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12.16.20 | Second World War Agreement

In December 1931, the Reichswehr developed a second rearmament plan that demanded 480 million German marks over the next five years: this programme aimed to give Germany the opportunity to create and deliver a defence force of 21 divisions supported by aircraft, artillery and tanks. This coincided with a 1 billion German Mark programme that provided for other industrial infrastructure that could sustainably maintain this strength. Since these programs did not require an extension of the army, they were nominally legal. [144] On November 7, 1932, the Reich`s Defence Minister, Kurt von Schleicher, approved the plan to illegally transform a standing army of 21 divisions, based on 147,000 career soldiers and a large militia. [144] Later that year, at the World Conference on Disarmament, Germany withdrew to force France and Britain to accept German equality. [144] London has attempted to bring Germany back to return, promising that all nations maintain equality in armaments and security. Later, the British proposed and agreed to increase the Reichswehr to 200,000 men, and Germany should have an air force twice the number as large as the French. It was also negotiated that the French army should be reduced. [145] At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation, each overseen by one of the allied powers: the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, at the beginning of the Cold War, this gap became permanent, with the Soviet zone of East Germany becoming an autonomous country (the German Democratic Republic) and the other three countries of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany). But there was no peace treaty between “Germany” and the other four powers. That changed in the fall of 1990, when the two Germans and the four powers set conditions and signed the following treaty, sometimes called, in recognition of its signatories, the “two plus four” treaty, which was the final peace agreement of world war II.

In the following excerpt from the treaty, the two plus four powers recognize both the large-scale political changes in Eastern Europe and the legal reunification of the two Germans in one country. Even after the Korean War (July 27, 1953), after the French withdrawal from Indochina (the Geneva Accords of July 20, 1954 were rejected by the United States) or after the war in Vietnam, peace agreements concluded – only ceasefire agreements – were not put into effect. In the latter case, after five years of negotiations between the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the National Liberation Front, an agreement was finally reached on January 28, 1973. Although it had the breadth and scope of a peace treaty, it was simply an executive agreement that came into force on the American side with the signature of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and not after senate approval.