Citation
The Eastern wild card

Material Information

Title:
The Eastern wild card the Soviet influence on naval armament limitations in the 1930's
Creator:
Anderson, John Michael
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 114 leaves : ; 29 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sea-power -- Soviet Union ( lcsh )
Arms control ( lcsh )
Arms control ( fast )
Sea-power ( fast )
History, Naval -- Soviet Union ( lcsh )
Soviet Union ( fast )
Genre:
Naval history. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Naval history ( fast )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 106-114).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of History.
Statement of Responsibility:
by John Michael Anderson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
22974091 ( OCLC )
ocm22974091
Classification:
LD1190.L57 1990m .A52 ( lcc )

Full Text
THE EASTERN WILD CARD: THE SOVIET INFLUENCE ON
NAVAL ARMAMENT LIMITATIONS IN THE 1930S
by
John Michael Anderson
B.S., Louisiana State University, 1981
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of History
1990


This thesis for the Masters of Arts
degree by
John Michael Anderson
has been approved for the
Department of
History
by
/6 ULtZr a
Date


Anderson, John Michael (M.A., History)
The Eastern Wild Card: The Soviet Influence on Naval
Armament Limitations in the 1930s
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Mary S. Conroy
In 1920 the Soviet Union emerged from the Russian
Civil War diplomatically isolated, industrially
prostrate, and without an effective navy. At the same
time, the five major naval powers--Great Britain, the
United States, Japan, France, and Italy--met at the
Washington Naval Conference to negotiate naval armament
limitations. The Soviets were excluded from the 1922
Washington Conference and from subsequent major power
naval limitations negotiations until the mid-1930s when
the British concluded a bilateral naval limitation
agreement with the Soviets. In the fifteen years
between 1922 and 1937, the Soviets evolved from a
diplomatically ignored minor naval power to an actively
courted minor naval power exerting a disproportionate
influence on the armament limitations process.
This thesis explores the historical situation prior
to the Soviets gaining influence in the 1930s by
examining the diplomatic isolation and eventual
recognition of the Soviet Union and by describing the
condition of the Soviet navy and industry during the


1920s. With this background established, the
investigation focuses on the Soviet influence on the
naval limitations negotiations in the 1930s, including
the 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreement, the 1936 London
Naval Conference, and the 1937 Anglo-Soviet Naval
Agreement. In addition, the incapability of Soviet
indigenous naval technology to build a modern fleet is
presented through a study of the Soviet attempt to
procure naval technology from the United States during
the late 1930s. The relative qualitative and
quantitaive inferiority of the Soviet navy compared to
the major naval powers is demonstrated in both the text
and four appendices that illustrate the relative
strength of the Soviet navy in key years of the 1920s
and 1930s.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I
recommend its publication.
S i gned|
Mary
iv


DEDICATION
To absent loved ones:
My father: Franklin C. Anderson
My little sister:
Erin Cuccia Agostini, Ph.D


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. Introduction
11. Synopsis of Naval Armament Limitations in the 1920s and 1930s .... 5
III. The Diplomatic Isolation of the Soviet Union in 1922
IV. Diplomatic Developments Recognition by Four Washington Treaty Powers ... . .21
V. The Soviets and the 1923 Rome Naval Conference
VI . The Soviets and Naval Limitations in the 1930s
The London Naval Treaty of 1930 . . 30
The Soviet-Turkish Naval Protocol March 7, 1931 . . 32
Diplomatic Developments Recognition by the United States . . 34
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement J une 18, 1935 . . 40
The London Naval Treaty of 1936 . . 43
The Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement July 17, 1937 . . 51
Post Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement Developments . . 59
Soviet Attempts to Procure Naval Technology During the 1930s . .62
VII.
Cone 1 us ion
70


NOTES
73
APPENDICES
Explanation of Appendices .................,.90
Caveat ..................................98
Selection Criteria ......................98
Validity ...............................100
Appendix A Relative Naval Strengths
in 1922 ...............................101
Appendix B Relative Naval Strengths
in 1930 .............................. 102
Appendix C Relative Naval Strengths
in 1936 ............................. 103
Appendix D Relative Naval Strengths
on September 1, 1939 ................. 104
Sources ................................105
BIBLIOGRAPHY ...............................106
v i i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This author wishes to express sincere
apprec i at i on to Professors Mary S. Conroy and
Frederick S. Allen for their guidance and
encouragement dur ing the preparation of this
thesis. Their constant examples of professional
enthusiasm and unparalleled scholarship have
inspired this author more than they will ever know.
Further thanks are extended to my family,
especially my mother, Mildred Anderson, and my
father-in-law and mother-in-law, George and Arlene
Cuccia, for their understanding and moral support.
Similar recognition goes to my friend and former
teacher, Jim McNeill, for his enthusiastic
encouragement.
Special thanks and deepest gratitude are
offered to the person who made this work possible
through her support and patience, my wife Pam.
v i i i


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
In the early 1920s the major world powers
initiated armament limitations conferences in an attempt
to prevent a future war. The armament limitation
conferences continued through the 1930s and almost to
the eve of the second world war, but they obviously did
not achieve their ambitious goal. Although the inter-
war attempts at general armament limitations are
regarded as failures, the efforts in the realm of naval
limitations did produce short-lived successes.
Since there have been many analyses of the failures
of the inter-war naval armament limitations agreements
between the major naval powers, this thesis will not
retrace this adequately covered topic. Instead, this
thesis will focus on how the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, a minor naval power during the period, was
able to exert an influence greater than warranted by the
size of its fleet on naval limitations in the 1930s.
Because it is impossible to fully understand the Soviet
influence in the 1930s naval armament limitations out
of context, the stage will be set by providing a


historical background. This background will include a
chronology of naval armament limitation efforts in the
1920s and 1930s, an exploration of the diplomatic
isolation and eventual recognition of the Soviet Union,
a description of the condition of the Soviet navy and
industry in the 1920s, and an examination of the Soviet
response to being excluded from the first naval armament
limitations conference in Washington.
Although the Soviets were excluded from the major
power naval limitation conferences in the 1920s, by the
1930s the weakening of the concurrence of the major
powers on naval limitations along with the growing
threat to the status quo by Germany and Japan made the
Soviet Union.a wild card in the international situation.
The Soviet Union presented a double unknown to the naval
strategist of the 1930s. Not only was there the
question of how powerful the Soviet navy could become
while unencumbered by treaty restrictions, but there was
also the unknown factor of which side would have the
benefit of the Soviet navy in an alliance. The
examination of the influence of the Soviet Union on
naval armament limitations in the 1930s will illustrate
how the Soviets position as a wild card affected
negotiations during the Anglo-German Naval Agreement,
the second London Naval Conference, the Anglo-Soviet
2


Naval Agreement, and the final breakdown of the naval
limitations scheme in Europe before World War II. In
order to illustrate that this influence was
disproportionate to the real or potential strength of
the Soviet navy in the 1930s, a study of the attempt
by the Soviets to procure foreign technical assistance,
notably from the United States, to overcome the lack of
indigenous naval technology is presented.
Although it is easy to present the inter-war naval
armament limitation treaties as a case-study of failure,
there are other lessons to be gleaned from an
examination of the topic. Most interesting is
reflection in the naval limitation sphere of the
transformation of the Soviet Union from a diplomatically
ignored state at the start of the 1920s to an actively
courted participant in the European international power
structure by the mid-1930s. Part of this
transformation is the expendable nature of ideology in
favor of pragmatic foreign relations as the democracies
and even the fascists made agreements with the Soviets.
More significant than the historical ironies, the
concept of naval armament limitations did not die at the
start of World War II. The attempts during the 1920s
and 1930s were hopefully the first tentative steps in
an ongoing process. After a hiatus caused by the second
3


world war and the "violent peace" of the Cold War, the
major nava1 powers are again addressing nava1 armaments
limitations. As in 1920, the major powers currently
recognize the value of curtailing naval expenditures in
view of a reduced perceived threat and an uncertain
economic future. Also repeating 1920, the threat from
several former major naval powers has been eliminated as
the result of warfare. Unlike 1920, now there are two
major naval powers instead of five and the Soviet Union
has every reason to be considered one of the major
power s.
4


CHAPTER I I
SYNOPSIS OF NAVAL ARMAMENT LIMITATIONS
IN THE 1920S AND 1930S
In February 1922 in Washington, D. C., Great
Britain, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy
concluded the Washington Naval Treaty, commonly called
the Five-Power Treaty, concerning the limitation of
naval armaments.1 The Five-Power Treaty curbed an
impending capital shipbuilding race by enacting limits
on the aggregate displacement tonnage of battleships,
battleship size, and gun caliber.= This treaty set the
relative sizes of the five powers battle fleets. The
United States and Britain were permitted equal tonnage
in their battle fleets.3 Furthermore, the tonnage of
the U.S. fleet, or the British fleet, was considered the
baseline. Japan was allowed sixty percent of that
baseline and each of the Mediterranean powers thirty-
three percent of the baseline."* In addition, the
signatories agreed to cease building new capital ships,
except to replace existing ships, and contracted to
inform each other when they initiated construction of a
replacement ship."5* This remarkable agreement was the


first of its kind since the industrial revolution and
actually resulted in the destruction of armaments under
construction."7 Beyond these significant facets, the
treaty set a standard for subsequent qualitative and
quantitative naval limitation negotiations during the
1920s and 1930s. In 1924 and again in 1925'T,
unsuccessful attempts were made to extend the concept of
limitation to the smaller navies of other powers. An
endeavor to expand the Washington Treaty tonnage ratio,
along with qualitative and quantitative limits, to
encompass the smaller combatant ship classes of Britain,
the United States, and Japan failed in 1927,10 but
succeeded in 1930 with the first London Naval Treaty.11
During the mid-1930s the bilateral naval talks between
Great Britain and Germany resulted in the recognition of
Germanys right to build a fleet in ratio to the British
fleet13 (by total tonnage in ship categories in the
spirit of the Washington and subsequent naval
agreements). The London Naval Conference of 1935-1936
was called to allow the major naval powers to negotiate
a new treaty to replace the 1930 London Naval Treaty
which was due to expire at the end of 1936.13 This
second London Naval Conference succeeded in continuing
the Washington Treaty concept of qualitative
restrictions on warships, but did not maintain
6


quantitative limitations on fleet sizes.14
Furthermore,
two of the original Washington Treaty powers, Japan and
Italy, did not sign the second London Naval Treaty in
1936.1= However, two resurgent European powers,
Germany and the Soviet Union, were brought into the
scheme of naval limitation in 1937 when both countries
signed agreements with Great Britain to honor the
provisions of the second London Treaty. 1 countries concluded similar treaties with the British as
late as 1938.X7 Thus, the result of the 1921-1922
Washington Naval Conference, the Five-Power Treaty,
stood as a framework for international naval armaments
limitation negotiations almost to the eve of World War
I I .
7


CHAPTER I I I
THE DIPLOMATIC ISOLATION OF
THE SOVIET UNION IN 1922
When the five major naval powers convened in
Washington in 1921 to discuss naval armament
limitations, no representation was sought from the
successor to the Imperial Russian government. The
possible cause for this exclusion can be found in the
relations between the principal Washington Conference
powers and the apparent heir to the Tsarist government,
the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic.10
Since the exclusion of the Soviets1"* from the Washington
Naval Conference and the recurring problem of Soviet
diplomatic estrangement during the 1920s and 1930s
from one or more of the Conference powers, particularly
the United States, would influence later attempts to
include the Soviets in subsequent naval limitation
discussions, a brief examination of the pre-Washington
Conference diplomatic climate is warranted.
In February 1917 the Tsarist government of Russia
was overthrown. This event greatly impressed the
United States Ambassador to Moscow, David R. Francis.


The American Ambassador was amazed that the people of a
large country engaged in a world war could shake off the
ruling monarchy and establish the Provisional
Government.30 In addition, Francis was encouraged by
the new governments pledge to continue the war against
the Central Powers and to honor the Tsarist governments
foreign obligations.31 Armed with reports that the
British were prepared to recognize the Provisional
Government, Ambassador Francis urged the Secretary of
State to quickly recognize the Provisional Government,
perceiving that the United States would score a moral
victory by being the first country to do so.33
Subsequently, the United States recognition of the
Provisional Government pre-empted the French and British
by four hours.33 This swift recognition by the United
States presents two ironies. First, and most obvious, is
the rush by the United States Ambassador to Moscow to be
the first to recognize the Provisional Government, yet
the United States would be the last of the five naval
powers to recognize its successor, the Soviet
government. Second, understandably Great Britain and
France were prompt to recognize a government that
believed in maintaining Russia in the world war, but
Francis interest in Russias continuation of the war
effort is puzzling since the United States was still
9


neutral in March 1917.
Unfortunately for the countries expecting the
continued Russian prosecution of the world war, the
Provisional Government did not survive. Although the
Provisional Government was the titular successor to the
Tsarist regime, an American diplomatic mission to Russia
reported that the government "had not succeeded in fact
to the centralized power of the old bureaucratic
government."24 Further, the American Consul in
Petrograd termed the new governments authority
"fictitious to a certain extent" and correctly assessed
that the true power resided in the hands of the
Socialist-dominated Petrograd Council of Workmens and
Soldiers Deputies.3SS In addition to its lack of
authority, the Provisional Government experienced four
different ministerial compositions during its eight-
month tenure, thus causing the western powers to attempt
to conduct relations with a government that was changing
nearly bi-monthly.2*
After the Provisional Government was overthrown in
November 1917, the diplomatic situation deteriorated
further. The rush to recognize the new goverment after
the February fall of the Tsar was not repeated when the
Bolsheviks seized power. This may be partly attributed
to the Bolsheviks announcement of the unilateral
10


annulment of existing alliances and a desire for an
armistice with the Central Powers. ='7' The British
Ambassador to Moscow was reportedly recommending
recognition of the Bolshevik government in November
1917,=s but by the next month he was instructed "to
abstain from any further action that could be taken as
implying recognition. 1,39 Additionally, the British
were prepared to support any American attempts to
pressure neutral countries not to recognize the new
government.30 The French decided to "ignore" the new
government and reduced its official functions in' Russia
to minor consu1 ate-1 eve 1 duties such as the issuance of
passports.31 Taking a harsher stance, the Italians
had not only refused to approach the Bolsheviks, but had
also forbidden the granting of visas to Bolshevik
passport holders.32 Across the Atlantic, the American
Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, instructed his
diplomats abroad to "have no relations with Russian
diplomatic officers who recognize or who are appointed
by [the] Bolshevik government."33 Consequently, by the
middle of December 1917, none of the future Washington
Conference powers had recognized the Bolshevik
government.34
Initially, the Bolsheviks were not concerned by the
lack of recognition. The Commissar for Foreign Affairs,
11


Lev Davidovich Trotsky, informed the Allies that the
Bolsheviks did not demand parliamentary recognition from
other countries since the Bolsheviks were recognized by
the Russian people.3,3 The possibility of improved
relations with the western powers was probably not
enhanced when the National Commissariat for Foreign
Affairs stated its governments "indifference' to the
"diplomatic ritual of recognition while protesting the
refusal of visas to its diplomatic couriers.36 In
response to the denial of visas to its personnel, the
Commissariat announced it would cease issuing similar
visas to foreigners.3-7 Perhaps the most alarming part
of the Foreign Affairs Commissariats protest was its
declared intention to conduct diplomatic relations "not
only with the governments but also with the
revolutionary socialist parties which are striving for
the otherthrow of the existing governments."30
Additional discord arose when the Bolsheviks
decreed in February 1918 that all foreign loans
concluded by the previous Russian governments (Tsarist
and Provisional) were cancelled as of December 1,
1917.3,7 The combination of the repudiation of debts and
the vow to spread the socialist revo1ut i on wou 1 d
cont inue to be principal stumb1ing blocks to normal
relations with the Bolsheviks.^0
12


To add further confusion, the Bolshevik revolution
sparked the Russian Civil War when forces loyal to the
Imperial government immediately opposed the Bolshevik
takeover.41 During the two-year Civil War the future
Washington Treaty powers were confronted with a
proliferation of newly independent governments and
military forces opposing the Bolshevik government in
diverse regions of the old Tsarist Empire. In fact,
American officials monitoring the events in Russia
during the Civil War did not give Bolshevik power a
healthy prognosis,43 reporting it as "in [the] process
of dissolution"'43 and "a government whose continuance in
power is becoming daily more uncertain."44
During the Civil War the Allies undertook a less
passive position than the refusal to recognize the
Bolshevik government. Instead of sitting idle while
Russia was engulfed in internacine warfare, the five
major naval powers dispatched troops to intervene in
Russia. The intervention was precipitated by the March
1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk whereby the Bolshevik
government concluded a separate peace with Germany.
The major naval powers had been allies of Tsarist Russia
in the world war and were expecting the Russians to
engage a large part of the German army on the eastern
front. As a result of the Bolshevik peace with
13


Germany, the former Allies decided to send troops to
Russia in order to prevent German influence in Russia,
to guard the munitions sent by the Allies to Russia, to
aid the Russians to defend themselves from a possible
German takeover, to assist the Czecho-S1ovak prisoners
of war in leaving Russia, and to establish order.40
The first interventionist troops landed at Vladivostok
on April 5, 1918.4 foreign troops left Russia,4-7 all of the five major
naval powers had sent troops to intervene.40
By November 1920 the Russian Civil War was over.
The Bolsheviks had won. Within four months of the end
of the Civil War the Bolsheviks had regained control of
several of the briefly independent frontier republics.
Although the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet
Republic, the nucleus of Bolshevik control since its
establishment in July 1918, did not formally unite with
the regained republics until December 1922, it did
perform most of the foreign relations activities for the
smaller republics.4^ Even if the Soviets, nee'
Bolsheviks, were not diplomatically recognized as the
successor to the Tsarist government, at least the
geographical extent of their power of attorney in
foreign policy approximated the pre-revolution non-
European Russian Empire.
14


Although they had succeeded in consolidating
authority in Russia, the Soviets still found themselves
ignored diplomatically at the time of the Washington
Conference. Despite the recall of all diplomats that
did not swear allegiance to the Soviet government,00 the
only representative of Russia in Washington recognized
by the United States was Ambassador Boris A. Bakhmeteff,
who had been appointed by the Provisional Government in
July 1917.551 He was not recognized by the Soviets as
their representative. His Soviet-appointed
replacement, Ludwig C. A. Martens, was not only refused
recognition as a foreign diplomat by the State
Department,3 but was deported as well.533 When
Woodrow Wilson, whom the Soviets saw as hostile to their
government,4 left the White House, the Soviets seized
upon the change in administration to petition, without
success, President Warren G. Harding to reconsider
recognition of the Soviet Government.053 Even a Soviet
attempt to open informal diplomatic channels to the
United States through Norway4* was rebuf f ed,air
If the American Secretary of State, Charles Evans
Hughes, had extended an invitation to the Soviets in the
summer of 1921 along with the invitations to the
British, Japanese, French, and Italians to attend a
conference on naval limitation in Washington,13 the
15


recent history of relations between the five naval
powers and the Soviets would have presented a
diplomatically embarrassing situation at the Conference.
The Washington Conference participants would have sat
across from negotiators representing a country that they
had i gnored diplomatically, invaded, occup i ed, and
whose ships they had sunk without the benef i t of a
dec 1arat i on of war.39 In fact, at the start of the
Conference the Japanese were still occupying the port of
Vladivostok in the Far Hast,*0 and the British were
still holding the bulk of the Black Sea Fleet interned
at Bizerta, Tunisia.**1 If all of these actions were
ignored, along with the diplomatic isolation and non-
recognition of the Soviet government, did the Soviets
have a legitimate voice in the naval power arena at the
time of the Washington Conference?
In reality, the Soviets were not a naval power with
the same stature as the five Washington Conference
countries in the early 1920s. What was once the
Imperial Russian Navy was reduced in strength and
effectiveness through mutinies, neglect, and hostile
action at the hands of former allies. The Imperial
Russian Navy entered the Great War in 1914 with two main
fleets, one in the Black Sea and one in the Baltic Sea.
By the end of the Russian Civil war in 1920, the Black
16


Sea Fleet had virtually ceased to exist as the result of
damage, sinking, and the previously mentioned
internment,63 The Baltic Fleet disintegrated through
the cannibalization of warship guns for the army, the
transfer of some small warships to the newly independent
Baltic states, and the concentration of maintenance on
small warships at the expense of the remaining
batt 1 eshi ps. *3 As a result, by 1922 the Soviet navy was
numerically inferior to those of Great Britain, the
United States, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain
while operating the same number of capital ships as
Brazil and Argentina (see Appendix A). Further, in a
ship by ship comparision, the Soviet battleship guns
were smaller than the British, American, Japanese, and
French counterparts.*-* In addition, the February 1921
revolt by sailors at the Kronstadt Naval base60 further
reduced the effectiveness of the Baltic Fleet. Aside
from the destruction of warships, the supporting shore
installations were disrupted and naval industries were
"prostrate.** In this light, even ignoring the rest of
the internal situation in the R.S.F.S.R., the Soviet
navy at the time of the Washington Conference certainly
was in no condition to enter a building race with any of
the major powers. Further evidence that the Soviets
were neither able nor willing to challenge the naval
17


status quo can be found in the reported attempt to sell
several Baltic Fleet ships to Germany as scrap within
four months of the close of the Washington
Conference.6-7
Despite the state of the Soviet navy, the Peoples
Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Socialist
Federated Soviet Republic, Grigori Chicherin, protested
Soviet exclusion from the Washington Conference in a
note to each of the five powers.60 Although the main
focus of the protest was aimed at the exclusion of the
R.S.F.S.R. and the Far Eastern Repub 1 ic<65' from the
discussions of Pacific area questions, Chicherin
informed the Conference participants that, although the
Soviets welcomed the concept of disarmament, they would
not observe the agreements resulting from negotiations
they did not attend. -7 Another protest was issued by
the Far Eastern Republic before the start of the
Conference.-71 In fact, the Far Eastern Republic had
sent a delegation to Washington during the Conference
but it was not admitted to the discussions.72 The
protest by two governments representing the Soviet
people allowed the American Secretary of State to
answer:
In the absence of a single, recognized
Russian Government the protection of legit-
imate Russian interests devolve as a moral
trusteeship upon the whole Conference.73
18


As can be expected, the irony of trusting countries
which had recently blockaded, invaded, and supported
armies trying to crush the Soviets to uphold Soviet
interests was not lost on Chicherin.7* He warned that
any agreement concluded at the Conference without Soviet
participation would be viewed as a dictated treaty
similar to Versailles'73 and would contribute to distrust
between the R.S.F.S.R. and the other powers.7* Given
the state of the Soviet navy and the country, the
exclusion of the Soviets may appear to be insignificant
and these protests merely an attempt to gain official
recognition of the new Soviet government. However,
current Soviet sources view the whole Conference as
"directed against the national liberation movement of
the colonial and dependent countries and against the
Soviet state.'7"7' Additionally, less than a year after
the conelusion of the Conference, Chicherin threatened
to collapse the Washington Naval Treaty by starting
Soviet rearmament.73 The Soviets managed to make
propaganda capital from a treaty they neither negotiated
nor intended to respect.
Although the Soviets protested being excluded from
the Naval Conference and did not intend to adhere to its
agreement, they actually benefited from the Five-Power
Treaty.7*7 As indicated. the condition of Soviet naval-
19


related industry after years of world war, intervention,
and civil war left the Soviet Union unable to compete in
a naval building race.00 Before the Washington Naval
Conference, while the Soviets were suffering from an
involuntary warship building holiday, the three major
sea powers--Japan, Great Britain, and the United
States--were planning to increase their fleets with
larger, more powerful battleships.01 Instead of engaging
in a naval armaments race that would have quickly
eclipsed the Soviets ability to compete, these three
countries, each of which had recently demonstrated its
capability to land troops along the Soviet coastline and
intervene at will, negotiated a treaty that imposed a
building holiday and qualitative and quantitative limits
on themselves. The "Imperialist Powers," as the
Bolsheviks termed them, were probably unaware that they
had helped to further Vladimir I. Lenins foreign policy
tenet of seeking peredyshka or "breathing space."=
20


CHAPTER IV
DIPLOMATIC DEVELOPMENTS RECOGNITION BY
FOUR WASHINGTON TREATY POWERS
Although the Soviets were shunned by the major
naval powers at the time of the Washington Conference,
they were not idle in the realm of international
conferences. In the early 1920s the Soviets attended
the Genoa economic conference (April through May
1922),03 proposed their own disarmament conference to be
held in Moscow (June 1922),04 participated in the
Lausanne Conference concerning peace with Turkey and the
Turkish Straits (November 1922 through July 1923),aa
and agreed to partake in a proposed League of Nations
conference on naval disarmament.86 The Soviet presence
at these conferences was not without problems. The
Italians feared that Soviet participation in the Genoa
Conference would reawaken social disorder in Italy while
the recognition issue would cause politics to overshadow
the true purpose of the conference.07 In Washington,
the ambassador of the Provisional Government,
Bakhmeteff, warned that allowing the Soviets to attend
the Genoa Conference would be a contradiction of the


moral trusteeship for Russia assumed by the major
powers.00 ,As a result of American fears that the Genoa
Conference would disintegrate into a political forum for
the Soviets, the United States declined to
participate.^ The Lausanne Conference rekindled
American apprehension, reducing the American
participation to one observer,00 while the French and
British were concerned that signing any treaty with the
Soviets would become the basis for a Soviet claim of de
jure recognition.*5'1 As predicted, the Soviets managed
to use the Genoa and Lausanne conferences as political
forums where Chicherin expounded on the Soviet
championship of disarmament03 and reminded the world
that the Soviets had been excluded from discussion of
naval limitations at Washington.0'3
With the presence of the Soviets at these
conferences, the issue of recognition resurfaced. The
Soviets seized the opportunity presented by the death of
President .Harding to again approach a new president,
Calvin Coolidge, with a request for recognition.04
Citing the problem of debt repudiation, Coolidge
suggested that the Soviets should first acknowledge
their responsibility for the outstanding debts as a sign
of good faith before negotiations for American
recognition would be considered.0' The United States
22


recognition of the Soviet Union would remain unresolved
unt i1 1933.
In contrast, the change in the British government
to a Labour Party administration yielded a successful
Soviet bid for recognition. In January 1924, Chicherin
presented his governments attitude toward recognition
by Great Britain:
Russia,... ...is prepared to accept recog-
nition, but not as a favor, nor will she pay
for it. She has as much to give as to re-
ceive, and recognition is merely an aid to
the proper resumption of foreign trade.6
The British, realizing that Germany, Poland,
Turkey, and the Baltic States had recognized the Soviet
Union, hoped that if Great Britain also formalized
diplomatic relations, the other major powers would
follow suit.'5'-7 If other countries followed the British
lead, it was believed that it would then be possible to
gain. Soviet entry into the League of Nations,a
prospect viewed as possibly the most desirable political
result of British recognition. It was, however, also
possible that recognition would increase British trade
with the Soviet Union.100 Although the British were
also interested in settling the .debt issue, they
primarily sought to achieve a Soviet acknowledgement of
the debt to offset an expected counter claim for damages
from the British intervention.101
23


With the aim to assure that other countries would
also recognize the Soviets, the British approached the
Italians for their views on the issue.1035 The Italians
agreed that the time had come to begin a gradual process
of diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union.103 On
February 1, 1924, the British formally recognized the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as the de jure
rulers of those former territories of the Russian Empire
that had accepted Soviet author i ty. 104 The British
requested that the Soviets send representives to London
to resolve outstanding differences on the status of
former treaties and financial claims.10 An agreement
that provided for the long-term repayment of Soviet
debts was concluded by the autumn of 1924, but remained
unsigned due to the defeat of the Labour government and
the subsequent return of the Conservatives to power,106
By 1930 the British were still trying to get the Soviets
to recognize the outstanding debt10-7 and the balance of
trade between the two countries was skewed in the
Soviets favor by a margin of four to one.100 In
addition, the expected Soviet entrance into the League
of Nations did not occur until 1934, ten years after the
British recognition.
In Italy, Premier Benito Mussolini was exasperated
when he was pre-empted by the British10^ and
24


subsequently recognized the Soviets on February 8, 1924.
Understandably, the Soviets welcomed the British
and Italian actions. The Second Congress of Soviets
lauded the recognition by Britain without missing the
opportunity to illustrate that this historic step was
taken by the first Labour government in Britain and was
a result of a combination of the British vocal publics
determination and Lenins peace policy.110 Maxim M.
Litvinov, who later negotiated the United States
recognition of the Soviet Union, praised Italy and Great
Britain for discarding the "illusion" that recognition
would only benefit the Soviet Union.111 In addition,
Litvinov predicted that since recognition would result
in trade with the Soviet Union, other powers would soon
also abandon the illusion and realize that they too
could profit by recognizing the Soviets.112 France113
and Japan11'* were still concerned with the outstanding
debts but were ready to negotiate a solution. Further,
the Japanese were interested in gaining coal and oil
concessions from the Soviets after the return of
Sakhalin Island to the Soviet Union.113 Within a year
France and Japan fulfilled Litvinovs prediction and
recognized the Soviet Union on October 28, 1924, and
January 1, 1925, respectively. Apparently the Soviets
realized that when conducting relations with the major
25


powers it was best to be patient until the other
countries realized they needed Soviet co-operation.
This theme would continue throughout the Soviet foreign
relations between the world wars.
26


CHAPTER V
THE SOVIETS AND THE 1923
ROME NAVAL CONFERENCE
When negotiations were attempted in Rome during
February 1924 to extend the provisions of the Five-
Power Treaty to the minor naval powers, the Soviets were
i nc 1 uded 11 In fact, the Rome location was chosen to
placate the Soviets who refused to participate in any
conference convened in Switzerland in protest over the
1923 shooting of Vatslav Vatslavovich Vorovsky, the
Soviet delegate to the Lausanne Conference.117
Participation in the Rome negotiations was open to all
countries that possessed capital ships, as defined by
the Five-Power Treaty, and/or all countries on the
League of Nations Naval Sub-Commission.110 The Soviet
Union was the only non-League country at the
Conference.11'5 The broad invitation criteria opened
the attendence list to include Argentina, Belgium,
Brazil, Chile, Czechoslovakia,130 Denmark, Great
Britain, Greece, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,
Norway, the Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, and
Uruguay.131
The Soviets were credited by one author


with causing the disintegration of the short-lived Rome
Naval Conference133 when they demanded to be allowed to
build battleship tonnage in excess of that allowed
Japan, France, and Italy, and approximately eighty-five
percent of the Anglo-American parity.133 Admiral
Evgenii Andreevich Berens, the Soviet delegate,
justified this position by illustrating that the Soviet
Union had three widely separated maritime frontiers, the
Black Sea, Baltic Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, and,
therefore, needed three fleets.13"1 The Soviet delegate
was willing to reduce his tonnage demand if the Black
Sea and Baltic Sea were closed to warships of non-
littoral powers and the Straits of Korea were
demilitarized.1355 Although these conditions were
considered to be unacceptable, 13<: they appear to have
been directed at preventing a repeat of the Allied
intervention by denying easy access to the Soviet
coasts. When it was explained to Admiral Berens that
the Soviet Union was in no condition to build a navy of
the size he demanded (between six and seven times the
tonnage of the Soviet battleships existing at the
time), 13-7 the Admiral countered that it might be
possible in the future to build these ships.13
Further, using existing fleet strengths as the criterion
for allowed tonnage was unacceptable to the Soviets.13^
28


Admiral Berens illustrated what another author has shown
as the main fault of the Washington and Rome
Conferences, that it is inappropriate to establish naval
limitations based on current, rather than projected
strengths.130 The same author felt that attributing
the failure at Rome to the Soviets was primarily an
Anglo-Saxon viewpoint and that the Conference foundered
because the other powers were also opposed to fixing the
naval status quo at the current levels.131 It is a
valid point that the three leading post-World War I
naval powers, Great Britian, the United States, and
Japan, displayed a certain arrogance when they
established relative fleet strengths during the
preliminary sessions of the Washington Conference and
then later expected the other powers to fall in cadence
by settling for inferior navies. On the other hand,
these three powers had no reason to believe in 1922 or
1924 that their positions could be challenged by any of
the minor naval powers, particularly the prostrate
Soviet Union.
29


CHAPTER VI
THE SOVIETS AND NAVAL
LIMITATIONS IN THE 1930S
Excluding the Soviets from the Washington Naval
Conference did not result in anything more than an
insult at the time to the Soviet government and had no
serious effect on the Washington Treaty powers during
the rest of the 1920s. This omission was seen by one
early 1930s author as a fault of the Washington
Conference for ignoring the Slavic world133 and when
the Washington Treaty powers met in London during 1930
to negotiate the extension of the Washington Treaty
provisions,133 the Soviets were excluded again.
The London Naval Treaty of 1930
Since the 1930 London Naval Conference was convened
to extend the earlier Five-Power Treaty in both scope
and duration, it was logical that only the five
Washington Treaty powers were invited.13*1 The Soviets
did not have a legitimate reason to expect an invitation
since they were not si gnator ies to the origi na1 treaty


under consideration. Once again the Soviets stood on the
sidelines and could only comment about the Conference as
disgruntled spectators. Even before the first London
Conference opened, Maxim Litvinov, the Peoples
Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union,
correctly predicted that the Conference would not
achieve a reduction in naval armaments, but would only
adjust the relative strengths of the five powers.130
After the first London Naval Conference concluded, an
Izvestiia article also chided the Conferences failure
to reduce armaments, terming it an "intolerable comedy,"
and assessed the Conference as merely camouflage for an
increase in naval forces on the part of the five
powers. 1
The Soviets had earned their seat on the sidelines
in 1930 since the Soviet Union was not, by any stretch
of the imagination or propaganda, a first-class naval
power and posed little naval threat to the major naval
powers. In 1930, the Soviet navy was smaller than any
of the navies of the Washington Treaty Powers or Germany
(see Appendix B). Additionally, what strength it did
possess was now geographically divided between the
Baltic and Black Seas. At the time of the first London
Conference, the Soviet Navy had no surface warships
designed after the Russian Revolution13'7 and, although
31


the first five-year industrial plan included a naval
building program, the Soviets still did not have the
capacity to build battleships or the component large
naval guns, armor plate, and machinery.130 The
subsequent five-year plans during the 1930s provided
for the expansion of naval facilities.139 Specifically,
the second five-year plan encompassed the production of
smaller warships and the modernization of existing
batt 1 eshi ps. 1'*0 The third five-year plan anticipated
building new battleships and cruisers.141 Before the
first five-year plan was completed and the more
ambitious Soviet naval building begun, one author
correctly predicted that Soviet naval expansion would
prompt a reassessment of the existing agreements between
the United States, Great Britain, and Japan.142
The Soviet-Turkish Naval Protocol
March 7. 1931
Undaunted at once again being excluded from the
multi-national naval limitations negotiations, in March
1931, the Soviets concluded a bilateral protocol with
Turkey, a fellow Black Sea power. In this protocol the
Soviets and Turks agreed to give the other signatory six
months advance notice before attempting to increase the
cur rent strength of their respective Black Sea
32


f leets. 1'*3
If the Soviet Union was far from being a
major naval power in 1931, Turkey was even more distant
from the primary sea power circle. 1A,I> Although this
simple protocol may have appeared to be prima facie
evidence of the Soviets generously agreeing to a status
quo with a regional power, in reality, the Soviets gave
nothing away. Just prior to the negotiations, in 1930,
the Soviets had gained regiona1 parity with the Turks by
transferring a battleship and cruiser from the Baltic
Fleet, re-establishing the Black Sea Fleet. In
fact, the protocol has been assessed as merely an effort
to placate Turkey after the escalation of the Soviet
Black Sea Fleet strength. The Soviets were not in a
position to unilaterally increase their Black Sea naval
forces since Turkey could control access to the sea
through the Dardanelles. Furthermore, the Soviet Black
Sea shipyards did not resume laying new warship keels
until 1935.It appears that the Soviets were adept
at concluding agreements favorable to themselves even if
they could not test their negotiating skill against the
major sea powers.
The need to address the problem of a potential
resurgent Soviet navy was not entirely lost on the
Washington powers. In September 1931 American Secretary
of State Henry L. Stimson recognized that the first
33


London Conference was concerned with the naval
relationship of the three trans-oceanic sea powers, but
now European naval relationships, including the position
of the Soviet Union, had to be addressed.149 Two years
later, in 1933, the Soviets approached French and
Italian naval architects and ship-builders in an effort
to initiate construction on the first new Soviet ships
since 1916. 1=50 Now the once distant, easily ignored,
hazy spectre of Soviet naval rearmament was growing more
defined.
Diplomatic Developments
Recognition by the United States
Throughout the rest of the 1920s and into the
early 1930s the United States remained the last major
power to refuse recognition of the Soviet Government.
Except for a two-year breach in Anglo-Soviet relations
from May 1927 to December 1929, precipitated by the
unresolved issues from the unconsumated 1924
agreement,1551 the United States alone struggled with
the dilemma of encountering representatives from an
unrecognized government. Soon after Italy and Great
Britain established diplomatic relations with the Soviet
Union, American diplomats were confronted with the
34


prospect of meeting their Soviet counterparts in the
course of their duties. Responding to several queries
from American dip1omats,1=3 Secretary of State Hughes
instructed his representatives abroad to accept any
official invitations to social functions also attended
by Soviet officials13 and to follow Hughes example of
"courteous relations as of one gentleman with
another"14 when encountering diplomats from an
unrecognised government. Further, the American
diplomats were authorised to informally receive calls
from the Soviet diplomats but were advised not to
reciprocate the calls.13 When Charles Evans Hughes
retired in 1925, Chicherin attributed the unfavorable
responses by Harding and Coolidge to Soviet overtures as
Hughes work13* and welcomed the prospect of a new
Secretary of State as a step toward renewing diplomatic
relations. 13-7
This time Chicherin was wrong. Secretary of State
Frank B. Kellogg and his successor Henry L. Stimson
continued the policy of non-recognition of the Soviet
Union. When confronted with the possibility of the
Soviets using the American and Soviet signatures on
multi-party treaties as a basis for a claim of de jure
recognition, the United States representatives to the
various international conferences were instructed to
35


incorporate in the treaties a paragraph similar to the
fo1 lowing:
The Plenipotentiaries of the United
States of America formally declare that their
signing the International Sanitary Convention
of this date is not to be construed to mean
that the United States of America recognizes
a regime or entity acting as Government of a
signatory or adhering Power when that regime
or entity is not recognized by the United
States as the Government of that Power. They
further declare that the participation of the
United States of America in the International
Sanitary Convention of this date does not in-
volve any contractual obligation on the part
of the United States to a signatory or adher-
ing Power represented by a regime or entity
which the United States does not recognize
as representing the Government of that Power,
until it is represented by a Government
recognized by the United States.1=0
In addition to allowing no latitude for the
Soviets to claim tacit recognition, the State Department
continued to refuse visas to Soviet diplomats. One
example can be found in the case of Alexandra Kollontay
who was denied a visa to transit the United States
while enroute to her post as the Soviet Minister to
Mexico. 1='5
During the first summer of Franklin D. Roosevelts
presidency the issue of recognizing the Soviet Union was
explored again. Conditions in both countries in 1933
made the prospect of normal relations attractive for the
Soviets and Americans. In April.1933 the Chairman of
the Board of Amtorg (the Soviet governments purchasing
36


and sales agency in the United States), Peter
Alexeyevich Bogdanov, relayed to an Ameri can businessman
that the Soviets were ready to place orders for Amer i can
goods and would substantially increase the orders over
the next five years if they could get long-term
credit.1*0 The next month, the Soviet press let it be
known that the United States would be able to sell more
goods to the Soviet Union if it recognized the Soviet
government.1*1 The prospect of increased trade for the
United States, which was trying to recover from the
Great Depression, and credits for the Soviets were two
incentives for both countries to resume diplomatic
re 1 at i ons.
In addition to the economic reasons, both the
Soviets and Americans viewed the Japanese as a potential
adversary. Although the United States Navy had, since
1919, perceived Japan as the most probable next naval
enemy,1*2 the Soviet Union had more recent cause for
concern over Japanese intentions in the early 1930s.
In light of the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the
Soviets felt that their Maritime and Amur provinces in
the Far East were threatened.1*3 The fact that the
Americans felt that the Soviets saw the establishment of
friendly relations as a counter to the Japanese in the
Far East has also been assessed an important factor in
37


the opening of the dialog between the Soviets and
Ame r i cans 1*q-
In July 1933 the State Department presented to
Roosevelt a memorandum that outlined problems that
should be resolved before granting recognition to the
Soviets.100 The enumerated areas of concern included
the world revolutionary activities of the Communist
Party, repudiated debts and confiscated property,
economic and social differences, and foreign nationals
rights in the Soviet Union.141* It was urged that prior
to recognition the Soviets should agree to abandon the
concept of world revolution and guarantee the safety of
American nationals and their property in the Soviet
Union.1*7 As to the debt question, involving principal
in the amounts of $192 million owed to the United States
government and $106 million owed, to American citizens,
it was felt prudent to have the issue resolved before
recognition since the French and British had incurred
lengthy post-recognition debt-resolution negotiations
with the Soviets.1*0 By October 1933, the State
Department modified its position on the debt question to
exclude about $5 million that was provided to an anti-
Soviet faction in the Civil War, but still believed the
Soviets should remain accountable for Imperial and
Provisional Government ob 1 i gat i ons. 1*'T In addition,
33


the State Department wanted the Soviets to waive any
claims to damages stemming from the American
intervention.1"70 During the pre-recognition
negotiations, a gentlemans agreement between the
Peoples Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov,
and President Roosevelt set the negotiating parameters
on the Soviet debt owed to the United States government
between $75 million and $150 mi 11 ion. 1-71 On November
16, 1933 President Roosevelt announced the formal
recognition of the government of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics.133
On the same day that the Soviets and Americans
established diplomatic relations, letters were exchanged
that assured Roosevelt that American nationals would be
afforded the same legal protection as other foreign
nationals in the Soviet Union,1"73 that the Soviets had
waived any claims to damages incurred by the American
intervention,174 and that the Soviets renounced
interference in American internal affairs.1"715 The
following day American diplomats abroad were instructed
to "enter into cordial official and social relations
with your Soviet col league."17* In the remaining years
prior to the start of World War II, the debt dispute1"7"7
and Soviet plan to export world revolution1"713 continued
to cause friction between the two powers.
39


The Anglo-German Naval Agreement
June 18. 1935
In June 1935 Great Britain consummated a bilateral
naval agreement with a resurgent European naval power,
Germany. In brief, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement
permitted the Germans to surpass the Versailles Treaty
restrictions on warship building and construct a fleet
thirty-five percent the size, by tonnage in ship
classes, of the British Commonwealths fleet, xr'r while
the British received a finite limit to German naval
expansion. This agreement was significant for two
reasons: 1) it involved a Washington Treaty signatory
reaching a bilateral accord with a non-Treaty power,
thereby extending the Washington system of negotiated
relative strengths, and 2) the Soviet naval expansion
threat strongly influenced the negotiations.
The Germans justified the thirty-five percent
ratio, their key demand in this naval agreement, as
essential in order to counter the Soviets in the Baltic
Sea.1BO During the course of the Anglo-German
discussions, the Germans reiterated this theme on
several occasions. Further, Hitler voiced concern that
the naval clauses of the Versailles Treaty would
40


hamstring the German navy shou1d the Soviet Union
ini tiate new warship contruction, 1eav i ng Germany
defense 1 ess in the f ace of the Soviet Uni on. 131
Add i t iona11y, Germany needed a larger navy to ma i nta i n
sea communications through the Baltic Sea to their
"overseas colony" of East Prussia.102 In rea1i ty, the
Soviet Baltic threat was not merely a propaganda ploy,
but a viable German concern since the Soviets had laid
the keels for two new cruisers in a Baltic shipyard
during the previous year.103 In addition, the submarine
construction begun during the first five-year plan would
increase the Soviet underwater fleet to the worlds
largest, in numbers of boats, by 1940.xa^
Although the British believed that conceding to the
German demand would likely cause an acceleration of
Soviet shi pbui 1 d ing, ie=s and were warned of a similar
fear by the French,106 the German position was
accepted. The Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia', and
Estonia, also expected a Russo-German naval building
race that would trap them between the two powers.107
The Latvian response to the Anglo-German Naval Agreement
was characterized as "panicky at the thought of being
abandoned by Great Britain and the Latvians even went
so far as to briefly consider, along with the Estonians,
the possibility of entering a mutual assistance pact
41


with the Soviet Union.10 The Soviets almost benefited
from another nava1 negotiation in which they were not
part i ci pants.
Reportedly, the Soviets were "intensely disturbed"
by the Anglo-German agreement and foresaw that British
naval competition with Germany in European waters would
weaken the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean Sea and in
the Far East.10'* Years later, one Soviet source
described the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as "one of
the acts of the policy of encouraging fascist agression
carried out by Britain, France, and the USA which
"helped Germany to strengthen its position against the
USSR in the North Sea and mainly in the Baltic Sea."1,
Even before the formal signing of the Anglo-German
Naval Agreement, the British recognized the need to
approach the Soviets to obtain a bilateral quantitative
naval agreement.1*91 In pursuit of this goal, throughout
the Anglo-German negotiations the British informed the
Soviets of Hitlers concerns regarding the Soviet naval
strength.1*93 The British invited the Soviets to send a
naval delegation to London, but wanted them to arrive
after the negotiations with the Germans ended.193 The
same day that the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was
signed, the British transmitted a copy of the agreement
text to their representative in Moscow, for
42


communication to Litvinov.1^ Along with the text, the
British relayed their explanation that they regarded the
Agreement as an important contribution to future naval
limitation and security for all countries,1TO In
addition, the British expressed their hope for the
opportunity to discuss quantitative limitations with the
Soviets. 1'7,:, If the Soviets were not agreeable to
quantitative limits, the British still wanted to at
least discuss qualitative restrictions.197 Now faced
with a the possiblity of a revitalised Soviet navy in
the mid-1930s, free from the restrictions the major
naval powers had taken upon themselves through the naval
treaties, the British could no longer ignore the Soviets
and began courting them to join the international naval
limitation system. The British approach to the Soviets
and Germans during 1934 and 1935 was intended to prepare
the way for the second London Naval Conference and a
later general conference that would include all of the
worlds naval powers.1,a
The London Naval Treaty of 1936
Although the major sea powers recognized the need
to include the rearming Germany and the Soviet Union in
the realm of naval limitations, achieving agreement on
43


their inclusion in the second London Naval Conference
would not be possible. In the summer of 1934, while
the preliminaries to the London Conference were
d i scus sed, the- French advocated including the Soviets
but certainly not the Germans, 19'i' while the Japanese
favored including the Germans, but feared such an
inclusion would result in an invitation to the
Soviets.300 The French position can be easily
understood since they were trying to improve their
relations with the Soviets in the wake of Germanys
resurgent desire for revenge.301 This Franco-Soviet
rapprochement- resulted in the French Parliaments
ratification of the Franco-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in
May 1933303 and a Mutual Assistance Pact in May 1935.303
It is easy to see that in the period between these
events the French would be very interested in advocating
Soviet participation in the naval negotiations. In
contrast, the Japanese and Soviets had been antagonists
in the Far East since the 1931 Japanese invasion of
Manchuria.304 With this in mind, it is easy to
comprehend why the Japanese were not willing to allow
the Soviets to attend the London Conference. What is
confusing, however, is the Japanese intransigence in
light of the establishment of the Soviet Pacific Fleet
in 1932.30=5
44


The Japanese attitude was probably at least partly
responsible for the British and American reluctance
during the summer of 1934 to support Soviet
participation in the second London Naval Conference.
These three countries had concluded naval limitiations
treaties in the past and the possibility of jeopardizing
the continuation of this success by offending the
Japanese may have contributed to the British and
American position. The Soviets expressed an interest to
the Americans in June 1934 in attending the preliminary
conference conversations but the Americans side-stepped
the issue by insisting that the British, not the
Americans, were empowered to extend invitations.30^
Furthermore, the Americans did not want to petition the
British on behalf of the Soviets because, at the time,
the British opposed expanding the conversations beyond
the five major naval powers.303 When Evgeny Rubinin, a
Director in the Peoples Commissariat for Foreign
Affairs of the Soviet Union, questioned American
Ambassodor William C. Bullitt to ascertain the validity
of reports that the Americans opposed the Soviets
participation, Bullitt dodged the question and advised
Rubinin that the Americans were willing to negotiate
with the Soviets after the issue of Soviet indebtedness
was resolved.300 Rubinin was disappointed and. informed
45


Bullitt that the Soviets had expected the Americans to
support the French proposal.^ Despite the American
insistance on settlement of Soviet debts, Commissar for
Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov, who had negotiated with
Roosevelt for United States recognition on the premise
that the debt issue would be settled, was convinced that
collaboration with the United States would be
established irrespective of the debt issue.3X0
Litvinovs hard-line attitude and refusal to address the
Soviet indebtedness issue were seen as barriers to
friendly cooperation at the upcoming naval conference;
however, it was hoped that his stance might be reversed
by Stalins desire for collaboration with the United
States.3X1 In July 1934 Litvinov notified Bullitt that
he "had no great desire to have the Soviet Union
represented" at the London Naval Conference.3X3
Notwithstanding Litvinovs sentiments, the French were
still championing expanding the Conference to additional
participants in October 1934 when Great Britain, Japan,
Italy, and the United States issued a memorandum that
the initial stages of the impending Conference should be
limited to the five Washington and London treaty
signatories,313
By the summer of 1935 conditions and the British
attitude had changed. As explored previously, Great
46


Britian had concluded a bilateral naval agreement with
Germany and had approached the Soviet Union with a
similar aim. Perhaps in an attempt to settle the
Soviets agitation over the signing of the Anglo-German
Agreement, the British advised the Soviets three days
after the signing that they intended to convene a naval
conference in London and an invitation would be extended
to the Soviets.314 The American Secretary of State,
Cordell Hull, felt that the British had reversed the
earlier consensus, specifically that the Conference
should be limited in attendance to the five original
countries until an agreement was reached, then Germany
and the Soviet Union would be approached.313 Hull
further voiced his reluctance to openly opposing the
(
expansion of the Conference, but also felt that all of
the naval treaty powers should have been consulted
before a Soviet invitation was sent.216 Holding firm
to their earlier posture, the Japanese upheld the
legalistic view that only the original Washington
Conference powers were entitled to participate in the
revision of the Treaty.31"3 Within a month the British
retreated from inviting the Soviets to the London
Conference and decided to hold a separate conference
afterwards which would include the Soviet Union and
Germany.313 The British did, however, keep the Soviets
47


informed of the details of the preliminary
discussions.219 As the opening of the actual London
Conference grew near, the British Foreign Office
contacted the Soviet Embassy in London to stress the
importance of close mutual contact since it was still
probable that the Conference would be extended to
include the Soviets.330 In addition, the British
wanted the Embassy to solicit comments from Moscow on
the the information already relayed during the
preliminary discussions and suggested that the Soviets
detail a naval expert to the London Embassy to
facilitate the future exchange of technical data during
the Conference.221
In November 1935, the month before the Conference
opened, Cordell Hull still felt that extending the
Conference participant list would increase the
obstacles to reaching an agreement, but instructed the
American delegation not to object to the extension of
invitations to the Soviet Union or Germany.333 Contrary
to his reserved objection, Hull thought that the
inclusion of Germany and the Soviet Union might be
valuable in getting Japan to adhere to a comprehensive
limitations agreement since any limitation on the size
of the Soviet navy would be a factor in future Japanese
building.333 Now the once ignored potential Soviet
48


naval strength was viewed as a possible wild card to
employ as a counter to the Japanese. Instead of
actively pursuing this possibility, the American
delegation was instructed, with the concurrence of
President Franklin Roosevelt,224 to leave the issue of
the inclusion of the Soviets in the Conference in the
hands of the British.333 Nevertheless, on December
10, 1935, the second London Naval Conference opened
without the participation of the Soviet Union.226
However, events at the Conference prevented the matter
of Soviet part iciption from becoming a dead issue.
Japanese insistance on naval parity with the
Americans and British and the refusal of the Conference
participants to concur led to the Japanese walking out
of the Conference in January 1936.333 Now that Japan,
which had continually opposed Soviet inclusion, no
longer had negotiators present at the- Conference, the
British and Americans almost immediately resumed
discussions on incorporating the Soviet Union and
Germany in the negotiations once the remaining four
powers had reached an agreement.33 The Italian and
French delegations were promptly consulted. The
Italians agreed229 with the British and American views
while the French appeared to be interested in including
only the Soviets.330 Later, the French recanted their
49


stance of the summer of 1934 and opposed including the
Soviets on the grounds that it might isolate the
Japanese and preclude future Japanese co-operation.331
This change in the French attitude was probably not the
result of any anti-Soviet feelings, but was indicative
of the French annoyance over the British signing of the
Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 and French refusal
to enter into any negotiations that might be interpreted
as recognizing Germanys right to rearm.333 Rather
than confront a difficult situation that would arouse
French public opinon, the French government chose to
retreat to the position of not expanding the Conference
beyond the original participants. The French, however,
still wanted a four-power agreement that would later
meet with Soviet concurrence.333 In the Japanese
absence, the French became the vocal opposition to the
Soviet attendance at the Naval Conference.
Throughout these developments and throughout the
Conference, the Soviets displayed a marked disinterest
in the events in London.33^ After being ignored by the
major naval powers during the 1920s, the Soviets were
now in the position of being courted. Apparently, the
Soviets knew they had become a factor in the European
naval equation and could now afford to stand back and
let the western democracies approach them.
50


The
second London Treaty on Limitation
and
reduction of Naval Armaments was signed on March 25,
1936. It provided for qualitative limits in the form of
restrictions on the maximum gun size and ship
displacements allowed in each warship category33 along
with a building holiday on heavy cruisers.33
Additionally, escape clauses were included which allowed
the signatories to exceed the Treaty restrictions if
threatened by a non-Treaty countrys warship
construction.237 The quantitative limits on relative
fleet strengths present in the 1930 London and 1922
Washington Treaties were abandoned.
The Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement
July 17. 1937
Since the French were intractable in the matter of
expanding the London Naval Conference, the British
addressed the Soviet and German Naval building problem
outside of the Conference. In addition to the general
goal of establishing restrictions on Soviet naval
building, the British hoped these bilateral treaties
would precipitate the exchange of information on naval
construction programs between the Soviet Union and Great
Britain, thereby allowing the British.to assess the
51


extent of the potential Soviet naval threat.23^ T^e
current Soviet nava1 threat, however, could not have
caused the British much concern because the combined
British Commonwealth navies greatly outnumbered the
Soviet navy (see Appendix C). This exchange of
information would mitigate the potential surprise of the
Soviet wild card. Such efforts were underway before the
end of the Conference when the British approached the
Germans. Although the British had previously concluded
a bilateral naval agreement with the Germans, this time
the Germans refused to enter another agreement,
specifically one accepting the terms of the 1936 London
Naval Treaty,unless the Soviets were bound by a
similar bilateral treaty.341 The British had hoped to
ascertain whether or not Germany, France, and the United
States were willing to sign similar treaties before
approaching the Soviets, yet felt that there would be no
problem in getting the Soviets to accept the
limitations.343 The only difficulty expected in dealing
with the Soviets would be a delay in their acceptance of
the invitation to negotiate.343 In an effort to get an
speedy agreement with the Germans without waiting for
the Soviets to sign, British representatives illustrated
that the escape clauses of the draft text would allow
Germany the freedom to meet any threat imposed by Soviet
52


naval construction.244 The Germans were not interested
in this panacea and remained adamant in their condition
for signing a new bilateral treaty.243
The British Foreign Office notified the Soviet
Embassy in London on March 4, 1936, of their desire to
negotiate a bilateral naval agreement with Germany and
suggested a similar treaty with the Soviet Union.246 In
addition, the Soviet Ambassador was requested to
unofficially determine if Moscow would be open to
bilateral negotiations.3'4'2' The Soviet reply came less
than three days later. In their response, the Soviets
requested copies of the draft treaty and additional time
to study them,24 The British fears of a Soviet-
induced delay in accepting an invitation to negotiate
were realized and the British representatives pushed for
a quicker response since they had already forwarded the
documents to the Soviets in the course of the Naval
Conference.240 In the wake of the perceived Soviet
sloth, the British decided to conclude the London Naval
Treaty without assurances of later German and Soviet
acceptance.3=0
By May 1936 the Anglo-Soviet naval discussions were
underway. The Soviets maintained two principal
conditions on their signing an agreement: first,
Germany must also be bound by a similar agreement; and
53


second, unless Japan also signed a like agreement, the
Soviet Pacific Fleet wouId not be cons idered in the
negot i at i ons 3551 Furthermore, the Soviets demanded to
be permitted to exceed the Treaty maximum allowed
battleship gun caliber and insisted on building heavy
cruisers contrary to the Treaty cruiser building
holiday.3=3 By July 1936 the British believed they
could mitigate the Soviet battleship gun caliber demand
from 16 inches to 15 inches (still in excess of the
Treatys limit of 14 inches).33 The London Naval
Treaty conditions probably would have allowed the
variance on gun size without breaking the intent of the
Treaty,34 but such a move would upset the European
naval balance. The Soviet intent to build heavy
cruisers would trigger the Treatys escape clause and
cause a subsequent end to the heavy cruiser building
holiday.3 In response, Germany was expected to demand
to be allowed to build additional heavy cruisers.3*
The Soviet insistence on exceptions to the Treaty
caused concern in Washington. The Americans feared that
the Soviet exemption from qualitative limits for ships
in its Pacific Fleet would result in these exempt ships
being built in European waters, thereby upsetting the
continental naval balance.27 Regarding the Soviet
proposed variance on battleship gun sizes, Secretary
54


Hull appreciated that the British made acceptance of the
Soviet demand contingent on approval by the other London
Treaty powers, but he was concerned that the exception
would spark similar building by other countries.230 The
heavy cruiser issue caused Hull to be more anxious since
the British appeared to have unilaterally circumvented
the London Treaty provisions and breached the heavy
cruiser building ho 1 i day. Additionally, the
Americans did not want confidential American warship
building program information exchanged with the British,
as mandated by the London Naval Treaty, to be passed to
the Soviets.2'5*0
The Soviet heavy cruiser impasse showed signs of
abating in October 1936 when the British believed the
Soviets might be pursuaded to reduce their demand from
ten heavy cruisers to seven.261 If this were possible,
it was felt that Germany would recant their demand for
five similar ships and settle for only three.262 Also
in October, the Soviets lowered their capital ship
demand to two battleships mounting 15-inch guns.3*33
The British assessment of the German reaction to a
possible reduction in Soviet heavy cruiser construction
was refuted in November 1936. The Germans planned to
meet the Soviet deviation from the qualitative limits
on battleship guns and cruiser construction by building
55


similar battleships and five heavy cruisers.364
Further, the Germans were adamant that the Soviet
Pacific Fleet should be included in the discussions,
arguing that a countrys navy must be considered in its
ent i rety. 3,6=5 The Germans also refused to allow
information about their naval building program to be
passed to the Soviets.366 The opportunity was also
taken by the Germans to remind the British that the
Soviet naval building program was progressing as rapidly
as the Germans had predicted. 3<6-7
Despite the objections from the Germans, the
British were still unable to dissuade the Soviets from
their position on the Pacific Fleet during December
1936.3<6B The Soviets at this time had increased their
battleship gun size demand to 16-inch guns.36*"* In
reaction to the German reservations on Soviet heavy
cruiser construction, the Soviet negotiators reportedly
became difficult and objected to the German ability to
easily convert light cruisers into heavy cruisers by
installing larger guns.3-70 The Soviet agitation may
have stemmed from the Soviet inferiority in naval gun
technology in the 1930s. The Soviet plan to build
heavy cruisers carrying 7.1-inch guns reflected the
largest naval guns the Soviets were able to produce at
the time.3"71 Although these weapons placed the Soviets
56


above the Treaty 6-inch gun limit on new cruiser
construction,3'7'3 the proposed Soviet warships would
still be at a disadvantage when compared with existing
8-inch gun heavy cruisers in other navies.273
Not only were the Soviets giving the British
difficulty, but the Germans felt the British were
showing favoritism to the Soviets and French in the
naval negotiations.33^ The German Foreign Minister,
Joachim von Ribbentrop, felt this preferential treatment
endangered British naval supremacy which was the basis
for Hitlers agreement to limit the German navy to
thirty-five percent of the British Commonwealth
Navies.333 As a result of the possible diminution of
British naval superiority, the Germans advised the
British that they intended to closely monitor both the
Soviet and French building programs with a view to
envoking the 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreements
escalator clause.23* This clause permitted Germany to
build up to 100% of the British Commonwealth submarine
tonnage if the Germans felt' it necessary.333
In the last month of 1936 the Americans were
anxious for the British to conclude agreements with the
Soviets and Germans before the end of the year to
prevent a gap in the naval limitation system.33 Now
the first attempt to bring the Soviets into the scheme
57


of international naval limitation was causing concern in
Washington and threatening to unravel the earlier
British success at binding Germany to a bilateral
limitations agreement.
After the new year, the Germans were willing, in
the interest of easing difficulties in the negotiations,
to withdraw their reservation over the exclusion of the
Soviet Pacific Fleet from the qualitative restrictions
>
if all of their other reservations were addressed.279
Standing firm in their misgiving at allowing Soviet
heavy cruiser construction, the Germans suggested
rewording their new agreement with the British to permit
Germany to freely build additional heavy cruisers L-f the
Soviets built more than seven similar warships.200 The
Soviets demanded that in order to avoid discrimination
that the texts of corresponding articles in the Soviet
and German 1937 bilateral treaties with Great Britain
should be identica1.2B1
The resulting Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement
qualitative limitation clauses were identical to the new
Anglo-German Naval Agreement, both signed on July 17,
1937.202 Both agreements incorporated the provisions
of the 1935 London Naval Treaty,233 including the
exchange, of information between signatories,204 with
only minor revisions. These revisions consisted of
58


simplifying and increasing the maximum allowable
battleship gun size to 16 inches ai^d permitting the
Soviets and Germans to circumvent the heavy cruiser
building holiday with prior notice to Great Britain (who
could then notify the other bilateral treaty
signatory).=s= Further, the Soviets were allowed to
surpass the qualitative restrictions for ships of their
Pacific Fleet if the Japanese also exceeded the Treaty
limitations, but these Pacific Fleet ships were not to
be constructed or transferred outside of the Soviet Far
East.30^ The long running troublesome issue of Soviet
heavy cruiser construction was left out of the formal
treaty, but the British agreed in principle to the
Soviet right to build seven heavy cruisers during the
building ho 1 i day.
Post Anglo-Soviet Naval
Agreement Developments
During the summer of 1938 the British informed the
other naval powers, including the Soviet Union, of its
intention to voluntarily limit the maximum tonnage of
its battleships to 40,000 tons200 instead of 45,000 tons
as outlined in the June 30, 1938 protocol with the
59


United States and France. =C,T A similar protocol was
signed with the Soviets on July 6, 1938, but the Soviets
were not interested in volunteering to reduce the
restrictions on their capital ship size since the
Japanese refused to participate in the naval limitation
system.290 The British illustrated to the Soviets that
only the Soviet construction in European waters would be
limited while construction in the Pacific would be
exempt under the Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement.3,1 The
Soviets were unswayed and refused to accede to the lower
maximum battleship size citing their need to retain
freedom of action for the deployment of their
warships.292 In a little over a year from the signing
of the Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement the Soviets were
ready to circumvent the conditions on the Soviet
Pacific Fleets exception to the qualitative limits and
transfer their ships at will. Ironically, while
refusing to follow the British lead in voluntary
limitations to capital ship size, Litvinov repeated
Chicherins post-Washington Treaty sentiments that the
Soviets would not accept any restrictions resulting from
negotiations they did not attend.3'9'3
In addition to the Soviets reluctance to
participate in further naval limitations, the predicted
disintegration in the European naval balance came to
60


pass.
In December 1938 the German Ambassador in London,
Dr. Herbert von Dirksen, advised the British that
Germany intended to avail itself of the right to build
to 100% of the British Commonwealth submarine tonnage
and, in response to the Soviet heavy cruiser
construction, would upgrade two German cruisers under
construction from 6-inch to 8-inch guns.3T4
Responding, the British denied possessing any
information supporting the German claims of Soviet
cruiser construction.2'5'3 Surprisingly, the Germans did
not want any mention of the Soviet building in the
communique announcing the rearming of the German
warships296 and the British complied.3^3 Although the
Germans may have been trying to protect their
intelligence sources by refusing to publically cite
Soviet heavy cruiser construction as the reason for
upgrading the German cruisers, it is difficult to prove
if the Soviets were indeed building more than seven
heavy cruisers in 1938 and, if they were, that the
Germans were aware of the construction.293
When the British wanted to conclude a protocol with
the Soviets to facilitate the reciprocal exchange of
information on naval building programs as outlined in
the bilateral agreements with the London Naval Treaty
Powers,299 the Soviets refused in February 1939.300
61


After finally bringing the Soviets into the sphere of
naval armaments limitations, Soviet co-operation and the
limitation system began to deteriorate with the onrush
of world events in 1938-39.
Soviet Attempts to Procure Naval
Technology During the 1930*5
It was previously illustrated that the Soviet navy
and shipbuilding industry were devastated during the
Russian Civil War and the Allied intervention. In fact,
the whole country was ravaged and the Soviet government
did not undertake naval construction until the late
1920s. When the Soviets did initiate construction,
most of the effort was concentrated on building new
submarines and small coastal patrol craft and
modernizing existing cruisers and destroyers.301 In the
next naval building program, under the first five-year
plan, the Soviets continued to stress submarine and
patrol craft construction yet also planned to build
three new destroyers.303 It is believed that the
Soviets received technical assistance and construction
supervision from the French during the production of
these first new Soviet destroyers.303 Although the
second five-year plan in the early 1930s approved the
62


construction of four new cruisers and a substantial
increase in destroyer building, the majority of the
effort was again channeled into the submarine
pr o gram. 30'*- In reality, the Soviets generally fell far
short of their completed ship construction goals during
the late 1920s and 1930s, with the notable exception
of submarine construction.300 Ironically, the Soviet
heavy cruisers that caused a stir during the
negotiations of the Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement were
actually designed by, and construction supervised by an
Italian naval architectural firm.30* The inability of
Soviet industry to independently produce larger warships
by the early 1930s has been cited as the basis for the
defensive soviet naval doctrine of the period.30-^
By the time of the 1937 purge of the navy, Soviet
industrial recovery had made an offensive navy
conceivable and Soviet naval doctrine, following
Stalins lead, changed accordingly.308 Probably not by
coincidence, the only fleet commander that survived the
purge was sympathetic to Stalins desire for an ocean-
going navy.309 The Soviets were seeking an offensive
fleet, and probably had the industrial capacity to build
such a navy; however, Soviet naval technology lagged
behind developments by the other sea powers. In order
to engage in warship building during the 1930s, the
63


Soviets were forced to rely on foreign technical
assistance. Assistance was obtained from the French and
Italians310 for further Soviet destroyer building during
the 1930s.3-11 In the area of capital ship
construction, the Soviets approached the Italians,
Americans, and even the Germans for help.313 In the
end the Soviets would unsuccessfully attempt to build a
battleship without foreign aid.313
An interesting example of a Soviet attempt to
enlist foreign technological assistance can be found in
their approach to the Americans. A brief exploration of
these Soviet-American dealings is warranted since it
will illustrate the extent of assistance required and
how the efforts were affected by the concurrent naval
limitation talks and existing treaties.
The correspondence between the Soviets and American
companies, the State Department, and the Navy Department
began in November 1936 and ceased in November 1939. As
can be noted, the Soviet approach started while the
Anglo-Soviet bilateral naval negotiations were underway.
Initially the Soviets wanted to obtain heavy armor
plate for major warships314 along with designs and
specifications of United States Navy warships.313
Eventually, the Soviets would increase their shopping
list to include guns for the battleships,310 and plans
64


It was envisionsd
for submarines317- and destroyers.310
that "one or more"319 battleships were to be built
either in the United States320 or in the Soviet Union321
with American components. The State Department
recognized that the United States was the last resort
for the Soviets since Japan, Germany, and Italy were not
disposed at the time to help the Soviets and Great
Britain and France were occupied with their own building
programs. 322
Interestingly, the Soviet representative in these
transactions was the Carp Export and Import Corporation
which was established solely for this purpose.323
Further, the sister of company president Sam Carp was
married to Vyacheslav Molotov, President of the Council
of Peoples Commissars of the Soviet Union and future
Soviet Foreign M i n i s ter 32"* Apparently at least one
communist was not adverse to throwing a little
capitalistic business to his brother-in-law.
As could be expected, the State Department was
concerned with the foreign policy implications of
selling such material to the Soviets. At the start of
the correspondence it was thought that the Soviets
wanted assistance in building a battleship of 35,000
tons320 mounting 16-inch guns,320 which would be within
the London Treaty.restrictions. In March 1937, before
65


the Soviets agreed to the London Treaty restrictions by
concluding the Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement, Secretary
of State Cordell Hull was concerned that selling such
technology to the Soviets would upset the naval
limitations system and, therefore restricted their
sale.327 The Soviets countered by illustrating that
these battleships would be used in the Pacific as a
balance to the Japanese,3=0 thus taking advantage of the
impending Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreements exclusion of
the Soviet Pacific Fleet from qualitative limitations.
After the Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreement was signed, the
restriction on exporting 16-inch naval gun technology to
the Soviets was wi thdrawn.33,7 In October 1937 the State
Department issued an export license to Carp Export and
Import Corporation to sell armor plate, nine 16-inch
r'-
guns, three 3-gun turrets, and ammunition for the guns
to the Soviet Union.330
In April 1938 the State Department learned that the
plans drawn up by an American naval architect for the
Soviet battleship specified a 62,000-ton ship carrying
18-inch guns.331 Naturally, the State Department
balked at the escalated specifications. Although some
political and commerical benefits were expected from
building these large warships., these benefits were far
outweighed by other considerations.333 Allowing the
66


Soviets to obtain these warships would precipitate a
naval building race by violating the London Treaty and
would cause all existing battleships to become
obsolete.333 Even the Soviet plan to build these large
warships in the Pacific was unacceptable since it was
believed that this would encourage Japan to attack
Vladivostok in order to capture such a vessel.334 As
a result, the State Department was willing to only
authorize construction of smaller battleships within the
internationally agreed restrictions of 16-inch guns and
45,000 ton displacement.333 However, the United
States would allow the plans for the larger ship to be
sold to the Soviets and the United States government
was "favorably disposed" to building ships within the
Treaty limits in the United States for the Soviet
Union. 33 While the State Departments objections could be
overcome by adhering to the established Treaty
constraints, the Navy Department was still against
selling the latest naval technology to a foreign power,.
Throughout the discussions, United States Navy officers
allegedly interfered with the Soviet attempts by
informing companies involved in supplying key i terns337
that the Navy did not approve of American companies
dealing with a communist government.333 Since the
67


United States Navy was the main customer of these
companies, they could not afford to risk the implied
Navy reprisals.339 This stymied the Carp Corporation
because it would be impossible to procure vital items
for the Soviet battleship without the Navys
assistance.340 Even if these companies could be induced
into contracting with the Soviets through the Carp
Corporation, the navy could still prevent the
independent manufacture of large nava1 guns for the
Soviets. Although several American companies had the
ability to construct large naval guns, theUnited States
government had monopoloized their construction for
several years and controlled the required designs and
specif ications.341 Ironically, the efforts of a
communist government, with a centralized state
controlled economy, to purchase items from a capitalist
country, with a free-market economy, could be thwarted
by a state monopoly.
Whether or not objections of the Navy Department
could have been overcome cannot be predicted. The whole
affair involving the Soviet attempt to obtain naval
technology from the United States was resolved by the
Soviet participation in the 1939 invasion of Poland. In
light of the invasion, the naval architects drafting
plans for for the Soviet battleship disassociated
68


themselves from the project in October 1939.
Further, in November 1939 the State Department notified
American shipbuilders that the Navy would require the
full capacity of their shipyards and any further
contracts with the Soviet government would be against
the interest of the defense of the United States.343
The Soviet attempt to secure American naval technology,
like the attempt to incorporate the Soviets into the
international naval limitations, was overtaken by world
events.


CHAPTER VI I
CONCLUSION
In general, the Soviet influence on the inter-war
naval armaments limitations was a reflection of world
events and the foreign policies of the major naval
powers. During the 1920s when the five major sea
powers could agree on limitations, the Soviet Union was
in turmoil, diplomatically isolated, posing no naval
threat to the major naval powers, and thus easily
ignored. When the major naval powers could no longer
agree and the naval limitations system began to falter
in the early 1930s, along with a potential challenge to
the naval balance posed by renewed Soviet and German
shipbuilding, the Soviets could no longer be discounted.
In fact, by the mid-1930s the Soviets were actively
courted by the British to enter the scheme of naval
limitations. This unabashed pursuit apparently resulted
from the anxiety over the extent and intent of the
Soviet naval expansion. The Soviet navy had become a
wild card in the European situation in the years before
World War II. Concern over what shape this wild card
would take and how its use could sway the naval balance


/
gave the Soviets an influence in negotiations they were
not attending. When the Soviets did participate, such
as during the Anglo-Soviet discussions, they were
practically setting the pace of the negotiations. As a
second major war became imminent, the Soviets were no
longer interested in continuing to discuss qualitative
restrictions and sought independent action. The course
of Soviet involvement in the inter-war naval limitations
efforts closely parallelled the relations between the
Soviet Union and the western powers during the same
period.
In order to fully assess the inf 1uence of the
Soviets on the naval limitation efforts duri ng the
1930s, one must look beyond naval strength i n term s of
gun calibers, broadside weights, armor plate thickness,
warship displacement, and fleet sizes. If one looks
past the physical manifestations of sea power and
accepts navies for what they are, primarily instruments
of diplomatic intimidation, and if that fails,
instruments of war, then the Soviets achieved a
diplomatic coup with their navy in the 1930s. The
attention paid to the Soviet navy, especially by Germany
and Great Britain, was disproportionate to the real or
potential Soviet naval threat. The Soviet navy was
relatively small and was effectively qualitatively
71


limited by the Soviet technological inferiority during
the 1930s. Further, the technology to make the Soviet
navy a true threat to the major naval powers rested in
the hands of the five Washington Treaty powers and
Germany. This constraint, along with the geographical
bottlenecks that the Soviet fleets would have to
overcome, made the potential Soviet navy a containable
threat outside of the naval limitations negotiations.
When the naval powers chose to ignore these existing
restrictions and tried to extend the negotiated
limitations to the Soviets, the Soviet influence began
to be felt. In the final assessment, the Soviets
perhaps gained more diplomatic influence per unit of
naval construct ion effort than any of the Washington
Treaty powers or Germany.
72


NOTES
'Hughes to Harvey, Sept. 10, 1921, U.S. State
Department, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations o-f
the United States, 1921, I, 51. Hereafter cited as U.S.
For. Rel., with date and volume number. These coun-
tries were invited by the United States and also met to
discuss Far Eastern affairs.
zTrevor N. Dupuy and Gay M. Hammerman, eds., A
Documentary History of Arms Control and Disarmament
(New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1973), pp. 77-78.
*Ibid., p. Treaty. ) 108. (Art
*Ibid.
=Ibid., p. Treaty.) 108. (Art
*Ibid., p. Treat-y. ) 110. (Art
7Ibid. p. 77.
sDavid Woodward, The of the Russian Havy (New Yo 1966), pp. 201-202.
"^Donald W. Soviet Sea Power Mi tche11, (New York:
10Dupuy, p. 78.
*-llbid., pp 1930 London Naval . 156-157, Treaty.)
**Ibid., pp. 259-261. German Naval Agreement.)
:sIbid.t p. 261.
**Ibid., pp . 261-272.
icle IV of the Washington
icle III of the Washington
icle XVI of the Washington
Russians at Sea: A History
rk: Frederick A. Preager,
A History of Russian and
McMillan, 1974), p. 361.
164-167. (Part I I I of the
(Text of the 1935 Anglo-


iaStephen Roski 1 1 Naval Policy Between the Uarsr
Vol. II 19301939 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press,
1976), p. 319.
1ADupuy", pp. 273-282. (Texts of the 1937 Anglo-
German and Anglo-Soviet Naval Agreements.)
x^Ibid., p. 273.
1BThe country that was once Russia and later
became known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
was undergoing vast territorial and political changes
during the period from 1917 to 1925. For the sake of
clarity the terms "Russian" will be used when discussing
the Tsarist and the Provisional Government; "Bolshevik"
when referring to the government installed by Lenin and
his followers in November 1917; and "Soviet" will be
used after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was
formed in December 1922.
1<5'The constitution of the R.S.F.S.R. was approved
by the Vth Party Congress in July 1918. At the time
this state consisted of the area controlled by the
Bolsheviks (mostly European Russia around Moscow and
Leningrad). In December 1922 other independent states
that were once part of the Russian Empire joined the
R.S.F.S.R. and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
was formed. The R.S.F.S.R. still exists today as a
republic in the U.S.S.R. federal system.
3The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, March 18, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 5-6.
=xIbid.
Ibid., p. 6.
=3The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, March 22, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russ ia, I, 12-13.
=,a,Report of the Special Diplomatic Mission to
Russia to the Secretary of State, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 131.
2=The Consul at Petrograd (Winship) to the Secre-
tary of State, May 8, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 42-51.
74


^American diplomatic reporting of the changing
Provisional Government ministers can be found in: The
Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State,
March 15, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, I, 2; The
Consul at Petrograd (Winship) to the Secretary of State,
May 22, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, I, 79; The
Ambassador in Russia (Francis)- to the Secretary of
State, July 20, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, I,
163-184; The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the
Secretary of State, September 30, 1917, U.S. For. Rel.,
1918,' Russia, I, 200-201.
^^The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary
of State, November 10, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 242-243.
=BThe Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, November 29, 1917,-U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 272.
=,?The Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, December 1, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 276.
3The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to-the
Secretary of State, December 15, 1917, U.S. For. Rel.,
1918, Russia, I, 316.
31The Ambassador in France (Sharp) to the Secre-
tary of State, December 23, 1917, U_.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 322.
3=The Ambassador in Italy (Page) to the Secretary
of State, January 8, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia,
I, 332.
33The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Repre-
sentatives in European Countries, Japan, China, and
Siam, December 15, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia,
I, 317. 3
3q'The Secretary of State to the Consul General at
Moscow (Summers), December 15, 1917, U.S. For. Rel.,
1918, Russia, 1, 316.
3=sThe Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, November 27, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, I, 250.
75


3AThe Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, December 15, 1917, U.S. For. Rel., 1915,
Russ ia, I, 303.
37Ibid., p. 304.
^Ibid., p. 303.
3CiThe Ambassador in Russia (Francis) to the Secre-
tary of State, February 12, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russia, III, 32-33.
q'0The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in
Great- Britain (Davis), January 8, 1920, U.S. For. Rel.,
1920, III, 445.
"W. Bruce Lincoln, Red Victory: A History of the
Russian Civil Har (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989),
p. 44.
^Periodic reports on the health of Bolshevik
power can be found in: The Ambassador in Great Britain
(Page) to the Secretary of State, January 24, 1918, U.S.
For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II, 33; The Consul at Moscow
(Poole) to the Secretary of State, April 6, 1918, U.S.
For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II, 105; The Ambassador in
Russia (Francis) to the Secretary of State, May 21,
1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II, 183; The Consul
at Moscow (Poole), en route to Archangel, to the
Secretary of State, October 1, 1918, U.S. For. Rel.,
1918, Russia, II, 642.
*3The Consul at Moscow (Poole), en route to
Archangel, to the Secretary of State, October 1, 1918,
U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II, 642.
q-q'The Consul at Moscow (Poole) to the Secretary of
State, April 6, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II,
105.
"q'=The Diplomatic Liaison Officer, Supreme War
Council (Fraizer), 'to the Secretary of State, July 2,
1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918, Russia, II, 243-246.
^The Consul at Vladivostok (Caldwell) to the
Secretary of State, April 5, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Russ ia, II, 100.
76


^Stephen Roskill, Naval Policy Between the Wars,
Vol. 1 19191929 (London: Collins, 1968), p. 179. The
Japanese were the last to leave in October 1922.
"^During the intervention, Japanese, British,
American, French, and Italian troops were in Siberia
(Lincoln, p. 164). American, French, and British troops
had landed in the Murman Coast area (Lincoln, p. 179).
French and British troops were operating along the Black
Sea littoral (Lincoln, p. 192). In addition, naval
forces supported the intervention in the White Sea,
Baltic Sea, and Black Sea.
*"*Great Soviet Encyclopedia, "Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics History," 1982 ed., XXXI, 174.
=Jane Degras, ed., Soviet Documents on Foreign
Policyr Vol. I 19171924 (London: Oxford University
Press, 1951) p. 105. Note from Berzin to the Swiss Fed-
eral Council on the Status of the Former Russian Consul.
axThe Russian Ambassador (Bakhmeteff) to the Sec-
retary of State, April 22, 1922, U.S. For. Rel., 1922,
II, 875. The Russian Ambassador did not leave his post
until April 1922.
Memorandum Regarding the Diplomatic Status of
Mr. L. Martens, April 6, 1920, U.S. For. Rel. 1920, III,
461. The decision not to recognize Mr. Martens was
accompanied by three pages of diplomatic precedents.
=3The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador
in Great Britain (Davis), December 16, 1920, U.S. For.
Rel., 1920, III, 480.
=*The Soviet Representative in Esthonia (Litvinov)
to the Congress of the United States and President
Harding, [March 21, 1921], U.S. For. Rel., 1921, II,
764.
==I£>id., pp. 763-764. Also Degras, Vol. I,
p. 245.
SAThe Minister in Norway (Schmedeman) to the Sec-
retary of State, November 5, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Supplement 1, The World War, I, 471.
=7The Secretary of State to the Minister in Norway
(Schmedeman) November 9, 1918, U.S. For. Rel., 1918,
Supplement 1, The World War, I, 488.
77


=3Harvey to Hughes, July 8, 1921, U.S. For. Rel.,
1921, I, 21, and Hughes to Harvey, July 8, 1921, U.S.
For. Rel., 1921, I, 18. Identical invitations were sent
to the American ambassadors in London, Rome, Paris, and
Tokyo. The Conference also included discussions of Far
Eastern affairs. The Soviets were excluded from these
talks as we 11.
=*Roskill, vol. I, p. 150.
4=10Ibid., The Japanese were still occupying Vlad-
ivostok at the start of the Conference.
61Woodward, pp. 195-196.
Mitchell, p. 356.
Ibid.
i4Francis E. McMurtrie, ed., Janes Fighting
Ships 1931 (1931; reprint, New York: Arco Publishing,
1973), pp. 20-25, 167-170, 307-313, 396, 457-464. These
pages in Janes list the existing main gun sizes of the
respective countrys battleships.
^Mitchell, p. 341.
**Ibid., p. 357.
4&7'Documents on British Foreign Policy, First
Series, XX, (London: Her Majestys Stationery Office,
1976), p. 879, Doc. 505. Hereafter cited as D.B.F.P.,
with series and volume, number.
At3The Representative in Sweden of the Russian
Socialist Federated Soviet Republic (Kergentzeff) to the
American Charge in Sweden (Crosby), July 21, 1921, U.S.
For. Rel., 1921, I, 41-43.
69The Far Eastern Republic was a short-lived
(1920-1922) state located north of Manchuria and along
the Sea of Okhotsk. It later joined the U.S.'S.R. as
part of the R.S.F.S.R. This republic was affected by
the Japanese intervention in Siberia.
7The Representative in Sweden of the Russian
Socialist Federated Soviet Republic (Kergentzeff) to the
American Charge in Sweden (Crosby), July 21, 1921, U.S.
For. Rel., 1921, I, 41-42 (Enclosure).
78


'riThe Secretary of State to the Ambassador in
Great Britain (Harvey), September 17, 1921, U.S. For.
Rel., 1921, I, 69-70. Quoting a press announcement.
736reaf Soviet Encyclopedia, "Washington Confer-
ence on Naval Limitations (1921-22), 1977 ed., XIV,
674.
73The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in
Great Britain (Harvey), September 17, 1921, U.S. For.
Rel.r 1921, I, 69-70. Quoting a press announcement.
7,,The High Commissioner at Constantinople
(Bristol) to the Secretary of State, November 9, 1921,
U.S. For. Rel., 1921, I, 85-87 (Enclosure).
78It is interesting that over sixty years later
the Great Soviet Encyclopedia still equates the
Versailles Treaty and the Washington Naval Treaty as
"the Washington-Versai 1 1 es system of peace" (.Great
Soviet Encyclopedia, "World War I (1914-18)," 1978 ed.,
XIX, 735).
76The High Commissioner at Constantinople
(Bristol) to the Secretary of State, November 9, 1921,
U.S. For. Rel., 1921, I, 85-87 (Enclosure).
7"*'Great Soviet Encyclopedia, "Washington Confer-
ence on Naval Limitations (1921-22), 1977 ed., XIV,
674.
7SDegras, Vol. I, pp. 349-350. Extracts from
Statements by Chicherin at the Lausanne Conference.
^Mitchell, p. 357.
eIbid.
slRosk iI 1, vol. I, pp. 200, 221-222.
BZXenia Joukoff Eudin, and Robert M. Slusser,
Soviet Foreign Policy 19281934: Documents and
Materials? Vol. 1 (University Park, Penna.: Pennsylva-
nia University Press, 1966), pp. xv, 159. Excerpt
from an Izvesti ia article of January 22, 1929, which in
turn quotes a November 27, 1920, speech by Lenin.
B3Degras, vol.I, p. 298. Statement by-Chicherin
at the First Plenary Session of the Genoa Conference.
79


Q-*Degras, vol. I, p. 322. Note from Litvinov to
the Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and
Poland Proposing a Conference for the Reduction of
Armaments.
QSDegras, vol. I, p, 346. Extracts from State-
ments by Chicherin at the Lausanne Conference.
Qs>Degras, vol. I, p. 382. Narkomindel Reply to
the Invitation to Attend the League of Nations Confer-
ence on Naval Disarmament.
B-7The Ambassador in Italy (Child) to the Secre-
tary of State, January 30, 1922, U.S. For. Rel., 1922,
I, 389-390.
ssThe Assistant Secretary of State (Dearing) to
the Secretary of State, January 12, 1922, U.S. For.
Rel., 1922, I, 386.
Q,?The Secretary of State to the Italian Ambassador
(Ricci), March 8, 1922, U.S. For. Rel., 1922, I, 393.
,0The Secretary of State to the Special Mission at
Lausanne, December 9, 1922, U.S. For. Rel., 1923, II,
918. The American observer was instructed to "minimize
the opportunity for them Cthe Soviets] to use the
meeting to make political capital."
s'1The Special Mission at Lausanne to the Secretary
of State, December 11, 1922, U.S. For. Rel., 1923, II,
.919-920.
*^=Degras, vol. I, p. 300, Statement by Chicherin
at the First PIenary Session of the Genoa Conference.
93Degras, vol. I, p. 350. Extracts from Statements
by Chicherin at the Lausanne Conference.
^Degras, vol. I, pp. 417-418. Telegram from
Chicherin to President Coolidge Proposing Negotiations.
The Secretary of State to the Consul at Reval
(Quarton), December 18, 1923, U.S. For. Rel., 1923, II,
788.
^D.B.F.P. First Series, XXV, P- 310, Doc. 202.
^D.B.F.P. First Series, XXV, P- .327, Doc. 205.
80


-~Ibid.
lbid.
xooD.B.F.P. , Second Series , VII , p. 744, Appendix I
xt>xD.B.F.P., First Series, XXV. p. 322, Doc. 205.
1C,=D.B.F.P. 206. First Series, XXV, pp* 330332,
1031hid. pp. 331-332.
X^D.B.F.P. , First Series, XXV, pp. 333334,
Doc. 208.
10=5 Ibid .
0^Encyclopadia Britannica, "Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics Foreign Relations," 1967, XXII,
521.
xc>'rD.B.F.P, Second Series, VII, p. 3, Doc. 1 and
p. 7, Doc. 3.
xc>aD.B.F.P. Second Series, VII, p. 753, Appendix I
xo^D.B.F.P., First Series, XXV, p. 335, Doc. 209.
110Degras, Vol. I, pp. 422-423. Resolution of the
Second Congress of Soviets on De Jure Recognition by-
Britain.
111Degras, Vol. I, p. 427. Extract from an Inter-
view by Litvinov on the Soviet Attitude to Recognition.
1 xrzlbid. p. 428.
ll3Jane Degras, ed., Soviet Documents on Foreign
Policyr. Vol. IIr 19251932 (London: Oxford University
Press, 1952), p. 12. Extracts from a Speech by Rykov at
the Central Executive Committee.
IlADegras, vol. II, p. 8. Press Interview by
Karakhan, Soviet Ambassador to China, on the Soviet
Agreement with Japan.
xxsIbid.
81


11,s>Woodward, p. 201.
ll7Giovanni Engely, The Politics of Havel Dis-
armament, trans. H. V. Rhodes (London, Williams &
Norgate, Ltd., 1932), p. 11. Also D.B.F.P., Series 1A,
IV, p. 354, Doc. 213, Degras vol. II, pp. 86-87.
Narkomindel Statement on French Mediation in the Soviet
Dispute with Switzerland.
xxsEngely, p. 11.
Ibid., p. 12.
lzoThis land-locked country was on the Naval Sub-
Commission and therefore was included in the Rome
Conference.
X3XEngely. p. 12.
122Uoodward, p. 202.
X33This figure is halfway between the number stated
by Woodward on p. 201 (490,000 tons or 9354) and the
figure given by Engely on p. 12 (400,000 tons or 76%).
Mitchell records this as 540,000 tons on p. 361, greater
than that allowed to Great Britain or the United States.
It was not possible to find any verification in the
primary source material, but Mitchells figure seems
unreasonably high.
^'"'Engely, p. 12
X3=sIZ>id.
s*Ibid.
l27Woodward, p. 202.
X3eIMd.
1=,iEnge 1 y,
X3Ii>id. ,
X3XIi>id.,
133Ibid. ,
X33Ii>id.,
p. 12.
pp. 12-13.
p. 13.
p. 9..
p. 126.
82


XZSJiIbid. The countries of the British Commonwealth
were also invited.
13=Degras, voi. II, p. 410. Report- by Litvinov,
Vice-Commissar for Foreign Affairs, to the Central
Executive Committee.
i3sEudin, vol. 1, p. 318. Excerpts from an
Izvestiia article of November 19, 1930.
137McMurtrie, 1931, p. 398. The ships the Soviets
finished during the 1920s were actually begun under the
Tsar ist period.
x3sMi tche11, pp. 365-366.
x^Ibid.
x*Ibid.
x*xIbid., p. 366.
^^Enge ly, p. 162.
1'3:Dupuy, p. 186.
^McMurtrie, 1931, pp. 441-446. Evaluation made
by comparing the Turkish fleet section, pp. 441-446,
with the other countries listings.
14Mitche11, p. 366.
x**Ibid., p. 372.
x^lbid., p. 366.
l40Francis E. McMurtrie, ed., Jane's Fighting
Ships 1939 (1939; reprint, London: David and Charles,
Ltd., 1971), p. 418. Also Woodward, p. 203.
149The Secretary of State to the Minister in
Switzerland (Wilson), September 10, 1931, U.S. For.
Rel., 1931, I, 523.
lsWoodward, p. 203.
X=SXD.B.F.P., Second Series, VII, pp. 744-745.
Appendix I.
83


xs^The Minister in Austria (Washburn) to the
Secretary of State, May 26, 1924, U.S. For. Rel., 1924,
II, 675. The Charg§ in Finland (Hall) to the Secretary
of State, August 24, 1924, U.S. For. Rel., 1924, II,
675. The Ambassador in Mexico (Sheffield) to the
Secretary of State, October 30, 1924, U.S. For. Rel.,
1924, II, 677,
1=3The Secretary of State to the Charge in Finland
(Hall) August 26, 1924, U.S. For. Rel., 1924, II, 676.
1MThe Secretary of State to the Chargb in Finland
(Hall) August 2, 1924, U.S. For. Rel., 1924, II, 676.
losThe Secretary of State to the Minister in
Austria (Washburn), May 27, 1924, U.S. For. Rel.f 1924,
II, 675, also The Secretary of State to the Ambassador
in Mexico (Sheffield), November 3, 1924, U.S. For. Rel.,
1924, I I, 677.
lS6Degras, vol, II, pp, 2-3. Interview by Chicherin
on the Retirement from the Office of the United States
Secretary of State.
lss'7'Ibid, p. 5.
l!5SThe Secretary of State to the American Dele-
gation, March 28, 1929, U.S. For. Rel., 1929, I,
376-377. This example came from the instructions from
Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg to the American
representatives at the International Sanitary Convention
Similar additions, sometimes split into two paragraphs,
were included in other treaties and can be found in the
following: The Secretary of State to the American Dele-
gation, April 16, 1925, U.S. For. Rel., 1925, I, 49-50
(International Convention on Arms Traffic), and The Act-
ing Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American
Delegation (Caldwell), July 17, 1931, U.S. For. Rel.,
1931, I, 673 (The Convention for Limiting the Manufac-
ture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs).
Reference to other agreements (The Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea, 1929, and the International Load
Line Convention, 1930) which included the caveat can be
found in: The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister
in Switzerland (Wilson), July 26, 1931, U.S. For. Rel.,
1931, I, 674.
ls November 4, 1926, U.S. For. Rel., 1926, II, 911.
84


1 ments: The American View (Syracuse: Syracuse University
Press, 1965 ) p. 5.
x**Ibid.
1A3Roger Chesneau, ed., Conway's All the Uorld's
Fighting Ships: 19221946 (New York: Mayflower Books,
I no., 1980), p. 86.
1 September 21, 1933, U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet Union:
1933-1939, p. 13.
1<*'<,'Bi shop, p. 7.
lA=Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of East-
ern European Affairs (Kelly), July 27, 1933, U.S, For.
Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, pp. 6-11.
xe**>lbid., pp. 6-10.
x^lbid.
x^BIbid., p. 8.
169Meioranduni by the Chief of the Division of East-
ern European Affairs (Kelly), October 25, 1933, U.S.
For. Rel,, The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, pp. 23-24.
l70Memoranduni by the Special Assistant to the Sec-
retary of State (Bullitt), October 4, 1933, U.S. For.
Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 17.
171Memorandum by President Roosevelt and the Soviet
Commissar for Foreign Affairs (Litvinov), November 15,
1933, U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939,
pp. 28-27.
172President Roosevelt and the Soviet Commissar for
Foreign Affairs (Litvinov), November 16, 1933, U.S. For.
Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 27.
^^The Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
(Litvinov) to President Roosevelt, November 16, 1933,
U.S. For, Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 33.
174The Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
(Litvinov) to President Roosevelt, November 16, 1933,
U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 36.
85


x'7!=The Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs
(Litvinov) to President Roosevelt, November 16, 1933,
U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, pp. 25-29.
17"*The Acting Secretary of State to All Diplomatic
Missions Abroad, November 17, 1933, U.S. For. Rel., The
Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 39.
^"^Negotiations were initially held to resolve the
debt issue in 1934 and 1935 (.U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet
Union: 1933-1939, pp. 69-191). The issue was later
discussed by Stalin and American Ambassador Joseph E.
Davies in June 1938 (The Ambassador in the Soviet Union
(Davies) to the Secretary of State, June 9, 1938, U.S.
For. Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, pp. 573-577).
17The resolution- calling for an international
struggle by foreign Communist parties against Fascism
by the Vllth Communist International in June 1935 (The
Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to the
Secretary of State, August 2, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., The
Soviet Union: 1933-1939, pp. 233-235 (Quoting a Pravda
article of the same day) was viewed as a violation of
the 1933 agreement and a protest was lodged (Press
Release Issued by the Department of State, August 25,
1935, U.S. For. Rel., The Soviet Union: 1933-1939. pp.
250-251).
^^Dupuy, p. 259. Although called the Anglo-German
Naval Agreement, the British Commonwealth countries were
inc1uded as we 11.
ie3Documents on German Foreign Policy, Series C,
III, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959),
p. 681, Doc. 358. Hereafter cited as D.G.F.P. with
series and volume.
lt3x Ibid. pp. 1065-1067, Doc. 555. Also D.B.F.P.,
Second Series, XII, p. 728, Doc. 651. German Foreign
Minister von Neurath repeated this position to the
British on May 2, 1935. (D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII,
p. 224, Doc. 157.
xa^D.G.F.P., Series C, III, p. 1067. Hitler equat-
ed East Prussia to an overseas colony d'uring a March 25,
1935, Meeting with British representatives. Also
D.B.F.P., Second Series, XII, p. 843, Doc. 700.
1B3McMurtrie, 1939, p. 414.
86


^'"'Mitchell, p. 369.
iaaD.B.F.P. doc. 282. Second Series, XIII, P- 332, Annex 2
1S*D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, P* 435, Doc. 352
1B7rD.B.F.P. , Second Series, XIII, P- 521, Doc. 410
1S0Memorandui by the Charg§ in Latvia (Cole), July
18, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I, 304-305.
laTAmbassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to the
Secretary of State, June 28, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935,
I, 168-169.
l,70Great Soviet Encyclopedia, "Anglo-German Naval
Agreement of 1935," 1974 ed., IV, 400-401. In reality,
the German surface navy was severely battered by the
Royal Navy between 1939 and 1941 before the Soviet Union
was invaded by Germany, thus the British actually tied
down the bulk of the German navy for the Soviets
(Mitchell, p. 385).
. F. P., Second Series, XIII, p. 401, Doc. 329.
.B .F. P., Second Series, XII, p. 775, Doc. 673.
The British sent to the Soviets information on the Simon-
Hitler meeting in Berlin on March 25, 1935, in which the
demand for a fleet 35% the size of Great Britians was
justified.
1'i *'3The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham)
to the Under Secretary of State (Phillips), April 5,
1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I, 43.
1D.B.F .P., Second Series, XIII, p. 425, Doc. 346.
This was sent about six hours.after the Agreement was
signed.
^-^^D.B.F.P. Second Series, XIII, p. 425, Doc. 346.
T-^Ibid., p. 426, Doc. 346.
Ibid.
t9mD.B.F .P., Second Series, XIII, p. 587, Doc. 460
(Enc1osure) .
87


1G.F,P., Series C, III, p. 61, Doc. 25.
=Ihid., p. 59, Doc. 25.
301B. Ponomaryov, A. Gromyko, and V. Khvostov,
eds., History o-f Soviet Foreign Policy: I9171945r
trans. David Skvirsky (Moscow: Progress Publishers,
1969), p. 300.
303Ihid-, p. 309.
303I£>id. p. 319.
3*Ihid., pp. 293-301.
30=Mi tche11, p. 372.
Z06The Ambassador in Great Britain (Bingham) to the
Secretary of State, June 26, 1934, U.S. For. Rel., 1934,
I, 276.
207The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the
Soviet Union (Bullitt), June 27, 1934, U.S. For. Rel.,
1934, I, 280.
=OGThe Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to
the Secretary of State, June 15, 1934, U.S. For. Rel.,
The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 107.
s^Ibid.,
21The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the
Soviet Union (Bullitt), June 21, 1934 , U.S . For. Rel. ,
The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 113.
31:lThe Ambassador in the Soviet Union CBul1itt) to
the Secretary of State, June 30, 1934 , U.S . For. Rel. ,
The Soviet Union: 1933-1939, p. 113.
313The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to
the Secretary of State, July 9, 1934, U.S. For. Rel.,
The Sovi et Union: 1933-1939, p. 116.
313D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII P- 49, Doc. 24
314The Ambassador in the Soviet Un i on (Bui 1itt) to
the Secretary of State, June 22, 1935 , U.S - For. Rel. ,
1935, 1, 71.
88


31=The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the
United Kingdom (Bingham), June 27, 1935, U.S. For. Rel.,
1935, I, 73.
31,£Jbid. ,
3X?The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary
of State, July 15, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I, 79.
31sThe Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham)
to the Secretary of State, July 29, 1935, U.S. For.
Rel., 1935, I, 82. Also D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII,
pp. 565-566, Doc. 436.
31 copy of the British pre-conference position on
qualitative and quantitative limits that was directed
to the French and Italians (.D.B.F.P., Second Series,
XIII, pp. 527-528, Doc. 415). In August, the British
solicited French approval of the British continuing to
inform the Soviets of the proceedings (D.B.F.P., Second
Series, XIII, p. 614, Doc. 477.).
33D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 705, Doc, 558.
33 xIbid.
333The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the
American Delegation to the London Naval Conference
(Davis), November 26, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I,
154, (Enclosure),
333Ii>id.
224Memorandum by Mr. Noel H. Field of the Division
of Western European Affairs of a Meeting Held November
19, 1935, at the Executive Office of the White House,
November 23, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I, 147.
333The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the
American Delegation to the London Naval Conference
(Davis), November 26, 1935, U.S. For. Rel., 1935, I,
154. (Enclosure).
. 33 337rIi>id-, pp. 315-316.
89


33Q2?.B.F.P-, Second Series, XIII, p. 773, Doc. 615
These meetings began on January 14, 1936, the day after
the Japanese left the Conference.
33,9D.B.F.P. 619. Second Series, XIII, PP 777 -775,
33D.S-F-P. , Second Series, XIII, P- 776, Doc. .615
331D.B.F.P- , Second Series, XIII, P- 759, Doc. 630
333IZ?id., pp. 769-790, Doc. 630.
333The Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis)
to the Secretary of State, January 23, 1936, U.S. For.
Rel., 1936, I, 40.
^^^D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 519, Doc. 647
(Footnote 3, a reference to an unprinted minute by-
Robert L. Craigie of the British Foreign Office.)
23SDupuy, pp. 264-265. (Articles 4-7 of the 1935
London Naval Treaty).
33,£*If>id., p. 254, (Article 4 of the 1936 London
Nava 1 T reaty).
33"7IZ>id., pp. 265-269. (Articles 22-26 of the
London Naval Treaty).
33I£n'd, p. 261.
G.F.P. Series C, VI, p. 435, Doc. 206.
(Enc1osure).
=4P.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 571, Doc. 679
3I1Z? .B .F .P. Second Series, XIII, p. 571, Doc. 679
Also D.G.F.P., Series C, IV, pp. 1209-1210, Doc. 596.
and The Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis) to
the Secretary of State, March 10, 1936, U.S. For. Rel.,
1936, I, 55.
^^^D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 555, Doc. 691
3^32fcid.
^^D.G.F.P., Series C, IV, p. 1223, Doc. 605.
90


2-o.=The Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis)
to the Secretary of State, March 16, 1936, U.S. For.
Rel. 1936, I, 94.
^^^D.B.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 591, Doc. 697.
*^lbid.
s*mD.3.F.P., Second Series, XIII, p. 907, Doc. 706.
Ibid.
:z=aD.B.F.P. Second Series, XIII, p. 916, Doc. 711.
2BlThe Charge in the United Kingdom (Atherton) to
the Secretary of State, May 28, 1936, U.S. For. Rel.,
1936, I, 102.
===Ibid.
s=:sIbid.
a=q'The Treaty signatories were bound to the 14-inch
gun limit only if all of the Washington Treaty powers
signed the London Naval Treaty by April 1, 1937 (Dupuy,
p. 264, Article 4 of the 1936 London Naval Treaty).
Since Japan did not sign the Treaty, the other powers
could no longer be bound to the lower limit.
2==The Charge in the United Kingdom (Atherton) to
the Secretary of State, May 28, 1936, U.S. For. Rel.,
1936, 1, 102.
*=*Ibid.
2=s'7The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the
United Kingdom, September 29, 1936, U.S. For. Rel., 1936,
I, 143-144.
ssmIbid.
sss ^Ibid., p. 144.
z,£1The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Sec-
retary of State, October 2, 1936, U.S. For. Rel., 1936,
I, 109 (Enclosure).
z<£*3Ibid.
91


Ibid.
^MD.G.F .P. , Series C, VI, Pp. 73- 74, Doc, 40.
=*Ibid., p. 71.
^^Ibid., p. 75.
^^Ibid., p. 72.
^^D.G.F.P. c1osure 1). Series C, VI, P. 174, Doc. 94 (En
t***Ibidp. 175.
Ibidp. 176.
^XD.G.F.P. , Ser ies C, VI, P. 881, Doc. 438.
3'7'=Dupuy, p. Naval Treaty. 264, Article 6 of the 1936 London
3"73A general approx i mat i on of nava 1 gun
weight (in pounds) can be derived by dividing the cube
of the diameter of the shell (expressed in inches) by
two. For example, 7.l3/2 = 179 lbs. and 83/2 = 256 lbs.
Therefore, a shell from an 8-inch gun has an about 45%
advantage in weight over a shell from a 7.1-inch gun.
It is also a general rule of thumb for guns of the time
that the heavier the shell, the longer distance it will
travel. Thus, a Soviet heavy cruiser meeting a heavy
cruiser mounting 8-inch guns would be engaged at a
longer range, with heavier shells, before it could
effectively return fire.
^^D.G.F.P., Series C, VI, p. 202, Doc. 103.

^&Ibid.
a7'7Dupuy, p. 260, paragragph 2(f) of the Anglo-
German Naval Agreement.
37SThe Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham)
to the Secretary of State, December 7, 1936, U.S. For.
Rel., 1936, I, 117-118.
92