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 43 Minutes 16 Jun 2019

Join me and other history friends on Flick - a great app for history friends and important conversations! My agora friends and others are going to be in New York for a special conference on 29th June - meet Mike Duncan, Kevin Stroud, David Crowther and more! Search Intelligent Speech Conference now! Use the code WDF to get 5% off your ticket!On This Day in history a century ago, a significant milestone in the history of the Paris Peace Conference was reached, and like so many others we have come across, its significance is largely lost in the narrative. This allied response, examined in this episode, represented a solid defence of their peace treaty, and a rebuke of Germany’s pretences to be standing for the Fourteen Points. The allied response was devastating and formidable, in that it was effectively the answer to Germany's claims to any moral high ground. Germany could claim no such high ground, said the allies, for their past behaviour disqualified them from any such claims.The historian George Creel wrote on the allied response: "It is to be wished that the two documents – the German of May 29th and the Allied reply of June 16th – could be printed in every language and placed in every school and library, for they furnish in themselves a complete and dramatic exposition of the whole Peace Treaty, permitting the formation of an intelligent and independent opinion with respect to the confused question of justice or injustice."The significance of the communications could never be in doubt. What was in doubt was what might happen next. The allied language was certainly arranged to leave no doubt: "It is only justice that restitution should be made and that these wronged peoples should be safeguarded for a time from the competition of a nation whose industries are intact and have even been fortified by machinery stolen from occupied territories. If these things are hardships for Germany, they are hardships which Germany has brought upon herself. Somebody must suffer for the consequences of the war. Is it to be Germany, or only the peoples she has wronged?" There could be no doubt according to the big three - the Germans had to admit their wrongdoing, and what was more, this was the end of the debate. "In conclusion", their reply said, "the Allied and Associated Powers must make it clear that this letter and the memorandum attached constitute their last word."Failing the successful adherence by the Germans to these terms, "The said Armistice will then terminate, and the Allied and Associated Powers will take such steps as they think needful to enforce their Terms." It was, in short, do or die for the German government, and On This Day the scales finally fell from the German eyes...or did they? Listen to this fascinating examination of this forgotten moment to find out...********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... 
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