The fondation for the Axis agreement was laid with the signing of the Anti-Comitern Pact. The NAZis when they seized power were hostile to the Soviet Union. The Japanese were histile to the Bolshevicks beginning in the World War I period. Japanese relations with the Soviets which had been damaged with the seizure of Manchuria worsened when Japan and Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact (1936). The Japanese and Germans signed a protocol in Berlin aimed directly at the Soviet Union (November 25, 1936). The purpose was to "guard" against the
Communistic International. The agreement was very simple. It was signed by Viscount Kintomo Mushakoji Imperial Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Joachim von Ribbentrop German Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary. The agreement was clearly aimed at the Soviet Union. Japan and Germany agreed if attacked by the Soviets to consult on what measures were needed. The two countries also agreed that neither would conclude political treaties with the Soviet Union. Germany agreed to recognize the Japanese puppet regime of Manchuko. Italy subsequently joined the Anti-Comintern Pact (1937).The NAZIs shocked the world when despite years of vituperitive rhetoric aimed at Communism and the Soviet Union, they signed a Non-Agression Pact (August 1939). It one of the great diplomatic misnomers, the Non-Agression Pact was in fact the green light for World war II. The Non-Agression Pact violated the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact. The NAZIs did not consult with either Japan or Italy before signing the Non-Agression Pact. This lack of consultation and joint planning was to be a feature and glaring weakness of the future Axis Alliance.
V.I. Lenin created the Comintern (1919). The term is derived from the Communist International. In this case the Third Internationsl. Its purpose was to coordinate the activities of the world Communist parties. Socialists political parties in Europe and other regions included adherents with a broad spectrum of social thought, from moderate socal democracy to revolutionary Bolshevism. There were also associated movements such as the anarchists. Lenin after seizing control of Russia, established the Comintern to support Communist leadership of the world socialist movement. It gradually became a tool of Soviet foreign policy, especially as Stalin tightened his grip on the Soviet Union. Stalin used the Comintern as a force to gain control over foreign Communist parties.
The fondation for the Axis agreement was laid with the signing of the Anti-Comitern Pact. The Weimar Government had cooperated with the Soviet Union, in parat because both were shunned states after World War I. The Allies has intervened in the Russian Civil War. The Germans did not because of Allied distrust of any German military role, although the situatin in the Baltics was complicated. Hitler wrote in strident terms about both Communish and the Slavs. The NAZis when they seized power were hostile to the Soviet Union.
Hitler was reprtedly impressed with Japanese actions in Manchuria.
The Japanese were hostile to the Bolshevicks beginning in the World War I period. Japanese relations with the Soviets were damaged with the seizure of Manchuria (1931).
The Japanese disturbed by Soviet support for Chima. The Soviets signed a Nonaggression Treaty with China (August 1936). This was followed by the sale of Soviet aircraft and munitions to China.
Relations between Japan and the Soviet Union were damaged further when Japan and Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact (1936).
The Japanese and Germans, two staunchly anti-Communist countries bordering on the Soviet Union, signed a protocol in Berlin aimed directly at the Soviet Union (November 25, 1936). The purpose was to "guard" against the
Communistic International. The agreeement did not specify the Soviet Union by name, but as the only Communist country and the country which had the Comintern firmly after his control, there is no doubt that it was aimed at the Soviet Union.
The agreement was very simple. It read, "The Imperial Government of Japan and the Government of Germany, In cognizance of the fact that the object of the Communistic International (the so-called Komintern) is the disintegration of, and the commission of violence against, existing States by the exercise of all means at its command, Believing that the toleration of interference by the Communistic International in the internal affairs of nations not only endangers their internal peace and social welfare, but threatens the general peace of the world, Desiring to co-operate for defense against communistic disintegration, have agreed as follows.
Article I: The High Contracting States agree that they will mutually keep each other informed concerning the activities of the Communistic International, will confer upon the necessary measure of defense, and will carry out such measures in close co-operation.
Article II: The High Contracting States will jointly invite third States whose internal peace is menaced by the disintegrating work of the Communistic International, to adopt defensive measures in the spirit of the present Agreement or to participate in the present Agreement.
Article III: The Japanese and German texts are each valid as the original text of this Agreement. The Agreement shall come into force on the day of its signature and shall remain in force for the term of five years. The High Contracting States will, in a reasonable time before the expiration of the said term, come to an understanding upon the further manner of their co-operation."
The Pact was signed by Viscount Kintomo Mushakoji Imperial Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Joachim von Ribbentrop German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Hitler and subsequently Benito Mussolini used the Anti-Comintern to position themselves as the defenders of Western civilization against the threat of Soviet Bolshevism. The agreement was clearly aimed at the Soviet Union. Japan and Germany agreed if attacked by the Soviets to consult on what measures were needed. The two countries also agreed that neither would conclude political treaties with the Soviet Union. Germany agreed to recognize the Japanese puppet regime of Manchuko in Manchuria. The primary significance, however, is that the Anti-Comintern Pact laid the foundation for the future signing of the Axis agreement (1940).
Italy had fought with the Allies in World War I. German Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini dithered on relations with Hitler and the NAZIs. They shared Fascist idelogy and anti-Communism, although Italian Fascism did not have the genocidal rascist thread of the NAZIs. Mussolini had risen to power as a strong leader opposed to the Coomunists. Mussolini like Hitler wanted to expand, but Mussolini was concerned about the threat of the NAZIs. Thus he cooperated with the Allies to maintain Austrian independence. The British and French formed the Stresa frontto prevent the NAZIS from annexing Austria (1935). This was inpart a reaction to the NAZI-ibspired assasination of pro-Italian dictator Engelbert Dollfuss. The Stresa Front was in part undone by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement (June 1935). The major weakness, however, was Mussolini's desire for colonies. Most of the colonies he wanted werre European colonies or protectorates (Syria, Lebenon, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisua, Algeria, and Morocco) or countries with Allied support (Yugoslavia and Greece). It was thus perhaps inevitavle that Mussolini would turn to the NAZIs.
Italy invaded the independent African nation of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The invasion was widely condemned and the subject of League of Nations action. Britain and France negotiated a secret agreement with Italy which recognized her control of two-thirds of Abyssinia. The British and French public was outraged when the agreement became public. Mussolini was offended by the reaction. Hitler used this controversy to court him.
Hitler's diplmatic support of Italy in Ethiopea (1935) was soon followed by their joint assistance to General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936).
The shiftaway from the Allies and toward the NAZIs began with a treaty of friendship (October 25, 1936). Mussolini began using the term Rome-Berlin Axis. Italy next signed the Anti-Comintern Pact (1937), conforming that Mussolini had decided to throw in his lot with the NAZIs. Mussolini dropped Italy objection to German annexation of Austria. Only a few montha after Italy entered the Anti-Cominter Pact, the NAZIs executed the Anchluss (March 1938).
The NAZIs shocked the world when despite years of vituperitive rhetoric aimed at Communism and the Soviet Union, they signed a Non-Agression Pact (August 1939). It one of the great diplomatic misnomers, the Non-Agression Pact was in fact the green light for World war II. The Non-Agression Pact violated the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact. The NAZIs did not consult with either Japan or Italy before signing the Non-Agression Pact. This lack of consultation and joint planning was to be a feature and glaring weakness of the future Axis Alliance.
Japan was shocked by the NAZI-Soviet Nonaggression Pact and renounced the Anti-Comintern Pact (August 23, 1939).
The Japanese were initially reluctant to accept Hitler's 1939 offer to formally join the German-Italian Axis alliance. The German defeat of the Netherlands and epecially France apparently caused the Japanese to reverse their position. The defeat of the French and the occupation of the Netherlands meant that the colonies of these countries in Southeast Asia were vulnerable. The Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) were particularly important because of their oil resources. Rubber was another important resource available in the region. Japan had been importing oil from the United States, but America was increasing pressure on Japan to end the war in China. The Japanese thus joined the Tripartite Pact (September 27, 1940). Germany, Italy, and Japan pledged “to assist one another with all political, economic and military means” when any one of them was attacked by “a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Sino-Japanese Conflict”. This of course meant the Soviet Union and the United States. Japan signed the Tripartite Pact, making the country a member of the Axis military alliance (September 27). The Pact allied Germany, Italy, and Japan and became known as the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis, or more commonly Axis Alliance.
The NAZIs after launching Barbarossa, the massive invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941) attempted to revive the Anti-Comintern Pact. The Pact was renewed renewal for another 5 years (November 25, 1941). This was the NAZIs diplomatic effort to present his invasion as a European crusade against Bolshevism. The signatories of the expanded pasct were: Bulgaria, China, (Japanese puppet Naking regime), Croatia (NAZI puppet state), Denmark (NAZI occupied), Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Manchukuo (Japanese puppet state), Romania, Slovakia (NAZI puppet state), and Spain.
Stalin abolished the Comintern during World War II to appeased his Western allies (1943). The effort to gain control of foreign Communidt parties and to use those parties to seize control of other countries was in fact intensified after the War.
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