The terms "fifth column" and "fifth columnist" originate when Emilio Mola (1887-1937), a Nationalist General during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), notes that the four columns of his forces outside Madrid would be supported by a "fifth column" of his supporters inside the city. The term is used extensively in Britain in the early stages of World War II to explain the internment of German nationals, and subsequently is used in the United States and Canada.
May 05, 1936
Italian forces capture the capital of Addis Ababa, all sanctions against Italy are dropped and Ethiopia is merged with other Italian colonies and becomes Italian East Africa. Italian East Africa is disassembled by the Allies in 1943.
July 17, 1936
Spanish Civil War begins.