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The Lessons of the Failed Armistice of 1918

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On Veterans Day, thank a veteran. And remember the cost of bad decisions made in 1918-1919. Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Keeping the peace is sometimes even more difficult than winning a war.

For an enemy to accept defeat, it must be forced to understand why it lost, suffer the consequences of its aggressions—and only then be shown magnanimity and given help to rebuild.

Losers of a war cannot pick and choose when to quit fighting in enemy territory.

Had the Allies continued their offensives in the fall of 1918 and invaded Germany, the peace that followed might have more closely resembled the unconditional surrender and agreements that ended World War II, leading to far more than just 20 years of subsequent European calm.

Deterrence prevents war.

Germany invaded Belgium in 1914 because it was convinced that Britain would not send enough troops to aid its overwhelmed ally, France. Germany also assumed that isolationist America would not intervene.

Unfortunately, the Allies of 1939 later repeated the errors of 1914, and the result was World War II.

[Victor Davis Hanson, “The Lessons of the Failed Armistice of 1918,” The Daily Signal, November 8]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The Armistice was abused by the Allies. France wished to consider it as Germany’s unconditional surrender, and sought revenge for Frances’s 1871 defeat by Prussia as well as for the 1914-1918 war.
    This set the stage for revolution in Germany the rise of the Nazis, and the advent of still another war.
    The 21 year period from 1918 to 1939 was only a “time out” between renewed hostilities. Dumping the ENTIRE WWI war debts of ALL the nations involved onto Germany bankrupted the German economy and began that march to social disruption and eventually to WWII.