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Under the terms of an Anglo-German agreement signed on 18th June 1935, the Kriegsmarine was limited in size to a fleet 35% of Great Britain's surface fleet and 45% the size of it's submarines. The signing of the agreement, which upset the French because of their doubts regarding Britain's sincerity in an alliance with Germany, was the first time that a European power agreed to an overt violation of the Versailles Treaty.
In 1938, the service had 75,000 officers and men.