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By Bruce Robertson

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Matters came to a head in 1936 when an alliance of left-wing parties called the Popular Front, defeated a coalition composed of Conservative Catholics and the more extreme right-wing Falange Party. The new government immediately banned the Falange, provoking a new wave of violence. KEY MOMENT GUERNICA Guernica is a town in the Basque country on the north Spanish coast. In spring 1937 it had some 5,000 inhabitants, its numbers being swollen by Republican refugees. On April 26, in support of Nationalist operations designed to secure the city of Bilbao, aircraft of the German Condor Legion, with a few Italian planes, attacked the town.

This second invasion results in the collapse of Polish resistance. t the beginning of 1939 there was still hope that a major war would be a gamble, but found a valuable ally in Joseph Stalin, who in Europe might be avoided. But Hitler’s relentless aggression decided that a cynical deal with the Nazis, though they were his stand. After German troops occupied Prague, Czechoslovakia, in S M RHODESIA SOUTH WEST PORTUGUESE AFRICABECHUANAEAST at last goaded the British and French governments into taking a 46 OMAN TANGANYIKA ANGOLA mandate) EGYPT TIBET AN UG KENYA CAMEROONS (French mandate) UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA Germany’s refusal to withdraw from Poland.

On October 1 German troops marched into Sudetenland, while Chamberlain returned in triumph to Britain, declaring that he had secured peace. The British and French expressed wholesale relief that war had been averted, but Hitler was frustrated that he had been denied the opportunity to deal with the Czechoslovakian problem. While Hitler planned his next moves on the European stage, attention in Germany and outside it turned to a dramatic new phase in the The Polish Corridor, which divided East Prussia from the rest of Germany, was Hitler’s next territorial target.

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Beaufort Special by Bruce Robertson

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