Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fifth Column

Fifth Column: During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, a general proclaimed that his four columns of troops attacking Madrid would be supported by a fifth column within the city. The fifth column consisted of supporters that might be propagandist, spies, or saboteurs - what today we'd call terrorists. During World War II, the fear of a fifth column justified the British interment of Germans and the U.S. interment of Japanese.
Throughout that autumn, the two men were in regular contact as they evaluated the British prospects, the imminence of the Nazi assault, and a German fifth column that they believed threatened not only Europe, but the entire Western Hemisphere.
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