The Pact of Steel

22 May 1939


ww2dbaseThe Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, more commonly known as "The Pact of Steel" (German: Stahlpakt; Italian: Patto d'Acciaio), was the agreement with which Germany and Italy publicly entered into an alliance, pledging mutual support in war and war production, while requiring that, in the case of war, one nation could not negotiate for peace without agreement of the other. Secret clauses in the pact urged both nations to increase the level of cooperation in war planning and war production and to coordinate propaganda efforts.

ww2dbaseThe agreement was signed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop for Germany, and the signing took place in Berlin, Germany. The nickname "The Pact of Steel" was coined by Italian leader Benito Mussolini, who thought the originally proposed nickname of "Pact of Blood" would be poorly received in Italy.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Oct 2009

The Pact of Steel Timeline

6 May 1939 Upon learning from Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, who had met German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop earlier on that day, that Adolf Hitler did not wish to launch a war in the foreseeable future, Benito Mussolini eagerly ordered Ciano to engage in talks for a military alliance between the two countries.
22 May 1939 Italy and Germany signed the "Pact of Steel" in Berlin, Germany.
23 Aug 1939 Italy sent a message to Germany noting that when the two nations negotiated the Pact of Steel, article 3, which obliged one nation to go to join in any war the other nation engaged in, the two had the understanding that Italy would not be ready for war until 1943. Should Germany invade Poland before 1942, Italy would not be ready.
26 Aug 1939 Benito Mussolini sent Adolf Hitler a message noting that Italy would offer political and economic aid if Germany chose to go to war with Poland, but Italy was in no position to offer military assistance.
27 Aug 1939 Adolf Hitler responded to Benito Mussolini's message from the previous day, noting that he accepted Italy's inability to participate in direct fighting should a German-Polish war broke out, but he would very much appreciate political (by means of threatening to entering the war, thus tying down French troops on the French-Italian border) and economic (by offering Italian workers for German industry and agriculture) support.
31 Aug 1939 In Italy, Galeazzo Ciano sent the United Kingdom and France a secret message noting that Italy would not fight should Germany start a war over Poland.
1 Sep 1939 Adolf Hitler relieved Italy from having to fight in the war against Poland and possibly with the western powers in writing, asking only for political and economic support.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Peter Campo says:
30 Jul 2017 04:52:05 PM

Do you know where I can find a replica copy of the Pact of Steel showing signatures. This would be used in my history classes.
2. Toodles says:
30 Apr 2018 07:44:07 PM

Thank you so much for the help! I couldn't have finished my report without this.
3. Mike Jackson says:
11 Jul 2020 08:32:28 PM

Where exactly in Berlin was the Pact signed?
4. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
13 Jul 2020 05:14:27 AM

Mike, the Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was initially signed on 27 Sep 1940. other countries such as Hungary, Romania, Croatia, etc. added their signatures through the course of the next year. See:

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on The Pact of Steel
» Ciano, Galeazzo
» Ribbentrop, Joachim

» Germany

» The Pact of Steel

Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!