Rearming for Defense Only
The Interwar Years involved a series of agreements that would ultimately place limitations on the United States (and others, but we’re not discussing them right now) with regard to what was and was not acceptable for the armed forces.
In 1922, the Washington Treaties reinforced the idea that armed forces should be for defense purposes only, not for offense at all.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1929 was basically a policy that nations would not use war to settle disputes. It would guide army planning and eventually prove crippling to the Army Air Corps. @usairforce
In May of 1938, the Deputy Chief of Staff sent a program back to planners, which they had proposed for acquiring long-range bombers. He reiterated the limitations on the Air Corps:
“Our national policy contemplates preparation for defense, not aggression... there would appear to be no need for a plane larger than the B-17.”
The US Army Air Corps, which eventually became the separate @usairforce, had two pretty serious problems at this time. One was the American insistence on maintaining a defense-only mindset.
The other was the persistent idea that the @USNavy should be responsible for operations on the ocean and in the air above it.
In June of 1938, the Air Corps Chief was informed that “the unobligated funds set up for two B-15s will not be used for that purpose, nor for a YB-20, but will be applied to a portion of the 91 bombers, procurement of which was directed.”

(These are all B-15s)
The Air Corps had asked for a certain amount of money and, in that amount, expressed the desire for these long-range bombers. The Assistant Secretary of War bluntly told the Air Corps that they can have the money, but they can’t spend it on what they want.
Another warning against Air Corps experimentation with long-range bombing fleets was sent to the Chief of the Air Corps by the Secretary of War: “... estimates for bombers for FY1940 must be restricted to light, medium, and attack types.”
The Air Corps was not giving up.
The following year, in 1939, the Air Corps reported that its striking forces would “be required to extend the destructive effects of air operations over both land and sea, to great distances beyond their operating bases.”

(Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the USAAC from 1938-1941)
In other words, for the Air Corps to meet the demands of its responsibilities and mission, it would need long-range bombing capabilities.
We'll continue this story on Saturday 🙂

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More from @usacac

30 Mar
When we talk about Industrial Mobilization for WWII, we mean the ability to produce, and the actual production of, weapons, ammunition, equipment, and other wartime needs. Globally, much of this occurred from 1938 to 1945. The US was a little late to the game.
The US government authorized a series of public works planning efforts in 1933 in an effort to create jobs and help the country survive the Depression. An unexpected benefit of this effort was the development of enterprises that the Army could later utilize for production.
Read 21 tweets
27 Mar
“Mobilization” is not just about increasing the size of the Army. In the context of this series, it is the process of reallocating “a nation’s resources for the assembly, preparation, and equipping of forces for war.”
“Mobilization” can mean slightly different things nowadays, but we can come back to that later.
Read 30 tweets
23 Mar
As mentioned earlier in the series, military history is often mistakenly considered to only be about wars. And when we talk of @USArmy history, many assume we mean in the context of war. When the Army is engaged in battles. But the Army exists between wars.
During peacetime, the Army trains and maintains, advances and evolves, all to ensure a sufficient state of readiness should an emergency need arise. @ShaneMorgan_WF6 @USARMYMCTP @NTC_UPDATE @NGoldminers @DirtLoggy @JRTC_TF1 @TheCOG_Oscar6 @HohenfelsJMRC @usacactraining
Read 18 tweets
20 Mar
THE US ARMY in 1939 (Part 4)

When You're Always Told "No"
The constant denials of funding requests during the Interwar Years left the @USArmy at levels far below those authorized by the National Defense Act of 1920.
The Army was prevented from research and development efforts that could create new weapons and equipment. It was also prevented from acquiring materiel that would be urgently needed in the event of war and mobilization.
Read 12 tweets
16 Mar
THE US ARMY in 1939 (Part 3)
In 1929, President Herbert Hoover had the War Department conduct an investigation to determine which of its needs and methods should “reconsider our whole army program” and this led to a 165-page report. But before the report was completed, the stock market crashed.
Any hope of increasing Army spending was doomed for the foreseeable future.
Read 30 tweets
13 Mar
THE US ARMY in 1939 (Part 2)
When the tensions started to build in Europe in the 1930s, the @USArmy had ample time to rebuild itself. But no money.
Once war broke out in Europe in 1939, the US Army was given more and more money, but now time was scarce.
Read 11 tweets

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