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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Could the League of Nations have worked?

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FaxModem1
PostPosted: 2011-08-04 04:12am 

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As I understand it, the League of Nations failed because of the Rise of Nazi Germany and the US Senate voting against the United States joining the LON. Now, what if one of these two factors changed, such as the LON vote passing in the Senate, or Hitler not having Germany leave the League.

Please tell me why or why not.
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spaceviking
PostPosted: 2011-08-04 04:29am 

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In my understanding the league of nations failed because it was a paper tiger. The rise of Nazi Germany is not the only failure of league of nations for example the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Could the League of nations worked? yes, but it would mean a fundamental change in the mindset of the major powers. England and France did not want another war and the United States was very isolationist.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2011-08-04 06:25am 

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Do you mean the LoN as concieved, or the basic idea of a post WWI international security forum?

Americans say EVERYTHING fails because it was a 'paper tiger'. :lol:
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2011-08-04 09:55am 

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The League would never work without fighting a major war to assert itself. Nobody was willing to do that before Poland; Spain came kind of close at times but only then because Italy was blowing up British merchant ships left and right.
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StarSword
PostPosted: 2011-08-07 06:29pm 

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FaxModem1 wrote:
As I understand it, the League of Nations failed because of the Rise of Nazi Germany and the US Senate voting against the United States joining the LON. Now, what if one of these two factors changed, such as the LON vote passing in the Senate, or Hitler not having Germany leave the League.

Please tell me why or why not.

Disclaimer: Amateur historian speaking. Professionals, feel free to correct any factual errors. Links lead to Wikipedia articles. Caveat lector.

As I understand it, the League of Nations was largely hamstrung by two major problems:
  • The United States, arguably the most powerful nation in the world at the time, and ironically the nation whose delegate(s) to the Treaty of Versailles suggested the League in the first place, categorically refused to join. (Yet another example of Republican idiocy.)
  • The League of Nations, unlike the United Nations, had no military force to back its decisions (spaceviking's "paper tiger" remark). This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles. It also leads to Japan invading Manchuria and committing atrocities rivaling the Nazis', the League basically saying "Don't do that," and Japan saying "fuck you" and withdrawing from the League.

Despite this, the League did actually manage to do some good, mostly in the area of resolving territorial disputes. One sterling example is an agreement between Sweden and Finland on the disposition of the Åland Islands.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-08-07 08:16pm 

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StarSword wrote:
As I understand it, the League of Nations was largely hamstrung by two major problems:
  • The United States, arguably the most powerful nation in the world at the time, and ironically the nation whose delegate(s) to the Treaty of Versailles suggested the League in the first place, categorically refused to join. (Yet another example of Republican idiocy.)
Debateable. Adding a (pacifist-leaning) US to a pacifist-leaning Britain and France would not have made the League all that much more powerful. This may be America-centrism rearing its head; I don't know.

Quote:
  • The League of Nations, unlike the United Nations, had no military force to back its decisions (spaceviking's "paper tiger" remark). This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles. It also leads to Japan invading Manchuria and committing atrocities rivaling the Nazis', the League basically saying "Don't do that," and Japan saying "fuck you" and withdrawing from the League.
  • On the contrary, the League had plenty of armed force- the militaries of its member states. What it didn't have was a mechanism for making sure the member states would fight if the League's prestige was on the line. Since the biggest member states were also heavily shell-shocked democracies who were desperate to avoid a repeat of World War One, the League wasn't likely to fight a major war over anything.

    That would not have changed if the League had been given its own standing army, because politicians in the member nations would still have to take responsibility for ordering that army into battle, and for people from their own countries doing the dying in the League's war.
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    StarSword
    PostPosted: 2011-08-07 09:43pm 

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    Simon_Jester wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    As I understand it, the League of Nations was largely hamstrung by two major problems:
    The United States, arguably the most powerful nation in the world at the time, and ironically the nation whose delegate(s) to the Treaty of Versailles suggested the League in the first place, categorically refused to join. (Yet another example of Republican idiocy.)
    Debateable. Adding a (pacifist-leaning) US to a pacifist-leaning Britain and France would not have made the League all that much more powerful. This may be America-centrism rearing its head; I don't know.

    I was working mainly from a book written by a Brit named Josh Brooman that I read during 12th grade European History (a book that seems to have been written for middle-schoolers, I might add), so I don't know either. You raise a good point that everybody (except maybe Hitler) was trying to avoid a second "War To End All Wars".

    (Unfortunately, I'm afraid you can't check my source easily because I can't remember the name of the book. :oops: :banghead: Sorry.)

    Quote:
    Quote:
    The League of Nations, unlike the United Nations, had no military force to back its decisions (spaceviking's "paper tiger" remark). This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles. It also leads to Japan invading Manchuria and committing atrocities rivaling the Nazis', the League basically saying "Don't do that," and Japan saying "fuck you" and withdrawing from the League.
    On the contrary, the League had plenty of armed force- the militaries of its member states. What it didn't have was a mechanism for making sure the member states would fight if the League's prestige was on the line. Since the biggest member states were also heavily shell-shocked democracies who were desperate to avoid a repeat of World War One, the League wasn't likely to fight a major war over anything.

    That would not have changed if the League had been given its own standing army, because politicians in the member nations would still have to take responsibility for ordering that army into battle, and for people from their own countries doing the dying in the League's war.

    The aforementioned book didn't make a distinction between having a military and having the ability to make members use their militaries (or not use them, in the case of Japan). The point I was trying to make is, the League had no straightforward way to enforce its decisions, particularly upon nations that were not members. It had to rely largely on morality, which doesn't work when genocidal jerkoffs like Hitler enter the picture.
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    Sea Skimmer
    PostPosted: 2011-08-08 01:10am 

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    StarSword wrote:
    The aforementioned book didn't make a distinction between having a military and having the ability to make members use their militaries (or not use them, in the case of Japan). The point I was trying to make is, the League had no straightforward way to enforce its decisions, particularly upon nations that were not members. It had to rely largely on morality, which doesn't work when genocidal jerkoffs like Hitler enter the picture.


    It didn’t have a straightforward way, but that really didn’t matter. If anyone had felt inclined to go to war over any of the incidents, they would have. But the fact is intervention back then didn’t mean a few weeks or months of certain victory air strikes, it meant committing to two or three years of all out conflict that could bankrupt a nation and rob it of another generation of youth. Nobody was going to do that after WW1 for incidents which did not have a direct national impact upon them. Think about Japan taking Manchuria, what would it take to militarily stop this… it would have been a year before a major western force could even begin fighting Japan on land.

    If the League had operated with stronger UN rules it would have been no different, people simply would not have voted for approving military action, and even if they did, nobody would have sent any troops to fight. See the Rwanda Genocide for the ability of the UN to not take action; even when the stakes are very low. Throwing the US into the mix doesn’t change anything, it’s another voice against taking action, and unlike today it doesn’t open up new military options to win a war quickly. Aside from the US navy the US was completely unprepared for war of any kind between 1920 and 1941 anyway.

    Even if the League somehow had stronger then UN rules, which legally obligated member states to contribute specific military forces, that would just mean that the governments in the UK or France would be collapsed, and replaced by new ones that withdrawal from the league if such terms were ever invoked. The terms would be unconstitutional in the US out of hand; either way you want to believe the US constitution gives out war powers to the president or congress, it sure doesn’t give them to a supernational body meeting overseas.
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    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-08 04:24am 

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    StarSword wrote:
    This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles.

    This maybe a tangent, but how exactly was the Treaty of Versailles unfair? It far less harsh than the treaty Germany imposed on Russia. It left German power more or less intact.
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    Zinegata
    PostPosted: 2011-08-08 06:30am 

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    Germany lost all of its colonies and a fair amount of its European landmass. East Prussia wasn't even connected to Germany proper anymore after the treaty.

    For a power that had beaten Russia and Romania while being massively outnumbered for most of the war, it's not hard to see how the Germans could see the treaty as anything but unfair. "We fought hard, kicked your asses more than you kicked ours, and yet you humiliated us instead of treating us as a worthy foe" was the general sentiment.

    That the terms were imposed without consultation made it worse.
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    Stas Bush
    PostPosted: 2011-08-08 09:46am 

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    LoN was bullshit. Italy completely shat on their heads and they did nothing. Ethiopia and Libya were assraped by Italians, nobody flinched. Italy's invasion of Ethiopia was quite soon legalized by the LoN (fun fact, the last nation which refused to acknowledge Italy's "legal claim" to Ethiopia was the USSR). What Skimmer said.
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    StarSword
    PostPosted: 2011-08-08 10:58am 

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    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles.

    This maybe a tangent, but how exactly was the Treaty of Versailles unfair? It far less harsh than the treaty Germany imposed on Russia. It left German power more or less intact.

    :wtf:
    One word: Bullshit.

    Germany agreed to surrender in part because of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which they thought would be used as the basis of the treaty. What actually happened was very different, in part because Wilson fell ill and couldn't compete with Georges "Make Germany Pay" Clemenceau for speaking time. Germany got blamed in writing for the entire war* and was made to pay a ridiculous sum** in "reparations" to France. It could have no air force or submarines, and its army was limited to 100,000 troops. As Zinegata mentioned, it was stripped of all its overseas colonies, and its European territory was carved up like a turkey at Thanksgiving. (Again, East Prussia was actually physically separated from the main part of Germany when the provinces of Posen and West Prussia were given to Poland.)

    Germany protested the terms of the treaty, not least because they were dictated to them by the allies without any measure of consultation, and the allies essentially said, "Sign it or we'll invade and you'll cease to exist as a nation altogether."

    * In the final episode of The Black Adder Goes Forth, the titular British Army captain explains quite well the actual reason for the war:
    Quote:
    Blackadder: Well, possibly. But the real reason for the whole thing was that it was too much effort not to have a war.
    George: By Gum, this is interesting! I always loved history. The Battle of Hastings, Henry VIII and his six knives and all that!
    Blackadder: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side; and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
    Baldrick: Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn't it?
    Blackadder: That's right. There was one tiny flaw in the plan.
    George: Oh, what was that?
    Blackadder: It was bollocks.

    I don't normally use comedic works as a source, understand (and Rowan Atkinson incidentally left off the Ottoman Empire on the German side), but this time it's accurate.

    ** The actual amount was equivalent to around $442 billion in today's money. Economist John Maynard Keynes estimated it would take Germany until 1988 to pay this off. They managed a small first payment in currency and goods, but when they missed the second payment France occupied a major German coal-producing region to get the money themselves.
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    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-09 07:38am 

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    StarSword wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    This leads to Nazi Germany blatantly and shamelessly violating the (admittedly unfair) Treaty of Versailles.

    This maybe a tangent, but how exactly was the Treaty of Versailles unfair? It far less harsh than the treaty Germany imposed on Russia. It left German power more or less intact.

    :wtf:
    One word: Bullshit.

    Germany agreed to surrender in part because of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which they thought would be used as the basis of the treaty.

    Germany surrendered because its armies had been defeated in 1918, the entire country was on the verge of starvation and their allies had been defeated. They only accepted Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points after they realised they couldn't stave off total defeat.

    StarSword wrote:
    What actually happened was very different, in part because Wilson fell ill and couldn't compete with Georges "Make Germany Pay" Clemenceau for speaking time. Germany got blamed in writing for the entire war* and was made to pay a ridiculous sum** in "reparations" to France.

    Was it as harsh as the massive demands it placed on the Russians or what they had in mind for the allies? Nope. After several years, the amounts to be repaid were considerably reduced through the Dawes and Young Plans. Did it cripple Germany's economic power in the long term? Nope.

    StarSword wrote:
    It could have no air force or submarines, and its army was limited to 100,000 troops.

    So?

    StarSword wrote:
    As Zinegata mentioned, it was stripped of all its overseas colonies, and its European territory was carved up like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

    Germany had little in the way of overseas colonies. Apparently economically, they were collectively a net loss for the German Empire, with only Togoland and German Samoa becoming profitable and self-sufficient. Their loss wasn't critical.

    Much of the European land taken from them were disputed territories such as Alsace-Lorraine. In fact, point 8 of the 14 points was the return of this land to France.

    Germany also lost a lot of land to the newly created Polish state, which is point 13 of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points. If Germany "agreed" (lol) to surrender based on the 14 points, they already agreed to these much of these land losses.
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    StarSword
    PostPosted: 2011-08-09 02:21pm 

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    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    :wtf:
    One word: Bullshit.

    Germany agreed to surrender in part because of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which they thought would be used as the basis of the treaty.

    Germany surrendered because its armies had been defeated in 1918, the entire country was on the verge of starvation and their allies had been defeated. They only accepted Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points after they realised they couldn't stave off total defeat.

    You apparently missed a phrase in my surrender argument: "in part." Yes, Germany surrendered because it was on the brink of collapse, but they thought that the Fourteen Points would lead to a fairer treaty.

    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    What actually happened was very different, in part because Wilson fell ill and couldn't compete with Georges "Make Germany Pay" Clemenceau for speaking time. Germany got blamed in writing for the entire war* and was made to pay a ridiculous sum** in "reparations" to France.

    Was it as harsh as the massive demands it placed on the Russians or what they had in mind for the allies? Nope. After several years, the amounts to be repaid were considerably reduced through the Dawes and Young Plans. Did it cripple Germany's economic power in the long term? Nope.

    Yes, Germany did the same thing or worse to Russia, and might have done the same thing or worse to the allies. The latter didn't happen, and the former is directly counteracted by Point 6.

    The reduction in the amounts to be repaid, however, is a red herring when you're talking about the original treaty. Read the footnote in my last post, regarding French occupation of the Ruhr. Germany's power was not crippled in the long term because of the Dawes and Young Plans, which amounted to refinancing, and then because the Treaty of Versailles was made largely defunct by the onset of WWII.

    In fact, Germany blamed the Treaty of Versailles for the collapse of their postwar economy. This is an oversimplification, yes, but some economists believe that the reparations were responsible for up to a third of the hyperinflation Germany went through.

    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    It could have no air force or submarines, and its army was limited to 100,000 troops.

    So?

    So no such restrictions were placed on other signatories to the Versailles conference. What restrictions were placed on the Allies were largely ignored. In fact, when Germany announced in 1932, a year before Hitler took office, that it would no longer abide by the restrictions, they cited the Preamble to Part V of the Treaty of Versailles, which required the Allies to reduce their own militaries.

    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    As Zinegata mentioned, it was stripped of all its overseas colonies, and its European territory was carved up like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

    Germany had little in the way of overseas colonies. Apparently economically, they were collectively a net loss for the German Empire, with only Togoland and German Samoa becoming profitable and self-sufficient. Their loss wasn't critical.

    Much of the European land taken from them were disputed territories such as Alsace-Lorraine. In fact, point 8 of the 14 points was the return of this land to France.

    Germany also lost a lot of land to the newly created Polish state, which is point 13 of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points. If Germany "agreed" (lol) to surrender based on the 14 points, they already agreed to these much of these land losses.

    For European powers, colonies were often a matter of national pride, never mind whether they actually contributed anything to the empire.

    True, the Fourteen Points called for land loss to Poland, and the return of Alsace-Lorraine. But Alsace-Lorraine (and Belgium and North Schleswig, while I'm at it) were conquered territory. A simpler way to give Poland a sea corridor as per the Fourteen Points would've been to give it outlying East Prussia instead of West Prussia and Posen, which as I mentioned separates East Prussia from the rest of Germany. And, looking at this map...
    Image
    ... it would appear that Poland was created largely from the territory of Austria-Hungary, not Germany.
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    Zinegata
    PostPosted: 2011-08-09 11:51pm 

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    German overseas possessions, while not as vast as Britain, were still pretty important from both the perspective of national pride and trade. Moreover, it's worth noting that German East Africa never completely fell under Allied control despite their complete naval superiority and landing 40,000 troops. von Lettow-Vorbeck was simply that good, and the Allied forces facing him were that bad.

    It must be also remembered that the German merchant fleet and navy was, prior to the start of the war, one of the largest in the world. The colonies had also served the important role of being coaling and trade stations for German seamen and merchants around the world - particularly the ones in China which were handed over to Japan.

    Secondly, while the German people may have accepted losing Alscae-Lorraine (which was still mostly French), losing significant tracts of Germany to Poland was definitely unacceptable. East Prussia was the home of Germany's aristocracy and military leadership. The territories ceded contained large numbers of ethnic Germans.

    It would be like the United States being forced to accept a peace deal wherein Washington DC would be physically seperated from the rest of the country, and leave huge numbers of people who want to stay American under the control of a foreign power.

    Finally, again, the fact of the matter is Germany almost won the war. They won the war in the East, period. They may have won the war in the West if the US had never intervened. It was a close-run thing. Pointing to Germany's harsh terms in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk doesn't excuse the Western Allied powers, because the Allies didn't really care about what happened to Russia anyway. The Western Allies didn't even recognize the Bolsheviks as the new government of Russia at all and treated them as pariahs in the decades after the war.

    What they wanted instead was a completely emasculated and demiliarized Germany. And again, with Germans knowing that they nearly won the war, not being treated as a worthy foe sowed the seeds of bitterness that resulted in the Second World War.
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    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-10 11:32am 

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    StarSword wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    :wtf:
    One word: Bullshit.

    Germany agreed to surrender in part because of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which they thought would be used as the basis of the treaty.

    Germany surrendered because its armies had been defeated in 1918, the entire country was on the verge of starvation and their allies had been defeated. They only accepted Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points after they realised they couldn't stave off total defeat.

    You apparently missed a phrase in my surrender argument: "in part." Yes, Germany surrendered because it was on the brink of collapse, but they thought that the Fourteen Points would lead to a fairer treaty.

    So your argument went from "Germany agreed to surrender in part because of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points" to "They had no chance of avoiding total and utter military defeat and accepted Wilsons Plan out of desperation"? Okay. You do realise these are different things?

    Germany only accepted Wilson's plan when they realised they couldn't win and in fact faced inevitable total defeat. They had no intention of even humouring the plan if they won. To turn around and complain that's so unfair that the allies didn't completely stick to Wilson's plan is beyond chutzpah.

    StarSword wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    What actually happened was very different, in part because Wilson fell ill and couldn't compete with Georges "Make Germany Pay" Clemenceau for speaking time. Germany got blamed in writing for the entire war* and was made to pay a ridiculous sum** in "reparations" to France.

    Was it as harsh as the massive demands it placed on the Russians or what they had in mind for the allies? Nope. After several years, the amounts to be repaid were considerably reduced through the Dawes and Young Plans. Did it cripple Germany's economic power in the long term? Nope.

    Yes, Germany did the same thing or worse to Russia, and might have done the same thing or worse to the allies. The latter didn't happen, and the former is directly counteracted by Point 6.

    Your point being? Germany was quite prepared to inflict incredibly harsh terms on the allies. What the allies inflicted on Germany was mild in comparison.

    StarSword wrote:
    The reduction in the amounts to be repaid, however, is a red herring when you're talking about the original treaty.

    We are talking about the treaty and its actual real world implementation. You are claiming the Treaty of Versailles was "unfair" even in actual real world the effect on Germany was far less severe.

    StarSword wrote:
    Read the footnote in my last post, regarding French occupation of the Ruhr.

    Which was easily ended when Germany decided to stop its nationalistic dickwaving and made its payments. The Germans occupied Paris until the last of its reparations from the 1871 war was paid off. This is hardly unprecedented.

    StarSword wrote:
    Germany's power was not crippled in the long term because of the Dawes and Young Plans, which amounted to refinancing, and then because the Treaty of Versailles was made largely defunct by the onset of WWII.

    Rubbish. The Dawes and Young Plans significantly cut the total reparations, it was not mere "refinancing". The Young plan reduced the reparations total by over 50% and increased the payment period to 59 years.

    StarSword wrote:
    In fact, Germany blamed the Treaty of Versailles for the collapse of their postwar economy. This is an oversimplification, yes, but some economists believe that the reparations were responsible for up to a third of the hyperinflation Germany went through.

    I need a citation for that. I would have thought massive political instability (Communist uprisings and attempted right-wing coups) and the massive strain of total war would be a better explanation for Germany's post war economic performance.

    StarSword wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    It could have no air force or submarines, and its army was limited to 100,000 troops.

    So?

    So no such restrictions were placed on other signatories to the Versailles conference. What restrictions were placed on the Allies were largely ignored.

    Germany lost the war. What exactly did it expect? Equal treatment to the victors? Cry me a fucking river.

    StarSword wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    StarSword wrote:
    As Zinegata mentioned, it was stripped of all its overseas colonies, and its European territory was carved up like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

    Germany had little in the way of overseas colonies. Apparently economically, they were collectively a net loss for the German Empire, with only Togoland and German Samoa becoming profitable and self-sufficient. Their loss wasn't critical.

    Much of the European land taken from them were disputed territories such as Alsace-Lorraine. In fact, point 8 of the 14 points was the return of this land to France.

    Germany also lost a lot of land to the newly created Polish state, which is point 13 of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points. If Germany "agreed" (lol) to surrender based on the 14 points, they already agreed to these much of these land losses.

    For European powers, colonies were often a matter of national pride, never mind whether they actually contributed anything to the empire.

    Wait, I thought we were talking about the treaty's actual effect on Germany and the fairness of this. I must have been reading another thread.

    StarSword wrote:
    True, the Fourteen Points called for land loss to Poland, and the return of Alsace-Lorraine. But Alsace-Lorraine (and Belgium and North Schleswig, while I'm at it) were conquered territory.

    Yes, conquered by Germany. Your point being? North Schleswig voted by 75% to 25% in 1920 for Reunification with Denmark. Could you point out the unfairness in this situation to Germany? I fail to see it.

    StarSword wrote:
    A simpler way to give Poland a sea corridor as per the Fourteen Points would've been to give it outlying East Prussia instead of West Prussia and Posen, which as I mentioned separates East Prussia from the rest of Germany.

    Which would have involved massive population transfers. The reason Polish corridor was chosen to be in that region in West Prussia was because most the people there were Polish.

    StarSword wrote:
    And, looking at this map...Image

    I don't see your point. The vast majority of territorial losses were to Poland or land that Germany had recently conquered from its neighbours. GOOD GOD, THE UNFAIRNESS OF IT ALL. :cry:

    StarSword wrote:
    ... it would appear that Poland was created largely from the territory of Austria-Hungary, not Germany.

    Which is completely irrelevant to this discussion.
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    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-10 11:59am 

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    Zinegata wrote:
    German overseas possessions, while not as vast as Britain, were still pretty important from both the perspective of national pride and trade. Moreover, it's worth noting that German East Africa never completely fell under Allied control despite their complete naval superiority and landing 40,000 troops. von Lettow-Vorbeck was simply that good, and the Allied forces facing him were that bad.

    It must be also remembered that the German merchant fleet and navy was, prior to the start of the war, one of the largest in the world. The colonies had also served the important role of being coaling and trade stations for German seamen and merchants around the world - particularly the ones in China which were handed over to Japan.

    Did you miss where I pointed out (bar a few exceptions) these colonies were a net-loss to Germany?

    Zinegata wrote:
    Secondly, while the German people may have accepted losing Alscae-Lorraine (which was still mostly French), losing significant tracts of Germany to Poland was definitely unacceptable. East Prussia was the home of Germany's aristocracy and military leadership. The territories ceded contained large numbers of ethnic Germans.

    They supposedly accepted this when they "agreed" to Wilson's 14 points which included the creation of Poland. Even if the 14 points were carried out to the letter, they still would have lost this land.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Finally, again, the fact of the matter is Germany almost won the war. They won the war in the East, period. They may have won the war in the West if the US had never intervened.

    Rubbish. America considerably hastened Germany's defeat but Germany had already lost that war by early 1918. The addition of America to the allies turned allied advantages in men and manufacturing from significant to enormous.

    In addition, the blockade was starting to seriously undermine Germany's industrial output and causing starvation.

    Zinegata wrote:
    It was a close-run thing. Pointing to Germany's harsh terms in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk doesn't excuse the Western Allied powers, because the Allies didn't really care about what happened to Russia anyway.

    Which is why one the first demands of the allies in the 1918 Armistice was the complete renouncement of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and of the Treaty of Bucharest with Romania?

    Zinegata wrote:
    What they wanted instead was a completely emasculated and demiliarized Germany. And again, with Germans knowing that they nearly won the war, not being treated as a worthy foe sowed the seeds of bitterness that resulted in the Second World War.

    Post war Germany (and you, it appears) thought they "nearly" won the war, but they didn't.
       Profile |  

    Zinegata
    PostPosted: 2011-08-10 10:58pm 

    Jedi Council Member


    Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am
    Posts: 2277
    bobalot wrote:
    Did you miss where I pointed out (bar a few exceptions) these colonies were a net-loss to Germany?


    Did you miss the point where we're saying that's irrelevant because colonies were objects of national pride and served as useful bastions for a merchant marine and navy?

    Most colonies were a net loss to their owning powers.

    Quote:
    They supposedly accepted this when they "agreed" to Wilson's 14 points which included the creation of Poland. Even if the 14 points were carried out to the letter, they still would have lost this land.


    Except the 14 points asserted the right of self-determination. The territories handed over to Poland wasn't exactly exclusively Polish. They all contained large numbers of people who considered themselves Germans.

    In fact, Upper Silesia had voted to remain in favor of remaining with Germany by a margin of around 60 to 40. The Poles sent in troops to make sure they still got part of the Upper Silesian pie.

    Moreover, Russia never exactly signed on to the 14 points, and yet a very large amount of the new Polish state's territory came from Russia. You cannot throw "You agreed to the 14 points!" on Germany's face when the Allies weren't bothering to follow its tenets either (right of self-determination), and they pretty much unilaterally took territory from the Russians to create Poland.

    Quote:
    Rubbish. America considerably hastened Germany's defeat but Germany had already lost that war by early 1918. The addition of America to the allies turned allied advantages in men and manufacturing from significant to enormous.

    In addition, the blockade was starting to seriously undermine Germany's industrial output and causing starvation.


    Again, Russia had already collapsed by 1918. The French army had mutinied the previous year. British forces were weakened and would almost be routed during Germany's final offensives, not to mention that their merchant trade had nearly collapsed in 1917 until they introduced convoys. It's not rubbish. It's fact.

    Despite the blockade and being outnumbered, Germany had driven all of the original Allied powers to their knees. The Russians in particular collapsed totally. Again, pretending it was not a near-run thing without the American intervention is to simply ignore historical fact. Heck, a major reason why Versailles was so harsh was because the Allies (except for the high-minded US) had felt they had suffered enormously.

    Quote:
    Which is why one the first demands of the allies in the 1918 Armistice was the complete renouncement of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and of the Treaty of Bucharest with Romania?


    Yes, because Germany controlling the vast grainfields of Ukraine and the Romanian oil fields is intolerable to the Allied powers who wanted an emasculated Germany.

    Do no confuse "We want Germany fucked over" with "We want Russia to get back its territory". Again, much of Poland was taken from Russia without their permission.

    Finally, it was the Bolsheviks themselves who renounced the treaty in 1918, and Germany only accepted its annullment in 1922. The Versailles treaty does not specifically address Brest-Litovsk at all.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Post war Germany (and you, it appears) thought they "nearly" won the war, but they didn't.


    No, I'm stating historical facts. The fact is, the First World War was a near-run thing until America came in.

    You can pretend Germany didn't beat Russia. You can pretend the French army never mutinied. You can pretend British merchant fleet wasn't in dire straits. You can pretend that German East Africa was under Allied control. That would just make you as foolish as the Allied idiots who acted out of spite when they drafted the Versailles treaty.
       Profile |  

    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-11 06:51am 

    Jedi Council Member


    Joined: 2008-05-21 06:42am
    Posts: 1529
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Zinegata wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    Did you miss where I pointed out (bar a few exceptions) these colonies were a net-loss to Germany?


    Did you miss the point where we're saying that's irrelevant because colonies were objects of national pride and served as useful bastions for a merchant marine and navy?

    What on earth does "national pride" have to do with fairness? (You know the point of this tangent) The existence of the Polish state was an affront to German "national pride".

    In any dispute, someone may take a hit to their pride but may not have been treated unfairly. Next time a plaintiff or defendant walks away with their pride shaken, I guess we can assume that the judge was being unfair.... because of pride or something.

    They may have been "useful bastions for a merchant marine and navy" but they were a net economic drain on Germany. Stripping Germany of its few colonies did not have a significant impact on German power.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Most colonies were a net loss to their owning powers.

    Provide some evidence for that enormous claim. Please provide evidence to me that British Raj was a net-loss economically to the British Empire. If you can't do that, Hong Kong, Singapore or even Malaya would do. Please show me that most of Britain's overseas possessions were a "net loss".

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    They supposedly accepted this when they "agreed" to Wilson's 14 points which included the creation of Poland. Even if the 14 points were carried out to the letter, they still would have lost this land.


    Except the 14 points asserted the right of self-determination. The territories handed over to Poland wasn't exactly exclusively Polish. They all contained large numbers of people who considered themselves Germans.

    Yes, however the vast majority were Polish. The demographics of the Second Polish Republic show that a mere 2.8% of the Population were ethnic Germans.

    Zinegata wrote:
    In fact, Upper Silesia had voted to remain in favor of remaining with Germany by a margin of around 60 to 40. The Poles sent in troops to make sure they still got part of the Upper Silesian pie.

    That's a remarkable re-imagining of history. Poland didn't "send in the troops".The local poles had local uprisings, which were supported by Polish state. During the Plebiscite, the paramilitary Freikorps terrorized Pro-Polish activists, and people threatened by German authorities with job/pension losses if they voted for Polish unification. Upper Silesia had a low level civil war.

    After order had been restored by Allied troops, it was eventually decided by a League of Nations Commission to split Upper Silesia, with significant amounts of Poles (about half a million) remaining in Germany and large numbers of Germans in Poland. OH NOES! The unfairness of it all!

    Zinegata wrote:
    Moreover, Russia never exactly signed on to the 14 points, and yet a very large amount of the new Polish state's territory came from Russia.

    Which is irrelevant to this discussion about the fairness of Germany's treatment. Germany agreed to give up land to a new Polish state. You can throw out non-sequiturs all you want, but that fact doesn't change.

    Zinegata wrote:
    You cannot throw "You agreed to the 14 points!" on Germany's face when the Allies weren't bothering to follow its tenets either (right of self-determination)

    Let me get this straight. You are arguing that because the allies didn't 100% follow the tenet of the "right to of self-determination" even though they creating multiple new nations and held and upheld the results of numerous plebiscites, it was unfair to Germany to be forced to give up any land to Poland as they agreed when they lost the war?

    Zinegata wrote:
    and they pretty much unilaterally took territory from the Russians to create Poland.

    Which is irrelevant to the discussion about the fairness of Germany's treatment.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Rubbish. America considerably hastened Germany's defeat but Germany had already lost that war by early 1918. The addition of America to the allies turned allied advantages in men and manufacturing from significant to enormous.

    In addition, the blockade was starting to seriously undermine Germany's industrial output and causing starvation.


    Again, Russia had already collapsed by 1918.

    Your point being? Germany's allies had also collapsed. The German army had to deploy a massive 1 million men and expend enormous resources just to occupy the territory they took in the East.

    Zinegata wrote:
    The French army had mutinied the previous year.

    Which were promptly dealt with and reforms carried out in the army. Your point being? I'm guessing you are trying to say it massively crippled the French army, but I fail to see any evidence of that.

    Zinegata wrote:
    British forces were weakened and would almost be routed during Germany's final offensives

    Are you serious? The final spring offensive was an all-out attack by the German army which failed to destroy or even outflank the Allied armies. All it created were massive salients (see below) into allied lines. By the end of it, Germany manpower had fallen from 5.1 million men to 4.2 million men over 6 months. While they had lost the cream of the German army (the stormtrooper units) in these attacks. The German army was decisively defeated in the second battle of the Marne (while there were American units at this battle, the vast majority were French troops).

    Image

    After German attacks had been ground to a halt in July, the allies counter attacked at Amiens and decisively defeated the Germany army (out of 25 allied divisions involved, 1 was American). General Erich Ludendorff described it as the "the black day of the German Army". This was the start of the 100 days campaign, and while American troops were involved (they were still being shipped over and trained), most of the allied casualties were borne by the British and French armies. It was only towards the end of that campaign that American troops made a decisive impact and considerably shortened the duration of the war.

    Zinegata wrote:
    not to mention that their merchant trade had nearly collapsed in 1917 until they introduced convoys. It's not rubbish. It's fact.

    Forgetting the fact that Germany's unrestricted U-Boat campaign was a significant cause for America's entry into the war, you yourself point out that while temporarily successful, the U-Boat campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Despite the blockade and being outnumbered, Germany had driven all of the original Allied powers to their knees.

    To their knees? Do you live in a parallel universe? Germany was facing starvation by 1918, it's allies had been crushed, 1 million men and significant resources were expended to merely hold onto gains in the East, its industrial production had collapsed. Germany was so desperate that it staked everything on one giant gamble (the spring offensive) which failed to pay off and led to massive causalities amongst its best troops.



    Zinegata wrote:
    The Russians in particular collapsed totally.

    So had Germany's allies.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Again, pretending it was not a near-run thing without the American intervention is to simply ignore historical fact.

    One which you have failed to provide any evidence for except your journeys to a parallel universe where Germany had the allies on their knees. :lol:

    Zinegata wrote:
    Heck, a major reason why Versailles was so harsh was because the Allies (except for the high-minded US) had felt they had suffered enormously.

    And this provides evidence that Germany was very near victory and had "the allies on their knees" ..... how? German demands at Brest-Litovsk were much harsher. Does this mean that the Russians had the Germans "on their knees" ? or is this line of reasoning simply reaching? I suspect the later.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Which is why one the first demands of the allies in the 1918 Armistice was the complete renouncement of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and of the Treaty of Bucharest with Romania?


    Yes, because Germany controlling the vast grainfields of Ukraine and the Romanian oil fields is intolerable to the Allied powers who wanted an emasculated Germany. Do no confuse "We want Germany fucked over" with "We want Russia to get back its territory". Again, much of Poland was taken from Russia without their permission.

    1. You fail to show that Germany was "emasculated", or even how not allowing Germany to keep the territories it conquered is "emasculation".
    2. You fail to show that "We want Germany fucked over" was the allies only objective.
    3. This retarded tangent within a tangent (which I stupidly got sucked into) started when you claimed
    Quote:
    Pointing to Germany's harsh terms in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk doesn't excuse the Western Allied powers, because the Allies didn't really care about what happened to Russia anyway.

    How does the Allies feelings towards the Communists have anything to do when comparing the treatment the allies meted out to the Germans compared to what Germany was preparing to mete out to others? The Allies were positively mild compared to what Germany had planned.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Finally, it was the Bolsheviks themselves who renounced the treaty in 1918, and Germany only accepted its annullment in 1922. The Versailles treaty does not specifically address Brest-Litovsk at all.

    I never claimed it was in the treaty. I simply pointed out that its renouncement was a apart of the Armistice requirements.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Post war Germany (and you, it appears) thought they "nearly" won the war, but they didn't.


    No, I'm stating historical facts. The fact is, the First World War was a near-run thing until America came in.

    Facts you have comprehensively failed to backup with anything remotely resembling evidence.

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend Germany didn't beat Russia.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend the French army never mutinied.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend British merchant fleet wasn't in dire straits.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend that German East Africa was under Allied control.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    I simply pointing out while German had beaten Russian, temporarily caused major disruptions to British shipping and had a small guerilla army in German East Africa (whose impact on the overall war was insignificant as Germany had no access to its colony), by late 1917 / early 1918, its allies had been defeated, it was facing starvation, industrial output was collapsing and had major commitments to the East were bogging down a mere 1 million men and equipment. It was facing defeat. So precarious was its situation it launched an all-out gamble which failed to break the allied lines, ended with disproportionate losses amongst its best troops, lost a significant amount of manpower, only gained large and difficult to defend salients and came to a crashing defeat at the Second Battle of the Marne.

    Zinegata wrote:
    That would just make you as foolish as the Allied idiots who acted out of spite when they drafted the Versailles treaty.

    Yep, that last paragraph was kept building up the retardation.
       Profile |  

    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-11 06:51am 

    Jedi Council Member


    Joined: 2008-05-21 06:42am
    Posts: 1529
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Zinegata wrote:
    bobalot wrote:
    Did you miss where I pointed out (bar a few exceptions) these colonies were a net-loss to Germany?


    Did you miss the point where we're saying that's irrelevant because colonies were objects of national pride and served as useful bastions for a merchant marine and navy?

    What on earth does "national pride" have to do with fairness? (You know the point of this tangent) The existence of the Polish state was an affront to German "national pride".

    In any dispute, someone may take a hit to their pride but may not have been treated unfairly. Next time a plaintiff or defendant walks away with their pride shaken, I guess we can assume that the judge was being unfair.... because of pride or something.

    They may have been "useful bastions for a merchant marine and navy" but they were a net economic drain on Germany. Stripping Germany of its few colonies did not have a significant impact on German power.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Most colonies were a net loss to their owning powers.

    Provide some evidence for that enormous claim. Please provide evidence to me that British Raj was a net-loss economically to the British Empire. If you can't do that, Hong Kong, Singapore or even Malaya would do. Please show me that most of Britain's overseas possessions were a "net loss".

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    They supposedly accepted this when they "agreed" to Wilson's 14 points which included the creation of Poland. Even if the 14 points were carried out to the letter, they still would have lost this land.


    Except the 14 points asserted the right of self-determination. The territories handed over to Poland wasn't exactly exclusively Polish. They all contained large numbers of people who considered themselves Germans.

    Yes, however the vast majority were Polish. The demographics of the Second Polish Republic show that a mere 2.8% of the Population were ethnic Germans.

    Zinegata wrote:
    In fact, Upper Silesia had voted to remain in favor of remaining with Germany by a margin of around 60 to 40. The Poles sent in troops to make sure they still got part of the Upper Silesian pie.

    That's a remarkable re-imagining of history. Poland didn't "send in the troops".The local poles had local uprisings, which were supported by Polish state. During the Plebiscite, the paramilitary Freikorps terrorized Pro-Polish activists, and people threatened by German authorities with job/pension losses if they voted for Polish unification. Upper Silesia had a low level civil war.

    After order had been restored by Allied troops, it was eventually decided by a League of Nations Commission to split Upper Silesia, with significant amounts of Poles (about half a million) remaining in Germany and large numbers of Germans in Poland. OH NOES! The unfairness of it all!

    Zinegata wrote:
    Moreover, Russia never exactly signed on to the 14 points, and yet a very large amount of the new Polish state's territory came from Russia.

    Which is irrelevant to this discussion about the fairness of Germany's treatment. Germany agreed to give up land to a new Polish state. You can throw out non-sequiturs all you want, but that fact doesn't change.

    Zinegata wrote:
    You cannot throw "You agreed to the 14 points!" on Germany's face when the Allies weren't bothering to follow its tenets either (right of self-determination)

    Let me get this straight. You are arguing that because the allies didn't 100% follow the tenet of the "right to of self-determination" even though they creating multiple new nations and held and upheld the results of numerous plebiscites, it was unfair to Germany to be forced to give up any land to Poland as they agreed when they lost the war?

    Zinegata wrote:
    and they pretty much unilaterally took territory from the Russians to create Poland.

    Which is irrelevant to the discussion about the fairness of Germany's treatment.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Rubbish. America considerably hastened Germany's defeat but Germany had already lost that war by early 1918. The addition of America to the allies turned allied advantages in men and manufacturing from significant to enormous.

    In addition, the blockade was starting to seriously undermine Germany's industrial output and causing starvation.


    Again, Russia had already collapsed by 1918.

    Your point being? Germany's allies had also collapsed. The German army had to deploy a massive 1 million men and expend enormous resources just to occupy the territory they took in the East.

    Zinegata wrote:
    The French army had mutinied the previous year.

    Which were promptly dealt with and reforms carried out in the army. Your point being? I'm guessing you are trying to say it massively crippled the French army, but I fail to see any evidence of that. The French army held the Germans off during the spring offensives (their line was intact), defeated the Germans at the second battle of the Marne and successfully counter attacked at Amiens.

    Zinegata wrote:
    British forces were weakened and would almost be routed during Germany's final offensives

    Are you serious? The final spring offensive was an all-out attack by the German army which failed to destroy or even outflank the Allied armies. All it created were massive salients (see below) into allied lines. By the end of it, Germany manpower had fallen from 5.1 million men to 4.2 million men over 6 months. While they had lost the cream of the German army (the stormtrooper units) in these attacks. The German army was decisively defeated in the second battle of the Marne (while there were American units at this battle, the vast majority were French troops).

    Image

    After German attacks had been ground to a halt in July, the allies counter attacked at Amiens and decisively defeated the Germany army (out of 25 allied divisions involved, 1 was American). General Erich Ludendorff described it as the "the black day of the German Army". This was the start of the 100 days campaign, and while American troops were involved (they were still being shipped over and trained), most of the allied casualties were borne by the British and French armies. It was only towards the end of that campaign that American troops made a decisive impact and considerably shortened the duration of the war.

    Zinegata wrote:
    not to mention that their merchant trade had nearly collapsed in 1917 until they introduced convoys. It's not rubbish. It's fact.

    Forgetting the fact that Germany's unrestricted U-Boat campaign was a significant cause for America's entry into the war, you yourself point out that while temporarily successful, the U-Boat campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Despite the blockade and being outnumbered, Germany had driven all of the original Allied powers to their knees.

    To their knees? Do you live in a parallel universe? Germany was facing starvation by 1918, it's allies had been crushed, 1 million men and significant resources were expended to merely hold onto gains in the East, its industrial production had collapsed. Germany was so desperate that it staked everything on one giant gamble (the spring offensive) which failed to pay off and led to massive causalities amongst its best troops.



    Zinegata wrote:
    The Russians in particular collapsed totally.

    So had Germany's allies.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Again, pretending it was not a near-run thing without the American intervention is to simply ignore historical fact.

    One which you have failed to provide any evidence for except your journeys to a parallel universe where Germany had the allies on their knees. :lol:

    Zinegata wrote:
    Heck, a major reason why Versailles was so harsh was because the Allies (except for the high-minded US) had felt they had suffered enormously.

    And this provides evidence that Germany was very near victory and had "the allies on their knees" ..... how? German demands at Brest-Litovsk were much harsher. Does this mean that the Russians had the Germans "on their knees" ? or is this line of reasoning simply reaching? I suspect the later.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Which is why one the first demands of the allies in the 1918 Armistice was the complete renouncement of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and of the Treaty of Bucharest with Romania?


    Yes, because Germany controlling the vast grainfields of Ukraine and the Romanian oil fields is intolerable to the Allied powers who wanted an emasculated Germany. Do no confuse "We want Germany fucked over" with "We want Russia to get back its territory". Again, much of Poland was taken from Russia without their permission.

    1. You fail to show that Germany was "emasculated", or even how not allowing Germany to keep the territories it conquered is "emasculation".
    2. You fail to show that "We want Germany fucked over" was the allies only objective.
    3. This retarded tangent within a tangent (which I stupidly got sucked into) started when you claimed
    Quote:
    Pointing to Germany's harsh terms in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk doesn't excuse the Western Allied powers, because the Allies didn't really care about what happened to Russia anyway.

    How does the Allies feelings towards the Communists have anything to do when comparing the treatment the allies meted out to the Germans compared to what Germany was preparing to mete out to others? The Allies were positively mild compared to what Germany had planned.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Finally, it was the Bolsheviks themselves who renounced the treaty in 1918, and Germany only accepted its annullment in 1922. The Versailles treaty does not specifically address Brest-Litovsk at all.

    I never claimed it was in the treaty. I simply pointed out that its renouncement was a apart of the Armistice requirements.

    Zinegata wrote:
    Quote:
    Post war Germany (and you, it appears) thought they "nearly" won the war, but they didn't.


    No, I'm stating historical facts. The fact is, the First World War was a near-run thing until America came in.

    Facts you have comprehensively failed to backup with anything remotely resembling evidence.

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend Germany didn't beat Russia.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend the French army never mutinied.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend British merchant fleet wasn't in dire straits.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    Zinegata wrote:
    You can pretend that German East Africa was under Allied control.

    Where did I say or even imply that?

    I simply pointing out while German had beaten Russian, temporarily caused major disruptions to British shipping and had a small guerilla army in German East Africa (whose impact on the overall war was insignificant as Germany had no access to its colony), by late 1917 / early 1918, its allies had been defeated, it was facing starvation, industrial output was collapsing and had major commitments to the East which were bogging down a mere 1 million men and equipment. It was facing defeat. So precarious was its situation it launched an all-out gamble which failed to break the allied lines, ended with disproportionate losses amongst its best troops, lost a significant amount of manpower (unlike the British and its huge empire, it couldn't replace), only gained large salients to defend and came to a crashing defeat at the Second Battle of the Marne.

    Zinegata wrote:
    That would just make you as foolish as the Allied idiots who acted out of spite when they drafted the Versailles treaty.

    Yep, that last paragraph kept building up the retardation.
       Profile |  

    bz249
    PostPosted: 2011-08-11 08:09am 

    Padawan Learner


    Joined: 2007-04-18 05:56am
    Posts: 356
    bobalot, and why do you think the German Army launched that stupid spring offensive in 1918? Do you think it has anything to do with fact that the American DoW means that soon a large contingent of fresh troops would arrive and the previous war of attrition would only end in an allied victory?

    Anyway the situation as of late 1917: Russia practically out of the war, because they preferred to fight a civil war, Romania signed a peace treaty, Serbia collapsed the only Allied hold territory on the east was the Salonika Camp.

    In the mean time, after the battle of Caporetto the Italian Army was in a rout only saved by transferring a large number of Anglo-French troops. In the same time the Western Front was stable... well no, the Allies gained 6 miles around Passchendaele for at least 1:1 casuality rate (most probably the Allied casuality rate was higher).

    Now in this situation there was two logical target for the Central Powers: either strike Greece or Italy and knock them out of the war. Something the Germans would likely doing without an American involvement (they had advantageous defensive positions in France, and after Verdun they were on the defense, and attacked on the secondary fronts instead to reduce the manpower and resource drain of those). However with an American involvement any victory on marginal fronts would be moot. The US can easily replace all Russia, Italy, Romania and Greece. Thus the German High Command gambled for a decisive battle and lost. Sure they were defeated by Anglo-French troops, but without an American involvement they would never try such a desperate move.
       Profile |  

    bobalot
    PostPosted: 2011-08-11 05:01pm 

    Jedi Council Member


    Joined: 2008-05-21 06:42am
    Posts: 1529
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    bz249 wrote:
    bobalot, and why do you think the German Army launched that stupid spring offensive in 1918? Do you think it has anything to do with fact that the American DoW means that soon a large contingent of fresh troops would arrive and the previous war of attrition would only end in an allied victory?

    Anyway the situation as of late 1917: Russia practically out of the war, because they preferred to fight a civil war, Romania signed a peace treaty, Serbia collapsed the only Allied hold territory on the east was the Salonika Camp.

    In the mean time, after the battle of Caporetto the Italian Army was in a rout only saved by transferring a large number of Anglo-French troops. In the same time the Western Front was stable... well no, the Allies gained 6 miles around Passchendaele for at least 1:1 casuality rate (most probably the Allied casuality rate was higher).

    Now in this situation there was two logical target for the Central Powers: either strike Greece or Italy and knock them out of the war. Something the Germans would likely doing without an American involvement (they had advantageous defensive positions in France, and after Verdun they were on the defense, and attacked on the secondary fronts instead to reduce the manpower and resource drain of those). However with an American involvement any victory on marginal fronts would be moot. The US can easily replace all Russia, Italy, Romania and Greece. Thus the German High Command gambled for a decisive battle and lost. Sure they were defeated by Anglo-French troops, but without an American involvement they would never try such a desperate move.

    Did you deliberately miss all the other reasons I posted?

    That fact that:

    Germany's Industrial production was collapsing due to the blockade?
    Germany was facing shortages in food? Rations had to be cut to troops on the front line.
    Its allies were on the verge of collapse? Even after the Italian disaster, the Italian army with the help of the allies drove Austria-Hungary out of Italy.
    Germany had to deploy 1 million men and equipment just to hold onto the gains in the East?
    Their shortages in manpower?

    Sure, Germany was afraid of American reinforcements, but there other considerable factors (such as their collapsing homefront) that led to that all out gamble.
       Profile |  

    bz249
    PostPosted: 2011-08-11 05:38pm 

    Padawan Learner


    Joined: 2007-04-18 05:56am
    Posts: 356
    bobalot wrote:
    Did you deliberately miss all the other reasons I posted?

    That fact that:

    Germany's Industrial production was collapsing due to the blockade?
    Germany was facing shortages in food? Rations had to be cut to troops on the front line.
    Its allies were on the verge of collapse? Even after the Italian disaster, the Italian army with the help of the allies drove Austria-Hungary out of Italy.
    Germany had to deploy 1 million men and equipment just to hold onto the gains in the East?
    Their shortages in manpower?

    Sure, Germany was afraid of American reinforcements, but there other considerable factors (such as their collapsing homefront) that led to that all out gamble.


    You know Germany just won on the east, they could tranfer food, mineral resources and whatever from the Ukrainien mining regions. Add to the picture, that they had enough manpower and resource to conduct vigorous attacks on the West. Now generally attack consumes more ammo and manpower than sitting in the trenches. Under normal circumstance all they had to do was to wait till the resource flow from the Eastern conquests starts.

    About the occupation force, sure they had to keep some of the troops at their Eastern holdings nevertheless the Spring Offensive was used the some reinforcement transfered from the Eastern Front (a miniscule amount, not more than 50 divisions). Add to this that requirements for front line troops are somewhat higher than for occupation units. So they could also gain quality in the exchange.

    Italy: yes they won the glorius battle of Vittorio Veneto, started late October 1918 and ended in early November, by that time there was no such thing as Austria-Hungary because each and every nation wanted to form their own state. Hint: anything happened after the Black Day was a direct consequence of the collapse of the morale in the German High Command.

    So as a summary the position of the Central Powers significantly improved till March 1918... save from the fact the US entered the war. The latter was a game changer which forced the Germans to launch the failed Spring Offensive.
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    Zinegata
    PostPosted: 2011-08-12 01:15am 

    Jedi Council Member


    Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am
    Posts: 2277
    Bobalot, stop this bullshit of pretending that we didn't address your points, when you also completely fail to address the fact that the Western allies were also on the brink of collapse. Aside from a cursory dismissal, you never even bothered to address the French mutinies or the massive effect of the German submarine campaign in 1917 against the British.

    I didn't even have to bother pointing the complete collapse of the Italian army too because you're that big of a fucking liar.

    Any serious student of the First World War can easily see it was a near-run thing. You say Germany was collapsing in 1918? The Allies were on their knees in 1917. French Army in Mutiny. British Trade at Standstill. Russia completely gone. Italian Army routed. Romania occupied. Again, you keep asking for evidence about how it was a near-run thing, and yet you keep pretending it doesn't exist, you fucking liar.

    The only reason the final score wasn't close was because of America. Not France, Britain, Russia, or Italy. America.

    And you again conveniently ignore that America's own principles for settling the conflict equitably were almost totally ignored. Russian and German territory was handed over to Poland despite plebiscites rejecting their inclusion in Poland. You claim that I have not shown that Germany was not emasculated, and yet I had already shown how their equivalent of Washington fucking DC was physically seperated from their country, not to mention the provisions limiting its army and handing over its overseas colonies to folks like Japan who barely did anything in the war.

    Bobalot is full of fail and trying to win via the age old "I will claim my opponent did not present evidence, even though he actually did" bullshit that constantly the liars in this board. It's bullshit, and it's a complete waste of everyone's time.
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    PainRack
    PostPosted: 2011-08-12 01:28pm 

    Emperor's Hand


    Joined: 2002-07-07 03:03am
    Posts: 7113
    Location: Singapura
    Zinegata wrote:
    Bobalot, stop this bullshit of pretending that we didn't address your points, when you also completely fail to address the fact that the Western allies were also on the brink of collapse. Aside from a cursory dismissal, you never even bothered to address the French mutinies or the massive effect of the German submarine campaign in 1917 against the British.

    Because as bad as things were, as Bobalot pointed out, they WEREN"T on the brink of collapse? Despite the shortage of troops British armies faced in 1918, they were still able to field a large army and increase tank production, with plans to produce several thousand more in 1919. The Germans couldn't do that. Not for their airforce, not for their army divisions.

    Quote:
    Any serious student of the First World War can easily see it was a near-run thing. You say Germany was collapsing in 1918? The Allies were on their knees in 1917. French Army in Mutiny. British Trade at Standstill. Russia completely gone. Italian Army routed. Romania occupied. Again, you keep asking for evidence about how it was a near-run thing, and yet you keep pretending it doesn't exist, you fucking liar.

    Except that the Allied powers DIDN"T collapse in 1917 but Germany did in 1918. American intervention was significant here only because it served as a source of cash, resources and ammunition in 1917, but to argue that it was a near run thing is a bit misleading. Russia is the only power that was so severely dependent on Britain largess that it could have, and did collapse.

    Quote:
    The only reason the final score wasn't close was because of America. Not France, Britain, Russia, or Italy. America.

    America contributions in 1917, the time when you said it was so close? It was as a provider of ammunition, resources, and cheap loan for Britain so that she in turn can carry the Allies powers.
    You COULD argue that if America had not done so, the Allies would had stopped fighting in 1917 due to the cost and losses involved. But to argue that it was America contribution that tipped the fight is........ exaggeration at best.
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