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2-420 Editorial Note on Spring 1941 Crisis

1941
   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: April 1, 1941



Editorial Note on Spring 1941 Crisis

April 1941

German successes in the Balkans and Libya were complemented by a pro-Axis rebellion in Iraq in April 1941. Within a month Vichy France’s collaborative agreements and the Nazi conquest of Crete created a new Atlantic crisis for the United States. With military intelligence officers expecting a German occupation of West Africa, United States political and military leaders debated the extent and direction of the nation’s involvement in the increasingly global conflict.

In this crucible of crisis, Marshall contended with every aspect of a “great Army in the making.” Rapid mobilization had created procurement and construction problems on a massive scale; Marshall explained these problems to a special Senate committee in April. To fund the army and the nation’s increasing support for the Allies, the chief of staff appealed to both houses of Congress in April and June for appropriations. After he returned on April 12 from a four-day inspection of training sites and a visit with General Pershing in Texas, Marshall turned to the vital questions of command and promotion.

Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 473.

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