France, that critically important cog in the machine of the Paris Peace Conference, had scores to settle and plenty to feel sorry about. The war had ripped through her people and country, bringing with it a plague of devastation unmatched in living memory. The flower of her youth lay dead, a demographic fact which she never truly recovered from. The final year of the war had been a trying and at times, gloomy one for France. Could Germany ever be defeated, was the question which seemed to surface at the beginning of every year, when some new general would propose a new offensive, only to be ground down again. All the while, the man on the ground would suffer.By late 1917, the country was nearing despair. It needed tough, resolute and defiant leaders if the anticipated harshness of the year to come were to be endured. In response, France sent forth two men, Marshal Ferdinand Foch to head up the Supreme Allied Command on the Western Front, and Georges Clemenceau, a veteran statesman of the radical persuasion who held one goal above all - defeating Germany and inflicting a peace upon her which would save France from another trauma like the Great War.Here, we meet Clemenceau, as we place him in his proper context, and examine the haunting aftermath of so many years of war, and the impact it had on a wounded French Republic. As we move through the relevant powers, we build a picture of the different cast of the Treaty of Versailles which is vital for us to appreciate if we are to have any hope understanding what happened next. Make sure you join me!********Listen to The Land of Desire podcast for more details on French history and culture - check out that series on the Dreyfus Affair!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!->Become a delegate and play the Delegation Game for just $6 a month!->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!. . .
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