VERSAILLES (June 1919)

War Guilt

Territorial changes:
a) Alsace Lorraine/France
b) Eupen Malmedy/Belgium
c) N Schleswig/Denmark
d) Danzig/L of N
e) Polish Corridor/Poland
f) Part of Upper Silesia/Poland (by vote-Plebiscite)
g) Memel/Lithuania
h) Saar/France (L of N)
i) Demilitarisation of the Rhine
j) No Anschluss with Austria
Loss of all Germany’s overseas territories which became allied mandates (L of N)

Armed Forces:

a) Army limited to 100,000 long service volunteers
b) No reserves
c) No tanks or heavy artillery
d) No aircraft or Air Force
e) Navy limited to 10,000 men
f) No submarines
g) Battleships limited to 6(2) of 10,000 tons; there were also tonnage & gun restrictions
on all other types of warship
h) Army organisation specified that there was to be a high proportion of cavalry ie 3
cavalry divisions and 7 infantry divisions
i) (No troops or fortifications in the Rhineland)

Allied thinking was that Germany should not be strong enough to defend itself from its
neighbours but should be able to control problems within its borders.

To enforce the treaty allied occupation troops remained in western Germany for most of
the 1920s and an allied Control Commission inspected German facilities to ensure that
the military terms were not broken.

Reparations: (Article 232) not fixed until 1921; figure finally presented £6,600 million to
be paid in instalments until 1984; (Foch wanted much heavier reparations & Clemenceau
originally wanted Germany to pay for France’s total war costs.)

Germany had to sign the League of Nations convention, but was not invited to join the


The treaty was not even-handed; it was insufficiently based on the spirit of the 14 Points.
The treaty was not negotiated it was a Diktat.

Germany had suffered from the blockade which continued after the Armistice until the
treaty was signed.

They knew they would receive a large bill, but when it arrived it was still a massive shock

They regarded the treaty as (a) Impractical & (b) humiliating.

Moreover most Germans had been shocked and surprised by defeat, they could not
accept defeat let alone a harsh treaty.

Impracticalities Humiliation

P Corridor/Danzig cut Germany in two Inferior nations got territory

16% of Germany’s coal was lost & nearly half In particular Poles were given its iron &
steel land

13% population loss

General defence restrictions made Germany The world’s one-time strongest militarily
indefensible power felt inadequate

The reparations bill seemed impossible,
Especially as Germany’s industrial base
was reduced