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There is a meme in the US about British meddling in Europe. It says, basically, that the British didn't want a single power to dominate the continent, so it would support the second strongest power to constrain the growth of an all-Europe empire. Wikipedia has a page about it, so it must be fairly well known.

Something similar happened after World War II; specifically, the Marshall Plan regrew the British, German, Italian, and French, Belgium, Dutch, etc economies to prevent the spread Soviet dominance and the Communist system to western Europe. In a word, Nato.


Was there a "European Balance of Power Strategy" for Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935?

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    I'd be curious if someone else can dig something up, but the policy here is in reference to the British empire, which was on it's way out by wwii (even wwi for that matter). It's a completely valid policy prior to the 1900's at any rate, so the meme definitely has a reason for existing. The wiki page you link has this "This idea floundered as Europe split into three principal factions in the 1920s and 1930s:". – Twelfth Dec 14 '17 at 19:30
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    Is there a source which shows the 'American' aspect of this, I don't find mention (prior to the cold war) in the source you have listed. – justCal Dec 14 '17 at 23:42
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    The question is bad, because it is based on wrong premises - the sentence that there existed Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935 is not obvious at all. Oh, of course there was some common details in their interests. But the view exists that their interests were quite opposite. I had even read the meaning that that contradiction was the real reason for WWII. Don't forget, that in the WWI politicians had to decide, on which side to fight. – Gangnus Dec 15 '17 at 12:55
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    Yeah, I was going to say the same. I remember hearing US and UK had a major fallout in the 20s and nearly had a war. There were politically powerful German and Irish immigrant groups in the US which were hostile to Britain, and as global hegemon Britain attracted a lot of opprobrium from abroad, including US. – Ne Mo Dec 15 '17 at 18:26
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    A naval arms race in the 1920s grew ugly enough that commentators on both sides of the Atlantic were claiming war “not unthinkable.” It's from a lecture by an academic called John Moser, he doesn't give any more details though. about:reader?url=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20130621032821%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fpersonal.ashland.edu%2F~jmoser1%2Fanglophobia.html – Ne Mo Dec 15 '17 at 18:31
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Question has been altered, so my answer is less relevant. At any rate, TLDR: No, this policy was obsolete by 1925-1935 and I'm unable to find anything that would suggest it was a reasonable policy in the lead up to WWII (you can find some traces post-WWI such as the treaty of Sevres to split the ottoman empire, but thats the last instance I can find). The policy worked when the opposing forces were empires and nations, but found it's end when the powers were more divided between Democracy, Fascism, and Communism. Only instance of this Balance of power strategy I can find for this time frame fits into what I describe below.

To stop the downvotes my answer is directed to the original question having linked to https://orientalreview.org/2010/10/06/episodes-5-who-paid-for-world-war-ii/ that is written by Nikolay Starikov that directly states the US and British intentionally rebuilt the Germans after WWI to attack Russia (as Starikov puts it "because they don't like to fight the Russians themselves". The idea that Britain used 'the balance of power' strategy to rebuild Nazi Germany to attack Russia is often promoted under 'European balance of power during 1925-35' and is fringe conspiracy at best.

Started as a comment, now appears to be lengthy enough to try as an answer. I'm suspecting this question would do better on skeptics than History. The article you are linking as "This page" and question if there is a better source is written by Nikolay STARIKOV. He is the founder of the Goebbels Award, given to "people who lie about, slander and vilify Russia".

The Guardian actively identifies him as a conspiracy theorist that seeks to promote Russia and Demonize western culture (How the Western Culture is brainwashed by the it's media is amoung his works). https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/14/hitler-was-an-anglo-american-stooge-the-tall-tales-in-a-moscow-bookshop

Nikolay STARIKOV is also accredited to statements like this :

“Washington and London need fools to fight for them, because they don’t like to fight themselves. This is why they brought Adolf Hitler to power in Germany in 1933. You need the person who will start the war, who will not flinch from committing crimes and shedding blood … It’s the same today. They need a madman who will start a new world war in order to save the dollar.”

Hitler is apparently the product of capitalism and was purposefully financed to dismember the glory of the soviet empire I guess.

The part here that really confuses me comes from your question:

"There is a meme in the US about British meddling in Europe. "

It appears to be a meme regarding the US doing the financing, not just the British. I'm not 100% sure why a meme declaring the US being the #1 cause of the Nazi rise to power and WWII would be a meme in the US, short of Russians mass posting on American facebook walls maybe?

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    Question was "Was there a "European Balance of Power Strategy" for Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935?" I don't think you really provided an answer. – axsvl77 Dec 14 '17 at 21:27
  • My ideas up there are wrong. That's why I asked the question. Give some sources for what the strategy was, and then maybe you're giving an actual answer. – axsvl77 Dec 14 '17 at 21:28
  • @axsvl77 - My answer was no as the only sources I can find that suggest otherwise tend to come from suspicious borderline conspiracy sources (Starikov is but one figure), that seem to have more dubious rationality intent on blaming the reasons for WWII on the Allied powers. The balance of power theory basically went out of date when the powers shifted away from empires and nationality to democracy vs fascism vs communism. One would be led to believe that if this was Britain's intent, they would have been far more prepared for the war but the rise of Hitler that caught them off guard instead. – Twelfth Dec 14 '17 at 22:05
  • @Twelfth if this was Britain's intent, they would have been far more prepared for the war but the rise of Hitler that caught them off guard instead. Well, I am not giving much credit to Stakirov, but what really caught Britain off-guard was the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between what were supposed to be two mortal enemies. – SJuan76 Dec 15 '17 at 9:38
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British "Meddling in Europe"? The British might call it strategy for survival.

The term / policy is called Britain's "Balancer Role". It's a long standing strategy where Britain opposed the strongest nation on the continent not based upon value, interest, culture, or threat. But based upon the long term strategy of maintaining a balance of power.

Encyclopedia Britanica
Within the European balance of power, Great Britain played the role of the “balancer,” or “holder of the balance.” It was not permanently identified with the policies of any European nation, and it would throw its weight at one time on one side, at another time on another side, guided largely by one consideration—the maintenance of the balance itself.

This is where the term balance of power comes from, or at least is a very famous example of it. Britain's policy, was not to "curb the growth of all-European empire". It's basis was with Britain's strong Navy, and Island geography; no country would be in a position to invade them if a balance of power were maintained on the continent. This policy was said to be the motivation for Anglo-Spanish War, the Napoleonic wars, WWI, and Churchill mentions it in "Gathering Storm" as why WWII occurred. Namely the Allies failure to maintain the balance of power due to:

  • Neville Chamberlain policy of appeasement,
  • France's failed obligation in defense of smaller nations
  • The United State's policy of neutrality

Discussion, Explanation of Gathering Storm Churchill writes “in keeping with a 400 year history to avert a dominance by a dictator from any country We ought to set the life and endurance of the British Empire and the greatness of the this island very high in our duty, and not be led astray by illusions about an ideal world, which only means that other and worse controls will step into our place, and that future direction will belong to them.


Your Question: Was there a "European Balance of Power Strategy" for Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935?

At first thought I would say absolutely not. America barely had an Army in the interwar period, certainly not sufficient to make the US a concern in a European balance of power.

US Army was smaller than Portugal's when WWII began in July of 1939.

As Churchill eluded too in "The Gathering Storm" he believed the nearly 150 year old American policy of isolationism and neutrality was a major failing of the allies which lead too WWII; 1 of 3 major failures by the allies given above.

Having said that however their was the "The Washington Naval Conference, 1921–1922", and the Five-Power Treaty which came out of it.

The Five-Power Treaty The Five-Power Treaty, signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Italy was the cornerstone of the naval disarmament program. It called for each of the countries involved to maintain a set ratio of warship tonnage which allowed the United States and the United Kingdom 500,000 tons, Japan 300,000 tons, and France and Italy each 175,000 tons. Japan preferred that tonnage be allotted at a 10:10:7 ratio, while the U.S. Navy preferred a 10:10:5 ratio. The conference ultimately adopted the 5:5:3 ratio limits.

The US and Britain received the largest allotments of capital ships (battle ships) in this treaty it is said because they both maintained Atlantic and Pacific two ocean navy's. I would say the fact that Britain and American negotiators were willing to accept parity with each other, could be and probably was an indication that both nations saw a likelihood of a conflict between each other as remote. Perhaps evidence they were at a bare minimum thinking of working together?

Still it's pretty weak evidence. The US returned to it's neutrality / isolationist roots in the inter-war period between WWI and WWII. The United States did not build a fleet which had parity with the British Navy after WWI, even though by treaty they could have. Finally the United States did not come to Britain's aid militarily for years after she faced existential threat from Germany first starting in 1939. When the United States did enter WWII, it did so only after the US was attacked, and Germany declared war on the United States first (Dec 1941).

So my answer is: Perhaps: Perhaps in 1920's it was a thought by planners of both nations to pursue some sort understanding / arrangement which would work for both the Empire and the US interests/security. Such an arrangement would certainly seem to have made sense in the 1920's with what we know today. That thought ultimately was not followed up on; however, probable due to a lack of (short sighted) political interest. Lack of interest certainly the United States, who couldn't even get support in the domestic legislature to join the league of nations, and organization which the United States President Wilson has championed, lobbied for, and helped organize. Politically the US was very motivated to get back to it's isolationist roots in the decades, prior to WWII.

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