Canadian by Technicality
- Mar 26, 2004
The Sleeping Coyote
Argentina in World War II
January 1, 1936
Early morning, New Year's Day. Agustin Justo, leader of Argentina, sat in his office sipping a bit of whiskey, staring blankly out over the capital of Buenos Aires. Fireworks lit up the city from time to time, but Justo hardly saw them. It was good for the people to celebrate for once. But Justo had more important things on his mind.
A knock at the door. "Come in," Justo called without looking away from the window.
Another man walked in, standing quietly behind Justo's chair. "I hear it is the best New Year's Day celebration for some time, Generalissimo."
Justo nodded. "Good." He whirled around to face the man who had entered. "Manuel, if you would be so kind as to spend a few minutes giving me your opinion on this report."
The Chief of Staff and Chief of the Army, Manuel Rodriguez nodded and pulled up another chair.
"Well, as you know, the military is very outdated. We currently have a team researching more modern infantry. Another team is researching more effective farming techniques."
Rodriguez nodded. "I'm not a scientist, or a farmer, but it has something to do with chemistry. I'm sure you'll get a more detailed report on the specifics later."
"Do you think this wise, Manuel?"
"For now, yes. We definitely need the new infantry equipment, and more efficient farming would no doubt help the poor peasants and increase your standing with them."
Justo nodded. It was hard for him to get excited about much these days. Too much time leading had burned him out. Too many nights staying up late had left him fatigued.
"I see also that the air force is lagging behind not only in modernization, but also in numbers."
Rodriguez sighed. "Sir, everything is undermanned and under-equipped. If war came to us now, we would be in dire straits indeed."
"Our industrialization lags behind, Manuel. Before I can do anything to remedy our military situation, we will need to increase our production capacity." Justo sighed. "I'm getting tired of this, Manuel.
He peered out the window once more. A bright, blue and white firework was exploding to the delight of the crowd below them. "Go ahead and get back to your family, Manuel. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow."
The Chief of Staff stood and saluted. Justo did not even notice the salute, he was too caught up in his own thoughts.
Argentina's president heard the office door close behind him. He was left alone again, to ponder. It was his duty to bring Argentina into a new age. He didn't know if he was up for it these days.
The grand finale of the major fireworks show was beginning. Justo took another sip of his whiskey. He hoped the New Year would be better for Argentina than the last.