Possible better outcome for Germany...

Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
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Possible better outcome for Germany...

Post by NewXieland » 12 Oct 2002 12:01

In 1917 Pope Bendict XV issused his Papen Peace Note. Why didn't Germany, given that the war was distinctively going sour make a more definitive response to it...? If Germany had warmly embraced it could it have resulted in a lighter treaty than the harsh and ignominious Treaty of Versallies...?

Karl da Kraut
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Post by Karl da Kraut » 12 Oct 2002 15:03

Pope Benedict XV. made lots of appeals for a „just peace“: 6.12.1914; 20.5., 17.8., and 6.9.1915; 4.3,. and 26.6. 1916; 10.1, 5.5., 1.8., 3.12, and 24.12.1917; 2.2., 16.10., 8.11., and 24.12.1918.

Benedict XV., trying to stay neutral, had an extremly difficult standing. In a highly polarized world, he became an outsider and his fairness was even despised. Clemenceau called him "le pape boche" (the pig [German] Pope) and Ludendorff named him "den französischen Papst" (the French Pope)…

In 1917 the situation was modestly in facor to the Central powers. Of course, the inner state of Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire was critical and the Allied sea blockade was dealing a great amount of damage to the economy of the Central Powers. Nevertheless: All Entente offensives on the Western Front had failed, Italy had suffered a serious defeat and it would take much time until the U.S. could effectively intervene in the European theatres. On the other hand Russia was about to collapse and this gave the Central Powers the prospect of committing large numbers of troops to other fronts.
In early 1918 Germany held for the first time a numerically superiority on the Western Front since Autumn 1914. From March 1918 on the German army conducted a serious of major offensives on the Western Front to bring about a decision. It was not until the ultimate faliure of these offensives (summer 1918) that Germany’s military situation became hopeless.

In conclusion: there was no real chance for a fair peace in 1917 as both sides were convinced they'd ultimatively prevail.

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