Academic journal article Naval War College Review

The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany: 1933-39: A Study in Appeasement and the Origins of the Second World War

Academic journal article Naval War College Review

The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany: 1933-39: A Study in Appeasement and the Origins of the Second World War

Article excerpt

Maiolo, Joseph A. The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany: 1933-39: A Study in Appeasement and the Origins of the Second World War. London: Macmillan,1998. New York: St. Martin's, 1998. 259pp. $79.95

In this revised version of his doctoral thesis at the University of London, Joseph Malolo focuses on the Anglo-German naval agreement of June 1935 and June 1937 that allowed Germany to increase its naval strength to 35 percent of the Royal Navy's strength-often regarded as a diplomatic blunder and a fatal step in British appeasement of Hitler. Maiolo has made an insightful analysis of Admiralty documents both before and after these events.

By reconstructing the Admiralty's estimate of probable German naval capabilities and future naval strategies, the author shows that the Admiralty had realistic and logical reasons for the Anglo-German naval agreements. Maiolo has done this by using hitherto neglected sources-such as the archives of the Department of Naval Construction, and the private papers of key naval officers, which fill in the incomplete record of the Admiralty's intelligence estimates and war planning efforts-as well as by a thorough reexamination of well known cabinet, Admiralty, and foreign office papers. He complements these sources with the published German documents and the main secondary literature in German to paint a picture of the opposing ideas about naval force structure. …

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