If Germany Had Won World War I - Page 4 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The First World War (1914-1918).
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By Batko
#1293455
Mr "truthseeker", your hysterically francophobic way to revisit history is pathetic, my poor boy.
Try to read Conan Doyle or R. Kipling for example and maybe you'll start to understand a few things about WWI.
User avatar
By Truthseeker
#1293614
That the burgler was successful in tresspassing onto the front lawn, as the Germans were successful in getting a foot hold in France and belgium


Since the metaphor is a burgler it would be more like the burgler being driven back to the door after looting part of the house. He may not have taken everything that wasn't nailed down, but he's accomplished a bit of burgling.
User avatar
By Batko
#1293634
Look at the face of your burgler after "being driven back to the door", my poor boy.

Image

Seriously, don't you realize how much those grotesque analogies are totally irrelevant?
To compare the deadliest battle of History to a burglary is nothing else than the summit of idiocy.

Stop making jokes of yourselves and get back on earth, guys.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#1293986
Truthseeker wrote:Since the metaphor is a burgler it would be more like the burgler being driven back to the door after looting part of the house. He may not have taken everything that wasn't nailed down, but he's accomplished a bit of burgling.

And if he drops his own wallet and all his burglary tools along the way?


The Germans went on the offence, their offence failed.
The French were on the defence, and their defence held.
Sounds like a win for the French.
Last edited by Thunderhawk on 14 Aug 2007 02:09, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Truthseeker
#1294592
Sounds like a win for the French.


They didn't win anything, that's why in the end it was a stalemate.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#1294659
In combat there are objectives one aims for. One can achieve all the objectives and be unable to fight further, resulting in a loss - pyrhic victory.
Or one can achieve few/no objectives and still win the war, like the NVA.

This particular case however has set objectives. For the Germans, it was to breach the lines, move forward, break the French.

Aside from breaching the line in a few spots for a short period of time, they failed in their objectives - mission failure for the Germans.

Mission wise the battle was a loss for the Germans.
Tactically it was neutral.. leaning towards the French (German offencive stopped, initiative went to the allies).
Strategically it was neutral.. though with such high losses for the Germans it would become a defeat when the Allies recieved new manpower (Americans).
User avatar
By Ombrageux
#1294669
"Winning" and "losing" in war (tactically or strategically) is always rather fuzzy and arbitrary. Suffice to say that the French held their ground but both sides were decimated. There's not much point in arguing who could be said to have "won" in such an instance.
User avatar
By Batko
#1294899
This particular case however has set objectives. For the Germans, it was to breach the lines, move forward, break the French.


It was even more than this. The goal was to "bleed white" the French in a position they couldn't retreat. To overwhelm definitively the French army, there were at the beginning 1200+ pieces of artillery against 180-.
The words of Falkenhayn to the Kaiser were :

Falkenhayn wrote:"The string in France has reached breaking point. A mass breakthrough—which in any case is beyond our means—is unnecessary. Within our reach there are objectives for the retention of which the French General Staff would be compelled to throw in every man they have. If they do so the forces of France will bleed to death."


They didn't win anything, that's why in the end it was a stalemate.


You don't understand nothing to this war. The French weren't trying to invade Germany.
If the Falkenhayn's plan has succeeded, the Germans would have turn all their forces against the British which would have been definitely outnumbered and certainly defeated, despite the undeniable courage of their troops. In the end, Germany would have won the war.



Image
Out of these things is born their power of recuperation in their leisure; their reasoned calm while at work; and their superb confidence in their arms. Even if France of to-day stood alone against the world’s enemy, it would be almost inconceivable to imagine her defeat now; wholly so to imagine any surrender. The war will go on till the enemy is finished. The French do not know when that hour will come; they seldom speak of it; they do not amuse themselves with dreams of triumphs or terms. Their business is war, and they do their business.

R. Kipling, France at war
By Leeu
#1322426
I just thought I'd bring to the fore-front of understanding here that by 1918 Germany was done. Their rail-systems had fallen apart, the roads leading to the Western Front were in disarray, ill-maintained, and litered with wreckage so badly that the German retreat to Germany was as long and bitter as the war.

The condition of the transportation system on the German sides of the lines were so bad that Britain and France could not rebuild them fast enough to move the Front forward. As such, the war came to an Armistice and a treaty, not to total victory.

The other side of the line faired better, roads were well maintained, wreckage was removed, and the rail systems were in repair.

Owe this to the reasons that the Germans did not have proper facilities for dealing with break-downs, total damages, and battlefield losses.

Also it is obvious who won...who set the terms at the end of the war? That's right...sure as hell wasn't the Germans making terms.
By imagicnation
#1322492
First, no link, no pictures?

I just thought I'd bring to the fore-front of understanding here that by 1918 Germany was done. Their rail-systems had fallen apart, the roads leading to the Western Front were in disarray, ill-maintained, and litered with wreckage so badly that the German retreat to Germany was as long and bitter as the war.

I highly doubt it was the road/railroad system that 'finished' them. I've yet to actually come across a text book that has said that. Almost all those that I (and I'm sure everyone else) has read explains it was due to how tired Germany and its troops were and how the troops were spread to thin and expected to go too far to exploit the Spring offensive.

Even then you haven't explained how France is exempt from your thinking or how Germany was able to fly accross Russia and yet unable to go a few miles in their on Fatherland.

The condition of the transportation system on the German sides of the lines were so bad that Britain and France could not rebuild them fast enough to move the Front forward. As such, the war came to an Armistice and a treaty, not to total victory.

Actually it probably has to do with the Imperial thought of the time. The Allies knew you couldn't subject a Major European power, especially one as nationalistic as Germany, to the horrors of foreign rule.
Also their objectives weren't to add a superpower to their Empire list; they had specific goals, ie. France wanted the Saarland and its honour back, Britain wanted to back sure Germany never threatened Her Empire.
User avatar
By Demosthenes
#1334834
Germans regarding their loss in the Great War
The Germans didn't really lose, they were tricked into surrender by Wilson and his 14 points that the French had no intention of honoring. (whether I blame them or not is irrelevent)

Anyway this whole article and the understanding everyone seems to have of WWI is somewhat flawed. The fact that Germany, to this day, takes the blame for WWI is a tragic legacy of the Treaty of Versailles.

Further, the war really didn't begin in 1914 (here we go again) it began in 1871 with German unification and the capture of Alsace-Lorraine (forgive spelling if necessary). Losing this swatch of land angered the French (right Batko?) and led to the resentments that would contribute to their forcing of Versailles on the Germans.

It was the Austrians who were the original belligerants in WWI. Germany only joined reluctantly when Austria and Russia could not be talked down. (Austria invaded Serbia following the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand, which prompted Russia to jump in to defend it's "little slav brother" Russia's involvement meant Germany had to aid it's ally, Germany's aid meant France and Britain joined in too).

I only point this out because, as I said earlier, this article takes as a unstated fact that Germany was not only primarily responsible, but TOTALLY responsible. No mention of the Ottomans, Austria, nor the Serbs are given, making it flawed from the outset.

The 14 points:

I'd point out that the part about Germany NOT being held responsible for the war is left out below. (this was another condition of Germany's surrender) Of further note is that only 4 of the 14 points were actually agreed to, largely due to French insistance on the more punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

    Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points were first outlined in a speech Wilson gave to the American Congress in January 1918. Wilson's Fourteen Points became the basis for a peace programme and it was on the back of the Fourteen Points that Germany and her allies agreed to an armistice in November 1918.

    1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").

    2. Free navigation of all seas.

    3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.

    4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.

    5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial

    6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop
    her own political set-up.

    7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.

    8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine

    9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to "along
    clearly recognisable lines of nationality."

    10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.

    11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for
    the Balkan states.

    12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in
    the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.

    13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.

    14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states.


WWI was a far more complex affair than most really understand. Not that I'm any real expert.

WWI marked the end of absolutism.

WWI Revesed the gains of Germany in the 1871 war of unification

England entered WWI to prevent Germany from gaining a dominant position on the continent. A foreign policy that England actively pursued during most of its time as a nation.

German sentiment was high in the US during the early parts of the war. (There was a decent sized German population in the states at the time). There was some contention as to which side the US should join, if it jioned.

Ultimately the British cut all the transcontinental lines to the US from the other nations, except its own, meaning Britain controlled the flow of info to the states. Meaning all German victories were atrocities, and all British victories were glorious actions against the Huns.

The US, while not in the war for most of it, supplies the allies with arms, and other supplies on merchant ships which the Germans began sinking upon realization.

This led the US to get involved on the Allies side officially.

France was still sore at having lost in 1871.

Italy was just fair weather friend as it always had been.

Serbia was resentful of the Austrians, among other things.

Anyway, just points to ponder before you go doing too much German bashing.
User avatar
By Batko
#1335025
Losing this swatch of land angered the French (right Batko?) and led to the resentments that would contribute to their forcing of Versailles on the Germans.


It's absolutely right to say that the annexion of Alsace-Lorraine had left a huge desire of revenge in the French population. It's also important to notice that the people of those two regions had a strong feeling of being French and not at all German and that their dearest wish was to be liberated from German domination.

Though, even if this was one of the reasons which led to the Versailles treaty, it was not the main one.
The 2 main reasons were the appalling level of destruction inflicted to the northern part of France (the industrial "lung" of the country) while Germany was left completely intact after WWI.
And, of course, the loss of more than 10% of the active population of France, a price that not any other nation on earth has ever accepted to pay to defend itself in any conflict throughout history.
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By Arthur2sheds_Jackson
#1335558
The Germans got off very lightly at Versailles.

Compare that treaty to Brest-Litovsk or the treaty of 1871 with its indemnity and german military occupation.
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By Thoss
#1335618
The fact that Germany, to this day, takes the blame for WWI is a tragic legacy of the Treaty of Versailles.


I'd say the reverse is true - that Versailles was a rallying cry for German revisionist historians (often sponsored by the Wiemar Government) in the 1920s and eventually found followers in Britain and the US. The campaign after the war to lend credence to the assertion that Germany was victimized by a vindictive France was taken up whole heartedly by German and later American historians. While indeed there is a certain amount of truth that Versailles was a mockery of the armistice premises, and that the greater historical question of war guilt was clouded by Versailles. There is, I think a strong case to be made for Germany being primarily responsible for the original expansion of war on a Continental basis (ie unacceptable ultimatums to France) and then a global basis (ie invasion of the low countries that forced Britain's hand).
By Torwan
#1336070
Compare that treaty to Brest-Litovsk or the treaty of 1871 with its indemnity and german military occupation.


Those treaties are very similar. The treaty of 1871 was the trigger for France to impose this treaty of 1919 - and the reason why they were destroyed again in 1940.
By PBVBROOK
#1336326
The campaign after the war to lend credence to the assertion that Germany was victimized by a vindictive France was taken up whole heartedly by German and later American historians.


Actually the Americans opposed the treaty at the time feeling that the terms were far to onerous for the Germans. Wilson spoke against the treaty and the US never ratified it. So the feeling you mention was in place before the ink on the treaty was dry.
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By Batko
#1336555
The treaty of 1871 was the trigger for France to impose this treaty of 1919 - and the reason why they were destroyed again in 1940.


- And the reason why General De Lattre was in Berlin the 8th of May 1945 to receive the German surrender.
User avatar
By Demosthenes
#1336613
I'd say the reverse is true - that Versailles was a rallying cry for German revisionist historians (often sponsored by the Wiemar Government) in the 1920s and eventually found followers in Britain and the US. The campaign after the war to lend credence to the assertion that Germany was victimized by a vindictive France was taken up whole heartedly by German and later American historians.


While there may be some credence to this (my info was, afterall, obtained from a man with a doctorate in the field who happens to be American), I don't think you can totally discount the point on this basis alone.

I mentioned the position of Britain earlier to illustrate that they were no saints. No one has mentioned the planned German rail lines that were to be built which would have supplied German goods to the middle east.

Britain really didn't like the idea of German goods supplanting their monopoly at sea, which was further incentive for them to join France and the others.

You also haven't delved into Germany's attempts to PREVENT the war, such as the lobbying of the Hapsburgs to forgive the assassination, nor their pleas to the Russians to stay out of the fight. You can't just say: "Oh that's just revisonism talking, that never happened."

Anyway, carry on. I love the politics surrounding the great war far more than WWII. It's highly interesting, mainly because there were no "big evil nazis" and as I said before, I'm hardly an expert here.
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By Thoss
#1336619
Wilson spoke against the treaty and the US never ratified it. So the feeling you mention was in place before the ink on the treaty was dry.


The US failed to ratify the treaty of Versailles for mainly other reasons. Wilson was the treaty's greatest advocate since the treaty was attached to the establishment of the League Nations and Wilsons believed Covenant (Article 10 anyone?).

The feeling may have been brewing in many corners, and yes, Wilson (along with Lloyd George) did feel that many aspects were too harsh, but they still supported the treaty because it was packaged with the League.

The US failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles (and therefore, join the league of nations) because of Wilson dreadful politics at home with the Senate. The Senate opposition, led my Lodge and the Republicans, did mind so much the Treaty of Versailles itself, (and probably could have been compromised with) but rather could not agree to the League Covenant's binding clauses.

In short, the US failed to ratify because of Wilson's Covenant, not the vindictive provisions regarding Germany.
By Torwan
#1337206
@batko:

And the reason why General De Lattre was in Berlin the 8th of May 1945 to receive the German surrender.


Absolutely.

Good thing that we learned that working together is more beneficial than killing each other once every generation.
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