Talk:Washington Naval Treaty

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Problem with US-centric intro[edit]

Of the three paragraphs in the introductory section, one is devoted to the signing and ratification of the treaty by the United States. Why is the US mentioned, but not the other four signatories? Surely they should be mentioned, or no nation should be mentioned? I intend to remove the paragraph, unless anyone objects, in which case please state your views here, below mine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

RN treated unfairly[edit]

Whilst this is all fascinating stuff, I think the "Effects" section of the article is guilty of a serious US bias. Several paragraphs are devoted to US ship construction between the wars whereas the Royal Navy, who was more profoundly effected by the Washington treaty than any other, barely merits a couple of sentences and the historic abandonment of the Two Power Standard doesn't even get a mention. Unfortunately I lack the knowledge to write authoritavely on this subject, but is anyone else prepared to step up to the plate and expand on the implications of the treaty for the other signatory nations

The usual advice to such an objection is to be bold. Edit away. ww (talk) 05:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Three years later and the article is even worse - the impact of the RN isn't mentioned at all! This is outrageous US bias. I shall attempt to improve the article myself, but am by no means expert on the WNT. Getztashida (talk) 10:11, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Aircraft carrier tonnage[edit]

The treaty allowed the a battle cruiser conversion to displace 33,000 tons. It also provided the following with respect to reconstruction of capital ships:

The Contracting Powers may, for that purpose, equip existing tonnage with bulge or blister or anti-air attack deck protection, providing the increase of displacement thus effected does not exceed 3,000 tons (3,048 metric tons) displacement for each ship.

Treaty, Ch II, Part 3, Section I (d)[1]. This means, does it not, that a reconstructed armored carrier could displace 36,000 tons standard?[2] Kablammo 22:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I cannot find the discussion for the merge proposal with Washington Naval Conference, in either of both articles. Hence, I'm registering my opinion in both: Kind regards, DPdH (talk) 08:02, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

  • oppose The Washington Naval Treaty was a product (among others) of the Washington Naval Conference, as stated in the latter article. Hence they are two different (albeit closely related) things. The articles should be kept separately, to reflect this situation. In addition, I cannot see any advantage from the merge.
  • Oppose Oppose The Conference resulted in several major treaties and several more minor ones. It is not a subset of the Naval Treaty, the Naval Treaty is something of a subset of it. Distinct topics if anything. No need to merge. Too much tidying impulse here, I think. ww (talk) 10:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm against the merger too; because the conference produced several treaties; also because issues of who attended, who didn't, and what the Russians did instead, are quite separate from the eventual treaties and their effects. Andrew Dalby 22:16, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose The Washington Naval Treaty (the Five Power Treaty) was one of several agreements which comprised the Washington System. The other principal components were the Nine Power Treaty and Four Power Treaty. The overall intent was not simply to limit naval armaments and secure the balance of naval power (the proximate aims of the Five Power Treaty) but to contain the rising revisionist power of Japan and stablilize East Asia. This does not come through very clearly in the existing discussions, which tend to focus more on narrow technicalities, and merger would further obscure it — a disservice to those who want a broader historical understanding.Will O'Neil (talk) 03:46, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose We will need each page to be of a substantial size, once all the information suitable for each is in place. Whilst there will presumably be some duplication, the total data will be cumbersome at least, if not above the recommended size for one page if we merge.

IceDragon64 (talk) 22:53, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

-- (talk) 20:05, 28 March 2010 (UTC)It could be merged, but just leave it.


I don't know what kind of feud is going on on this voice, but all those "citation needed" on sentences that could be easily confirmed by visiting the other voices linked in those same sentences looks ridicoulus. --Jollyroger (talk) 20:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

[citation needed] (talk) 03:29, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Weight Conversions[edit]

The weight conversions in this article are wrong. A tonne is 1000 kg which is heavier than a ton (2000 lbs). Despite that, all the weights given here show more tonnes than tons. It should be the opposite. Before making corrections, however, is the real number in the treaty done in tons or tonnes? (i.e. which number needs to be adjusted?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

The ton used in ship design (except for tugs and barges on inland waters and the Great Lakes in the US) in the British measurement system is the "long" ton of 2240 pounds. I believe the conversions in the article as shown in September, 2010 are correct. The metric ton of 1000 kg is approximately 2204 pounds.

I have not looked at the text of the Treaty but I believe it was in long tons as the British were the dominant navy at the time. It is possible that the text of the Treaty has metric numbers in parentheses for the benefit of the signtories that were using the metric system, such as France and Italy. -- (talk) 18:42, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Washington Naval Treaty's Effect on Warship Design[edit]

An effect of the Washington Treaty that should be mentioned in the article is that it had a substantial influence on warship design. By creating artificial, politically determined limits for the displacement of various warship types and limiting the gun caliber of some of them, the Treaty triggered a number of unintended consequences. Some of them, not necessarily in order of importance, are: the growth of welding to replace riveting as a weight saving measure; more stringent weight control procedures used in an effort to get more military effectiveness out of each ton of ship; production of warships (mainly cruisers) dangerously deficient in armor, sometimes known as "Treaty Tinclads;" the arresting of the natural evolution of capital ships towards larger and larger sizes; a rapid increase in the sophistication of ships' propulsion systems to reduce the weight and volume devoted to engines; and the rise of the aircraft carrier. The last one is the only one even mentioned in the article as it is now.

One of the Treaty's objectives was to reduce the cost of naval armaments. Many of the changes mentioned above increased the cost per ton of warships to the point that I am skeptical this was actually achieved, even considering the reduction in the number of hulls built. The article's discussion of the success of the treaty should possibly be re-thought and enhanced.

Steven Toby (sorry for not logging in -- I have an account but haven't used it for long enough that I forgot how to access it). -- (talk) 18:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


On the copies of both the Washington and London Treaties that I have, the very first line of the agreement states, "Privateering is and remains abolished".

Are there any reasons for the premier naval powers making this their first stipulation?AT Kunene (talk) 12:09, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


On the copies of both the Washington and London Treaties that I have the very first line of the agreement states, "Privateering is and remains abolished".

Are there any reasons for the premier naval powers making this their first stipulation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AT Kunene (talkcontribs) 12:12, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I can only speculate, but privateering was a form of asymmetric warfare that the major naval powers could not have been fond of. Another factor is that continued legality of privateering would make naval arms limitations that much harder to enforce, by making the boundary between navies and merchant marines that much fuzzier. Of course, the various shadow fleets amounted to the same thing. Yaush (talk) 14:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

A notable failure[edit]

The failure to include chemical weapons is a notable failure of this treaty, and the omission of this fact is a detriment to the overall completeness of this article. Before appending a bold inclusion, I'd like to see the opinions of editors interested with developing this article. You may consider this reference for context.[3] - My76Strat (talk) 00:33, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

There was no use of chemical weapons in the European theater during World War II, and only very limited use in the Pacific outside of China. Since Japan pulled out of the Washington system well before general war broke out in the Pacific, it seems unlikely a clause against chemical weapons in the Washington Naval Treaty would have constrained Japanese conduct in China. The failure to include a chemical weapons ban in the Washington Naval Treaty thus does not seem all that significant to me. --Yaush (talk) 02:04, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Efforts to quell an arms race inadvertently spawned a chemical arms race; which ensued immediately upon the failure to include this provision. I see relevance. Additionally this treaty is mentioned as relevant in chemical weapons articles and the list: List of weapons of mass destruction treaties which is embedded in Template:Weapons of mass destruction and transcluded to multiple articles. The omission serves as a disconnect and should IMO be reconciled. My76Strat (talk) 02:19, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
By the way, I appreciate your comment and do not mean to minimize your contribution. Many times I am misunderstood and I see where I could seem overbearing here. That is not my intent. Best - My76Strat (talk) 02:36, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm thinking of starting an RfC for this question since I can't seem to further the discussion here. My76Strat (talk) 22:06, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I've not seen chemical weapons referred to in any of the sources I've looked at about the treaty. Are there any reliable sources which do talk about how this was a missed opportunity to regulate chemical weapons? If so, we should add this material in... The Land (talk) 06:42, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
This source is reliable and I know there are others as well. [4] My76Strat (talk) 11:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Not including discussion of chemical weapons in the article is a serious mistake. The Washington Naval Treaty was one of the most important attempts to ban chemical weapons. While the later Geneva Protocol was a No First Use pledge, the Washington Naval Treaty made an outright prohibition. Richard M. Price's book "The Chemical Weapons Taboo" goes into detail on how the Naval Conference was conducted, its committee reports, and statements.Reid Kirby (talk) 02:35, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Cruiser displacement development[edit]

I produced a table and graphics about the development of cruiser displacements 1918-1945. and can make this available for an additional graphic here. Lastdingo (talk) 04:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)