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The Washington Conference regulated the inter-war naval race between the world powers. In the era when it was still believed that battleships were the epitome of naval power and a sign of a country's strength, this conference led to limitations on the building of such weapons by the naval powers of Britain, the USA and Japan. This collection of essays deals with many aspects of the conference; the factors that caused it, the interests of the participating nations both present and future, and the results.
The USA's contribution to the making of the USSR was accidental. In the belief that the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic could not survive, American statesmen strove to keep the former Tsarist empire intact for a non-communist successor regime in the face of attempts by other powers to carve out spheres of influence in both European and Asiatic Russia. In this manner, they unwittingly facilitated the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This book shows the importance of the 'Russian question' at the Washington Conference and throws light on the emergence of the 'Versailles-Washington' system of international relations.
This work, by Carole Fink, winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, traces the origin and outcome of the Genoa Conference in 1921/22, one of the most important events in European diplomacy following World War I.
Arms control remains a major international issue as the twentieth century closes, but it is hardly a new concern. The effort to limit military power has enjoyed recurring support since shortly after World War I, when the United States, Britain, and Japan sought naval arms control as a means to insure stability in the Far East, contain naval expenditure, and prevent another world cataclysm. Richard Fanning examines the efforts of American, British, and Japanese leaders -- political, military, and social -- to reach agreement on naval limitation between 1922 and the mid-1930s, with focus on the years 1927-30, when political leaders, statesmen, naval officers, and various civilian pressure groups were especially active in considering naval limits. The civilian and even some military actors believed the Great War had been an aberration and that international stability would reign in the near future. But the coming of the Great Depression brought a dramatic drop in concern for disarmament. This study, based on a wide variety of unpublished sources, compares the cultural underpinnings of the disarmament movement in the three countries, especially the effects of public opinion, through examination of the many peace groups that played an important role in the disarmament process. The decision to strive for arms control, he finds, usually resulted from peace group pressure and political expediency. For anyone interested in naval history, this book illuminates the beginnings of the arms limitation effort and the growth of the peace movement.
The Washington Treaty of 1922, designed to head off a potentially dangerous arms race between the major naval powers, agreed to legally binding limits on the numbers and sizes of the principal warship types. In doing so, it introduced a new constraint into naval architecture and sponsored many ingenious attempts to maximise the power of ships built within those restrictions. It effectively banned the construction of new battleships for a decade, but threw greater emphasis on large cruisers.rn This much is broadly understood by anyone with an interest in warships, but both the wider context of the treaty and the detail ramifications of its provisions are little understood. The approach of this book is novel in combining coverage of the political and strategic background of the treaty – and the subsequent London Treaty of 1930 – with analysis of exactly how the navies of Britain, the USA, Japan, France and Italy responded, in terms of the types of warships they built and the precise characteristics of those designs. This was not just a matter of capital ships and cruisers, but also influenced the development of super-destroyers and large submarines.rn Now for the first time warship enthusiasts and historians can understand fully the rationale behind much of inter-war naval procurement. The Washington Treaty was a watershed, and this book provides an important insight into its full significance.
During the 1920s Herbert O. Yardley was chief of the first peacetime cryptanalytic organization in the United States, the ancestor of today's National Security Agency. Funded by the U.S. Army and the Department of State and working out of New York, his small and highly secret unit succeeded in breaking the diplomatic codes of several nations, including Japan. The decrypts played a critical role in U.S. diplomacy. Despite its extraordinary successes, the Black Chamber, as it came to known, was disbanded in 1929. President Hoover's new Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson refused to continue its funding with the now-famous comment, "Gentlemen do not read other people's mail." In 1931 a disappointed Yardley caused a sensation when he published this book and revealed to the world exactly what his agency had done with the secret and illegal cooperation of nearly the entire American cable industry. These revelations and Yardley's right to publish them set into motion a conflict that continues to this day: the right to freedom of expression versus national security. In addition to offering an expose on post-World War I cryptology, the book is filled with exciting stories and personalities.

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