Date of Graduation
The focus of this project has been the British response to the proposal for a multi-lateral air assistance agreement submitted to them by the French at the beginning of February 1935. The campaigns mounted by Foreign Office personnel both to overcome internal political and military opposition to the Air Pact and to move the pact forward at the international level provide the framework for the study. Particular emphasis has been placed on the problems created by the then-novel threat of aerial attack and the role of the Air Pact in the response to that threat. The pact's political, financial, and military advantages have been contrasted to its diplomatic and bureaucratic drawbacks. In addition, the pact has been viewed in the larger context of the search for an effective response to the issue of Germany's illegal rearmament under Hitler's National Socialist regime and the pact's relationship to the so-called policy of Appeasement. The study relies heavily on primary sources available at the Public Record Office in Kew, London, particularly Cabinet and Foreign Office documents, as well as private papers of the Foreign Secretary, the Prime Minister, and others. Secondary sources include works on Appeasement, air strategy in the inter-war period, and intelligence service analysis. The failure of the pact even to reach the negotiation stage is viewed as one aspect of the general indecisiveness of British policy at the time, compounded by French obstruction and the rapidly deteriorating balance of forces between Britain and France on the one hand, and Germany on the other.
Kappel, Gary Herbert, "Air Diplomacy: British Policy And The Air Pact Proposal Of 1935." (1987). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9149.