/Anglo-German Naval Agreement Definition

Anglo-German Naval Agreement Definition

Talks between Sir Robert Craigie, a naval expert in the British Foreign Office, and Admiral Karl-Georg Schuster, Member of Parliament for Ribbentrop, continued on 5 June 1935. The Germans said the ratios would only be tonnage ratios and that Germany would increase its tonnage to the level of Britain`s tonnage in the various categories of warships. That afternoon the British Cabinet agreed to accept the proposed tonnage ratio, and that evening Ribbentrop was informed of the Cabinet`s intention. In the following weeks, the ongoing talks in London resolved many technical issues, most of which concerned exactly how to determine tonnage ratios for different categories of warships. In the 1920s, Hitler`s foreign policy thinking underwent a radical change. At the beginning of his political career, Hitler was hostile to the United Kingdom and regarded it as an enemy of the Reich. However, after opposing the French occupation of the Ruhr region in 1923, the United Kingdom classified the United Kingdom as a potential ally. [17] In Mein Kampf, and even more so in its sequel, the Second Book, Hitler sharply criticized the German government before 1914 for engaging in a maritime and colonial challenge to the British Empire and, in Hitler`s view, for unnecessarily opposing the United Kingdom. [18] According to Hitler, the United Kingdom was an “Aryan” participatory whose friendship could be won by a German “renunciation” of naval and colonial ambitions against the United Kingdom. [18] In exchange for such a “renunciation,” Hitler expected an Anglo-German alliance against France and the Soviet Union, and Britain`s support for German efforts to acquire living space in Eastern Europe. As a first step towards the Anglo-German alliance, Hitler had written in Mein Kampf his intention to seek a “maritime pact” by which Germany would “renounce” any naval challenge against Britain.

[19] In the field of German-English relations, the agreement was of considerable importance. The UK expressed hope, as shared by Craigie Ribbentrop, that it was “designed to facilitate other agreements in a broader framework, and there was no further thinking behind it”. [3] In addition, the United Kingdom considered it a “benchmark” for measuring German intentions vis-à-vis the United Kingdom. [53] Hitler saw this as the beginning of an Anglo-German alliance and was very upset when it didn`t materialize. [54] The German Government, for its part, also considers that the agreement it has just concluded with Her Majesty`s Government in the United Kingdom, which it considers to be a permanent and definitive agreement with effect from today between the two governments, will facilitate the conclusion of a general agreement on this issue between all the maritime powers of the world. The Anglo-German naval agreement was an ambitious attempt by the British and Germans to achieve better relations, but it ultimately failed due to conflicting expectations between the two countries. For Germany, the Anglo-German naval agreement was to mark the beginning of an Anglo-German alliance against France and the Soviet Union,[3] while for Britain, the Anglo-German naval agreement was to be the beginning of a series of arms control agreements concluded to limit German expansionism. The Anglo-German naval agreement was controversial both then and thereafter because the 35:100 tonnage ratio gave Germany the right to build a navy beyond the borders set out in the Treaty of Versailles, and London had concluded the agreement without consulting Paris or Rome. At the Munich Conference that led to the Munich Agreement in September 1938, Hitler told Neville Chamberlain that if the UK`s policy was to “make it clear in certain circumstances” that the UK could intervene in a war on the European continent, the political terms of the agreement would no longer exist and Germany would have to end it. This led Chamberlain to mention them in the Anglo-German Declaration of September 30, 1938.

[60] Ribbentrop was very keen on success and eventually accepted almost all of Britain`s demands. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was officially concluded on 18 June 1935 and signed by Ribbentrop and Sir Samuel Hoare. Hitler was very satisfied with the agreement and appointed the 18th. June 1935 was a great day, as he felt that the agreement was the beginning of a new successful Anglo-German alliance. In the end, the Anglo-German naval agreement allowed Germany to build up to twenty-one cruisers, sixty-four destroyers, and due to a translation error or incorrect wording in the agreement, they were allowed to build as many submarines as they wanted. Churchill claimed that the agreement was unilateral and that Britain had essentially accepted that Germany would violate the Treaty of Versailles. (b) If a future general treaty on the limitation of the sea does not apply the method of limitation through relations agreed between the fleets of different Powers, the German Government shall not insist on including the relationship referred to in the preceding paragraph in such a future general treaty, provided that the method chosen for the future limitation of naval arms is such that: that Germany has every guarantee that this relationship can be maintained. The German navy was first and foremost an instrument for Germany to exert political pressure on Britain. Before the war, Germany would have been willing to cease or moderate its naval competition with Britain, but only in exchange for the promise of its neutrality in a European conflict. Hitler tried the same thing with different methods, but like other German politicians, he saw only one side of the picture. It is clear from his writings that he was extremely impressed by the role played by pre-war naval rivalry in creating bad relations between the two countries.

Thus, he argued that the elimination of this rivalry was all that was necessary to achieve good relations. By gratuitously renouncing the absence of naval competition, he hoped that relations between the two countries would be improved to such an extent that Britain should not consider it necessary to interfere in German continental policy. Simon was not satisfied with Ribbentrop`s behavior, saying that such statements contradicted normal negotiations before he left the negotiations. However, a few days later, on 5 June 1935, the British delegation changed its mind. Simon had discussed things with the British cabinet, which thought the deal might be in their best interest, and Simon had been ordered to accept Hitler`s offer while it was still on the table. They feared that Hitler would withdraw his offer and start building the German navy, which is much higher than the level they proposed. Britain knew from history that Germany could quickly have the same naval capability as it could. The reason for the agreement with Germany by the British government was the conviction that it was better to have an agreed limit for German rearmament than unlimited armament. However, this reasoning was categorically condemned, notably by Winston Churchill, who said: Over the next two weeks, talks continued in London on various technical issues, mainly related to how tonnage ratios would be calculated in the different categories of warships. [42] Ribbentrop was desperate to succeed and therefore accepted almost all of the UK`s demands. [42] On June 18, 1935, the agreement was signed in London by Ribbentrop and the new British Foreign Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare.