Patto anticomintern
Anti-Comintern Pact
1936 –
Map of Anti-Comintern Countries.PNG
Headquarters: Berlin
Main languages German, Italian and Japanese
Political structure: Military alliance
General Secretary:
- 1940–1945
- 1945–1950
- 1950–1960
- 1960–

Joachim von Ribbentrop
Hideki Tōjō
Galeazzo Ciano
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Head of Unified Staff:
- 1940–1945
- 1945–1950
- 1950–1955
- 1955-1958
- 1958–1960
- 1960–

Franz Halder
Hajime Sugiyama
Rodolfo Graziani
Henrik Werth
Stasys Raštikis
Heinz Guderian

The Anti-Comintern Pact was an organization of states in Europe and Asia directed against Communist guerrillas and insurgencies by the Comintern, the West and other anti-fascist guerrillas and resistance movements. The Anti-Comintern Pact was concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International (Comintern) in general, and the Soviet Union in particular. Following their victory over the Soviet Union, they are now in direct opposition to the United Nations (headed by the USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Australia, India, and Iran).


Watched by the Japanese signatory, Japanese ambassador to Nazi Germany Viscount Kintomo Mushakoji, Hitler's foreign affairs adviser Joachim von Ribbentrop signs the Anti-Comintern Pact, November 25, 1936.

The Pact of Steel obliged Germany and Italy to aid the other country immediately, militarily or otherwise, in the event of war being declared, and to collaborate in military and wartime production. The Pact ensured that neither country was able to make peace without the agreement of the other. The agreement was based on the assumption that a war would occur within three years. The origins of the Anti-Comintern Pact go back to the fall of 1935, when various German officials both within and without the Foreign Ministry were attempting to balance the competing demands upon the Reich's foreign policy by its traditional alliance with China vs Hitler' desire for friendship with China's archenemy, Japan. In October 1935, the idea was mooted that an anti-Communist alliance might be able to tie in the Kuomintang regime, Japan and Germany. In particular, this idea appealed to Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Special Ambassador at Large and head of the Dienststelle Ribbentrop and the Japanese Military Attaché in Berlin, General Oshima Hiroshi, who hoped that such a alliance might lead to China's subordination to Japan. Lack of Chinese interest doomed the project's original intention, but October-November 1935, Ribbentrop and Oshima worked out a treaty directed against the Comintern. The Pact was to be originally introduced in late November 1935 with invitations for Britain, China and Poland to join. However, concerns by the German Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath and War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg that the pact might damage Chinese-German relations plus political disarray in Tokyo following the failed military coup of February 26, 1936 led the Pact being shelved for a year. By the summer of 1936, the increased influence of the military in the Japanese government, concerns in Berlin and Tokyo about the Franco-Soviet alliance, and Hitler's desire for a dramatic anti-Communist foreign policy gesture that he believed might bring about an Anglo-German alliance led to the idea of the Anti-Comintern Pact being revived. The Pact was initialed on October 23, 1936 and signed on November 25, 1936. In order to avoid damaging relations with the Soviet Union, the Pact was supposedly directed only against the Comintern, but in fact contained a secret agreement that in the event of either signatory power becoming involved with a war with the Soviet Union, the other signatory power would maintain a benevolent neutrality

On November 6, 1937, Italy also joined the pact, thereby forming the group that would later be known as the Axis Powers. Italy's decision was more or less a reaction against the failed Stresa front, the Franco-British initiative of 1935 designed to keep Nazi Germany from extending beyond her present borders. In particular, both nations tried to block "German expansionism", especially the annexation of Austria, which was also in Italy's best interests to prevent. Distrustful relations and Benito Mussolini's own expansionism furthered the distance between Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as France. Italy invaded the African State of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in October 1935, an act of unprovoked aggression that was a breach of League of Nations policy. Nevertheless, Britain and France hashed out a secret agreement with Italy to give her two-thirds of Abyssinia, known as the Hoare-Laval Pact. When this information was leaked to the public in Britain and France, their governments were mired in scandal, the British Foreign Secretary, Samuel Hoare, was forced to resign. Consequently, the Hoare-Laval Pact was aborted.

Pact of Steel

The signing of the Pact of Steel on May 22, 1939.

The term "Axis Powers" was first used by Benito Mussolini, in November 1936, when he spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis arising out of the treaty of friendship signed between Italy and Germany on October 25, 1936. Mussolini declared that the two countries would form an "axis" around which the other states of Europe would revolve. This treaty was forged when Italy, originally opposed to Germany, was faced with opposition to its war in Abyssinia from the League of Nations and received support from Germany.

On May 22, 1939 this relationship transformed into an alliance, when the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Count Galeazzo Ciano signed the Pact of Steel, known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy.

The Pact consisted of two parts: the first section was an open declaration of continuing trust and cooperation between Germany and Italy while the second, a 'Secret Supplementary Protocol' encouraged a joint military and economic policy.

Tripartite Pact

The term "Axis powers" formally took the name after the Tripartite Pact was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan on September 27, 1940 in Berlin, Germany. The pact was subsequently joined by Hungary (November 20, 1940), Romania (November 23, 1940), Lithuania (November 24, 1940) and Bulgaria (March 1, 1941). The Italian name Roberto briefly acquired a new meaning from "Rome-Berlin-Tokyo" between 1940 and 1945. Its most militarily powerful members were Germany and Japan.


As the political situation in Europe deteriorated, and the threat from the Soviet Union grew, the Anti-Comintern Pact expanded exponentially. The first minor nations to join were Hungary and Lithuania. The support Germany had received from Hungary in the conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1938-1939 and Lithuania in the campaign against Poland in 1939 allowed two nations to join the Pact on November 20, 1939.

The Anti-Comintern Pact was revived in 1942, after Germany's assault on the Soviet Union that commenced with Operation Barbarossa and on November 25 its renewal for another five years was celebrated. This time the parties were: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Manchukuo (puppet state of Japan), Romania, Turkey, Iraq, Latvia and Estonia. While Latvia and Estonia had been occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in June 1940, the two nations were granted independence with their pre-war governments and admitted into the alliance after the wish of Finland and Lithuania.

The third expansion of the Anti-Comintern Pact occured on November 25, 1943. A new front in South America cleared the way for Argentina, a longtime German ally, and their allies Bolivia and Peru.


The members of the Anti-Comintern Pact has pledged to defend each other if one or more of the members were attacked. The treaty also stated that relations among the signatories were based on mutual non-interference in internal affairs and respect for national sovereignty and independence.

The members also agreed that neither of them would make any political treaties with the West or any other belligerent, unless this had been accepted by the majority of the members.

Date Country Enlargement Notes
November 25, 1936 Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich Founders The main members of the Anti-Comintern Pact.
Flag of Japan.svg Empire of Japan
November 6, 1937 Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Empire of Italy Formation of the "Axis Powers"
November 20, 1939 Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946; 3-2 aspect ratio).svg Kingdom of Hungary First Members of the Anti-Comintern Pact.
Flag of Lithuania.svg Republic of Lithuania
November 25, 1942 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Tsardom of Bulgaria Second
Flag of Croatia DS.png Independent State of Croatia
Flag of Denmark.svg Kingdom of Denmark
Flag of Estonia.svg Republic of Estonia
Flag of Latvia.svg Republic of Latvia
Flag of Finland.svg Republic of Finland
Flag of the Kingdom of Iraq.png Kingdom of Iraq
Flag of Manchukuo.svg Manchukuo
Flag of Romania.svg Kingdom of Romania
Flag of the Spanish State.png Spanish State
Flag of Thailand.svg Kingdom of Thailand
Flag of Turkey.png Republic of Turkey
November 25, 1943 Flag of Argentina.svg Republic of Argentina Third
Flag of Bolivia.svg Republic of Bolivia
Flag of Peru.png Republic of Peru
November 25, 1945 Flag of Turan.png State of Turan Fourth


The Anti-Comintern Pact's headquarters were located in Berlin, around 700 metres from the Führer's Palace on Adolf Hitler Platz. The Anti-Comintern Pact was divided into two branches: the Political Consultative Committee, which coordinated all non-military activities, and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces, which had authority over the troops assigned to it by member states.

The Anti-Comintern Pact was headed by the Secretary General, who was appointed for a five year term. The post of Secretary General was reserved for the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of either Nazi Germany, Japan or Italy. The Anti-Comintern Pact Unified Staff was consisted of each member nation's delegation or a mission to the alliance's headquarters.

The Chief of the Unified Staff was, similar to the Secretary General, also the Chief of Staff of their respective country. Unlike the post of Secretary General, all member states had the possibility to hold this post. They normally held the post for a five-year term.

Secretary General

The post of Secretary General is shared between the three main members, which take turns to have the post. When one Secretary General is leaving office, the next country's Minister of Foreign Affairs takes office.

Secretaries-General of the Anti-Comintern Pact
No. Name Country of origin Took office Left office Note
1 Joachim von Ribbentrop Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich June 26, 1940 June 26, 1945  
2 Hideki Tōjō Flag of Japan.svg Empire of Japan June 26, 1945 June 26, 1950
3 Galeazzo Ciano Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Kingdom of Italy June 26, 1950 June 26, 1960 Second term was originally reserved for Germany, but decided to keep Ciano as Secretary General until 1960.
4 Joachim von Ribbentrop Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich June 26, 1960 Incumbent Second term

Chief of the Unified Staff

The Chief of the Unified Staff was appointed by the Secretary General. Unlike the post of Secretary General, all member states had the possibility to hold this post.

Chiefs of the Unified Staff of the Anti-Comintern Pact
No. Name Country of origin Took office Left office Note
1 Joachim von Ribbentrop Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich June 26, 1940 June 26, 1945  
2 Hajime Sugiyama Flag of Japan.svg Empire of Japan June 26, 1945 June 26, 1950
3 Rodolfo Graziani Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Kingdom of Italy June 26, 1950 June 26, 1960
4 Henrik Werth Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946; 3-2 aspect ratio).svg Kingdom of Hungary June 26, 1955 March 2, 1958 First Chief of Unified Staff not from one of the three main member states.
Resigned from office over the Hungarian-Romanian War.
5 Stasys Raštikis Flag of Lithuania.svg Republic of Lithuania March 11, 1958 June 26, 1960  
6 Heinz Guderian Flag of the German Reich (1935–1945).svg Greater German Reich June 26, 1960 Incumbent

Military operations

See also

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