Reply to post: Re: The war is over, the empire is gone

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations

I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

Re: The war is over, the empire is gone

While it's debatable if a Hitler would have emerged had the Versailles Treaty been less harsh, and while one can't "blame" WW2 on those who penned the Treaty's key provisions -- i.e. France and England -- they certainly had a hand in forging one of the key links that made WW2 possible.

Who can say? The psychological damage done by the defeat of WWI was also pretty heavy. Versailles didn't help, but as someone else has said - it's what Germany did to France in 1870.

Also Versailles was far less punishing than what Germany imposed on Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918, and is also far less punishing than the settlement Germany was planning to impose on France in 1914 if they'd won.

Versailles cause the early 20s inflation crisis - that lead to all the stories of people taking money round in wheelbarrows. But that was more-or-less sorted by 1924, and most of the Versailles debt had been forgiven or inflated away rather than paid back under the Dawes Plan.

It was the Great Depression that directly led to the Nazis achieving power. And the fact that German society was so polarised. Between them the Nazis and the Communists could block legislation, so one side or t'other had to be brought in to cooperation. But maybe if the politicians in the centre had stopped political parties with violent military wings from being allowed to stand in democratic elections - they'd have had less of a problem.

Also if Britain and France had been more willing to fight, they may not have had to. But to be fair to their leadership, having just been through the horrors of World War I - they really didn't want a war. So they did what they saw as the moral thing to avoid one. But that morality was useless in the face of the immorality of the Axis powers. Even as late as 1938 - going to war for Czechoslovakia may have brought Hitler down. Or not of course... Both sides would have been much less prepared for war, but the Germans weren't then in a position to blitz there way to Paris in a few weeks.

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