High and Lows of World War 1 for Germany

By Abi Jones, Margaret Rowan, Leah Hayes McAlister

Background Information:

1. Germany was power hungry and was on the verge of going to war with France over land in Africa. Wilhem II, emperor of Germany was caught in the middle of an alliance between Austria-Hungary, Italy and Russia. This meant that Germany would have to fight wars on both the east and the west of the country, because of this Wilhem wanted to make the German Navy larger. Making the navy larger angered Britain and in return, Britain built more ships. This created friction with Britain and later contributed to the war. Japan took German's colonies in Japan and Africa, making Germany significantly weaker. Mexico and Germany were allies which angered the United States. Germany was offering to help Mexico get back the land they had lost to the US in a secret message that was intercepted by the United States. On April of 1917, the US congress declared war on Germany.

2. Germany was forced to pay back all the countries and accept blame for the war. Germany had to pay large sums of money to other countries for damages that they had caused. Limits were placed on the size of their armed forces. All of Germany's former colonies were given to allies to govern until the colonies were ready to be independent. Germany was forced to pay under the Treaty of Versailles 35,000,000 $ overall. Germany signed the document promising that no more fighting would occur, and in return the country was told they would not suffer gigantic loses. However, Germany was a little cheated and ended up giving a lot of land and money.

3. Throughout the war Germany encountered some extreme low and high points. Germany started in a high note, having a well trained and large army. Germany was a wealthy country and was able to afford the necessary materials needed for war. Germany also had a good industrial base and were ahead in the industrial revolution. A low point was due to the royal navy blockading them they were unable to get supplies with made them suffer from starvation. The lowest part in the overall was from Germany. All the other countries were making alliances with each other, leaving Germany to pretty much fend for themselves. This meant that they would become more vulnerable, and as other countries started to attack, they became desperate. In august 1914, the war began, and on August 27th, the German army had significantly been lessened as an attack on their eastern front had badly hindered them. In 1917, Germany began attacking more American ships, which angered the Americans and drew them more into the war. This could be a high and low point, the high part could be that they had defeated more ships, but also created more enemies for themselves.


World war 1, Volume 4, page 1235, Spencer C. Tucker, editor