What should the United States, Britain, and France, have done differently regarding Germany, and Europe, at the End of World War One?

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He clearly was, and the fact that history allowed him to have his way, which led directly to WWII, is clearly a mistake, and something other than Appeasing French wounded pride is needed to make a better peace.
Frankly, that’s a lie. Flat out a lie. World War II happened because Germany and Japan decided they wanted to conquer Europe and China respectively and in the process exterminate half the population of each. The mean old Allies didn’t put guns to their heads and make them do that. The German and Japanese leaders did. And their population loved them for it.
 
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...my intention, of calling Foch like onto a "head strong but very stubborn and misguided child." He clearly was, and the fact that history allowed him to have his way, which led directly to WWII, is clearly a mistake, and something other than Appeasing French wounded pride is needed to make a better peace.
Germany made it's own post WW1 decisions no one forced them to do anything
 

DougM

Donor
The truth is that everyne involvec with the treaty or simply on the “winning“ side, had an agenda.
GB wanted to be the undisputed dominate Navy, and secondly to prevent any one nation from Dominating Europe,
France wanted A/L back and to Punish Germany. A country/Area/region that it had Always had issues with.
Italy wanted territory and to eliminate “threats” to its boarder
Etc,
No one with the possible exception of Wilson was even a little concerned with creating a stable Europe that would not fall into chaos. Either Economic or Military. And it can be argued that WW1 itself and yo a lesser degree the ToV led directly to and was a t least a big contributor to the great depression. And or that it helped to make it worse/longer.

The one thing i think that GB/France and arguanly the US ahould have done that they may have in OTL been willing yo do is to send in and occopying Army to “help disarm” Germany and to “help the Government get setablished“. But in reality so that it became very very obvious to Germany that they lost tge war. You dont need a long occupation, nor a huge one. Send troops wound the county in Trucks or trains so that they are seen out some in key cities, fedl free to shift them around so more Germans see them, and thdn you can pull them all out in 3 to 6 months.
But you need to “occupy” Germany to establish who won. This would stop a lot of propaganda.

The other problem you have is that from Germanys perspective the the whole treaty was a complete betrayal. They new they had lost but they they origanly thought it would be a negotiated peace, and while they would come out of it baddly they would be negotiating. That is now what hapoened, they were treated as it they had surrendered unconditionally or simply bern mowed down, The problem was that between the time of the cease fire and the time the treaty was being hammered out Germany had fallen into a place such that they could not resume the war or defend itself. So they were at the so called Mercy of there enemies,
This is an unusual situation. Normally the one side does not Start off with a cease fire to negotiate a peace treaty and end up imploding and getting to a point that the treaty is dictated to them,
It can be argued that A) Germany was losing on 11/11/18 but that they could have continued to fight and put up a reasonable resistance and cost the western Allies a lot of men if they had continued to fight so as of 11/11/18 Germany was in a position to negotiate with GB/France and they didnt have to accept whatever. Yes ultimatly they probably would have seen the army collapse but not right then,
But by 6/28/19 when Germany signed the treaty they had completely imploded and between that and things like surrendering the Fleet made it so that Germany had no choice but yo take whatever was offered. This creates a HUGE difference between 11/11/18 and 6/28/19. And goes from a position where Germany had a weak hand but was still arguably able to negotiate to where they effectively surrendered unconditionally.
This helped to create the conditions that the Nazis would use for propaganda later. But the truth is That if told on 11/11/18 the terms they got on 6/28/19 Germany would not have accepted them and would have continued to fight, Yes they would have lost in the end. But i dont think that they would have accepted them. The ToV was a treaty where one side has completely lost the war, But on 11/11/18 Germany had not 100% lost. they where still able yo fight, the army had not fled the field and that field was still on Enemy land. They had a hand to negotiate from (admittedly a weak one) But they hot a treaty that treated then as if they had been chased back to Berlin.
Yes you and I 100+ years latter understand that Germany was going to lose and implode if it kept fighting, but we also knwo that Japan had no chance on 12/07/41 but you would not ever get Japan to see it that way on 12/06/41, Just as you would mot get Germany to accept the ToV on 11/10/18. But after they implosion they were forced to accept siad treaty on 6/28/19.

It is this radical change from the tine of the cease fire to the time the treaty is signed that makes it hard for Germans to accept, The exorctation on 11/11 was radically different then what they got. And this is why many call the treaty harsh.

It was harsh because at the point of cease fire Germany was losing but had not yet lost, however the treaty very much was one that was imposed on them as having lost not negotiated with them.
It was harsh because it was designed to punish and take not yo create a situation where war would not happen again,

So if you want to keep this harsh treaty then GB and France need yo do a few things.
1) fight on a few months more. By the spring Germany will have obviously lost,
2) They must “capture” the army and disarm it themselves so that every soldier knows they lost.
3) they must actually renter Germany, preferably while still fighting. They dont need to go far into Germany but they need to mostly retake France and Belgium. This shows that they could retake it vs Germany just giving it up,
4) They need to occupy Germany to show the German Citizens that Germany lost.
5). As far as reparations go. Say what you mean. if that pisses off you people so be it, but this supposed game if saying you owe X but only expecting you to pay Y crap is rediculus (assuming that this is not complete historical revisionism at work) If this is true then you are
A). Never going yo get this money
and
B) you are giving somene a hell of a lot of Propaganda value for sometging you KNOW you will never collect, Frankly if this is truly what happened (I still think this was more then a but if revisionism, just nit sure when it was revised) then France and GB and Co where 100% absolut IDIOTS.
6) (and this is arguably the most important) they must make it 100% clear that Germany is either.
A) agreeing to unconditional surrender
or
B) Give a list of terms that is 99% complete to Germany before Germany surrendes.
This eliminates the perception that Germany was betrayed by France and GB in that Germany thought it was a cease fire yo negotiate while it was treated as an unconditional surrender where terms where dictated to it,

Yes you CAN have a harsh treaty, you could even get harsher. And you could make it harder for the Nazis or anyone else to exploit it, But this is not what they did.
They started out acting like it would be a reasonable treaty in light of Germany not continuing the fight, then they imposed a treaty on Germany that was as if they had destroyed the German army and were standing in Berlin. But they didnt want to cost/effort of A) actully defeating Germany nor B) actually having to occupy Germany nor C) having to actually enforce the treaty,

In short (ok way to late for short) France GB and Co wanted the advantages of a harsh treaty without having to actually work for it,
You want harsh treaty then defeat the army in the field, chase them out of your country and into theirs, take the time and effort yo disarm them, then spend more time and effort to sit on them and enforce the damn treaty you got.

Don’t be lazy and refuse to spend the time and money needed then cry for 90+ years how Germany was so evil that they didnt follow you harsh treaty. Well duh.
Frankly WW2 is 99% France and GB fault (well the European part). They didn't want uo put in the effort a harsh treaty needed yet they wanted a harsh treaty then they act surprised when Germany takes advantage if that and uses the teaty against them…

And for those that Argue that GB/France and could not afford to force Germany back into Germany nor to iccupy them or to enforce the treaty for decades,, then that tells me that they were not in so much stronger a position that they could truly justify dictating terms to Germany that were this harsh. If you cant aford to keep fighting and then occupy Germany then you didnt win by as much as the history books would have us think.

So either truly negotiate a reasonable and fair treaty that takes little to enforce, and is aimed at creating a stable Europe, or Dictate a harsh treaty and expend the effort to enforce it.

BTW: it should surprise NO ONE that the US was not interested in helping enforce the treaty. Frankly France and GB aold the US a bill of goods. Starting with letting the US think that the war would end with a treaty designed to ensure future peace when in fact everyone. had already decided on what they all where going to get from this. The whole way this oeace treaty came down it should be no surprise tgat the US basicly told France and GB they could enforce it themselves.
 

DougM

Donor
You are right, no one forced Germany yo start WW2. They just… Helped create the conditions that allowed the Nazis to come to power, They created a harsh treaty and didn't bother to enforce it, created conditions that would be used as propaganda against themselves, and in all otherways gave absolutely no effort to create a treaty or conditions that would creat a stable Europe. And then they did nothing to try and reign in Germany when ut was starting yo break the treaty nor when Germany started to take over other countries,,,

So you are right, they didnt force Germany into WW2. They just did absolutely NOTHING to prevent it and arguably helped to creat the conditions that allowed it to happen.
 
Just re-reading the thread and I have to just pick up on these little gems....

The British committed a crime against humanity with their food blockade, and then want to cry about unrestricted submarine warfare taken as a retaliatory measure, and then want the other guy to be forbidden any submarines at all, and all without being forced to acknowledge their own crime, and paying reparations for them, and being forced to acknowledge that such is a crime, and can never be done again?
British and French empires are insisting on Germany losing her "Place in the Sun" and thus ALL of her colonies, while they themselves keep their own conquered colonies, and the power, prestige, and wealth that they are getting from them, that alone should be the extent of what they can achieve from WWI, and they should have been made to admit to the war crime of blockading foodstuffs as a crime against humanity, and one that WILL NOT be tolerated again.

Erm.... Where is, repeat, where is BatDiv 9? The world wonders.
 
* and you can argue about that if you like but frankly see umpteen past threads on that, and it's irrelevant as the entente powers certainly considered it to be true in 1919
At the very least, from the perception of France, Britain, and America, Germany is the aggressor as far as they personally are concerned :
- France through the German ultimatum
- Britain through the invasion of Belgium
- America through the Zimmerman Telegram.
So three of the Big Five (including Japan and Italy) have reasons to feel that they have been targets of German aggression...
That is of course not necessarily accurate globally. But it's not like the "war guilt" clause was exclusive to Germany, it's reproduced in Saint-Germain and Trianon, and is present in a modified way in Sèvres and Neuilly.

As for the armistice terms... They were conceived so that Germany would not be able to fight back if fighting resumed. They were in all but name an unconditional surrender.
 
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Frankly France and GB sold the US a bill of goods....
Oh, this old chestnut... So the mighty USA was forced over the water by the two decrepit has-beens? No? Tricked by their inestimable guile into a war they had no way of knowing was going to be..... a war.... Nothing to do with the future of international commerce. Securing markets. Lapping up debts. Poor, poor America. Wicked Europe! Tricksy! False!

Come off it. By 1917, everyone's eyes were open. No-one was lured in.
 
Since Prussian militarism gets credited as a contributing to the war, break up Prussia into several smaller states. That eliminates the Prussian dominance of Germany. Also create national institutions, which was not the case prewar. For example the Prussian war ministry functioned as the national war ministry.

Put the military and cabinet under the Reichstag, changing the Kaiser/President's role to the current post WW 2 model.
 
You are right, no one forced Germany yo start WW2. They just… Helped create the conditions that allowed the Nazis to come to power, They created a harsh treaty and didn't bother to enforce it, created conditions that would be used as propaganda against themselves, and in all otherways gave absolutely no effort to create a treaty or conditions that would creat a stable Europe. And then they did nothing to try and reign in Germany when ut was starting yo break the treaty nor when Germany started to take over other countries,,,

So you are right, they didnt force Germany into WW2. They just did absolutely NOTHING to prevent it and arguably helped to creat the conditions that allowed it to happen.
WW2 has nothing to do with ToV , it was just a convenient scapegoat, changing it would just change the Nazi propaganda slightly. WW2 was caused by the Great Depression and the Weimer Republics response to it. Once the mainstream parties were discredited and people flocked to the extremes looking for hope, the Holocaust is coming. Hitler did not invent the German prejudices that blamed things on Jews, Slavs/Poles and foreign powers, he just magnified them and took them to unholy extremes. They predate not only ToV but WW1 itself, indeed Prussians were blaming bad things on them at least as early as the Napoleonic Wars.
 
I won't dispute that the Treaty of Versailles was ill-judged. I also can't really see how there could have been any drastically different outcome if WWI plays out as historically. You would need to change the actors or change the act.

They started out acting like it would be a reasonable treaty in light of Germany not continuing the fight, then they imposed a treaty on Germany that was as if they had destroyed the German army and were standing in Berlin. But they didnt want to cost/effort of A) actully defeating Germany nor B) actually having to occupy Germany nor C) having to actually enforce the treaty,

Exactly.

The passions of he time guaranteed a harsh treaty The war-weariness ensured that the wil to enforce it would not exist for any length of time. The worst of ll possible worlds.
 
WW2 has nothing to do with ToV , it was just a convenient scapegoat, changing it would just change the Nazi propaganda slightly. WW2 was caused by the Great Depression and the Weimer Republics response to it. Once the mainstream parties were discredited and people flocked to the extremes looking for hope, the Holocaust is coming. Hitler did not invent the German prejudices that blamed things on Jews, Slavs/Poles and foreign powers, he just magnified them and took them to unholy extremes. They predate not only ToV but WW1 itself, indeed Prussians were blaming bad things on them at least as early as the Napoleonic Wars.
Not even the response to it, which was actually quite good. The Nazis arguably did a worse job of managing the Depression than Weimar did since they ended a lot pf the programs to focus on rearmament. Just that it happened, and the right-wing political establishment preferred the Nazis over even a Centrist government.
 
You are right, no one forced Germany yo start WW2. They just… Helped create the conditions that allowed the Nazis to come to power, They created a harsh treaty and didn't bother to enforce it, created conditions that would be used as propaganda against themselves, and in all otherways gave absolutely no effort to create a treaty or conditions that would creat a stable Europe. And then they did nothing to try and reign in Germany when ut was starting yo break the treaty nor when Germany started to take over other countries,,,

So you are right, they didnt force Germany into WW2. They just did absolutely NOTHING to prevent it and arguably helped to creat the conditions that allowed it to happen.
A disarmed Germany is no threat to Europe, isn't it? A neutral Belgium was supposed to stabilise western Europe but Germany didn't abide by that agreement either. Why is it someone else's fault if Germany can't abide by the agreements it signs.

From Military Innovation in the Interwar period, I recall a story that an English and French officer was inspecting a German barracks for weapons. The German officer said the French officer was suspicious about a new wall, I (the German officer) gave my word as an officer and a gentleman that there were no hidden weapons. The English officer accepted this but the Frenchman was distrustful and insisted that the wall be pulled down. After much arguing between myself and the Frenchman, the wall was knocked down and we lost all our weapons! The Englishman was OK, but damn the distrustful French!
 
Britain and France must bear some responsibility for WW2, I agree but more than the Germans?!! That's pretty ...out there.

So while these two nations have been damned for their interbellum inaction, I'm curious. When exactly was the right time to intervene and thus somehow prevent WW2?

I'm no fan of appeasement but can someone tell me what the armed forces of France & Britain of the time could actually do to prevent WW2 that wouldn't immediately precipitate WW2? You can't prevent the war without warfare. It's the chicken and the egg. The way I see it, an earlier ultimatum, say during the Sudetenland crisis, would achieve 8/10s of FA with the corporal. Any treaty with historical late-30s Germany is patently meaningless. In the best case, a Sudetenland ultimatum merely extends the length of the phoney war. Poland simply marks a different date on the calendar. Perhaps a panzerschiffe gets bagged earlier. It doesn't really change the net result: WW2.

Earlier then? 1936 has been covered at length by better than me but suffice to say I'm satisfied that the Depression had done a number on everyone's economy and military and that the protagonists were, simply put, not ready. Or are Britain and France expected to cut their own throats in the attempt? That hardly seems realistic or reasonable.

A 1933-35 intervention requires a bit too much foresight for my consideration, welcome as it might be. 1929-33, everyone had more immediate problems. 1926-29? On what grounds?

1923-25 (well more-so)? Surely that just turbo-charges the existing resentments when a Nazism analogue rises in the early 30s, gives it plenty of time to do so and fails to account for the war-weariness that, while some posters here are dismissing, the populations of the time were living. Far from preventing the rise of extremism and WW2, if anything, this seals it.

I'm rapidly forming the view that WW2 was inevitable from the moment Kaiser Bill heard about Dreadnought and got an inadequacy complex. All off-ramps seem to lead to a mildly different slaughter to the one you are trying to prevent anyway. It's just a matter of today or tomorrow?

Dismembering Germany via a harsher Versailles might have some merit but then the only way that takes place is by extending WW1. What could the United States, Britain, and France have done differently regarding Germany? Seemingly only more war.
 
I'm no fan of appeasement but can someone tell me what the armed forces of France & Britain of the time could actually do to prevent WW2 that wouldn't immediately precipitate WW2? You can't prevent the war without warfare. It's the chicken and the egg. The way I see it, an earlier ultimatum, say during the Sudetenland crisis, would achieve 8/10s of FA with the corporal. Any treaty with historical late-30s Germany is patently meaningless. In the best case, a Sudetenland ultimatum merely extends the length of the phoney war. Poland simply marks a different date on the calendar. Perhaps a panzerschiffe gets bagged earlier. It doesn't really change the net result: WW2.
A Sudetenland War does quite a few things. It gives the Germans a lot less time to continue their rearmament, drains their currency even more, possibly prevents the complete loss of Czechoslovakia's reserves to the Germans, which helped German arms production significantly, and does not discredit the Western Allies in the eyes of the Soviet Union. Up until Munich Stalin had been open to the possibility of an anti-German coalition with the Western Powers. After that though...well Molotov-Ribbentrop happened.
 
So while these two nations have been damned for their interbellum inaction, I'm curious. When exactly was the right time to intervene and thus somehow prevent WW2?

In 1934 when Hitler had started violating treaties, mobilize an Allied army, march to Berlin, and arrest every Nazi there is. Restore the Republic, leave the country. The German army wasn't going to fight for the Nazis in 1934, it won't even leave its barracks.
 
Look if they’d just laid down and let the Nazis conquer them it wouldn’t have been a war. 🙄
Joining in on breaking up the Czech's domination of Slovaks, Germans, Ruthanians and Magyrs via electoral manipulations made Danzig inevitable.

If they gave rail and auto transit corridors and a plebiscite for Danzig in return for Development of Gdansk. Poland avoids debugging the Blitzkrieg and the USSR invasion. This also saves Finland, the Baltic States and Romania from Stalin's grasp.

Expecting the French to reenact the slaughter of her early attacks under Plan 17 was unrealistic. Especially given the expense France had incurred on the Maginot line to avoid that scenario.
1548px-Plan_XVII.svg.png
 
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