This day in history, September 27, 1940, the Axis powers of World War II are formed as Germany, Italy and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact in Berlin.
The Pact provided for mutual assistance should any of the signatories suffer an attack by any nation not already involved in the war. This formalizing of the alliance was aimed directly at “neutral” America. It was designed to force the United States to think twice before venturing in on the side of the Allies.
The Pact also recognized the two spheres of influence. Japan acknowledged “the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe,” while Japan was granted lordship over “Greater East Asia.” There was a fourth signatory to the Pact-Hungary, which was dragged into the Axis alliance by Germany in November 1940.
The pact had limited effectiveness since each country had their own strategic interest and that they were on the opposite side of the world of the U.S.