The Differing Allies' Plans for Germany in the Aftermath of World War II

The allies disagreed over the treatment of Germany in 1919 because they all had different experiences of war.

France is geographically situated right next to Germany, and had the most casualties and damage, as the battles had largely taken place on French soil. They were old enemies, having been humiliated in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles with the establishment of the Second German Empire in 1870-1871. The Prime Minister, Clemenceau was the Mayor of Paris during the siege of 1870-1871, where the inhabitants were forced to hunt the local rat population for food.

France was also humiliated at the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. France, therefore, wanted the harshest penalties on the Germans and wanted money to help to rebuild the cities, and coal to compensate for the coal and iron ore extracted from Northern France by the Germans, and to prevent a recurrence of World War One. The French were not a big exporter of goods to Germany, so they did not see the economic implications for the Germans.

They would be afraid of a Russian Communist revolution in Germany as the revolution could easily spread from Germany to the country next to it.

The United Kingdom was suspicious of Germany’s decision to build a large navy, as they feared that they could be under attack. After the end of World War One, the British were keen to remove this threat. Britain’s public was fed propaganda about German atrocities and was keen to enact revenge. However, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, realized that this may not be in Britain’s best interests, as France was Britain’s traditional enemy, not Germany, and if the French were not under attack, they could come and attack the United Kingdom.

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Britain was also concerned about the Russians. If their German army was too weak, Russia could just take over it. The United Kingdom wanted Germany to be a buffer zone, like the Rhineland for France, except with military defense. Before the war, Germany was the biggest importer of British goods. If Germany’s industry was hit too hard, British manufacturers could suffer, as their market would be cut. This would also encourage Russians to invade with a communist revolution, as they could see a weak economy.

The United States of America was the furthest away, geographically from the conflict. It had come into the war late, and in terms of actual financial, and material damage, and the number of casualties, came out relatively unscathed. Woodrow Wilson was the president of the United States of America at the time, and he was coming up for re-election soon. To gain votes, he set out to appeal to the immigrants, by offering them a safer homeland in which to live. Like the United Kingdom, the United States of America was also a big exporter of goods to Germany, and American industries would be hit if the Germans did not have enough money to pay for imports of American goods.

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The Differing Allies' Plans for Germany in the Aftermath of World War II. (2022, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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