The Ideal Post-World War I Peace Terms

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,856
At present SD, USA
How did the treaty of Versailles break the 14 points to 'punish Germany', both Czechoslovakia and Poland were covered in the 14 points..


Versailles wasnt a really harsh treaty
The 14 Points didn't include blaming Germany for the war, force them to pay reparations, and deny the Germans the right to defend themselves...

Elements of the 14 Points made it into the Versailles Treaty, but they mitigated clauses many (including politicians among the Allied powers) would eventually feel to be too harsh.
 

hop

Jun 2012
796
Germany was forced to pay reparations equivalent to all of the gold in the world. Their economy was destroyed because of the treaty.
German reparations were fixed at $12.5 billion dollars. There were another $20 billion in reparations assessed but Germany was not required to pay them.

Germany actually paid about $5 billion in reparations. That was about 2.5% of German GDP over the period payments were made. At the same time, Germany borrowed about $8 billion from international financial markets.
 
Last edited:

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
The 14 points did not preclude reparations, they were not an excessive figure, and certainly did not destroy the German economy. Bad management of German economy between the wars was responsible.

The sum was that huge. German propaganda about the reparations has been successful but dishonest.

The War guilt was stupid, they should have insisted that the Germans sued for peace as a defeated nation though.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,856
At present SD, USA
The 14 points did not preclude reparations, they were not an excessive figure, and certainly did not destroy the German economy. Bad management of German economy between the wars was responsible.
Maybe, but I'm pretty sure that the 14 Points didn't DEMAND reparations. And while German economic mismanagement may have helped or outright caused their issues, the fact that they had been made to pay reparations in a war where it wasn't painfully obvious to EVERY German that Germany had lost... that was a problem and made the treaty harsh.

The sum was that huge. German propaganda about the reparations has been successful but dishonest.
But didn't Germany only JUST finish paying off those reparations ten years ago? Nearly one hundred years is a reasonable amount of time for a nation to pay for a four year war?

A lot of the attention to it may be propaganda... but I'd think the fact remains that the propaganda worked so well because it rested on more truth than most other propaganda did...

The War guilt was stupid, they should have insisted that the Germans sued for peace as a defeated nation though.
Possibly, but that would have meant an invasion of Germany, which I believe Foch and Pershing had plans for, and the war lasting at least until 1919...

And anyway, there was no demand for unconditional surrender, mostly with the idea that the blockade would ensure that Germany would accept whatever terms the Allies wanted. And in the heat of the moment, the war guilt clause was added...
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
It wasn't painfully obvious as the German leadership lied their arses off about it.They were beaten and whipped. They sought peace on any terms they could get. The Allies in the Armistice negotiations made it very clear that the peace treaty would be dictated not negotiated.

The Recent payments was to do the with loans, not repatriations, it was a small relatively token payment from debt restructure after the Marshall plan that carried clause for some further payments if Germany was unified. So those payments were not reparations, and those payments hadnt not been going on for hundred years or anything like that. Shoddy reporting in the press at the time, confused the issue.

NO invasion would have be required, Germany would have surrendered in 1918, and in fact they did. The Allies allowed the Germans the prentence that it was not a surrender. But they could have insisted and the Germans would have folded.
 

PM96

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
4,676
California
What's ideal to some is flawed to others. You can't make everyone happy, especially with major controversies such as wars, and politics in general.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,856
At present SD, USA
It wasn't painfully obvious as the German leadership lied their arses off about it.They were beaten and whipped. They sought peace on any terms they could get. The Allies in the Armistice negotiations made it very clear that the peace treaty would be dictated not negotiated.

NO invasion would have be required, Germany would have surrendered in 1918, and in fact they did. The Allies allowed the Germans the pretense that it was not a surrender. But they could have insisted and the Germans would have folded.
The first paragraph doesn't seem to agree with the second. If the German people are not told that they are losing... if the German army is not told that it is losing by its leadership, while people may find it hard... not everyone is going to see the war and admit they had lost...

Shoot, Ludendorf, large numbers of the German officer corps, and a certain Austrian corporal believed Germany WON the First World War but were betrayed some saboteurs/traitors (Jews or Communists, depending on who you're looking too... some combined the two) who stabbed them in the back and surrendered to the defeated Allies.

That is where I feel an invasion of Germany was necessary. Once the German army is driven to the east bank of the Rhine (or farther) and Allied armies have fought onto German soil. All out military defeat and forced to fight on German soil would kill the "Stab in the Back" myth before it can be told.

The Recent payments was to do the with loans, not repatriations, it was a small relatively token payment from debt restructure after the Marshall plan that carried clause for some further payments if Germany was unified. So those payments were not reparations, and those payments hadn't not been going on for hundred years or anything like that. Shoddy reporting in the press at the time, confused the issue.
Interesting... still... I don't think reparations was something that should have been part of the treaty. It'd mean less fuel for propaganda that ultimately urges calls for revenge.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,783
SoCal
But didn't Germany only JUST finish paying off those reparations ten years ago?
pugsville's explanation in regards to this might be accurate. That said, it was four years ago, not ten years ago. Also, as far as I know, the German payments since the end of World War II were very mild (in the sense that they didn't create large budget problems for Germany or anything of that sort), and in addition, it is worth noting that (as far as I know) Germany did not pay any reparations at all between the early 1930s and the early 1950s.

As for not all Germans believing that they had lost, pugsville's response in regards to this might be pretty good as well. That said, though:

1. It appears that Germany was already on track to lose World War I even before the German Revolution of 1918-1919 broke out
2. The German Revolution of 1918-1919 might not have broken out had German naval leaders not ordered a pointless and idiotic last-minute German naval attack
3. The post-World War I peace settlement should have somehow taken into consideration the fact that the German government after World War I was not the same government that Germany had during and before World War I.
 
Last edited:

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,783
SoCal
That is where I feel an invasion of Germany was necessary. Once the German army is driven to the east bank of the Rhine (or farther) and Allied armies have fought onto German soil. All out military defeat and forced to fight on German soil would kill the "Stab in the Back" myth before it can be told.
Actually, the impression that I got is that many Germans believed that Germany would have found some way to win World War I had it not signed an armistice with the Entente. Even in your scenario, it is very possible that many Germans would have continued to (irrationally) hold such a belief (though the number of such Germans might have been smaller). After all, as far as I know, almost until the end of World War II, Hitler (irrationally) continued to hold out (some) hope that Germany would find some way to win World War II.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,783
SoCal
Maybe, but I'm pretty sure that the 14 Points didn't DEMAND reparations.
While I am unsure whether or not Germany should have been forced to pay reparations (personally, I might have preferred to let France and Belgium receive coal from the Saar for, say, 100 years in lieu of reparations), it is worth noting that France and Belgium did appear to have a claim to some reparations and/or compensation from Germany due to the fact that most of World War I in the West was fought on their, rather than on German, territory.