The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 is a topic that has gained a lot of attention in the GCSE history curriculum. This agreement was signed between Germany and Britain and was aimed at limiting the naval arms race that was ongoing at that time. The agreement had a huge impact on global politics and shaped the events leading up to World War II.
The agreement was signed on June 18, 1935, and it allowed Germany to build a navy that was one-third of the size of the British navy. This was a significant concession on the part of Britain, as they were the dominant naval power at that time. The agreement was signed by the German dictator, Adolf Hitler, and the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. The deal was seen as a pacifist measure as it was intended to reduce the tensions between Germany and Britain.
The agreement had several implications for the political situation in Europe. Firstly, it allowed Hitler to expand his navy without having to worry about Britain’s opposition. This was important because a strong navy was essential for Germany to pursue its expansionist policies. Secondly, the agreement isolated France and other European nations, as they were left out of the negotiations. This created suspicion and resentment amongst the other nations, and they began to view Britain as an unreliable ally.
The agreement was heavily criticized by many politicians and military leaders at the time. Critics argued that it was a mistake to make concessions to Hitler, who was known to be a ruthless dictator. They also argued that the agreement had weakened Britain’s position in Europe and had emboldened Hitler to pursue his expansionist policies.
The agreement came to an end in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland and Britain declared war on Germany. The agreement was no longer relevant, and the naval arms race had become irrelevant as the two nations were now engaged in a full-scale war.
In conclusion, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 was an important event in the lead-up to World War II. It had a significant impact on global politics and shaped the political situation in Europe. While the agreement was criticized at the time, it was seen as a pacifist measure that would reduce tensions between Germany and Britain. However, its impact was short-lived, and it was ultimately unable to prevent the outbreak of war.