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MB_Avro_UK
09-27-2006, 04:17 PM
Hi all,

I have been reading 'Enemy in the Dark' by Luftwaffe night fighter pilot 'Peter Spoden' and also a book by a Battle of Britain German pilot 'Spitfire on My Tail' by 'Ulrich Steinhilper'.

Both regard what they regard as the punitive reparations after WW1 as causing the rise of Hitler.

Any opinions?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Waldo.Pepper
09-27-2006, 04:21 PM
Cause in any social/historical situation is impossible to say.

Contribute? - definitely.

That was quick - eh? Nothing to see here now. Move along.

JG52Uther
09-27-2006, 04:22 PM
I dont think it helped.

BiscuitKnight
09-27-2006, 04:30 PM
The 1919 Treaty of Versailles was the biggest mistake of the 20th Century, IMHO. The British intended to revitalise Germany as a trading partner, to increase their wealth after the massive economic damage of WWI. Instead, they followed the French and blamed the whole war on Germany and punished them. This pretty much ensured Britain's continued decline (or so I'm told, but not in depth, I could be totally wrong).

But to your question: alone? No. But it seems likely that WWII wouldn't have happened anything like it did without it: Versailles trashed Germany's already broken economy after WWI, garunteeing it would never get back onto its feet after WWI and be able to pay off its debt. Of course, it was really France's intention to do this, they didn't want Germany to rebuild and beat them again. Probably the worst thing about Versailles is that WWI was as much other countries' fault as Germany's in many ways (although it must be noted they are the ones who violated neutrality).

So Versailles wasn't the only reason, and it didn't ensure that Germany would end up at war with the USA, Britain, Russia or many other countries. It did, however, ensure that Germans would feel completely wronged by Versailles and hateful to the French who were traditional enemies and had now blamed the tragic Great War on them and forced them to pay for it. So it did practically garuntee a war with France in the future.

carguy_
09-27-2006, 04:32 PM
I am afraid that this topic is too vulnerable to revisionism so I`ll just lurk and flame anyone telling BS. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif

F6_Ace
09-27-2006, 04:32 PM
I just read that book also - how are you finding it?

I thought it was pretty good myself.

Whether it caused WW2 or not is debatable...ask yourself where the French surrender was signed, though. i.e. I'm sure it had a large part to play.

p1ngu666
09-27-2006, 04:47 PM
a large part, but then at the time it was probably seen to stop germany ever/along time from being capable of waging war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

BiscuitKnight
09-27-2006, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
a large part, but then at the time it was probably seen to stop germany ever/along time from being capable of waging war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

France wanted Germany to suffer, being longtime enemies and being as that France was rather humiliated by how badly Germany beat them in the early years and even during a two-front war. Thus they crippled Germany, out of typical French vindictiveness, bloody mindedness and to prevent German rearmament.

The armistice was signed because Germany didn't want that sort of thing to happen: they believed that being invaded would lead to such things, and signing an armistice would give them a bargaining chip. It's surprising the French were audacious enough to risk more bloodshed with such unfair terms.

The British, as I said, wanted to revitalise Germany as a trading partner, however they caved to the French, due to pressure from France and America.

And why did the USA support the move? Because Woodrow Wilson wanted to form the League of Nations, and he thought the easiest way was to get friendly with other countries, thus he cozied up to France on the issue. The League of Nations ruined Wilson's career, really, among much worse things.

leitmotiv
09-27-2006, 05:43 PM
Does this have something to do with Monty Python's infamous "Britain's Great Pre-War Joke"? Incensed, Neville Chamberlain

VF51_Flatspin
09-27-2006, 05:47 PM
I think it definately was a major contributer, that's for sure. Most of my history profs agree.

Tater-SW-
09-27-2006, 05:50 PM
Given that the 2 books are by people with an interest in minimizing their own complicity in Nazi aggression, I'd take it with a grain of salt. Was it a contributing factor, no doubt. A large contributing factor? Probably. Was it the single most important factor? Dubious.

tater

Sergio_101
09-27-2006, 06:07 PM
Ok, I'll bite. The Versailles treaty in 1919
did not cause WW2.
War reperations, punishment, seisure of German
lands notably Danzig, all were factors.
The Versailles treaty was certainly a factor.
But it was a symptom of the overzealous frenzy
to make Germany pay for WWI.
Another major factor was the world depression in the late 1920's.
Failure of the "League of Nations" can be added to the list.

To many, myself included, the "great wars" were
more a 30 year war with a non violent interlude.

The second half (WWII) could have been avoided in so
many ways that I have not the time to start
typing the theories.

But the Allies learned their lesson. After WWII
Germany Italy and Japan was rebuilt.

There was some war prizes to be sure, but massive
infusion of capitol and materials followed.

I will suggest that after the first half (WWI) if
there was a similar plan to that after WWII
then the second conflict would never have occoured.

Strife, starvation and depravation was a breeding
ground for Fascisim.

Sergio

Air_Hog
09-27-2006, 06:18 PM
Another thing that the treaty of Versailles did was the creation of a weak German government. Because of the great German Inflation of 1923 the middle class was driven down into despair. Imagine your life's savings wiped out overnight. They paid people by the wheelbarrow full. With Germany in economic ruin and humiliated they turned to an articulate speaker that told them what they wanted to hear. All very sad history.

Ernst_Rohr
09-27-2006, 06:22 PM
One thing to remember is that the majority of the heavy fighting took place in France, and it destroyed large portions of the French economy. As a result, the Treaty imposed pretty punishing REPARATION requirements on Germany, and this is what really torpedoed the Germany economy. In particular, the French occupation of the Ruhr, and especially the coal fields there.

The French suffered 5,630,00 killed and wounded in WW1 (10% of pre war population), and the Germany suffered almost 6 million killed and wounded (9% pre war population). However, the French economy had been badly smashed in the fighting and Germany's was mostly intact. In fact the majority of German ecomonic losses revolved around the loss of overseas colonies seized by the allies, and the annexation of the Alsace-Lorraine region by France at the wars end.

In consideration, the French opinion was that Germany was still largely intact and still posed a threat, and was economically capable of quickly rebuilding its war losses and threatening France again. At the same time, if Germany had done so, the French economy simply could not be rebuilt fast enough to counter a quick German re-armament.

With that in mind, the French pressed heavily to levy large indemnities against Germany, both to rebuild their economy, and to prevent Germany from recovering economically until after France had rebuilt. The French got what they wanted, they indeed to rebuild before Germany could recover, but at the same time, the collapse of the German economy had a pretty dramatic impact on the British economy due to the collapse in trade with Germany and Central Europe.

At the same time, the French fixation on Germany meant that the Allies were not dealing with Austria-Hungary, which proceeded to disintigrate messily. The rapid formation of new nations out of the former Austria Hungary also set the stage for future nationalist conflict due to the large numbers of ethinic minorities in these new formed states (like the ethnic Germans in the Sudatenland in Czechoslovakia) and the outright land grabs by other European powers (Romanian annexation of Transylvania, Italian annexation of Tirol & Trieste, ect).

The Italian land grab after WW1 was so pronounced that the other Allied powers finally had to step in the prevent Italy from annexing Dalmatia, which in turn fostered a great deal of resentment in Italy, and fostered the sentiment of winning the war and being "cheated" by the peace, which lead to the rise of Mussolini.

Finally, the economic upheaval in Europe destabilzed trade across the board, and the collapse of the artifical boom economy in the US from selling arms, munitions, and supplies to the Allies directly lead to the Depression. That further hammered the German economy and even after the end of the French occupation of the Ruhr, the German economy was essentially unsalvagable. Hence, the economic chaos insured that the relatively weak German governement simply could not maintain an semblance of control and that led to history as we know it.

So, did the Treaty alone cause WW2? No. It was however a contributing factor, and more importantly was seen as a vindictive humiliation of the country for the profit of the Allies.

WWMaxGunz
09-27-2006, 07:02 PM
Reparations and seizure of industrial centers without any lessening of reparations.
Inflation soaring to 3 MILLION PERCENT and then to 5 MILLION PERCENT.
Crushing poverty and a lot of people dying yet how many years did they keep on before so
many finally listened to the voice that promised salvation?

I can show one country today that won't see 100 PERCENT inflation without starting a war.
Even if it has to build the other side up first.

Air_Hog
09-27-2006, 07:28 PM
Some say, not necessarily me, that a war is once again building in Europe - a civil war. Perhaps, due to such horrific lose of life of the best and bravest in both wars, the European gene pool has been reduced.. Europe can not stomach another war. I don€t know. The future of European doesn€t look good for peace right now.

SkyChimp
09-27-2006, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Ernst_Rohr:
Finally, the economic upheaval in Europe destabilzed trade across the board, and the collapse of the artifical boom economy in the US from selling arms, munitions, and supplies to the Allies directly lead to the Depression.


Which "Depression?" America's "Great Depression?" That wasn't the cause. The main cause of the great Depression was the stock market crash of 1929. That was caused by over-speculation in the stock market.

LEBillfish
09-27-2006, 07:43 PM
I'd say most deffinately as without the crushing conditions in Germany due in great part from it then tyrants such as Hitler find it difficult to come in to power often seen for what they are.......Yet when they can take hardships of the people, and lay blame for them on something else easily, then the people at first tend to see them as saviors.....


What is actually a VERY interesting aspect often forgotten is W. Wilson's stance on it and his predictions......If this is a topic of interest to you, that aspect is a must read.

Sergio_101
09-27-2006, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by SkyChimp:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ernst_Rohr:
Finally, the economic upheaval in Europe destabilzed trade across the board, and the collapse of the artifical boom economy in the US from selling arms, munitions, and supplies to the Allies directly lead to the Depression.



Yes Chimpster, but that became a world depression.
Ernst_Rohr: has the cause incorrect.
But the Great Depression made Europe miserable also.


Sergio

BiscuitKnight
09-27-2006, 08:08 PM
IRT Sergio

First up, why do you hit enter all the time? It's hard to read.

To your points. The factors you mention ARE the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles basically blamed Germany and charged them the cost of the damages to Great Britain and France. When Germany was incapable of paying it on schedule, France invaded the Saar coalfields, raping it for its resources and further putting the German economy in crisis.

As for Ernst_Rohr's suggestion that France suffered so heavily it deserved the reparations: France never garunteed its neutrality in an era where it was expected and had a standing alliance with Russia. Russia was aggressive towards Austria-Hungary, Germany's ally. Germany immediately said it would support Austria-Hungary, thus it mobilised when Russia did. Germany only had plans for a war with France and Russia, not just one and then the other, so it mobilised its plan, which entailed knocking out France, then focussing on Russia. Thus, France was dragged into the war by its alliance with Russia that left Germany no real choices. France was as eager for war as Germany, just more cautious because of its 1870 defeats.

France had no right to blame it all on Germany: Germany was responding to a threat from the Entente the same as France would in reversed roles. France also had no right to revoke Brest-Litovsk.

The French economy wasn't ruined entirely: the Northern region of France is neither industrial or agricultural heartland. Germany, however, was starved of imports and thus its economy was reeling. That's why Operation Michael didn't work: economic collapse. Only Sturmtruppen were given grenades in Operation Michael, it was that bad. The argument that German economic loss was from the loss of colonies is laughable: much of the German Empire were small enclaves for the sake of owning enclaves to say it's an empire. Their base in China was precisely that: German had no real trade interests to cover in China, or that they realistically could. It was just because the British Empire maintained such bases.

The Italian land grab, you might also like to note, was land previously promised to Italy by the Entente as persuation to side against the Central Alliance it was previously part of. I read rather a bit in detail about this previously, and it just clarified what I already knew. Italy was traditionally close to Germany, but distant from Austria-Hungary. It had been part of the Austria-Hungary and German alliance, but left. The Italians hoped to fight a short war against Austria-Hungary to gain the Italian-speaking regions on the Dalmatian coast, then repair their friendship with Germany afterwards. It obviously never worked out, and then the French, British and Americans denied them the prizes they were promised in 1915.

The Treaty of Versailles was the single largest contributor to German aggression against France in WWII. The economic damage paved the way for extremist groups that promised change, such as Fascists and Communists. The weak Wiemar Republic Government exacerbated problems. The fact that France was largely responsible for the problems provided an easy scapegoat.

Regardless of Versailles, the Japanese would probably have eventually gone against European nations, Russia would eventually have invaded Germany, probably (in 1939 at least, Joseph Stalin said that if Hitler didn't do it first, he might start a war in 1942) some part of Europe. It is hard to guess whether the USSR would have emerged the same by 1939 in a non-Versailles treaty world, but it probably would be quite similar. All the same, German aggression would be unlikely (they took as much of a beating as the Commonwealth, Britain, France and Russia, they were so tired by 1918 they didn't even resume the war despite the terrible conditions of Versailles) so WWII as we know it is unlikely. Japanese aggression, again, is still likely, if Italy was shafted too, then Italian expansion is also likely. But a globe-spanning war seems less likely than several smaller regional conflicts.

WWMaxGunz
09-27-2006, 08:08 PM
I had been taught that Europe was in economic depression years before the US. Large tracts
of land mainly in France had been ruined by chemical warfare, much industry was smashed,
and worst of all was the great flu epidemic that killed over 20 million people worldwide.

The US factories over-produced and were unable to sell to Europe. The wages paid most of
the workers were low so they couldn't buy enough to keep the factories going. It was a
big squeeze by Wall Street with more con games (can you say Junk Bonds, ala 1980's?) than
real wealth and none of the regulations that are left even today (but some want to take
those down, it will be open season for the cheats again). And who loses the most? Look
back on the Savings and Loan harvest of the Banking De-Regulation of the 80's and see.
Everyone with money in the bank, mortgages, loans and retirement in trust loses. Oh, and
the ones who don't get to a chair quick enough in the game of Musical Chairs that is the
Stock Market when the balloon goes up. But they were treading air all the way, not like
honest workers.
Why September 29th, 1929? Because the crop harvests were in and the money for all that
was in the banks. That's when the ones who knew grabbed their cash out and precipitated
the crash. Those same ones had money when no one else did later and bought land at auction
from those who were robbed of 90% of all they had, farms, industries and homes. The bank
would close and not give you your money and yet they could sell your mortgage to someone
else for less than you just lost! A minority got richer and the economy was like the people
in ruins.
Since then for almost 30 years now we have politicians trying to reset the stage for it to
happen again. It is a process of shearing the sheep where war is the slaughter.

leitmotiv
09-28-2006, 01:10 AM
Without a doubt it did, especially the "war guilt clause" which infuriated the Germans. Impoverishing and humiliating a powerful ex-enemy is a bad idea unless you intend to utterly destroy them like the Romans did to Carthage.

WOLFMondo
09-28-2006, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SkyChimp:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ernst_Rohr:
Finally, the economic upheaval in Europe destabilzed trade across the board, and the collapse of the artifical boom economy in the US from selling arms, munitions, and supplies to the Allies directly lead to the Depression.



Yes Chimpster, but that became a world depression.
Ernst_Rohr: has the cause incorrect.
But the Great Depression made Europe miserable also.


Sergio </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Germanies inflation rate spiraled out of control though, it started before the US depression and ended after it.

It was a major factor in Hitler coming to power but I think wasn't a factor in making the German people want to go to war, because I don't think they did.

WTE_Ibis
09-28-2006, 02:20 AM
Yes.

Abbuzze
09-28-2006, 02:28 AM
Complicate theme...

The Versailles treaty was not the cause for the WW2. But it helped the nazis for their propaganda, and they used it. If I remember correct the overall payments were not as large as many believe. They had a similar value like the one of the french after the war 1870/71.

It was more psychological. A 100.000 Person army without modern weapons (no planes - tanks). The left side of the rhine without any german soldier. If you want to give someone a looser feeling this is the right way.

But at the end it is much more complicated. It helped Hitler, but if you want to know what will happen in 1930, you just had to read "Mein Kampf" which he had written in Prison. In 1924.
Antisemitism, destroying Communism, and living space in the east... sounds well known - nothing surprising.

Hitler didn´t got the power just because of versaille. The german industrialists and old conservative circles (Hindenburg for example) helped him because they believed that they will steering him - stupid idea that costs millions of lives.

Bewolf
09-28-2006, 02:36 AM
As stated before several times already, Versailles wasn't the direct cause, but it certainly lay the foundation for Hitlers raise later on.

As a side note, the german population was in it's majority anti war before the war started, and when it did, many were pretty much afraid of it. The scars of WWI were deep.

Only when France was beaten the attitude changed to the positive.

BiscuitKnight
09-28-2006, 02:47 AM
IRT Abbuzze

I feel I must correct you: the Versailles reparations were huge. Germany would not have paid the reparations off until about 1950 even if channeling everything, meaning more than even possible and improverishing them even more than historically. Under a later adjustment, even with the reparations scaled back and payments slowed, the shortest finish date was the late 1970s.

The reparations were effectively the total cost of the war to Britain, France, the Commonwealth(?) and the USA. You realise that in modern warfare a country is in debt from day one and uses long-term loans to buy billions or trillions more dollars of equipment than they can actually afford at the time? Add things like pensions and you see that the reparations were insane.

The Treaty of Versailles is undisputedly the central factor in Germany's course through the 20-40s: it was the economic collapse and inflation caused by Versailles that caused Communism to grow in Germany, as well as Fascism. It was the traditional hatred of France that would have lead to a war with France. It was the humiliation of their military that would inevitably lead to a yearning for a bigger Army.

Sergio_101
09-28-2006, 03:04 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
IRT Sergio

Blow


Me


Sergio

Abbuzze
09-28-2006, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
IRT Abbuzze

I feel I must correct you: the Versailles reparations were huge. Germany would not have paid the reparations off until about 1950 even if channeling everything, meaning more than even possible and improverishing them even more than historically. Under a later adjustment, even with the reparations scaled back and payments slowed, the shortest finish date was the late 1970s.

The reparations were effectively the total cost of the war to Britain, France, the Commonwealth(?) and the USA. You realise that in modern warfare a country is in debt from day one and uses long-term loans to buy billions or trillions more dollars of equipment than they can actually afford at the time? Add things like pensions and you see that the reparations were insane.

The Treaty of Versailles is undisputedly the central factor in Germany's course through the 20-40s: it was the economic collapse and inflation caused by Versailles that caused Communism to grow in Germany, as well as Fascism. It was the traditional hatred of France that would have lead to a war with France. It was the humiliation of their military that would inevitably lead to a yearning for a bigger Army.

You are right, if the origin plan would be followed to the end.
I was unprecise. In fact in 1931 (before Hitler got the force) US and GB realised that the only chance to get their credits back from germany was stopping the reparations. In 1932 at the conference of Lausanne the german payments were stopped for a last payment of 3 Billion Goldmark. This last sum was never paid.
This value of all reperations should be similar to the one I mentioned.
In fact payments were stopped before Hitler, but Nazi´s also used this a part of the "destroying the chains of Versailles" propaganda.

ronison
09-28-2006, 03:34 AM
BiscuitKnight I have to say you have alot of great points in this thread but there is one point that you are totaly off on.

"And why did the USA support the move? Because Woodrow Wilson wanted to form the League of Nations, and he thought the easiest way was to get friendly with other countries, thus he cozied up to France on the issue. The League of Nations ruined Wilson's career, really, among much worse things."

Yes your right Woodrow Wilson did want the League of Nations infact it was his idea. But as to the point of cozing up to other contries to get it going that is totaly faulse. Woodrow Wilson proposed the initial idea for the German deligation to come to the peac tables and sign a much diffrent armistist than what the French and British came up with. One of the reasons that the US was the only country that did not join the League of Nations after WWI is precicley that he did not want to join a body that would dictate such harsh terms on another contry.

Aaron_GT
09-28-2006, 03:43 AM
It was a major factor in Hitler coming to power but I think wasn't a factor in making the German people want to go to war, because I don't think they did.

Apparently war in 1939 was not popular in Germany. But then the Nazi party was not that popular either, and Hitler got the Chancellor's job because it was felt that his popular support was falling and so he could be safely brought in to be Chancellor whilst the Junkers could retain real control. He was rather cleverer and more rutheless than the Junkers.

Throwing something into the mix, Maynard Keyenes said in 1919, on hearing of the reparations something along the lines of "This means war in 20 years".

SeaFireLIV
09-28-2006, 03:59 AM
The Treaty of Versaille was definitely a symptom to WWII, but WWII had many kindling sticks.

Ever heard of the expression that WWII was just WWI with a long break?

RCAF_Irish_403
09-28-2006, 05:23 AM
It should be noted that the treaty imposed on Revolutionary Russia by Germany was far harsher than Versailles.

Versailles didn't help the situation, tho

hop2002
09-28-2006, 05:51 AM
Germanies inflation rate spiraled out of control though, it started before the US depression and ended after it.

The German inflation rate soared in the early 20s. By 1924 it stabilised, and over the next 5 years the German economy boomed.

Prior to 1925, when the economy was in ruins due to Versailles, the Nazis were a fringe party, getting less than 3% of the vote in elections.

In the late 20s, with a booming economy, the Nazis remained a fringe party. It wasn't until the economic slump caused by the Wall Street crash in 1929 that the Nazis started to gain popularity, winning about 30% of the vote in the 1931 elections.

sturmvogel1944
09-28-2006, 07:32 AM
Versailles was a significant external factor that led Germany to war. All historians are agreed on this and the ceeding of territory under its terms undoubtedly led to Hitlers demands for Lebensraum and his attitude to Czechoslovakia and Poiand and thr Rhineland as popular calls within his policiea.

I thought that the Versailles influence had passed until I started looking up the factors behind the middle east problems of today.
I had forgotten Turkey was an ally of Germany in WW1 and I found that modern day states such as Iraq Syria Lebanon Jordan and the Emirates did not exist before Versailles and were 'created' under its terms. Palestine became a Brit protectorate which later split to its current state post WW2

Maybe the consequences of Versilles still haunt us today?

StG2_Schlachter
09-28-2006, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Germanies inflation rate spiraled out of control though, it started before the US depression and ended after it.

The German inflation rate soared in the early 20s. By 1924 it stabilised, and over the next 5 years the German economy boomed.

Prior to 1925, when the economy was in ruins due to Versailles, the Nazis were a fringe party, getting less than 3% of the vote in elections.

In the late 20s, with a booming economy, the Nazis remained a fringe party. It wasn't until the economic slump caused by the Wall Street crash in 1929 that the Nazis started to gain popularity, winning about 30% of the vote in the 1931 elections. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just a sidenote. The modern nazi-party NPD got about 7% of the vote in the latest state election in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. I hope this trend won't continue.

csThor
09-28-2006, 08:38 AM
Small correction Schlachter: They got 7% of those 59% of voters who bothered to vote.


The Versailles Treaty (Dictate was another term used) paved the way for Hitler's rise. It wasn't just the economical impact on Germany, but much more the psychological one. Being blamed as sole "war starter" - while ignoring the realities of the pre-war pact system - may have satisfied the collective french need for revenge and national glory, but it angered the germans and united them, even groups that would usually fight each other to death. It also put the first nail into the coffin of the Weimar Republic - it never had a chance with debts like that.

ploughman
09-28-2006, 09:47 AM
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/mctomney/chucknorrisversailles.jpg

Airmail109
09-28-2006, 11:04 AM
Hitler gained power for more or less the same reasons as Mussolini, Mussolini had no treaty of versaille to winge about.

The treaty of versailles was but a small part of the nazis propaganda machine.

StG2_Schlachter
09-28-2006, 11:17 AM
That was cheesy Airmail. It really was a big factor.

LEBillfish
09-28-2006, 12:08 PM
Have you all read it?

The Versailles Treaty (http://history.acusd.edu/gen/text/versaillestreaty/vercontents.html)

Fourteen Points Address (brief) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen_Points)

ploughman
09-28-2006, 12:43 PM
Miscellaneous Provisions was my favourite bit, it takes a while to get going but by Article 159 it's a real page turner.

Anyone read the Treaty of Saint-Germain?

darkhorizon11
09-28-2006, 01:05 PM
This is certainly a DUHHHH question.

carguy_
09-28-2006, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by StG2_Schlachter:
That was cheesy Airmail. It really was a big factor.


Yup,the 3rd Reich really had a reason to kill 30 milion ppl over it.

Ob.Emann
09-28-2006, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by RCAF_Irish_403:
It should be noted that the treaty imposed on Revolutionary Russia by Germany was far harsher than Versailles.


Brest-Litovsk?

None of the lands lost in the treaty were Russian, they were only former Tsarist colonies. Brest-Livotsk, though rather harsh, was nevertheless a NEGOTIATED peace, unlike Versailles (Germany wasn't even allowed to send a delegation to its signing), and the territories involved certainly hadn't been connected by a common language for more than 800 years, unlike those lost by Germany at Versailles. The Germans had no hope of extended control of those territories either, with the rising Nationalist sentiment of their populations and the fact that Germany was very much a latecomer to game of Imperialism.

Now, compare this to Versailles' Balkanization of 13% of Germany's landmass (inhabited by 7 million people), confiscation of all its foreign assets (including merchant marine), dismantlement of its military and the widespread theft of technology and patents, powers of unlimited financial demands granted to the victors, and the ubiquitous War Guilt clause. Brest-Litovsk seems darn lenient in comparison.

blakduk
09-28-2006, 05:34 PM
In answer to the question as stated- no.
Was it a significant factor?- definitely.

The real reason the armistice occured in 1918 was that Germany was exhausted. Not beaten, not invaded, not occupied. It was disarmed and reperations were demanded of them, and the blockade continued for some time. This led to a large number of troops returning home from the western front to face their communities and the question they all confronted was 'What was the war for?'
They were faced with villages and cities that were intact but starving, much of their population was either dead or maimed, all were deeply traumatised, and very few wanted open conflict to resume.
Many of those who returned regarded the treaty as a betrayal, they really believed they could have won the war if they hadnt been 'stabbed in the back' by the politicians at home. This was the basis of the visceral hatred the Nazis had for the Weimar republic.
As with all things the Nazis touched they corrupted it- there were injustices in the treaty but the blame cast on that document for the dire state of the economy in the early 30's was far beyond its merit.
Free market capitalism and democracy was preached to the Germans as their salvation- unfortunately unrestricted capitalism leads to a 'boom-bust' cycle as happened in the late 20's.
Fledgling democracies are precarious things, especially when those seeking power are unwilling to compromise on certain points for the greater good. It takes a long time for conventions to be established and a constitution to mature- sometimes people forget that it took approx 800years for the Westminster parliamentary system to develop.
In one of Hitlers speeches he boasted 'I have been accused of destroying 5 political parties, that is a lie. I destroyed 100 political parties...'- reflecting the anarchy that prevailed when he assumed control.
This state of political chaos was endemic throughout europe in the inter-war years creating conditions for hard men (ie dictators) to seize control with the blessing of the people. One infamous quote from the era regarding Mussolini was 'At least he gets the trains to run on time'.

The Nazis were the ultimate sore losers- nevertheless they were losers.

The lessons of Versailles were learned by the allies in the aftermath of WW2. Part of the rationale for Roosevelt's demand for 'unconditional surrender' was so that noone would be in doubt that the Nazis were beaten. Unreasonable demands for reparations were not called for from bankrupted states such as Germany, Japan and Italy. Democracy and capitalism were imposed and fiercely defended, especially by the USA. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this was the Berlin airlift- often the pilots who had been area bombing Berlin a few years before were then risking their lives ferrying in supplies to keep that very same population alive.