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388 - Week 7 - Midterm 1 - Revision Notes .docx

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McGill University
HIST 388
Peter Hoffmann

Week 7 – Midterm 1 History 388 – the Second World War Revision Notes Week 1, Lecture 1 – Introduction Historian and philosopher Nolte = years from 1914-1945, possibly beyond, constitute a least a European civil war  referred to the 2WW’s and the Cold War as closely related mostly on grounds of ideological instability and division - division between East and West was the central element of the division = until 1920 European forces, and 1935 Japanese forces were in Russia fighting against the Bolsheviks Week 1, Lecture 2 – Peace Treaties, 1919 Roots of WWII lie in the aftermath of WWI  the peace settlement of Versailles contained the seeds of belligerence as no one was content with the agreements and all wanted them to be revised: - Polish immediately started a war against Russia claiming territory they said was there’s by right - French were unhappy and continued to be so, for long after 1919 = occupied the industrial heartland of Germany during peacetime  ‘revisionist power’ - Germans were probably the most unhappy as they had lost the most territory and power = the situation was unfavourable for a balanced and durable settlement in 1918  four great empires had been destroyed = notably Germany: lost entire high seas fleet, all colonies, territory in Europe, army reduced to 100,000  France and Italy were rearming as both were building air forces also = Britain, whom had been pushing for disarmament had to reverse their policy (even then, it only really started the process when Germany had provoked Britain and begun rearmament)  Nations were turned against war = esp. Britain after the horror and sacrifices of the Somme Why was the peace so unsatisfactory? - the pentarchy no longer existed – the ‘rule of five’of Russia, France, Britain, Germany andAustro-Hungary and the ‘concert of Europe’was essentially broken down as it became a Europe dominated by Britain and France with interference by the USAalso o some states were completely dismantled e.g. 6 or 7 million German speakers were excluded fromAustria, with 3 million from Bohemia that became part of Czechoslovakia or the Sudetenland = 1938 Sudeten Crisis - with this new situation, it is not feasible to expect the same systems of peace-making that had dominated the Congress of Vienna in 1815 o balance of power had originally been the main focus of the Congress = now, it was a matter of nationality, ideology, religion or emotions being the guiding principle - there was also strong revisionist elements coming from the lesser signatories as there was a strong desire from defeated and disappointed nations to shift the clauses of the Treaty o Italy = had wanted substantial and sizeable territories on the other side of theAdriatic in Yugoslavia and the Greek Islands o Germany = allied and associated powers said that German reduction if armaments was the first step towards a general, continental reduction of armaments  the steps taken during this process weakened Germany into defencelessness (lost 13% of territory, 35% of iron ore deposits and 10% of population, 5000 locomotives, 5000 armoured trucks, no submarines, no navy, Rhineland over-stuffed with French troops that the Germans had to feed and pay, reparation demands, 26% export tax on German goods) League of Nations = banned war for purposes other than defence as well as banning alliances that were not collective agreements of the nations (bilateral alliances were by the LoN statute, August 1928 – the Briand-Kellogg Pact banned war all together) Post-War = - French security demanded a large standing army, as did Poland = against revisionist forces from Germany and Russia o Poland also practised a little bit of revisionism herself, when she took back Silesia o France = had lost the Soviet Union as an ally from 1917 and so tried to replace this with the 1921 alliance with Poland, 1924 agreement with Czechoslovakia, 1933 enlargement of alliances by creating the Pacte de la Petite Entente with Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia - All nations ‘prepared for peace by expecting war’ experienced nations rearmed themselves = suggests they knew the sense of injustice that Versailles had unleashed o France = sought security through superiority  Treaty of Westphalia could be used somewhat as a pretext  11 January 1923 = flimsy excuse that Germany was behind on reparations payments led to the French annexation of the Rhineland with invasion of the Ruhr region  industrial heartland of Germany and important for any German war effort  Course of Occupation = 121 Germans were killed, prison sentences totalling 1,500 years were imposed, 131,000 Germans were expelled entirely from the region  31 July 1925 = France evacuated the Ruhr afterAmerican pressures and the Dawes Plan of 1924 • Dawes Plan = • Served to threaten and provoke Germany; boosted the fortunes of extremist political parties - France were the main aggrieved party after WWI = they had been occupied from 1870-1 also = wanted insurance against a repetition and demanded promise of assistance  British, French andAmerican Treaty of Guarantee on 28 June 1919  the 3 powers would not allow Germany to invade France again - Maginot Line began to be built in 1927 = very strong south of the Belgian border, intended to prevent German invasion British state interests = new arm of the military with the RAF = some experience of aerial bombardment in WWI and British strategists feared a knockout blow against the British Isles  overriding attitude was one of defence, but the operational attack possibility was considered with a bomber fleet that had the capability of bombing the enemy into submission - no international convention governing air warfare whilst British had already demonstrated the belief of citizens as legitimate targets when they blockaded the German coastline in WWI - when Hitler became Chancellor a Defence Requirements Sub-Committee within the Government made it clear in February 1934 that within the next ‘few years’ 1933 = Hitler began to rearm; talk of a preventative war against Germany as Poland tried to persuade France to join her July 1934 – Discussion in the House of Commons re. rearmament  desire to follow the Geneva Convention and enc. disarmament instead of more weapons = others inc. PM Stanley Baldwin pointed out the armaments of others esp. the air forces of Germany, Italy and France = he spoke of the Rhine as a frontier thus suggesting to all whom heard of these debates that an attack on Germany was possibly in the future Russia = Russia was severely weakened following the revolution; 14 million dead following the ‘Harvest of Sorrow’, 20,000 Army Officers purged from 1937-8 - pre-revolution c. the Congress of Berlin = no great power must be allowed to stay out of a war between Russia and another great power since the third power could dictate terms of peace to the two weakened parties following the conflict; post revolution = need for world revolution to spread bolshevism; Russia was better served if the other powers were at war amongst themselves so encouragement of conflict was ideal ▯Russia did not wholly want to fight though Germany = government attempted to answer the reparations policy with the notion of the fulfilment policy  logically, it would lead to the collapse of the German economy that would then force new discussion of the Versailles treaty clauses = worked: meant that the German economy was ruined by 1923 with hyperinflation BUT France would not agree to renegotiation - Germany was also politically isolated after the collapse of theA-H Empire; disarmed under the threat of occupation though European reciprocity had also been promised = bleak situation (though advantaged strategically since it wasn’t encircled) - RapalloAgreement – 1923 = renounced all territorial claims left from WW1 and Treaty of B-L, normalised diplomatic relations and led to military and economic collaboration between the two countries e.g. German air force and tank crews were trained in Russia whilst Germany built chemical warfare production sites in Russia Stressemann began a policy of ‘step by step’creation of the ‘German preconditions for greatness’ agenda inc. end of reparations, end of military clauses of Versailles, territorial revision in Eastern Upper Silesia, Danzig and the Corridor with a LONG-TERM agenda of union with Austria, central European position by economic means and colonies to be regained in part 3 phases of the Weimar Republic’s policy: - 1919-1924 = Defensive Phase = defensive against French attempts to force a full victory from semi-victory; French Rhine policy had been intended to weaken Germany permanently ▯ under pressure from Britain and America, France was forced to retreat; passive resistance by Germans in the Ruhr was bypassed to prevent another Versailles; America interfered with the 1924 London Conference and the Dawes Plan which reduced reparations payments to a pre-1929 manageable amount (reparations became purely financial – not to be used as a political threat) - 1924-9 = Consolidation Phase = guaranteed a system under which Germany could recover and protected Germany from France: 1925 = Locarno Pact ensured the neutral guarantee of the French and German common frontier; September 1926 = Germany was allowed to enter the League of Nations w. the reservation that she did not participate in military sanctions (permitted strengthening of German-Russian relationship since Russia was the likely target of such sanctions) = France saw this rebalancing hence insistence on the TofV still and the Maginot Line - 1930 = Political Offensive = Chancellor Bruning rejected Briand’s proposal to freeze the territorial status of Europe as he said that Germany first needed sufficient living space (meant eastern revisions and rearmament); French vetoed a German-Austrian customs union in 1930; Geneva 1932 = principle of German rearmament was agreed upon but NOT the method BUT – then Hitler came to power, Japanese attacked Manchuria and the situation changed - 1932 – Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact = undermined the agreements between Russia and Germany - Geneva 1932 = 5 Power Declaration = chances of revision by a German republic were best BUT Hitler came into power o National Socialist revision was a different kind of revision based on vast ambitions, no rationalism but series of ‘limitless’aims = part of a massive programme of conquest announced in 1933 with radical racial doctrine also Week 2, Lecture 1 – Inter-war Era? Overall = hard to identify the beginning of WWII = did it begin with Japanese expansion into Manchuria, invasion of China in 1937 (?), the Italian attack on Ethiopia in 1935 or the Spanish Civil War in which Republicans and Falangists or fascists fought against each other (Soviet, Italian and German participation also) - Situation in the Pacific – attempt to regulate it by the WashingtonAgreement of 13 December, 1921 = USA, Japan, France and Britain agreed to respect their rights in relation to territorial possessions and dominions within the region of the Pacific Ocean BUT - 1930-31 – Japan attacked Manchuria, thus adding them to a potential combination for a future WW = Japanese post- WWI had tried to develop their trade to feed their growing population (55 million to 71 million, 1920-1940) but it did not fully work = a faction of the ruling classes decided that expansion was the answer = into China and Indonesia for oil and resources American isolationism = the Senate refused to ratify the Versailles Treaty since they refused to join the League of Nations in 1919 and subscribe to it’s principles (this was fact until 1934 and then grew patchy esp. from 1938 whenAmericans had begun supply armaments in France, Britain and wider Europe (1930s = French aircrews began to train in America and in 1937 the USAbegan to sell airplanes to France) Week 2, Lecture 2 – Hitler and the Generals 30 January 1933 = Hitler appointed as Chancellor = was not attained through any sort of majority  received just under 34% of the vote in a national parliamentary election of November 1932and 48% in the semi-free elections of March 1933 - actually appointed by Chancellor of the Republic, Paul von Hindenburg whom was persuaded to appoint him with the promise that Hitler would head a majority, coalition government with no new elections pre-March 1933 elections = 4 February Emergency Decree = took control of the streets and also of the election campaign; 28 February = one day after the burning of the Reichstag, the constitution was suspended Hitler had led a very militaristic view of Germany = even in 1930 he had asserted that no nation had the better right to fight for the rule of the world than the German nation; asserted the belief that Germany was not defeated in WWI because of military failure but because the forces of the world had combined against it implication that this would not happen again (even in Nov 1930) Dominant post-appointment concern = 3 February 1933 = luncheon address to senior commanders of the CiC of theArmy in Berlin: 1) no toleration of pacifism or anti-war attitudes, 2) equality recognised at the Geneva Conference re. armaments needed to be acted upon (though France and Britain withdrew their support for Germany’s right to rearm in Summer 1933 causing H to withdraw from the LoN), 3) focus on the economy was necessary esp. with aid for the farmer  new settlements and living space were needed, 4) armaments, as the most important precondition for the realisation of expanded living space and conquest = showed Hitler’s desire to manipulate and control power with small hints at his overall genocidal intentions = also demonstrated his faith in theArmy = this was his chosen instrument of power and control - centralisation of the army to H’s view = demonstrated by his distancing from the SA(?!) ▯ would not mix the SAof 3-4 million members, with theArmy whom were professional, whilst ‘Night of the Long Knives’also reiterated his intent February 1933 = the ‘First Four Year Plan’ support for the farming population following deflation, overproduction and cheap imports April 1934 = directed the leadership to set up a 300,000 strong army in 1 year (necessary since Germany was surrounded by armies with a sum of 2.817 million against them esp. France with a standing army of 300,000 and reservists of 900,000; Poland with a peacetime force of 284,000 and reserves of 1 million; Soviet Union of 562,000) - General Beck, CoGS, managed 100,000 though he feared European reaction if they found it o Beck = key adversary to Hitler’s policy = believed that Czechoslovakia could only be attacked as part of a defensive manoeuvre during war against France; whilst he wrote an article titled ‘Thoughts on Defence’= said a leader should not ask of his army what his army cannot achieve  visited Paris in 1937 and warned France of Hitler’s plans - March 1935 = Universal draft was announced in Germany; Britain and France did nothing - October 1935 = Italy attacked Ethiopia = LoN imposed sanctions that were lifted by July 1936 1935 – mutual assistance pact between Czechoslovakia, France and the Soviet Union (?!) From 1935 onwards  Soviet Union had an alliance with Germany against France March 1936 = First testing of British and French resolve = rearming of the Rhineland  limited reaction and so he remained July 1936 = Spanish Civil War broke out; Hitler supplied Franco August 1936 = the ‘second four year plan’ focus on Germany’s historic world mission re. the destruction of bolshevism and the inevitability of war in this quest - determination to launch short, isolated campaigns unlike WWI which would permit resupply whilst lands conquered would be beneficial to the centre e.g. the gold of Vienna and Prague; Czech Skoda works - suggested two laws: law providing the death penalty for ‘economic sabotage’and a law making all Jewry liable for the crimes of one w. regard to the German economy (second was never publically written or passed) - ALSO German economy and German military must be ready for war in 4 years time o German army felt overstretched and had not wished to participate in Spain either BUT H threatened to use the SS and the SAif he did not get cooperation 5 November 1937 = the Hossbach Conference  gathering of War and Foreign Ministers, CiC’s of the military forces - informed of his plan to achieve lebensraum – Czechoslovakia andAustria first followed by war in the East o there was dissent and he was faced with Cabinet rebellion = H instead fired some of the generals thus uniting more power within his one office or giving them to trusted political allies e.g. Brauchitsch was appointed Hitler wished to conquer the world, beginning with Russia (always an inflexible goal)  explained his racially based agenda in terms of lebensraum (geographical, germanised area for theAryan race) Week 3, Lecture 1 – Pre-war Diplomacy 1931 = Japanese aggression against China with the invasion of Manchuria 1935 = Italians begin war againstAbyssinia using poison gas 1936-9 = Spanish Civil War w. outside intervention - Hitler was encouraged to become increasingly bold as the LoN was WEAK in the face of these events o Britain practiced appeasement, enforced by rearmament and readiness of Britain to go to war  Admission that even if Britain did go to war over a ‘good’cause such as Poland, these aims would not be attained until the end of a long conflict = Britain would not defeat Germany quickly Policy of concessions = led to WWII though Japan and Germany do hold ultimate responsibility - Japan invading Manchuria did not threaten British, French orAmerican trading interests so nothing was done - Stalin was worried re. a two front war against revisionist powers = 1932 – concluded non-aggression treaties with France and Poland - Similarities between Japanese situation and German one = H’s government was also immediately recognised on an international stage and no one hesitated to make agreements with him; willingness to concede some nature of rearmaments arose from his ascendant position when he withdrew from the Geneva armament conference and the LoN o Germany concluded a non-aggression with Poland = put him with Russia and moved leverage of France 1935 – German-British NavalAgreement ? March 1935 – Luftwaffe unveiled; universal draft introduced in Germany April 1935 – LoN condemned Germany October 1935 - Italians attackedAbyssinia; were sanctioned March 1936 – remilitarisation of the Rhineland July 1936 – LoN sanctions against Italy were lifted October 1936 – Germany and Italy signed protocols aligning them against Britain - November 1936 – German-Italian Axis Pact was announced November 1936 -Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany and Japan, against Russia  Italy joined in 1937 July 1937 – Japan attacked China for the purpose of economic domination and resources (1939 – Japan controlled 1 million square metres of territory in Asia) October 1937 – Roosevelt’s ‘Quarantine Speech’condemning the actions of Japan, Italy and Germany November 1937 – British Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, visited Berchtesgaden and said the British government would not block a revision of the VT re. Danzig, Czechoslovakia, rearmament and the colonies so long as it was done in a friendly manner 12 March 1938 – German troops entered Austria, Anschluss declared  Hitler seen as uniting the two nations – created desire for further expansion August-September 1938 - Britain mobilised her fleet and France called up her reservists forcing Hitler to back down over Czechoslovakia = shows that calling Hitler’s bluff did work  Hitler ‘just’took the Sudetenland instead - followed Conference with Chamberlain which he announced would secure ‘peace in our time’; France had abandoned their allies with whom they had signed non-aggression treaties th 15 March 1939 – Hitler ordered the occupation of the rest of Czechya and Prague as Slovakia became a German ally - 20 March 1939 – Chamberlain implied far-reaching results if Germany showed signs ‘of intending to proceed with her march for world domination’ 31 March = Chamberlain announced in the HoC that the British government would lend the Polish government all support if there was an act that compromised Polish independence to the extent that Poland had to resist militarily (Russia did not agree) LateAugust 1939 – intentions regarding Poland were again made clear to Hitler (agreement only stood against Hitler though – not Russia) Throughout this,America was not overtly involved with any action though Roosevelt did secretly supply France with aircraft  made clear that Hitler was intent upon dominating Europe and, if he succeeded, it would imperil the USA’s peace and safety - Spring 1939 – 66% ofAmericans would support a revision of the neutrality laws to allow Britain and France to buy arms inAmerica and use theAtlantic sea lanes to secure these weapons Week 3, Lecture 2 – War Begins; Campaign in the West difficult to choose a starting date for the war  the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol between the Japanese and the Russians n the border between Mongolia and Manchuria?? – May-August 1939  demonstrates two front nature of Soviet Union’s struggle - helps to explain the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August 1939 ▯ Hitler promised Stalin what the British could not = Baltic countries, 1/3 of Poland and other SE European concessions; in return Stalin would ship supplies from the Soviet Union and Germany could have Poland and Lithuania 15 March 1939 – Hitler broke the Munich Agreement and occupied Prague with the rest of Czechya = immediate announcement of the British saying if it happened again there would be consequences 21 March 1939 – Hitler offered Poland recognition of it’s western frontier and corridor, and Polish territorial claims in the Ukraine and Danzig as a free port, in return for an extra-territorial road through the corridor connecting Germany with E Prussia (?!) - Poland refused; Hitler ordered his generals to be ready for combat and cancelled the German-Polish rd nonaggression treaty and the 1935 British-German Naval Pact 23 August 1939 – Hitler-Stalin Pact signed 25 August 1939 – Hitler ordered the attack upon Poland for the 26 ; news of British-Polish Pact was published however ast so H delayed  Mussolini begged off and said Italy was not ready 1 September 1939  Germany attacked Poland 3 September 1939  Britain,Australia, New Zealand, India and France declared war on Germany (surprising to Hitler wth had expected further appeasement) 6 September 1939 SouthAfrica declared war on Germany 10 September 1939  Canada declared war on Germany (was never in doubt, but Mackenzie King wanted Parliament to ratthy the decision) 17 September 1939 – Soviet Union invaded Poland following the terms of the M-R Pact (many Polish prisoners of war were taken as they fled East = 5 March 1940: the Katyn Massacre) th 6 October 1939 – Polish forces capitulated (Germany had been poorly prepared with limited intelligence organisation, no usable maps of Poland and no strategic concepts  CiC told Hitler that France could be attacked before 1940) October 1939 = Hitler offered peace saying that after Poland’s defeat there was no need to continue war – Molotov agreed calthng it ‘warmongering’ 12 October 1939 – Chamberlain and HoC dismissed this view = the only way there could be peace was if Germany renegotiated her stance 12 November 1939 – Hitler first ordered invasion of France: could not be done due to the weather and terrain to be crossed  hills and mountains 31 March 1940 – attack on Finland  9 April 1940 – attack on Norway and Denmark = Operation Weserübung = offered access to Swedish iron ore, Germany wanted the coastline of Norway for access to British mainland and sea routes (outcome – Germany gained control of Scandinavia, but at the cost of naval losses) 10 May 1940 – attack of France via Belgium and the Netherlands - main force was to beArmy GroupA= Operation Sickle Cut; most of the force was centred on this by the 16 May when th it became clear that France and Britain had not understood the German plans for breakthrough th 12 May 1940 – frontiers of Luxembourg and Belgian had been crossed in spite of some strategic mix-ups; day later, the Meuse was being crossed and the French border was breached 16 May 1940 – 6 Panzer reached the Oise and prevented German counterattack; British began to evacuate - main French problem = didn’t concentrate their forces at any one specific area but instead spread out 23 May 1940 – 6 Panzer division came within 6km of Calais and halted; 6 and 8 Division ordered to advance to St Omer and Cassel while battle was shifted fromAGAto AG B - Cassel = British rearguard action by the 5 Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment = sacrifice to ensure British th evacuation 25 June 1940 = armistice between the French and German armies German basis for attack in France = desire to minimise the stalemate of WWI; Mannstein and Guderian  Guderian liked the use of Panzers  necessary to mass armoured forces in a concentrated area for a breakthrough battle = not envelopment or annihilation but breakthrough - Britain and France had not attacked in the mean time since they had overestimated German strength and favoured a strategy of long war, attrition and blockade Week 4, Lecture 1 – Battle of Britain 11 May 1940 – British Cabinet authorised the bombing of the German hinterland  16 and 17 saw attacks onAachen, th Dortmund, Essen and Hannover th 13 May 1940 – Churchill’s speech: ‘the aim is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be, because without victory there is no survival’ 15 May – Netherlands capitulated nd th 22 June – French signed an armistice that went into effect on the 25 June Churchill made it clear to FDR that a Britain subjugated to Germany would NOT be in his favour: Hitler would gain overwhelming sea power esp. if united with Japan and Russia  needed urgent aid in the manner of 35 destroyers 2 urgent threats faced Britain after the fall of France = Hitler was preparing for invasion of Britain with Operation Sealion (as a subsidiary war to conflict against the Soviet Union which was also being anticipated) = conquest of W Europe was based on the notion that it was necessary to have a large, amenable land mass that would allow for supplies and peace whilst he focused east th landings were projected to be ready by the 13 September unless other circumstances made it impossible e.g. the weather  Hitler particularly wanted an early invasion since he believed the BEF to be significantly weakened but capable of raising 30-35 divisions over the winter period when GB could not be invaded - NEEDED air war victory since the German Navy was 15% of Britain’s whilst he only had 8% of British destroyer total o Once it was clear that Britain could not yet be beaten then Russia was instead targeted = if she was knocked out then it meant Britain would once again be wholly alone and unable to hope for Russian aid - Above all though, there was the desire to avoid a two front war = he made a speech in July during which he said he intended to offer attractive compromises to Britain but this did not really happen – simply highlighted their lonely position Air War = two aspects of air war that should be kept in mind = that of a general strategic air war inc. all sorts of air warfare e.g. fighter planes, esp. bombers, bombing military, industrial, transport and communication targetsAND terror bombing of civilian populations th - 14 May 1940 - Germans bombed Rotterdam = unclear circumstances but it resulted in the deaths of 900 civilians ▯ British then saw this as justification for their own civilian bombing campaigns; French was uneasy about bombing the Ruhr though since they feared it would lead to retribution against their own cities o hoped that it would increase home morale and decrease enemy morale  Galbraith has instead asserted that it did very little to alter the war’s outcome as there were no measurable effect upon morale = he was ostracised o belief that this sort of bombing would ‘reduce the capacity of industrial and military targets’= unclear how much the civilians were a target BUT it did invoke the lexicon of ‘guilty nations’that thus could be punished 3 July 1940 – British bombing of Mers-el-Kebir to destroy the French Navy Battle of Britain = a military campaign = not a campaign against the civilian population but a battle between two air forces with military necessity being uppermost - RAF was designed as a bomber fleet though it’s few bombers were poorly trained ▯ planes with less technology than commercial aircraft and without real defences against fighter plans = BoB was mainly fought with Sir Hugh Dowding’s fighter command o HOW WAS THE BoB FOUGHT? Mainly by fighter command and radar warning stations – Germans had superior numbers and closer bases which meant they could reach any part of the British Isles even by day and w. fighter escorts vs. British whom had lost 300 crews in France and had only ½ necessary anti-aircraft weapons o HOW WAS THE BoB WON? German air staff had badly miscalculated British air strength in terms of numbers (by the end of 1940, the German estimate was consistently half of what was being built); radar warning ranges also aided Fighter Command whom could ensure they were never on the ground when German plalnes were near st 1 Athust 1940 – Hitler ordered intensified sea and air war against Great Britain 13 August 1940 – massive attacks began – ‘Eagle Day’w. 1,000 runs against military targets  focus on coastal airfields and the radar chain 15 August 1940 – 2,
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