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 117 Minutes 05 May 2019

In our longest episode to date (and hopefully ever) we examine the incredible story of the first week of May 1919, by delving into primary sources never before used on a podcast, and rarely used in books! This delivers to us a narrative rich in detail and plainly, in length, but it is a necessary chapter to absorb in our story simply because it is so fascinating. The Italians, as is commonly known, walked out of the Peace Conference in the last week of April. Therefore, a reasonable history enthusiast might conclude that the big three would ignore them, and that they would spend more time talking about Germany instead, especially since the German delegation was present in Paris, and eagerly awaiting the moment when they would be handed that peace treaty which the allies had been working on for so many months by this point.And yet, an incredible truth of the 1-6 May 1919 is that, in spite of all of these facts which would recommend a speedy resolution of the German peace, and the conclusion of the first phase of peacemaking, the big three were utterly besotted with an apparently irrelevant issue - the Italians. That's right - contrary to what conventional pictures of the conference process tells us, the Italians were not forgotten once they left Paris. Instead, the Italians had never been so popular, as the allies worked to predict a morass of issues that concerned Rome. Would the Italians be included in the final peace? Would the Italians join the League of Nations? Would the Italians launch a pre-emptive strike at Fiume, or even Asia Minor? What should the allies do to stop them?Amidst these concerns, of course, the conference did not sit still, and the German treaty was examined in a plenary conference on the afternoon of 6th May, in a process which House called 'stupid beyond endurance.' Yet, it deserves reiterating that even by that point, the allies had yet to examine or consider the treaty in its full scope or impact. It is often noted that the big three didn't spend enough attention properly considering the full extent of their decisions. What is talked about far less, and what my research brings forward here, is the surprising answer behind these delays and misconceptions.The allies didn't pay scant regard to the eventual Treaty of Versailles because they were inherently lazy or ignorant, but because they were consumed and distracted by the long Italian shadow, which was cast over all their proceedings. Try as they might, they could not escape from the power which had abandoned them a week before. Tune in here for a story which I have never seen told; as we delve into the nitty gritty of the conference, to unveil a story that is as fascinating as it is disturbing. It's something which has to be HEARD to be believed, so if you'll join me for this two hour bonanza, I believe you'll come away with a completely different perspective on what it meant to be a peacemaker, and sit among the big three...******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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