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HST702 - Lecture 13 The Final Collapse and Peacemaking at Versailles.docx

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HST 702
Tomaz Jardim

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HST702 November 27, 2013 Tomaz Jardim The Final Collapse and Peace Making at Versailles 1 - The Allied Counter Offensive o The Second Battle of the Marne and Amiens - 18th July 1918 - American Troops join the fight in large numbers - Brought hope and strength to Allied forces - Germans stunned by ferocity and discipline of Americans - Ludendorff spent all of his force and now he's being counter attacked - Ludendorff ignores the lack of morale in his troops, the flu epidemic, the shortage of supplies, defeat - Ferdinand Foch and Haig meet and agree that German forces are breaking up - The time was now for the counter offensive - "The time had come for regaining initiative" - 8 August, British, French American troops united and attacked Germans near Amiens - Germans have now ay of holding the territory, and crumble away - Line is broken - Ludendorff has a nervous breakdown - His orders began to lack coherence - Ludendorff regained composure and contacts Kaiser to tell him the situation is impossible 2 - Ludendorff's Abortive Call for Peace - Ludendorff tells Kaiser they need to negotiate peace - Kaiser meets with Ludendorff and Hindenburg, they agree that Ludendorff is right - If they have their back against the wall and ask for peace, the entente will institute a harsh peace agreement - If we can show them that we are still strong and negotiating, we'll have better results - There was no way that German would be able to mount a counter attack - Entente is aware momentum is shifting in their favour - Foch proposes a counter attack that attacks strategically (like Ludendorff had done) - Entente puts stalemate of trenches behind them - Foch orders attacks that will be executed with rapidity to inflict fatal succession of blows - All the land Ludendorff had taken 5 months earlier is retaken - Germans pushed all the way back to where they had begun the campaign - Ludendorff had refused to put emphasis on tank construction - Ludendorff reaping the effects of refusing to believe the Americans would have an impact - Entente governments don't believe the war is going to end, they believe war will go on into 1919  A sense that breaking the Hindenburg line is going to be a struggle - Foch and Haig advocate that they push, the collapse is imminent  Germans on the brink of collapse, the time is now - For the first time, it actually seems like Haig's claims that the collapse is imminent seem true - October 1, Ludendorff says the German army is finished, final defeat is at hand  The goal is to avoid complete and utter defeat  Knows they need to turn to allies and ask for peace terms - Ludendorff turns to Woodrow Wilson o Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" - Fourteen Points > Wilson had laid out what should be the terms of surrender for Germany - The war should end if Germany accepts the fourteen points  Readjustment of the colonial world  Loss of German colonies  Return of Russian territories  Germany had taken territories  Restoration of Belgian and Serbian independence  Belgium and Serbia had been occupied  Return of Alsace-Lorraine to the French  Germans took it in 1871  Independence for the minorities of Austria-Hungary  Austro-Hungarian empire dissolved  The creation of an independent Poland  Carved out of Germany  The Creation of the League of Nations  The broad ideal of National Self-Determination  All nations have the right to choose their own destiny and govern themselves - Germans think this is the best they can get - Fourteen points is not allied policy - Allies don't have tolerance for Wilson's idealism  They want revenge  They want to be paid back  They want to leave Germany in no position to be able to fight again - Ludendorff turns to Americans, French and British don't agree - Wilson says the situation has agreed  Germany has to accept a tough peace  They should expect that they will pay for the cost of unrestricted submarine warfare  Agreement will have to restrict the Germans from fighting again - Peace has to make the fighting on the behalf of Germany impossible - Wilson does not recognize the authority of the military or Kaiser  German state has to democratize itself before we'll negotiate 3 - Reform in Germany o Max von Baden, the Kaiser and the Reichstag - 3 October, Max von Baden instated as Chancellor - Baden negotiates with Wilson - Realizes that avoiding a revolution in Germany is his job  He needs to institute reforms - In 3 weeks, Baden institutes democratic reforms that the Kaiser had been resisting - Kaiser finds himself stripped of all of his powers, turned into a figurehead - Reichstag has legitimate power - Tells Kaiser Ludendorff has to go - Kaiser removes Ludendorff, replaces him with Wilhelm von Groener o Mutiny at Kiel and the Kaiser Abdication - 3 Novemb
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