The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was a treaty signed between the British Empire and the German Reich in 1935. It was aimed at regulating the size and composition of the two countries’ naval forces, and it is considered one of the most controversial agreements of the interwar period.
The terms of the agreement allowed Germany to build a navy that was up to 35% the size of the British fleet. This was a significant concession on the British side, which had previously maintained a policy of naval supremacy. The agreement also allowed Germany to build submarines and to operate them in the North Sea and the Baltic. This was a significant advantage for Germany, as submarines were a major weapon during World War I and played a critical role in the naval blockade of Britain.
In exchange for these concessions, Germany agreed to limit the size of its navy to 35% of the size of the British fleet and to refrain from building any aircraft carriers. Germany also agreed to respect the territorial integrity of the British Empire and to seek peaceful solutions to any disputes that might arise between the two countries.
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was controversial for several reasons. Many in Britain saw it as a betrayal of the country’s traditional policy of naval supremacy, which had been the cornerstone of its foreign policy since the Napoleonic Wars. Others saw it as an appeasement of Germany, which was rapidly rearming and expanding its military power in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
Despite these concerns, the agreement remained in place until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. In hindsight, it is now clear that the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was a significant factor in the failure of British appeasement policy towards Germany and the subsequent outbreak of war.
In conclusion, the terms of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement allowed Germany to build a navy that was up to 35% the size of the British fleet, and to operate submarines in the North Sea and the Baltic. In exchange, Germany agreed to respect the territorial integrity of the British Empire and seek peaceful solutions to any disputes that might arise between the two countries. However, the agreement was controversial and is now seen as a significant factor in the failure of British appeasement policy towards Germany.