Which Was Not One of the Requirements of the Versailles Treaty

Barnett also claims that after the treaty, Germany was in fact in a superior strategic position than in 1914. Germany`s eastern borders faced Russia and Austria, both of which had balanced German power in the past. Barnett argues that its post-war eastern borders were safer because the former Austrian Empire split into smaller, weaker states after the war, Russia was ravaged by revolution and civil war, and newly restored Poland was not up to par with a defeated Germany. In the West, Germany was balanced only by France and Belgium, both less populous and less economically dynamic than Germany. Barnett concludes by saying that instead of weakening Germany, the treaty has „significantly strengthened“ German power. [160] Britain and France should (according to Barnett) have „divided and weakened definitively“ Germany by reversing Bismarck`s work and dividing Germany into smaller, weaker states so that it could never again disturb the peace of Europe. [161] By not doing so and thus by not solving the problem of German power and restoring the balance of Europe, Britain „had not achieved its main objective of participating in the First World War.“ [162] The British Second Army with about 275,000 veterans marched into Germany in late 1918. [119] [113] In March 1919, this force became the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). The total number of soldiers deployed for the occupation declined rapidly as veteran soldiers were demobilized and replaced by inexperienced men who had completed their basic training after the cessation of hostilities.

[119] In 1920, the BAOR had only 40,594 men and was reduced to 12,421 the following year. The size of the BAOR fluctuated over the following years, but never exceeded 9,000 men. [120] [incomplete short citation] The British did not comply with all the mandatory territorial withdrawals prescribed by Versailles because Germany did not respect its own contractual obligations. [121] A complete withdrawal was considered but rejected in order to maintain a presence in order to continue to act as a control of French ambitions and to prevent the establishment of an autonomous Rhine republic. [122] To ensure compliance, the Rhineland and the bridgeheads east of the Rhine had to be occupied by Allied troops for fifteen years. [n. 34] If Germany had not committed aggression, a phased withdrawal would have taken place; after five years, the Cologne bridgehead and the area north of a road along the Ruhr had to be evacuated. After ten years, the Koblenz bridgehead and the northern areas were to be evacuated, and after fifteen years the Allied forces would be withdrawn. [No.

35] If Germany did not comply with the contractual obligations, the bridgeheads would be immediately reoccupied. [No. 36] Among the many provisions of the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required that „during the war, Germany assume responsibility for Germany and its allies for causing all loss and damage“ (the other members of the Central Powers signed treaties containing similar articles). This section, Article 231, later became known as the war guilt clause. The treaty required Germany to disarm, make abundant territorial concessions, and pay reparations to certain countries formed by the Entente powers. In 1921, the total cost of these repairs was estimated at 132 billion gold marks (then $31.4 billion, or £6.6 billion, or about $442 billion, or £284 billion in 2020). At the time, economists, including John Maynard Keynes (a British delegate to the Paris Peace Conference), predicted that the treaty was too harsh – a „Carthaginian peace“ – and said that reparations figures were exaggerated and counterproductive, views that have since been the subject of ongoing debate among historians and economists. On the other hand, prominent figures on the Allied side, such as Marshal Ferdinand Foch, a Frenchman, criticized the treaty for treating Germany with too much leniency.

Other historians note that the Treaty of Versailles was in fact very restricted – Germany and other central powers were not occupied by Allied forces after the war. However, it would take several decades for Germany to pay for its reparations. The treaty was also far more lenient than the armistice treaty (the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk) that Germany had imposed on Russia when that nation had negotiated a way out of the war a year earlier. Germans of all political persuasions condemned the treaty – especially the provision accusing Germany of starting the war – as an insult to the nation`s honor. They called the treaty a „diktat“ because its terms were presented to Germany on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Germany`s first democratically elected head of government, Philipp Scheidemann, resigned instead of signing the treaty. In a passionate speech to the National Assembly on May 12, 1919, he called the treaty a „murderous plan“ and exclaimed: – Max Hantke and Mark Spoerer wrote: „Military and economic historians have found that the German army has only marginally exceeded the limits“ of the treaty before 1933. [140] Adam Tooze agreed, writing, „To put this in perspective, the annual military spending of the Weimar Republic was not in the billions, but in the hundreds of millions of Reichsmarks“; for example, the Weimar Republic`s 480 million Reichsmarks program of 1931 over five years compared to the Nazi government`s 1933 plan to spend 4.4 billion Reichsmarks per year. [175] H.M.

H. Bell argued that the British government was aware of the subsequent rearmament of Weimar and that it gave a serious public to German efforts by not opposing it,[145] a view shared by Churchill. [176] Norman Davies wrote that „a strange oversight“ of the military restrictions was that they „did not include missiles in their list of prohibited weapons,“ which provided Wernher von Braun with an area of research that eventually „reached its break [on] 1943“ that led to the development of the V-2 missile. [177] Article 119 deprived Germany of its colonies in China and Africa, which Qualls states is a particularly humiliating provision. Before the war, „if you wanted to be a European power, you had to have colonial possessions,“ he says. German officials have systematically conspired to circumvent the treaty`s terms by failing to meet disarmament deadlines, denying Allied officials access to military facilities, and maintaining and hiding weapons production. [133] As the treaty did not prohibit German companies from producing war material outside Germany, the companies moved to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. Bofors was bought by Krupp, and in 1921 German troops were sent to Sweden to test weapons. [134] The establishment of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union through the Genoa Conference and the Treaty of Rapallo was also used to circumvent the Treaty of Versailles. Publicly, this diplomatic exchange focused on trade and future economic cooperation.

However, secret military clauses were included that allowed Germany to develop weapons within the Soviet Union. In addition, Germany allowed the establishment of three training grounds for aviation, chemistry and tank warfare. [135] [incomplete short citation] [136] [incomplete short citation] [137] [138] In 1923, the British newspaper The Times made several claims about the state of the German Wehrmacht: it had equipment for 800,000 men, transferred army personnel to civilian posts to conceal its real tasks, and warned against militarizing the German police through the exploitation of the Krümper system. [139] [vi] The text of the treaty signed on June 28, 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was 240 pages long and contained 440 separate articles. The treaty lacked long-term enforcement mechanisms and was further weakened when the U.S. Congress rejected ratification in November 1919, despite the efforts of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The instability created in Europe by World War I (1914-18) set the stage for another international conflict – World War II – which erupted two decades later and proved even more devastating. Adolf. Adolf.

Article 198-202 prohibited Germany from having an air force, with the exception of up to 100 seaplanes for mine clearance. Zeppelins that had been used to bomb the UK during the war were also banned. The German economy was so weak that only a small percentage of reparations were paid in hard currency. Nevertheless, even the payment of this small percentage of the initial reparations (132 billion gold marks) represented a considerable burden on the German economy. Although the causes of devastating post-war hyperinflation are complex and controversial, Germans blamed the treaty for the near-collapse of their economy, and some economists estimated that reparations accounted for up to a third of hyperinflation. [129] Article 51 took the territory of Alsace-Lorraine, which Germany had conquered in 1871, and returned it to the France. .