The Anti-Comintern & Tripartite Pacts

Anti-Comintern_Pact_signing_1936Another colossal strategic blunder that ultimately led to the German defeat in the Battle for the Atlantic and in the whole World War II, was committed on on November 25th, 1936.

On that day Foreign Minister of Germany Joachim von Ribbentrop (acting, obviously, on his Führer’s orders) and Japanese ambassador to Germany Kintomo Mushakoji signed the infamous Antikominternpact.

A year later, on November 6, 1937, Italy and Spain joined the pact, thereby forming the group that would later be known as the Axis Powers.

This pact was the result of one of the Führer’s increasingly more frequent and bizarre grand delusions (that would be his trademark during the war years).

Contrary to what he himself wrote in Mein Kampf (that Britain will never agree with the fusion of Soviet resources and German technologies into a global superpower that would dominate Europe), Hitler came to believe that this dramatic anti-Communist foreign policy gesture would bring about an Anglo-German anti-Soviet alliance.

Which, predictably, did not happen. Instead, Nazi Germany became viewed by the world in general (and Britain and the United States in particular) as an all-around ally of the Imperial Japan (which was not the case, but perceptions are the only reality).

Consequently, Nazi Germany became associated with Japanese military endeavors (and atrocities) in China – which made Anglo-German a much less (not more) likely possibility. And made a peace treaty between Great Britain and Nazi Germany after the outbreak of World War II much less likely that it could have been without the pact between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Without this pact, chances of the USA declaring war on Germany after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would have been exactly zero because in the minds of American policymakers and ordinary people Nazi Germany would have been in no way associated with the assault on the American territory.

Which could have prevented Adolf Hitler from committing another colossal (and ultimately fatal) blunder – declaring war on the United States on December 11th, 1941 (one of the key reasons behind this blunder was Hitler’s firm belief that American declaration of war on Germany was imminent – precisely because Germany was an official ally of Japan).

Unbelievably, about a year after signing the Anti-Comintern Pact, Adolf Hitler doubled down on the same blunder. On September 27th, 1940 Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano (Foreign Minister of Japan) and Saburo Kurusu (Japanese Ambassador to Germany) signed the Tripartite Pact – a military alliance between Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan.

Article 3 of the Pact explicitly stated:

“Japan, Germany, and Italy … undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict”

There was only one such Power in the world – the United States of America. Hence this pact was squarely anti-American. Which predictably significantly increased the probability of the USA declaring war on Germany after being attacked by Japan (although did not make it a 100% certainty).

And thus increasing the incentive for Adolf Hitler to beat President Roosevelt to a punch by declaring war on the USA before the latter could declare war on the Third Reich.

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 further five years was undertaken.

This time the signatories included also Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark (after being occupied by Germany in 1940), Hungary, Japanese puppet states in China, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey and (for some unknown reason), El Salvador. The Tripartite Pact was subsequently joined by Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

Which did not help Germany much and had a negligible impact on the result of the Second World War.

 

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