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  • Naval Treaty of Washington

    All,

    Could the Naval Treaty of Washington be considered one of the "catalysts" for World War Two?

    With the British and US being allowed to have 5 Battelships, compared to only 3 for France, Italy or Japan, do you think that the Japanese may have taken this dimished naval force as a "slap in the face to Japanese Navy power by the "Anglo's"?

    I feel this treaty was one of the major contributors to making Japan an enemy to the US; even after the military rulers to Japan came to power and the Japanese departure from he League of Nations.

    For those that wish to review the naval treaties after WWI, go here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Naval_Treaty

    and here:

    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/t...reaty_1922.htm

    Enjoy
    Kevin Kenneally
    Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
    Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

  • #2
    More Naval treaty info

    All,

    Please go here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Naval_Treaty

    and here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_London_Naval_Treaty

    to read more interesting naval treaty information. The Second London Naval Treaty is a very interesting topic.
    Kevin Kenneally
    Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
    Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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    • #3
      The treaty may have contributed to the Pacific part of WW II, the Versailles Treaty all but garranteed the European part. What it did act as a catalyst for was the growth in the importance of the aircraft carrier, as both the Japanese and Americans saw that naval aviation wasthe most potent form of attack for the vast expanses of the Pacific. The aircraft carrier part of the treaty was almost an afterthought.
      Lance W.

      Peace through superior firepower.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kevin
        Could the Naval Treaty of Washington be considered one of the "catalysts" for World War Two?
        Beyond all doubt, it was certainly one of a few.

        On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

        ACG History Today

        BoRG

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        • #5
          ONFERENCE ON THE LIMITATION OF ARMAMENT,
          WASHINGTON,
          NOVEMBER 12 1921-FEBRUARY 6, 1922.


          Any treaty limiting Japan's power was considered treasonous by the more militant groups.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
            With the British and US being allowed to have 5 Battelships, compared to only 3 for France, Italy or Japan, do you think that the Japanese may have taken this dimished naval force as a "slap in the face to Japanese Navy power by the "Anglo's"?
            As has been said, any limitation on Japan's armament did not sit well with fringe groups. However, the Washington Treaty had far less of an effect on mainstream Japan's growing antipathy of the West than the entrenched racism it perceived there. The end of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in favour of better relations between the USA and British Empire and the rejection of the Versailles 'racial equality' proposal were viewed in a particularly dim light in this regard.
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            King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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            • #7
              In practical matters the WALT gave Japan parity or a slight edge if the US and UK were involved in a two-ocean war, as actually came about. 3 to 2.5 in BBs when the Allies had to split their forces.

              But the easy abrogation of the Treaty tells me that the real impact of the WALT was that Japanese shipbuilding experiments went "underground" and the USN lacked information on the new construction.
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              • #8
                There are historians that would argue that the naval treaty stopped a US vs UK and Japan war in the 1920's.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                  There are historians that would argue that the naval treaty stopped a US vs UK and Japan war in the 1920's.
                  Hi

                  Yes there are, but they tend to be in the minority.
                  The implications for both would have been dire, especially as possible future & real enemies looked on in glee.

                  Regards
                  "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                  "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                    There are historians that would argue that the naval treaty stopped a US vs UK and Japan war in the 1920's.
                    Under what rationale?
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                    • #11
                      It's always good to see people linking to Wikipedia articles I had a hand in writing ;-)

                      But - to answer the question - not really. To be honest, you can start tracing the causes of World War II to *everything* that happened at the end of World War I (or even during it) if you try. But it's a very limited way of looking at the Washington Treaty.

                      The Washington Treaty was simply a phenomenal success. Look at this graph, which shows every battleship class laid down in the dreadnought era, by displacement:


                      Note that there is basically a straight line of fit with many data points between the Dreadnought to the Treaty. You will note that there is a bit of a gap during World War , but that the same trend line is resumed with a cluster of points in 1918-22. The same dreadnought arms race was continuing. But after 1922 - nothing for well over a decade - at all - and only a few small battleships before 1938.

                      That's the first time in history that the world agreed, through diplomacy, to halt an arms race - and the first time that diplomatic problems (in this case the future of Asia) were put "on ice" by arms limitation.

                      Don't let the fact that World War 2 happened blind you to the awful scenario which would have been likely if the Washington Treaty *hadn't* happened. There would have been a 3-handed arms race in the Pacific between Britain, the USA, and Japan. Diplomatic tensions would have surfaced in the 1920s that were in fact put off until the 1930s -just with the US and Britain at loggerheads not in close concert. The war-stricken economies of Britain, France and Italy would have had to deal with a heavy burden of naval construction, which they could ill afford - potentially with even more unpleasant political consequences than in fact happened. Japan would have been faced with a choice between war with the United States and national bankruptcy.

                      So with the Washington Treaty you have the seeds of hope, which turned out to be dashed. Without the treaty, you have a grim history which is made even grimmer by the continuing battleship arms race, and democracy and freedom are even more screwed.
                      My board games blog: The Brass Castle

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
                        As has been said, any limitation on Japan's armament did not sit well with fringe groups. However, the Washington Treaty had far less of an effect on mainstream Japan's growing antipathy of the West than the entrenched racism it perceived there. The end of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in favour of better relations between the USA and British Empire and the rejection of the Versailles 'racial equality' proposal were viewed in a particularly dim light in this regard.
                        At this point the Japanese had decided to expand into Asia. This started with the British allowing Japan to take over the German colonies in the Pacific ocean and Tsingtao, still renowned for its beer. When the Japanese realized how far away opposition was and how weak China was at that time. They followed a foreign policy of agression.

                        After the invasions of China began the Japanese tried invading Siberia from Manchukuo. However Georgi Zhukov got four or five divisions and some artillery and crushed them. This was before 1941. So then the Japanese had to decide between two options, go north into Siberia, where Japan had barely won a war in 1905 and had gotten crushed in 1940. The al
                        ternative was to go south southeastern Asia. They chose the latter with consequences we all have heard of. It is unlikely that the USA would have tolerated a Japanese takeover of the Dutch East Indies and their oil fields. But strategically Pearl Harbor was a strategic mistake.Feel free to disagree.
                        Last edited by Nickuru; 21 Aug 12, 16:48. Reason: spelling
                        When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nș 8
                        Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
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                        • #13
                          Actually, it was an irrelevancy. Would it have made any difference really had it not been enacted? The battleship was still doomed to extinction by the carrier. The treaty changes nothing in that respect.
                          All of the participants cheated on tonnage to some degree too.

                          Would having 50,000 or 70,000 ton battleships have changed anything in WW 2 if everybody had those instead of the nominal 35,000 ton ones they had?

                          The same goes for other classes ship too.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            Actually, it was an irrelevancy. Would it have made any difference really had it not been enacted? The battleship was still doomed to extinction by the carrier. The treaty changes nothing in that respect.
                            All of the participants cheated on tonnage to some degree too.

                            Would having 50,000 or 70,000 ton battleships have changed anything in WW 2 if everybody had those instead of the nominal 35,000 ton ones they had?

                            The same goes for other classes ship too.
                            I tend to agree.

                            Various capital ships already under construction were converted to carriers which were actually much more effective than BBs and not limited by the treaty.

                            The old fogies didn't care a hoot about carriers and fewer would have been built by the beginning of WWII without the treaty. One could suspect that this was part of the [secret] motivation to implement the treaty in the first place. The technological advancement to CVs over BBs needed a legitimate impetus where other logical arguments failed.

                            Only AFTER WWII was the superiority of CVs generally recognized. The New Jersey/Yamato class BBs were a waste of resources and indicate the mind set of the unenlightened Naval leaders of the time.
                            Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pirate-Drakk View Post
                              The old fogies didn't care a hoot about carriers and fewer would have been built by the beginning of WWII without the treaty.
                              I would disagree, because the Scouting Force would have grown with the rest of the Navy. So there would have been more demand for carriers, not less.
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