Which German leader was worse/caused Germany more damage: Wilhelm II or Adolf Hitler?

Worse German leader?

  • Wilhelm II

    Votes: 2 11.8%
  • Adolf Hitler

    Votes: 15 88.2%

  • Total voters
    17
Oct 2014
31
Toronto
#1
Wilhelm II: conservative kaiser, who's arm problem allegedly led to an inferiority complex, lacked tact on the diplomatic field when dealing with the rest of Europe, arguably caused WW1.

Hitler: Self-explanatory.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,791
Las Vegas, NV USA
#2
Really no contest although Germany did suffer from severe food shortages in WWI (Turnip Winter or Steckr├╝benwinter.)
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#3
Hitler caused more damage since Germany's WWII losses were higher than its WWI losses. Also, Germany's cognitive elites didn't flee under Kaiser Bill like a lot of them did under Hitler--with a lot of them never to return to Germany. (Plus, the Jews who stayed behind in Germany got almost completely murdered in the Holocaust.) Unlike Kaiser Bill, Hitler's war also resulted in half of Germany ending up under Communist rule for almost half a century. Finally, the territorial losses that Germany suffered after WWII were much harsher than those that it suffered after WWI since most of the territories that Germany lost after WWI weren't German-majority whereas the territories that Germany lost after WWII were largely German-majority--which in turn necessitated mass expulsions of Germans after Germany lost these territories.

Kaiser Bill's biggest mistakes were not choosing Russia over Austria, alienating Britain, and alienating the U.S. The interesting fact is that had Britain and the U.S. remained neutral, Germany would have likely won WWI after a long war.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,791
Las Vegas, NV USA
#4
Hitler caused more damage since Germany's WWII losses were higher than its WWI losses.
Yes and Germany was not invaded except for the brief Russian incursion into eastern Prussia early in WWI. That invasion led to a significant victory for Germany. For all practical purposes German infrastructure was untouched in WWI, a fact that infuriated France
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#5
Yes and Germany was not invaded except for the brief Russian incursion into east Prussia early in WWI. That invasion led to a significant victory for Germany. For all practical purposes German infrastructure was untouched in WWI, a fact that infuriated France
That was due to Germany surrendering in 1918 before the war could spread to Germany. Had Germany insisted on fighting on to the bitter end--and especially if Germany was able to brutally crush all internal dissent like Hitler did during WWII--then Germany would have experienced a lot of damage to its cities and infrastructure during WWI as well.
 
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#6
That was due to Germany surrendering in 1918 before the war could spread to Germany. Had Germany insisted on fighting on to the bitter end--and especially if Germany was able to brutally crush all internal dissent like Hitler did during WWII--then Germany would have experienced a lot of damage to its cities and infrastructure during WWI as well.
Sorry in advance if this post reads a little aggressive.

Do you appreciate that there is some tension between the interpretation you offer in this thread and labeling the forced abdication on 9 November of Wilhelm as a 'revolution'?
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#7
Sorry in advance if this post reads a little aggressive.

Do you appreciate that there is some tension between the interpretation you offer in this thread and labeling the forced abdication on 9 November of Wilhelm as a 'revolution'?
No, I don't think that there is. AFAIK, the decision to surrender (it was an armistice but a de facto surrender since it rendered Germany incapable of resuming the war if it so chose) was made before Germany actually experienced a revolution. However, after Wilson made the Kaiser's removal a precondition for peace and after German sailors mutinied in response to being told to go on a suicide mission, a revolution broke out in Germany which culminated in the removal of the German Kaiser (with Prince Max announcing the Kaiser's abdication without his consent).

Ultimately the Spartacists were crushed, but the German monarchy was never brought back. I do wonder what percentage of German revolutionaries in November 1918 supported the Spartacists and how many of them simply wanted the Kaiser gone but wanted a moderate republic led by the Social Democrats to become Germany's new form of government, though.
 
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#8
No, I don't think that there is. AFAIK, the decision to surrender (it was an armistice but a de facto surrender since it rendered Germany incapable of resuming the war if it so chose) was made before Germany actually experienced a revolution. However, after Wilson made the Kaiser's removal a precondition for peace and after German sailors mutinied in response to being told to go on a suicide mission, a revolution broke out in Germany which culminated in the removal of the German Kaiser (with Prince Max announcing the Kaiser's abdication without his consent).

Ultimately the Spartacists were crushed, but the German monarchy was never brought back. I do wonder what percentage of German revolutionaries in November 1918 supported the Spartacists and how many of them simply wanted the Kaiser gone but wanted a moderate republic led by the Social Democrats to become Germany's new form of government, though.
Thanks for elaborating.

I'll need to find one of my references to check the precise timing of the Kiel mutiny. If the replacement of Ludendorff in the General Staff represents the resignation of surrender, then the choice did occur prior Kiel.

EDIT: the poll... yeah, OF COURSE Shickelgrubber worse than Hohenzollerns.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#9
Thanks for elaborating.

I'll need to find one of my references to check the precise timing of the Kiel mutiny. If the replacement of Ludendorff in the General Staff represents the resignation of surrender, then the choice did occur prior Kiel.
Yeah, AFAIK, the German sailors at Kiel mutinied after it already became clear that Germany was going to surrender. One would wonder whether they would have still done this had the German leadership announced that Germany was going to fight on, though.

EDIT: the poll... yeah, OF COURSE Shickelgrubber worse than Hohenzollerns.
Yep.
 

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