|Signed||22 May 1939|
|Expiration||1949 (effectively in 1943)|
The Pact of Steel (German : Stahlpakt, Italian : Patto d'Acciaio), known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was a military and political alliance between Italy and Germany.
The pact was initially drafted as a tripartite military alliance between Japan, Italy and Germany. While Japan wanted the focus of the pact to be aimed at the Soviet Union, Italy and Germany wanted it aimed at the British Empire and France. Due to this disagreement, the pact was signed without Japan and became an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, signed on 22 May 1939 by foreign ministers Galeazzo Ciano of Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop of Germany.
The pact consisted of two parts. The first section was an open declaration of continuing trust and co-operation between Germany and Italy. The second section, the "Secret Supplementary Protocol", encouraged a union of policies concerning the military and the economy.
Germany and Italy fought against each other in World War I.Popularity and support for extremist political parties, such as the Nazis of Adolf Hitler and the Fascists of Benito Mussolini, exploded after the Great Depression severely hampered the economy of both countries.
In 1922, Mussolini secured his position as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy.His first actions made him immensely popular - massive programs of public works provided employment and transformed Italy's infrastructure. In the Mediterranean Mussolini launched a powerful navy, larger than the combined might of the British and French Mediterranean fleets.
When he was appointed Chancellor in 1933, Hitler initiated a huge wave of public works and secret rearmament.Fascism and Nazism shared similar principles and Hitler and Mussolini met on several state and private occasions in the 1930s.
In 1931, Japanese forces invaded the region of Manchuria because of its rich grain fields and reserves of raw minerals.This, however, provoked a diplomatic clash with the Soviet Union, which bordered Manchuria. To combat this Soviet threat, the Japanese signed a Pact with Germany in 1936. The aim of the pact was to guard against any attack from Soviet Russia were it to move on China.
Japan elected to focus on anti-Soviet alliances instead of anti-Western alliances like Italy and Germany.Germany, however, feared that an anti-USSR alliance would create the possibility of a two-front war before they could conquer Western Europe. So when Japan was invited to sign the Pact of Steel, they declined.
Officially, the Pact of Steel obliged Germany and Italy to aid the other country militarily, economically or otherwise in the event of war, and to collaborate in wartime production.The Pact aimed to ensure that neither country was able to make peace without the agreement of the other. The agreement was based on the assumption that a war would not occur within three years. When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 and war broke out on 3 September, Italy was not yet prepared for conflict and had difficulty meeting its obligations. Consequently, Italy did not enter World War II until June 1940, with a delayed invasion of Southern France.
- Article I
- The Contracting Parties will remain in permanent contact with each other in order to come to an understanding of all common interests or the European situation as a whole.
- Article II
- In the event that the common interests of the Contracting Parties be jeopardized through international happenings of any kind, they will immediately enter into consultation regarding the necessary measures to preserve these interests. Should the security or other vital interests of one of the Contracting Parties be threatened from outside, the other Contracting Party will afford the threatened Party its full political and diplomatic support in order to remove this threat.
- Article III
- If it should happen, against the wishes and hopes of the Contracting Parties, that one of them becomes involved in military complications with another power or other Powers, the other Contracting Party will immediately step to its side as an ally and will support it with all its military might on land, at sea and in the air.
- Article IV
- In order to ensure, in any given case, the rapid implementation of the alliance obligations of Article III, the Governments of the two Contracting Parties will further intensify their cooperation in the military sphere and the sphere of war economy. Similarly the two Governments will keep each other regularly informed of other measures necessary for the practical implementation of this Pact. The two Governments will create standing commissions, under the direction of the Foreign Ministers, for the purposes indicated in Article I and II.
- Article V
- The Contracting Parties already at this point bind themselves, in the event of a jointly waged war, to conclude any armistice or peace only in full agreement with each other.
- Article VI
- The two Contracting Parties are aware of the importance of their joint relations to the Powers which are friendly to them. They are determined to maintain these relations in future and to promote the adequate development of the common interests which bind them to these Powers.
- Article VII
- This Pact comes into force immediately upon its signing. The two Contracting Parties are agreed upon fixing the first period of its validity at 10 years. In good time before the elapse of this period they will come to an agreement regarding the extension of the validity of the Pact.
The secret supplementary protocols of the Pact of Steel, which were split into two sections, were not made public at the time of the signing of the Pact.
The first section urged the countries to quicken their joint military and economic cooperation whilst the second section committed the two countries to cooperate in "matters of press, the news service and the propaganda" to promote the power and image of the Rome-Berlin Axis.To aid in this, each country was to assign "one or several specialists" of their country in the capital city of the other for close liaisons with the Foreign Minister of that country.
After being told the original name, "Pact of Blood", would likely be poorly received in Italy, Mussolini proposed the name "Pact of Steel", which was ultimately chosen.
According to Article VII, the pact was to last 10 years, but this did not happen.In November 1942, the Axis forces in North Africa, led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, were decisively defeated by the British and British Commonwealth forces at the Second Battle of El Alamein. In July 1943 the Western Allies opened up a new front by invading Sicily. In the aftermath of this, Mussolini was overthrown by 19 members of the Gran Consiglio who voted in favour of the Ordine Grandi. The new Italian government, under Field Marshal Pietro Badoglio, signed an armistice with the Allies in September and became a non-belligerent, thus effectively ending Italy's involvement in the pact.
Although a puppet government under Mussolini, the Italian Social Republic, was established in Northern Italy by Nazi Germany, Italy continued as a member of the pact in name only.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop, better known as simply Joachim von Ribbentrop, was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that enabled those two powers to partition Poland between them. The pact was signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and was officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis" was a military alliance that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia as well as by the German client state of Slovakia. Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days later. Germany, Italy and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia. The resulting Italo-German client state, known as the Independent State of Croatia, joined the pact on 15 June 1941.
The Munich Agreement or Munich Betrayal was an agreement concluded at Munich on 30 September 1938, by Nazi Germany, the United Kingdom, the French Third Republic, and the Kingdom of Italy. It provided "cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory" of Czechoslovakia. Most of Europe celebrated the agreement, because it prevented the war threatened by Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland, a region of western Czechoslovakia inhabited by more than 3 million people, mainly German speakers. Hitler announced it was his last territorial claim in Europe, and the choice seemed to be between war and appeasement.
The Anti-Comintern Pact, officially the Agreement against the Communist International, was an anti-Communist pact concluded between Germany and Japan on November 25, 1936, and was directed against the Communist International (Comintern). It was signed by German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Japanese ambassador to Germany Kintomo Mushakoji. Italy, Spain and other countries joined it until November 1941.
The events preceding World War II in Europe are closely tied to the bellicosity of Italy, Germany and Japan, as well as the Great Depression. The peace movement led to appeasement and disarmament.
Historians from many countries have given considerable attention to studying and understanding the causes of World War II, a global war from 1939 to 1945 that was the deadliest conflict in human history. The immediate precipitating event was the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany on September 1, 1939, and the subsequent declarations of war on Germany made by Britain and France, but many other prior events have been suggested as ultimate causes. Primary themes in historical analysis of the war's origins include the political takeover of Germany in 1933 by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party; Japanese militarism against China; Italian aggression against Ethiopia; and Germany's initial success in negotiating a neutrality pact with the Soviet Union to divide territorial control of Eastern Europe between them.
The German–Soviet Credit Agreement was an economic arrangement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union whereby the latter received an acceptance credit of 200 million Reichsmark over 7 years with an effective interest rate of 4.5 percent. The credit line was to be used during the next two years for purchase of capital goods in Germany and was to be paid off by means of Soviet material shipment from 1946 onwards. The economic agreement was the first step toward improvement in relations between the Soviet Union and Germany.
This timeline of events preceding World War II covers the events of the interwar period (1918–1939) after World War I that affected or led to World War II.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
The Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance was a bilateral treaty between France and the Soviet Union with the aim of enveloping Nazi Germany in 1935 in order to reduce the threat from central Europe. It was pursued by Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet foreign minister, and Louis Barthou, the French foreign minister, who was assassinated in October 1934, before negotiations were finished. His successor, Pierre Laval, was skeptical of both the desirability and the value of an alliance with the Soviet Union. However, after the declaration of German rearmament in March 1935 the French government forced the reluctant foreign minister to complete the arrangements with Moscow that Barthou had begun. The pact was concluded in Paris on May 2, 1935 and ratified by the French government in February 1936. Ratifications were exchanged in Moscow on March 27, 1936, and the pact went into effect on the same day. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on April 18, 1936. On May 16, 1935 the Czechoslovak–Soviet Treaty of Alliance was signed between the two states as the consequence of Soviet treaty with France.
Fascism in Europe was the set of various fascist ideologies practiced by governments and political organizations in Europe during the 20th century. Fascism was born in Italy following World War I, and other fascist movements, influenced by Italian Fascism, subsequently emerged across Europe. Among the political doctrines identified as ideological origins of fascism in Europe are the combining of a traditional national unity and revolutionary anti-democratic rhetoric espoused by integral nationalist Charles Maurras and revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel in France.
Germany–Italy relations are the international relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Italian Republic.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was an August 23, 1939, agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany colloquially named after Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. The treaty renounced warfare between the two countries. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol dividing several eastern European countries between the parties.
After the Nazis rose to power in Germany in 1933, relations between Germany and the Soviet Union began to deteriorate rapidly, and trade between the two countries decreased. Following several years of high tension and rivalry, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began to improve relations in 1939. In August of that year, the countries expanded their economic relationship by entering into a commercial agreement whereby the Soviet Union sent critical raw materials to Germany in exchange for weapons, military technology and civilian machinery. That deal accompanied the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which contained secret protocols dividing central Europe between them, after which both Germany and the Soviet Union invaded countries listed within their "spheres of influence".
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power in World War II. The negotiations, which occurred during the era of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, included a two-day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, followed by both countries trading written proposed agreements.
The timeline of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact is a chronology of events, including Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact negotiations, leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Treaty of Non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union was signed in the early hours of August 24, 1939, but was dated August 23.
Fascist Italy is the era of National Fascist Party government from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy. The Italian Fascists imposed totalitarian rule and crushed political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church. According to Payne (1996), "[the] Fascist government passed through several relatively distinct phases". The first phase (1922–1925) was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, albeit with a "legally-organized executive dictatorship". The second phase (1925–1929) was "the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper". The third phase (1929–1934) was with less activism. The fourth phase (1935–1940) was characterized by an aggressive foreign policy: the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, which was launched from Eritrea and Somaliland; confrontations with the League of Nations, leading to sanctions; growing economic autarky; invasion of Albania; and the signing of the Pact of Steel. The fifth phase (1940–1943) was World War II itself which ended in military defeat, while the sixth and final phase (1943–1945) was the rump Salò Government under German control.
The Pact of Friendship, Neutrality, and Nonaggression between Italy and the Soviet Union, also known as the Italo-Soviet Pact, was a diplomatic agreement between the Soviet Union and Italy. Signed on 2 September 1933, the agreement was in place until 22 June 1941 when Italy declared war on the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The pact built on earlier economic relations, seeking to ensure security in the Balkans and for a time mutual suspicion of German intentions.