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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #1
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Was it right to only blame Germany about World War 1


To me it seems a bit unfair to only blame Germany about World War 1. Many countries should be blamed about World War 1 i think





Ofcurse Germany alone are to blame for World War 2.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #2

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Who blames Germany only for the war?

I blame the Ottoman Empire too. In the beginning, the war was to be the war of Europe, not the of the world but Enver Pasha butted in by promising unreal things to Germany and dreaming of a quick victory. I blame Britain, too, for it changed its ages-old policy in 100 days and put itself in the troubling desert of the Middle East and caused more casualties for nothing.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 12:44 AM   #3

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I don't know anyone now who blames just Germany. Now, I think it is accepted that WW1 was a crisis in European civilisation with far deeper causes than immediately post-WW1 propaganda suggests.

Previous conflicts had given rise to the circumstances that caused WW1: Napoleon's defeat of Germany, and his eventual downfall, disputes with France, the dominance of the (reactionary) British Empire, and the Tripartite Pact between the 3 large empires (Britain, France and Russia).

Germany, being only recently unified under Bismarck, (1871), was born into a Europe that did not have room for a 3rd empire. Germany believed herself to being squeezed out by the big 3.

I also think that it is wrong that Germany alone should be blamed for WW2. The Versailles Treaty was a badly thought out plan. The French wanted blood; the British under Lloyd George believed that we should go easy on Germany, whilst the USA under President Wilson, (the man in charge of deciding how post WW1 Europe should look), had their own ideas, such as self determination, but where also compromised by French demands for reparation. France wanted Germany to be shattered by Versailles: Britain feared that a broken Germany would surely cause trouble later, and they did, whilst the USA were trying to do the right thing, but did not really understand Europe.

As a result, large chunks of Germany were taken away, to form Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The Wall Street Crash and Great Depression, fear of socialism/Communism following the Soviet Revolution, and the rising tide of nationalism as a result in not just Germany, but also Spain and Italy.

The Japanese war in Manchuria and the far east was an expression of this nationalism, as was the Spanish Civil War, where Franco's nationalists fought those it regarded as Communists (although they weren't).

Europe and America's failure to deal with this increasing nationalism, and Britain and France's policy of appeasement of Italy and Germany just made it more likely to happen.

In short, WW2 happened because of WW1.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:24 AM   #4

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I was taught in high school that the system of alliances that entangled the European nations virtually guaranteed that what would have been a fairly minor conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia became a major European and then world war.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:30 AM   #5

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Lately I have heard people saying the Germans were the ''victims'' of the French and British...
which of course is complete nonesense.
Many French, Germans and British wanted the war and I wouldn't be suprised when even more of the French, Germans and British didn't want a war.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:13 AM   #6

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The German government and Head of State that went to war in 1914, was no longer in power at the end of the war in 1918. So who were the Allies punishing? The new government that was not responsible for the war? Or the German people?

If the latter, the Germans were no more guilty than the other peoples of Europe, who rushed to war just as eagerly and enthusiastically, all of them seemingly believing that it was a great adventure that would be over by Christmas.

In summary, if the German government of 1914 were guilty, its' members should have been held to account, not the entire people and nation of Germany. If the German people stand accused, then the people of France and Britain are equally guilty.

So no, it wasn't right to solely blame the whole of Germany for the war.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:25 AM   #7

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I think that placing all the burden for the cause of the Great War on Germany's shoulders is a bit much. Most historians have held that the European atmosphere was explosive, only waiting for a spark to blow. Imperialism, nationalism, fear... all served to form the confusing terms for the many treaties and entendre's that seemed to pre-align the camps before Europe exploded. However, I do hold Germany responsible for two actions that, imo, turned the initial squabble of national honor and retribution between two fairly weak players into the then most devastating war ever.

The first was the assurance to Austria-Hungary that the Germans would support them in military action against Serbia should Russia intercede on behalf of the Serbs. For all the posturing by A/H, I don't believe they would have done much militarily. I strongly believe Serbia only had assurances of Russian support for defense should the Serbs be attacked.

The second act of the Germans that I believe sealed their doom was running out of bounds in the unilateral violation of Belgian neutrality and subsequent depradations on it's citizens that brought Great Britain and her dominians into the war. "The Old Contemptables" forced Germany to use military resources that would have otherwise been used against France at a time when France was clearly reeling and cost Germany the attainment of it primary goal in the conflict... domination over France.

Of course, there are a myriad of other events and actions that were taken that could be laid at Germany's feet as responsibility for the war, but much of that was reaction to the mechanizations of war used by the allies and late arrivers to the war, and can be argued about forever. These two acts by Germany are the most undisputed actions that eventually put them at the mercy of historic accountability.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:28 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by srb7677 View Post
The German government and Head of State that went to war in 1914, was no longer in power at the end of the war in 1918. So who were the Allies punishing? The new government that was not responsible for the war? Or the German people?

If the latter, the Germans were no more guilty than the other peoples of Europe, who rushed to war just as eagerly and enthusiastically, all of them seemingly believing that it was a great adventure that would be over by Christmas.

In summary, if the German government of 1914 were guilty, its' members should have been held to account, not the entire people and nation of Germany. If the German people stand accused, then the people of France and Britain are equally guilty.

So no, it wasn't right to solely blame the whole of Germany for the war.
Were it not the German people who supported the war in 1914?
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corto Maltese View Post
To me it seems a bit unfair to only blame Germany about World War 1. Many countries should be blamed about World War 1 i think
There seems to be virtually general consensus on this point in this thread; must entirely agree.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:42 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartieboy View Post
Were it not the German people who supported the war in 1914?
Yes, many of them. But so did many Frenchmen, Britons and Russians. So why exclusively blame the Germans when the rest of us were just as guilty?
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