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How did the Treaty of Versailles punish Germany?

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  • Category: German War

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1.German loss of territory

Germany lost territory both in Europe and Africa. In Europe, Germany lost territory in the north to set up new states in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia. Germany had annexed these states from Russia just a year earlier. German land in East Prussia, Posten and Upper Silesia was also taken away and given to Poland, giving the Poles access to the sea. The Rhineland was demilitarised as a buffer zone to stop the Germans from attacking France, and disputed land in Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France. The Saarlands and Danzig were placed under League of Nations control, with France given the right to mine coal in the Saarlands for the next fifteen years. This was to compensate for when Germany had taken over the coalfields in Northern France. German colonies were placed under League of Nations mandates. This meant that the winning powers had control of the countries, but were running them under League of Nations control.

2.The War Guilt Clause and Reparations

Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in which they admitted to be responsible for the war. This was article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles. This is in preparation for article 232 of the Treaty of Versailles, in which the Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany should pay reparations or compensation for the damage done to the allies.


Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was to have a limited army of a hundred thousand men, and a navy of six battleships for costal defence. Germany was not permitted to have tanks, submarines, or an air force.

Germany accepted the Treaty of Versailles and complied fully with some aspects, complied partially with some aspects, and did not comply with other aspects. Germany complied completely with the loss of territory, giving up all of the land that it was meant to give up. Germany started off by paying the first few instalments of the reparations or compensation to the allies. They then stopped, prompting the French to invade parts of Germany. The League of Nations told France to pull out of Germany, and the issue was largely ignored after that. Germany did not comply with the disarmament. Germany seemed to be destroying tanks and other military equipment, but this was only to look like it was complying. Germany actually had a secret army.

The aim of the Treaty of Versailles was to make sure that Germany could never repeat the actions in World War One. The Treaty of Versailles was aimed to make Germany weaker, to stop them from attacking, and to punish them, to send a clear message that the actions of the Germans were unacceptable, and to repay all of the loans that the Allies had taken out. The Treaty of Versailles largely completed all of these points, however there are other issues that had not been dealt with.

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