Today on “Days to Remember,” we celebrate how on November 25th 1936 The Anti-Communist Pact an agreement between Japan and Germany was signed.
The origins of the Anti-Comintern Pact go back to the autumn of 1935, when various German officials both within and outside the Foreign Ministry were attempting to balance the competing demands upon the Reich’s foreign policy by its traditional alliance with China versus Hitler’s desire for friendship with China’s archenemy, Japan.
In October 1935, the idea was mooted that an anti-Communist alliance might be able to tie in the Kuomintang regime, Japan and Germany.
In particular, this idea appealed to Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Special Ambassador at Large and head of the Dienststelle Ribbentrop and the Japanese Military Attaché in Berlin, General Oshima Hiroshi, who hoped that such an alliance might lead to China’s subordination to Japan.
Lack of Chinese interest doomed the project’s original intention, but October–November 1935, Ribbentrop and Hiroshi worked out a treaty directed against the Comintern.
The Pact was to be originally introduced in late November 1935 with invitations for Britain, Italy, China and Poland to join.
However, concerns by the German Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath and War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg that the pact might damage Chinese–German relations plus political disarray in Tokyo following the failed military coup of February 26, 1936 led to the Pact’s being shelved for a year.
By the summer of 1936, the increased influence of the military in the Japanese government, concerns in Berlin and Tokyo about the Franco-Soviet alliance, and Hitler’s desire for a dramatic anti-Communist foreign policy gesture that he believed might bring about an Anglo-German alliance led to the idea of the Anti-Comintern Pact being revived.
The Pact was initialed on October 23, 1936, and signed on November 25, 1936.
In order to avoid damaging relations with the Soviet Union, the Pact was supposedly directed only against the Comintern, but in fact contained a secret agreement that in the event of either signatory power becoming involved with a war with the Soviet Union, the other signatory power would maintain benevolent neutrality.
Why was the pact designed for?
In case of an attack by the Soviet Union against Germany or Japan, the two countries agreed to consult on what measures to take “to safeguard their common interests” the pact was designed to protect other European countries if Russia every got involved in the war.
Earlier, in June 1935, the surprise Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany. This marked the beginning of a series of attempts by Adolf Hitler to improve relations between the two countries, form a pact, and isolate the Soviet Union, while both the Soviet Union and Britain attempted to do the same and isolate Germany.
The Anti-Comintern Pact was revised in 1941, after Germany’s assault on the Soviet Union that commenced with Operation Barbarossa and on November 25 its renewal for another five years was celebrated. This time the signatories were for other countries such as Great Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell