When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 76 Minutes 16 Nov 2018

It is impossible to tell the story of the Treaty of Versailles without Germany, and in episode 2 of the VAP, 'Germany Falling, Germany Falling', we examine the state of Germany in military, economic and societal terms by mid-1918. A campaign which had started out so strong and filled everyone with false hope ended in failure. The gamble to move all men from east to the western front had failed, and the chasm in capability was growing by the hour.Stark pronouncements on the true state of affairs may have caught many Germans by surprise, but for those that had endured horrific deprivations, been starved, wounded, abandoned or simply vanished into the despair of total war, the reality cannot have been too much of a surprise. In this episode we place in context the gradual collapse of Germany in 1918, even while some in the country attempted, for their own reasons, to mount some form of final stand. Grim though the prospects of Germany seemed, there were some in the upper echelons of the military and civilian government who believed, for one reason or another, that Germany still had some potent cards to play. Episode 7, 'Ignoring Defeat' examines these last ditch efforts to save face and achieve peace with honour for Germany.What could Germans realistically do to avoid the worst peace terms? What did America's associates think of these back channel negotiations? How, indeed, did the Germans interpret all that went down in autumn 1918 as anything other than a catastrophe to be exited from at once?The truth is that, although she was defeated, the German army was not destroyed, and for as long as they could, certain figures within the country were willing to use the threat of resistance to the end as a last resort, even while at home, emaciated bodies lined the streets, mutinies piled up and soldiers deserted in droves. The collapse was imminent, seen most infamously in the Spartacist Revolution, but while she teetered on the edge, Germany made one last attempt to have things her way...*******The Versailles Anniversary Project is possible because of your support and interest - make sure to spread the word, engage with the debate, and look at the different ways you can help this project succeed!->Visit the homeland for this new project!->Support the podcast financially and access ad free episodes with transcripts from just $2 a month!->Follow WDF on Twitter!->Join the Facebook group!->Subscribe on iTunes!. . .