and loving dogs.

Rottweilers are powerful breed of dogs with well developed guarding and herding instincts. They are ancient breed that were used by their masters in herding cattle and were very effective in driving away intruders.
American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier was used by farmers and ranchers for protection from intruders and as family companions. They are famous for demonstrating obedience; versatility and agility .They are primarily used in competitions for their noted qualities that complement sports related competitions.

Sharplaninec, also known as Yugoslav Shepherd Dog is a large, muscular, strongly-built dog. The breed has a highly protective nature. In the absence of a flock of sheep, the sharplaninac will often treat its humans as sheep – herding them away from danger or undesirable areas.
Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier gives the impression of strength and courage. This breed is highly intelligent dog and very loyal to its master. They bond deeply to family members.
American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is well built, stocky and looks very strong and stable. The American Bulldog is best with experienced owner as they are quite powerful dogs. 

The Bullmastiff is a courageous, loyal, calm and loving dog. It has also a strong protective instinct and will defend its owners against treat from intruders. They normally attack and knocks the intruder over with its massive built and pins them to the ground. 
Kunming Wolf Dog

Kunming Wolf Dog originated in China. It is similar in appearance to the German Shepherd dog but stands taller in the back and has a shorter coat. Kunmings are seldom used as pet dogs but is widely used by Chinese military and police.
Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff dog is one of the largest breed of guard dogs. It is a sturdy and massively built and weighs over 100lbs. As a flock guardian dog in Tibet, it is tenacious in its ability to confront predators the size of wolves and leopards.