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The Armistice and Treaty of Versailles

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1 The Armistice and Treaty of Versailles

2 On March 18th 1918 the Ludendorff Offensive began.
In the early stages it seemed like the offensive would be a success. Despite the German attacks the Allies managed to establish and hold a new front line. The Allied attack of August 1918 was successful because they used the element of surprise and a creeping barrage. The arrival of US troops and the failure of attacks had a negative impact on German morale. German sailors went on strike and riots started in Germany in late October 1918. The German Kaiser abdicated and fled to Holland on the 9th of November 1918. A new German government asked for a ceasefire on the 9th November 1918. At 11.00am on November 11th 1918 an armistice (ceasefire) was signed. World War One was over.

3 The First World War ended on the 11th of November 1918 with the German surrender.
People all over Europe celebrated the end of this long conflict. It would soon become apparent the human cost of the war – around 10 million soldiers killed. At least 5 men died every minute of the war.

4 The Armistice that signalled the end of the Great War was signed in a railway carriage in France.
Representatives from the major powers were present. Germany had to agree to an immediate withdrawal from France and Belgium, the release of prisoners of war and the surrender of weapons, U-Boats and war ships.

5 Armistice Day


7 Soldiers Cheering on the Western Front

8 The Treaty of Versailles
In January 1919 representatives of 32 countries meet at the Palace of Versailles just outside Paris to discuss what would happen to the defeated nations. The Treaty of Versailles was name for the peace treaty which punished Germany at the end of the war. There were other treaties to deal with the other defeated nations. You need to know how Germany was punished through the Treaty of Versailles, 1919

9 The Big Four The discussions were dominated by four countries.
Each leader had different objectives when they arrived at Versailles. President Woodrow Wilson (USA) President Georges Clemenceu (France) Prime Minister Lloyd George (GB) President Vittorio Orlando (Italy)

10 Wilson’s 14 Points Woodrow Wilson, the American President, had realised before the war was over that a harsh peace treaty on the Germans would create long term problems in Europe. He proposed that any peace settlement should be fair and not humiliating for the defeated nations. In January 1918 he published his ‘Fourteen Points’. This was his ideas about how to achieve a lasting peace in Europe by tackling the real causes of the war.

11 Wilson’s Advice No alliances.
Every country should reduce their army and navy (Disarmament). The Allies should not share out the German colonies amongst themselves. Minority peoples within the Austro Hungarian Empire should be given independence (Self-Determination). A League of Nations should be created to negotiate future quarrels through discussion.

12 The terms of the Treaty The terms of the treaty can be divided into four main areas: Territorial terms Military terms War Guilt Reparations Many feel that the terms of the treaty of Versailles were very harsh on the Germans. Some even go as far to suggest that this caused the rise of the Hitler in the 1930s and ultimately the Second World War.

13 Terms of the Treaty Why Were They Unfair? Territorial terms Military Terms Reparations War Guilt Clause

14 Territorial Losses

15 The Germans called the treaty a ‘Diktat’ which means a dictated peace
No German representatives were allowed at the conference. They could not defend themselves. Germany felt that many of the specific terms of the treaty were unfair. Why did Germany think that the Treaty of Versailles was harsh and unfair? Germany was told that if they did not sign the treaty the naval blockade and the war would begin again The Germans called the treaty a ‘Diktat’ which means a dictated peace

16 Tasks: Read Heinemann pages 86-87 and answer the following questions.
What percentage of land and population did Germany lose as a result of the Treaty? Why was the loss of this land also a financial blow to Germany? Which areas of land did Germany lose to other countries? Describe where the Rhineland area is. Why do you think this area was to be demilitarised? Describe how the military strength of Germany was reduced following the Treaty. What was Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles? How much money were the Germans forced to pay as compensation for the war? Do you feel that the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were fair or too harsh on the Germans? Justify your decision.

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