Did the Allies of WWI pave the way for WWII?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,730
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    When the Treaty of Versailles was signed 28 June 1919, in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, Paris, France, did the Allies inadvertently pave the way for Hitler and WWII?
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Damn straight IMO.
     
  3. pattle

    pattle Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Yes they did.
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,534
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    113
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Simple answer: yes.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The historical record is very clear on it. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Everyone of us should rejoice that the same mistake was not repeated in 1945.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,208
    Likes Received:
    790
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,220
    Likes Received:
    2,047
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Both in Europe and Japan!
     
  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,687
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    The immediate legacy of the decision to lay the blame for WWI at Germany’s door was the disastrous Treaty of Versailles ( 1918 ). Of the nations that participated in the drawing up of the treaty, only the United States sought some measure of leniency for Germany, seeing this as the path to a lasting peace in Europe. As it was, while Britain was ambivalent, France under Georges Clemenceau, elder statesman of the Third Republic wanted vengeance. The Treaty explicitly stated that Germany accepted sole responsibility for the war and promised to pay reparations for all the damage done to the civilian populations of the Allies. Germany’s military was to be limited to no more than 100,000 troops, the navy severely cut back, an airforce was forbidden, as was any manufacture or import of armaments. Finally, in an effort to create a buffer zone with France, the Rhineland was to be turned into a demilitarized zone.
    Most devastatingly, Germany was forced to pay reparations, initially 226 billion Marks in gold, although this was subsequently reduced to 132 billion Marks (then $31.4 billion, £6,600 million) in 1921 which is roughly equivalent to $ 385 billion in 2011, a sum that many economists at the time, notably John Maynard Keynes, deemed to be excessive and counterproductive and would have taken Germany until 1988 to pay. The final payments ended up being made on 4 October 2010. the twentieth anniversary of German reunification, and some ninety-two years after the end of the war for which they were exacted. This ruinous amount meant the Germany could not effectively rebuild its own damaged economy. This in turn created a populous impoverished underclass that was ready to listen to and embrace radical revolutionary movement that promised to alleviate the country’s plight and resurrect its fortunes. Perversely, at a time when the allies were demanding this enormous sum, they stripped Germany of 13% of its territory, including Alsace-Lorraine – a powerhouse of the German economy-which reverted to France. With the loss of this region, together with west Prussia, 16% of its coal fields, half of its iron and steel industry, and all of its overseas colonies. Germany faced a ruinous future.
    The most important impact of the treaty was the effect it had on German political life. The allies demanded the creation of a civil government, and so the Kaiser and his chancellor were replaced by a parliamentary democracy – the Weimar Republic – which was disliked by moderates and loathed by extremists on both the left and right. Its inability to deal with the economic crises that occurred between 1919 and 1923 left its reputation in ruins among German workers, even after the economy began to pick up in the latter half of the 1920s. In practice, the parliament was so weak that any unscrupulous but determined groups willing to target dissatisfied workers had a good chance of securing power within the republic.
    In any event, the Allies were either unwilling or unable to enforce the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, most importantly the provision on re-armament. Although they made some token effort to ensure compliance, Germany soon began to roll back the terms of the treaty. When a political party arose in Germany in the late 1920s that promised to restore German freedom and pride – the Nazis – the Allies watched and did nothing. Even France, which had a clause inserted in the treaty that allowed for French occupation of the Rhineland should Germany ever attempt to remilitarize it, failed to act when the critical moment came in 1936. Vacillation simply encouraged extremists in Germany, who resented the treaty and interpreted a lack of action by the allies as weakness.
    Of all the legacies of the four major powers ruthless imperial policies, the rise of Hitler was the most significant. In many respects, the horrors of the Holocaust and the misery of WWII are directly attributable to WWI and the subsequent ruin of Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. The Nazis were able to rise to power only because Germans were resentful and beset by economic and political crises. As Professor Richard J. Evans (Regius Professor of Modern History University of Cambridge) writes, the Nazis tapped into the “incredulous horror [of] the majority of Germans [and] the sense of outrage and disbelief the swept through the German upper and middle classes like a shockwave.” Those were some of the people that cheered as Hitler made clear his intentions to discard the lingering military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles along with a promise to resurrect Germany’s former glory.
    Had it not been for the Four Powers Imperial delusions, WWI may never have been fought in the first place. Even if Britain had not intervened, and Germany had defeated France in a European war, the circumstances that bred Hitler would never have eventuated. A German victory would have refashioned the face of Europe, with the next big war likely to have been a clash between Germany and the rising tide of Communism in the east. World War II might have been avoided. And with nothing to hasten the fall of the old imperial powers, the way would not have been so clear for the United States and the USSR to emerge as the two contending superpowers of the second half of the twentieth century.
     
  10. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    409
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Yes and No

    The Versailles Treaty reparations whilst onerous were not as harsh as some believe. Some historians believe it was lenient particulary when compared to the reparations the Prussians imposed on France after the 1870 Franco-Prussian war. In 1925 the Locarno Treaties improved the conditions of the Versaille treaty and reintroduced Germany to International politics and can be thought of as the start of Appeasement. The Dawes and Young plans renegotiated payments and Germany was lent vast amounts dollars by US banks at generous rates to finance reparations a plan which failed because of the Great Depression when the banks had to call in loans.

    In my opinion the German feeling that they hadnt lost the war and the resultant Stab in the back myth was equally important to the rise of Nazism. The real losers of the Treaties of Versaille and Locarno were the Poles and Czhechoslavakia, even in 1925 they both felt that Britain and particulary France had abandoned them for reasons of Realpolitik.

    Stab-in-the-back myth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    July 1914 decisions leading to WWI were bad.
    Entente decisions not to consider negotiated peace during 1915 were bad.
    U.S. decision to support Entente war effort economically and diplomatically during 1914 to 1916 was bad.
    British decision to encourage Japan to invade China during 1914 was bad.
    Versailles Treaty was bad.
    Post-Versailles Anglo-French support for Greek and Polish aggression against Turkey and Germany was bad.
    Post Versailles French efforts to encourage rebellion in Germany were bad.
    British attempts to fight Russian Bolshevik coup via proxy forces were botched.
    Smoot-Hawley Tariff was one of the greatest economic blunders in recorded history.
    Italian attempt to establish a dominant military position in East Africa was dumb.
    1936 France formed a Marxist Government which remained in power for two years! :cry:
    1933 Germany needed a Chancellor who would fight communism and fix the economy. That doesn't mean they needed Hitler. :cry:


    The list goes on. Our current crop of world leaders appear relatively competent compared to decisions made during 1910 to 1945.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    .....but we were still dealing with the very issues of July 1914 in the 1990s.
     
  13. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    Just to put the Versailles Treaty in a French context; the 1870 war ended with 2 of France's provinces being taken into Germany and punitive reparations demanded (and paid) to Germany. The 1914 war ended with France getting it's provinces back and receiving reparation payments.

    To try a different spin on it. It was the dissolution of the empires that left problems as the mixed populations, that characterised eastern europe, did not lend themselves to clear national boundaries. We saw the same in after the end of Yugoslavia 70 years later.

    However, it was the politicians applying the habits of their 19th century imperialist youth upon the youth of the 20th century and it's conflicting 'isms'. I just hope that the old leaders of China do not make the same mistake with their 20th century 'ism' youth being applied to a 21st century globalised world.

    Why don't I have a 'bacon bar' like everyone else? Or do I but only others can see it?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    412
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The Versailles settlement led directly to the second world war but all this was part of Europe adjusting to Germany emerging as a regional power as opposed to a divided group of principalities. This process is still going on.
     
  15. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Niedersachsen
    Can you please explain what do you mean with this sentence?
     
  16. pattle

    pattle Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Perhaps we could liken the separate German states pulling together into one united German state to todays seperate European states pulling together into a single European state, lets face it by todays standards we are all only really tiny countries in Europe. It's not my place to answer pbehn's quote though.
     
  17. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    412
    Trophy Points:
    83
    donl its my Birthday so I will reply in full later but in short just cast your mind back to when Chancellerin merkel demanded reforms to the Greek economy in return for a German backed bail out of their financial system. Greek demonstrators took to the streets with placards showing Fr.Merkel as a Nazi.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    • Like Like x 5
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    What is to dislike about the post?

    We moderators felt that the discussion was not in relation to the topic at hand. Seems to me, someone just has a bone to pick.
     
  20. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,730
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Personally, being the one who started the thread, I think it derailed a bit and took off in a direction, that in one way or another, sooner or later, will involve politics, in which words will exchange, also, colonialism usually involve certain 'actions' that I'm not a fan of...
     
    • Like Like x 3
Loading...

Share This Page