Germany's WWI leadership takes responsibility for Germany's WWI defeat

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
What would have happened if Germany's WWI leadership would have had some balls and thus taken responsibility for Germany's WWI defeat instead of blaming this defeat on republicans, Communists, and Jews?

For the record, I am specifically thinking of Germany's WWI leadership admitting that they made a serious mistake in bringing the US into the war and, in Kaiser Bill's case, also bringing Britain into the war back in 1914 and alienating Britain in the pre-WWI years with the Anglo-German naval arms race. For the record, Germany's WWI leadership could still say something along the lines of "We believe that, had the home front not collapsed, we would have been able to bleed the enemy to exhaustion on the battlefield and thus get a better peace deal. However, we also acknowledge that we strongly screwed up by bringing Britain and the US into the war and thus making victory much harder for our own side."

Would this admission have reduced or eliminated the stab-in-the-back myth in Weimar Germany? Also, would this admission have prevented Hitler's rise to power and/or World War II?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,590
Dispargum
Blaming the home front is a road to a failed policy. That home front was the very people the leadership had to convince. The German people would not readily accept an explanation that put the blame on them. For this policy to work, the leaders must accept all of the blame.

As far as preventing WW2, the German people must be convinced that the path to greatness does not lie in the direction of military conquest. Post WW2 German greatness came from their economic success. Germany has created so much wealth over the past 70 years that they are now the bankers of Europe.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Blaming the home front is a road to a failed policy. That home front was the very people the leadership had to convince. The German people would not readily accept an explanation that put the blame on them. For this policy to work, the leaders must accept all of the blame.
Yeah, that makes sense. Also, for what it's worth, the home front would have probably been less likely to collapse if the situation for Germany didn't look hopeless--and it looked hopeless as a result of Germany's leadership's actions previously bringing Britain and the US into WWI on the anti-German side.

As far as preventing WW2, the German people must be convinced that the path to greatness does not lie in the direction of military conquest. Post WW2 German greatness came from their economic success. Germany has created so much wealth over the past 70 years that they are now the bankers of Europe.
Do you think that a full admission of guilt for Germany's WWI defeat would have been enough to persuade the German people in regards to this in the interwar era?
 
Feb 2014
326
Miami
Only a total defeat and the war moving fully into Germany’s border would convince the Germans. The allies should have continued with their massive tank invasion of 1919 which would have been awesome and got the total defeat needed. The French warned it was only a cease fire and nothing more otherwise
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Only a total defeat and the war moving fully into Germany’s border would convince the Germans. The allies should have continued with their massive tank invasion of 1919 which would have been awesome and got the total defeat needed. The French warned it was only a cease fire and nothing more otherwise
What I fear is that Germany could still blame their defeat on saboteurs from within sabotaging their war effort in such a scenario, though. After all, I don't think that Germany's WWI leadership was capable of installing the necessary level of discipline like Hitler did which would ensure that the German home front would have been completely united behind the German war effort.

In this regard, Hitler ironically did Germany a favor during WWII since Germans could say that they tried their hardest right up to the very end and still lost the war.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,590
Dispargum
Do you think that a full admission of guilt for Germany's WWI defeat would have been enough to persuade the German people in regards to this in the interwar era?
I don't know if it's the same thing as an admission of guilt, but an admission that Germany's defeat was the result of flawed policies pursued by Germany's leaders. Germany's next attempt at greatness must come from trying something different, not a repeat of the same. The Stab in the Back Theory made it too easy for Germans to believe their WW1 policies were correct, but the country had been robbed of victory. Therefore the country should try the same thing again.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
I don't know if it's the same thing as an admission of guilt, but an admission that Germany's defeat was the result of flawed policies pursued by Germany's leaders. Germany's next attempt at greatness must come from trying something different, not a repeat of the same. The Stab in the Back Theory made it too easy for Germans to believe their WW1 policies were correct, but the country had been robbed of victory. Therefore the country should try the same thing again.
Makes sense.

Of course, what's interesting is that I've heard that Germans generally weren't optimistic about the outcome of the war in 1939. It was only the Fall of France and the initial successes of Operation Barbarossa that boosted their spirits--after which point a lot of them appear to have supported Hitler right up to the very end.