Germany emerged from World War I as the principal loser, while Japan and Italy were members of the victorious alliance. The return to a global economy after the war imposed serious hardships on all three, as it did on all the industrial powers. But these nations’ problems were exacerbated by the fact that none of them possessed large continental land masses like that of the United States, or colonial empires like Great Britain or France, to serve as reliable export markets and sources for raw materials. As a result they were particularly vulnerable to developments in other countries, over which they had no control. In each country there emerged increasingly powerful interest groups committed not merely to turning away from the world economy, but also to attaining, through military conquest, the territory necessary to make isolation possible. Because the governing regimes in Germany, Japan, and Italy proved largely successful in managing the crises of the 1920s, these forces remained at bay for the time being, but in each instance an ominous question remained-what would happen if these economies faced complete collapse?