Essay, Pages 3 (681 words)
Germany had to sign a war guilt clause stating that they had started the First World War. This made Germany look weak as they gave in easily. The German public didn’t support the government from the start and found that their surrender was a stab in the back. However as the Treaty of Versailles was signed on the 28th June 1919 accepting full responsibility the citizens of Germany felt that the government stabbed the army in the back even more.
They did not bear the sole and total responsibility that was laid on them by the Versailles treaty but they had been actively planning on a war with France for some years for the purpose of gaining territory so they certainly bear the largest part of the responsibility.
However, the war first started as a conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Germany did try to prevent it from becoming a more general war by warning France and Russia not to aid Serbia.
It is not possible for one country to have been responsible for the war, everyone who part took in the war is responsible as everyone caused damage.
No country fights a war against themselves it takes more than one. They also had to accept complete responsibility for all the death and damage the war had caused. This made Germany looked like they did everything. It almost seemed that they were the only one doing the killing and causing damage. Germany and the other countries all had explosives were fully armed with a full army, navy and air force.
They were all as responsible as each other. If Germany had defeated most people they would be winning the war so doesn’t that mean that the victorious countries killed the most for Germany to have surrendered ?
It was not fair for Germany to be held totally responsible as everyone had a part in the damage done but blame was put onto Germany because they appeared to be weak due to their surrender. Germany would have to pay for the damage to be undone. They were given a bill for ?6600 million. This had a major impact on Germany’s economy as they could not afford to build it up to being the number one superpower they wanted it to be. Germany’s people were put on hold as they had to pay off the money. Germany already had debts to pay off and the bill put them in even more debt.
Germany shouldn’t have paid for the damages themselves as they were not the only ones at war . However they should of paid more than everyone else instead of the bill being solely placed upon them even in their circumstances. Germany’s military was also reduced. The army was cut to 100,000 men. All of their tanks, fighter planes & submarines had to be destroyed. The allies still obtained their navy, air force, full army and artillery. This meant that they had an unfair advantage on Germany as they could easily attack.
Although I don’t think it was wrong to reduce Germany’s army they did not need to cut the numbers so drastically and could of left them with some artillery. This was unfair on Germany as they were seen as weak and vulnerable. They were made a laughing stock of rather than a superpower. Allied troops were stationed in the Rhineland. Germany had limited military whilst fully armed allied military were stationed on their border . This meant that Germany was at threat at being put under attack at any time and being out numbered by the allied troops.
Germany was left defenceless which made them look weak and powerless. Germany was not allowed to join ‘The League of Nations’ Germany was not given the chance to be forgiven even though they saved the other countries from paying . This meant that Germany’s friendship with other countries was threatened as they were not able to gain friendships or maintain them with other countries. This made Germany feel like outsiders and made them appear as the bottom of the food chain and unimportant.