US entry into WW1 in 1915?

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Terry Duncan
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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Terry Duncan » 12 Dec 2019 10:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 05:38
pugsville wrote:
12 Dec 2019 05:29
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:29
Theres always exceptions, tho the settlement of the Franco Prussian war was still nothing like the mess of Versailles.
Much smaller war with much less cost, participants and scale, given that contest they are broadly similar treaties,

Versailles was mess because the vast scale , cost and dislocation. ANY settlement was going to be messy.
You both seem to be referring to Versailles' "mess" as involving the various minor ethnic/border issues throughout MittelEuropa. That's fine but it's besides the really important point of Versailles, which should have been to prevent WW2. For that purpose, only a permanently-humbled Germany would have sufficed.

To permanently-humble Germany you need either to kill millions of Germans - not really on the table - or convince at least most of them never to fight another war. Splitting them up just invites more Anschlusses at a later date.

So I don't think there was anything that could have been done at Versailles to prevent WW2; what needed to be done was abandoned by the process of which Versailles was merely the culmination (armistice prior to decisively smashing the German Army).
Just enforce the actual Versailles Treaty and march into Germany the moment Hitler marches troops into the Rheinland and remove the government. The problem was not the treaty, it was the unwillingness to enforce its terms. There was little a Germany with 100,000 troops could have done against the allied nations of 1918 plus new allied nations like Poland and Czechoslovakia if they decided the make Germany stick to the word and spirit of the treaty.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Dec 2019 11:34

Hi Guys,

Presuming he is only talking about military resurgence, I largely agree with TheMarcksPlan when he wrote: "I believe that the Germans simply had to be defeated to such an extent that all dreams of resurgence were permanently demolished. Otherwise you get a redux whether it's exactly the Hitlerian version or some milder form." This is what happened in 1945 and was a success. Germany has been a model citizen ever since.

The Versailles treaty was essentially fair and could have been territorially far more punitive by forcing a reversion to the pre-1870 or pre-1866 internal German political status quo. In fact, in Europe it only deprived Germany of about 12% of its territory and in these areas Germans were a minority. Nor could Germany expect to escape severe reparations given that the war had almost entirely been fought on foreign soil at the expense of others and its own territory was almost untouched. Furthermore, it was entirely reasonable that Anschluss with Austria should have been forbidden. Why would anyone reward a defeated and culpable power with an addition of territory and population?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 13 Dec 2019 06:28

Terry Duncan wrote:Just enforce the actual Versailles Treaty and march into Germany the moment Hitler marches troops into the Rheinland and remove the government. The problem was not the treaty, it was the unwillingness to enforce its terms. There was little a Germany with 100,000 troops could have done against the allied nations of 1918 plus new allied nations like Poland and Czechoslovakia if they decided the make Germany stick to the word and spirit of the treaty.
I don't think that would've been politically feasible, as events showed. And that's not just hindsight IMO - who was it that remarked "This is not a peace, it's a 20-year armistice" after Versailles? The Germans were violating Versailles militarily within a few years by training an air force in SU and other covert actions that were known in German press and of which surely the Allies were aware. Just look at more recent historical efforts to enforce nuclear non-proliferation: even for states that today's Great Powers could easily crush, the politics of invasion to force compliance are daunting. We're sure to see a nuclear Iran sooner or later, for example. Iraq is the exception that proves the rule.
Sid Guttridge wrote:Presuming he is only talking about military resurgence,
Yeah of course. Although maybe the Greeks would want the world to invade Merkle's Germany to undo its financial resurgence.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Terry Duncan » 13 Dec 2019 13:34

The French did invade and occupy the Rhineland when the Germans tried to default on reparations, and were willing to do so again in the 1930s, it was Britain that was unwilling due to convincing itself the treaty had been unfair somehow.

Both Foch and Fisher said the next war would be in twenty years time, and that fits the typical European tradition of a 'rematch' after every war that you lost. Poland didnt start any wars from 1795 - 1918 for a very good reason, so really draconian answers are possible when the will is there.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 13 Dec 2019 19:49

Terry Duncan wrote:The French did invade and occupy the Rhineland when the Germans tried to default on reparations, and were willing to do so again in the 1930s, it was Britain that was unwilling due to convincing itself the treaty had been unfair somehow.
That suggests you need Allied unanimity to enforce Versailles instead of one Allied power willing and able to act. Which literally compounds the long-term political unfeasibility of Versailles.
Both Foch and Fisher said the next war would be in twenty years time, and that fits the typical European tradition of a 'rematch' after every war that you lost. Poland didnt start any wars from 1795 - 1918 for a very good reason, so really draconian answers are possible when the will is there.
Thanks I knew it was at least one central player who thought so but I'm not the WW1 person.
I second your point re Polish partition and Polish aggression but that seems to track with my line of thinking more than yours. I'm suggesting a draconian march into the heart of Germany (given greater ATL Allied power) while you're suggesting that Allies can just promise to be draconian later if Germany is a bad boy (a promise that many Versailles contemporaries saw as toothless long term).

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