Peace Aims At Luxemburg, the new location of the OHL, Vice Chancellor Friedrich von Payer, Foreign Secretary Richard von Kühlmann, General Erich Ludendorff, the factual commander of the German Army, and Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff, Chief of the Admiral Staff, met on May 5th, 1918, in order to discuss the German peace aims for the upcoming negotiations with France, the US and Italy. Ludendorff had disliked Kühlmann’s attitude at the peace talks at Brest-Litowsk, but the Brussels Treaty with Belgium had fully restored his confidence in the foreign secretary of state. To achieve the German maximum goals with full and unsolicited consent of the Belgians was no mean feat! „Your victory over the English, General, makes Germany the master of the continent. But England is not beaten, they only lost a battle.“ Kühlmann argued. „It certainly was the worst defeat they ever have experienced, but their navy is still the strongest and largest in the world. – Our situation, therefore, is very much simular to that of Napoleon one hundred years ago, with one big difference: We have already vanquished Russia! – We should now try to separate France and the United States of America from England. This we can achieve by generous peace conditions. Once we have peace in the west, we can concentrate on consolidating our position in the east – and eventually eliminate Bolshevism. – So, what do you want from France?“ Kühlmann knew only too well that Ludendorff was – mainly via Max Bauer – completely under the spell of the Pangermanists and the big industrialists. „We need the ore of the Longwy – Briey deposits!“ „What else?“ Ludendorff hesitated, then he shrugged. „I don’t know... – Reparations? Colonies? – What do you suggest?“ „I think we should take the right of exploitation of the ore deposits for 25 years without annexation of any French territory. And we should get the most-favoured-nation clause in our trade with France. In terms of colonies I’m going to demand French Congo, Dahomey and some minor adjustments to the north of Togo. – Together with Belgian Congo, we then have achieved Mittelafrika!“ Ludendorff contemplated this for a while. „Shouldn’t we ask for more?“ Now von Payer intervened. „Look at the colonies we had before the war: Only 24,000 whites lived there, some of them Englishmen or Boers. The climate is so that Germans don’t go there, our emigrants went to North and South America, but not to our colonies. The colonies only required resources but never produced anything that compensated the costs. – Why should we burden us with huge territories that we neither can administer nor make profitable? Let’s take some small parts, just to prove to the French that they lost the war. But otherwise, let’s stay away from the white man’s burden. England did not become the dominant world power because she owned India but because she led the industrial revolution. India will be the millstone around England neck! Just wait and see! Our true colonies lie in Eastern Europe!“ With that he had Ludendorff’s full consent. „Does the Navy have any wishes?“ Kühlmann addressed Holtzendorff. „No, we’ve already got the Flanders bases. That’s all we need for the war with England.“ „Which war? – We’ll make peace with England sooner or later. They lost the war and they know it. The blockade is dead for all practical purposes since we started buying foodstuffs via France. They tried to encircle us and suffocate us, they failed. We will not accept any restrictions of our navy, but what can we gain from another war with England if we agree that we don’t need and want more colonies?“ „The Royal Navy still is a serious threat!“ „Agreed. But they lost the war, nobody will give them money before they have paid back their debts to the US banks. Germany now for all practical purposes owns Europe. We’ll outgrow them completely. Forget England, they were yesterday’s rival. Look at the US! – Do you have any demands on the US?“ Neither the general nor the admiral had. „That’s fine. – My intention is just to let them go home without any constraints from our side. I predict that they will turn to isolationism after this disappointing experience, or perhaps turn their attention to the Pacific Ocean, or both... – Any demands in respect to Italy?“ Again, general and admiral shook their heads. „Good. – I intend to cushion Austrian greediness. Italy had some problems with Austria, not with us. It may become a useful ally again.“ „But they betrayed us!“ exclaimed Ludendorff. „They must be punished!“ „Betrayal or not, they lost the war. That’s punishment enough.Why alienate them completely? – Any demands on the Balkans? – No? – Well, we’ve already given green light to the Bulgarians, as you know. We’ll support their Greater Bulgaria, that will solve one half of the Serbian problem. The other half we may entrust to the Hungarians, they are good at suppressing minorities. – I’ll travel to Bucharest tomorrow. The peace treaty with Romania will be signed on the 7th of May. You’ve seen and agreed to the terms.“ With this the meeting ended.