Berlin Pact of 1940. September – December 1940

On September 27, 1940, Germany, Italy and Japan signed an agreement that came to be known as the ‘Tripartite’ or ‘Berlin’ Pact. It called on the three states to cooperate in creating and supporting a ‘new order’ in Europe and East Asia and defined the spheres of influence of each state. the parties to the pact pledged to assist each other with all possible political, economic and military means in the event of an attack by another country. Article 5 stated that the agreement ‘does not affect in any way the political status quo that currently exists between each of the parties and Soviet Russia’.

In his newspaper article ‘Berlin Pact for a Tripartite Alliance’, V. Molotov wrote that the agreement opened the way to the ‘further intensification of war and its territorial expansion’ insofar as ‘Japan has abandoned its policy of non-interference in European affairs, while Germany and Italy … have abandoned their policy of non-interference in Far Eastern affairs’. In a letter to Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek, J. Stalin wrote that the signature of the pact would have a negative impact on the position of China and the USSR yet could also adversely affect Japan.

Soon after the signature of the pact, Germany, Italy and their satellites launched military operations in the Balkans. Germany sent troops to Romania in early October 1940, while the Greco-­Italian War broke out on October 28.

Germany also convinced Hungary (on November 20, 1940), Romania (on November 23, 1940), and Slovakia (on November 24, 1940) to join the Tripartite Pact.

On March 1, 1941, Bulgaria also became a member of the Tripartite Pact. The same day, German troops entered the country.

27 September 1940
Russian State Military Archive
Coll. 1511k, ser. 3, fold. 110, f. 45.
Photograph
[Before 1 October 1940]
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History
Coll. 82, ser. 2, fold. 1161, ff. 66–75.

Original. Corrections – autographs by V. Molotov and J. Stalin

16 October 1940
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History
Coll. 558, ser. 11, fold. 326, ff. 14–15.
Original. Autograph by A. Poskrebyshev. Corrections – autographs by A. Poskrebyshev and J. Stalin
Belvedere, Vienna. [20 November 1940]
Russian State Military Archive
Coll. 1511k, ser. 3, fold. 9, f. 2.
Photograph