Why was Germany dissatisfied with the Treaty of Versailles?
There are many reasons why Germany was dissatisfied with the decisions made at Versailles in 1919.
Germany had to sign a “war guilt” clause saying that they were responsible for the war. They found this unfair because the German leaders believed that they had only agreed to a cease-fire and that it was not a defeat; thus they expected to be treated fairly in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Also Germans truly felt that other Empires such as Russia and Austria-Hungary, should take their share of the blame because of the initial events in the Balkans in July 1914, triggered by the assassination at Sarajevo and fuelled by countries mobilising in succession.
Germany lost 12.5% of its land, including the rich Saar industrial region. Such a loss would cause great damage to the economy and the country’s income would drop. It would also make it harder to re-pay the ?6,600m imposed on Germany as reparations.
The Germans regarded this figure as totally unfair since it would ruin the economy and cause unemployment and inflation. They also said it was unfair because of war guilt. Why should they pay for all the damage done during the war plus pensions for widows?
The loss of colonies in Africa and the Pacific was a cause of anger because giving these away as mandates to the League of Nations effectively meant that the British and French Empires were now enlarging at the expense of Germany.
Germany was also highly dissatisfied with the limitations placed on its armed forces such as no tanks, submarines or military aircraft, only six battleships and an army of no more than 100,000 men. They were also infuriated by the order to leave the Rhineland demilitarised. This was because it left them relatively defenceless if attacked. Also the army had always been a huge source of national pride to Germans. It had been one of the strongest and most professional in.
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