Fifth column

Knowledge Identifier: &Fifth_column

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Fifth column

Any group of people who undermine a larger group, such as a nation or a besieged city, from within add

Category: Military

Founded in 1930.

Countries: England (27%), United Kingdom (18%), Europe (18%)

Main connections: Spanish Civil War, Agatha Christie, Nigel Farage

Linked to: Communist Party of Ukraine, Party of Regions, UK Independence Party, Gleiwitz incident

 

Timeline


 

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1930

In the United States at the end of the 1930s, as involvement in the European war seemed ever more likely, those who feared the possibility of betrayal from within used the newly coined term "fifth column" as a shorthand for sedition and disloyalty add something


1936

Spanish Civil War - Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General during the Spanish Civil War, told a journalist in 1936 that as his four columns of troops approached Madrid, a "fifth column" of supporters inside the city would support him and undermine the Republican government from within add something


1938

Ernest Hemingway used it as the title of his only play, which he wrote in Madrid while the city was being bombarded, and published in 1938 in his book "The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories" add something


1940

John Langdon-Davies, a British journalist who covered the Spanish Civil War, popularized the term "fifth column" by publishing an account called "The Fifth Column" in 1940 add something

 

The rapid fall of France in 1940 led many to blame a "fifth column" rather than German military superiority add something

 

In June 1940, "Life" magazine ran a series of photos under the heading "Signs of Nazi Fifth Column Everywhere" add something

 

In July 1940, "Time" magazine called fifth column talk a "national phenomenon" add something

 

In August 1940 the "New York Times" mentioned "the first spasm of fear engendered by the success of fifth columns in less fortunate countries" add something

 

The "New York Times" published three editorial cartoons that used the term on August 11, 1940 add something


1941

British reviewers of Agatha Christie's novel "N or M-" in 1941 used the term to describe the struggle of two British partisans of the Nazi regime working on its behalf in England during World War II. add something

 

Introducing a 1941 newsreel, "Meet John Doughboy", the animated character Porky Pig asked any "fifth columnists" in the audience leave the theater immediately add something


1942

The widely-read columnist Walter Lippmann publicized similar accusations of sabotage on the part of Japanese Americans in his syndicated column on February 12, 1942, titled "The Fifth Column on the Coast add something


1943

In 1943, an animated cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series was called "The Fifth-Column Mouse" add something


2015

Following the 2015 attack by French-born Muslims on the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris, the leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage said that Europe had "a fifth column living within our own countries add something