• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why Germany and her allies were defeated in WWI and assess their treatment in the 1918/1919 settlement

Extracts from this document...


Explain why Germany and her allies were defeated in WWI and assess their treatment in the 1918/1919 settlement Ross Gillott 11 Watsford There were many factors that played a part in Germany's defeat in World War One, and none of them can be singularly attributed to its loss. Despite this, some factors did play a more important part than others. Some of the major factors were America's entry into the war, low morale in Germany, and Germany's Ludendorrf Offensive. The American entry into the war was a major factor contributing to Germany's defeat. When the Americans declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, they provided a huge injection of funds, soldiers and productive capacity to the Allies' war effort. The millions of American soldiers that were sent overseas in 1917 and 1918 were fit, young, and most importantly, fresh with relatively high morale compared to the other Allied soldiers. World War One was a war of attrition. The side that could wear down the enemy side first would be victorious. The contribution of the American soldiers, funds and resources to the Allied side allowed them to survive for longer than the Central Powers. ...read more.


Shortages of consumer essentials spread widely throughout Germany. The Germany public began to resent the war, calling for "peace at any cost". The production of munitions fell, and the weapons supply to the German soldiers fell to levels much lower than the Allies'. The low morale amongst the civilians and soldiers worsened the German position. Therefore, low morale amongst the troops and civilians on the German side was a major factor leading to Germany's defeat in World War One. There is no obvious single factor for Germany's defeat in World War One, but among the main reasons were the American's entry into the war, the Ludendorrf Offensive, and the low morale among soldiers and civilians at the home front. The Treaty of Versailles was the culmination of the 1918/1919 peace settlement process that was imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1919. The treaty imposed a number of harsh conditions on Germany. As a result of the treaty, Germany had to reduce its army to 100 000 men, and give up its air force altogether. Germany had to give away thirteen percent of its land, and hand over control of its overseas colonies. ...read more.


Given the attitudes of the Allies who met in Paris for the peace negotiations, Germany's treatment in the Treaty of Versailles would definitely have been harsh, as all three entered the negotiations with a view to punishing Germany. When judged by its previous actions, it can be argues that Germany was not justified to expect a settlement any more favourable than what they received. They had already proven that in victory they could be as harsh as the Allies with the treaty they presented Russia upon their withdrawal from the war, the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. In this treaty, the Germans demanded that Russia hand over large areas of its territory and pay substantial repatriations. Given the harsh treatment the Germans imposed on Russia after its defeat, the treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles can be justified. There is an argument that if Germany had won, they would have imposed penalties as harsh or harsher on the Allies. This supports the argument that the Treaty of Versailles was not too harsh on Germany. But perhaps the best way to determine whether or not the Treaty of Versailles was really harsh on Germany is to see the effect on Germany of the treaty, and the length of time it took for Germany to recover. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    In the 1920's it was the Allies who took the decision to reduce reparations and eased Germany's plight in so doing. The first instance of refusal to pay reparations came in 1933 when Hitler announced that Germany would not pay - and the Allies did nothing.

  2. Versailles and Hyperinflation, Germany 1919-28.

    The German economic crisis was inevitable because the Government did not know that coming off of the 'Gold Standard' would cause inflation- it was going to happen, they thought it would be better, not worse. They could not have prevented the 'Treaty of Versailles' as they lost the War.

  1. Explain the importance of the war in the air to the final outcome of ...

    Bad weather and poor navigation also played a part. This all resulted in the Germans having to phase out Zeppelins by early 1917. The work planes did on the Western Front contributed to the war effort in small but effective ways, spotting artillery batteries, machine gun posts and other things.

  2. How far can Germany be held responsible for WWI?

    Leslie factors in however that Austria-Hungary used the assassination ad a means to settle accounts with Serbia, brining in Germany in a plea for prevention of Russian intervention. Nonetheless, he places more fault on Germany who he thinks saw the war with Serbia as secondary to the struggle with Russia,

  1. Causes of WWI

    Many Serbs, though, thought that Bosnia belonged to them and were prepared to fight that Austrians to get it. The car stopped and reversed. The driver had missed a turning.

  2. Analyse the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Versailles Settlement.

    Craters, barbed wire, trenches, corpses and grief were stacked high over France's farmlands and towns. The British and Americans sought lofty, abstract goals such as 'freedom', 'the righting of injustice' : not as easy to achieve as the purity of aspiration to fulfillment.2 France's demands and requirements, at least moved

  1. Was Field Marshall Douglas Haig more important that the allied blockade of German naval ...

    He believed that the shock of the French at losing there ally would be so great that they would surrender. At 9:40, storm troopers attacked. Such was their preparation that these men had maps of British positions sewn into the sleeves of there uniform.

  2. What is the most important reason for the Allies victory in the First World ...

    even though they were neutral at that time. This source is reliable as it is an official website that is designed for education. The source above tells us the British had more weapons as the Americans and the British were trading.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work