The Pact of Steel reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Pact of Steel

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The Pact of Steel was an agreement between the governments of Italy and Germany signed on May 22, 1939 by Galeazzo Ciano and Joachim von Ribbentrop

The pact was one of alliance in the event of international threats; of immediate aid and military support in the event of war, also neither country would make peace without the agreement of the other; and of collaboration in military and wartime production. The pact was initially valid for ten years.

The pact was based on the assumption of war occurring in about three years. When Germany began the conflict in September 1939 Italy was not on a proper war footing and had difficulty meeting its obligations and did not enter the conflict until June 1940 with an abortive invasion of southern France. Certain members of the Italian government, including the signatory Ciano, were opposed to the pact.

See also: Anti-Comintern Pact, Tripartite Pact

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