The other big event of 1936-39 is the Spanish Civil War, of course. Although it is surely destined to go down as a footnote to the history of the great war to come, it is nevertheless a bloody, brutal and destructive affair. It is unlikely that the winner (if there can be such a thing as a “winner” in a conflict such as this) will be taking part in European affairs for the foreseeable future.
As the United Kingdom, the last thing we want to see is a Fascist state in the Iberian Peninsular. Allied with Nazi Germany, this has unpleasant echoes of pan-European Hasburg Empire that threatened our interests in early modern times. The alternative is a (admittedly less extreme) communist state. What to do?
Ultimate we opt for the half-measure of accepting the non-interference pact, but secretly offering support to Republican Spain, the rightful government of the country*. Although a half-arsed compromise isn’t really our style, the dissent growth and (to a lesser extent) damage to our international relations are too high a price to pay for full intervention. As our support arrives, in August 1936, we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Things look to be going okay for Republican Spain initially. They’ve lost some provinces, but are pushing back. This is 17 July, 1937:
On second thoughts, maybe things aren’t going quite so well as we initially thought. This is November 1937; we’ve already tried to bolster the Republicans with a large, one-off injection of supplies, but to no avail. The conclusion is inevitable at this point:
Finally, in January 1939:
Well, we did what we could… perhaps. Would a larger intervention have been wise, or merely dragged out the inevitable? Either way, we’ll return with our programming next to to discuss the rest of the events of the last two years.
*Editor’s note: alas, I forgot to capture the original event dialogue. It offers non-intervention and the two options I described above, along with pointing out that historically, the United Kingdom was the only nation to stick rigidly to the non-intervention pact. However, quite a number of British people did go to fight unofficially, joining Spanish units, famously including George Orwell.