Why did Germany Lose
World War One was a war between several countries in Europe. It is called a world war because it was the first war which affected so many countries all over the world. It took place from July 1914 to November 1918. The war was mainly fought between two alliances, the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) and the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). The main reasons why Germany lost the war were: the German Army asking to end the war; The USA entering the war; new tanks being developed by the Allies; Germany starving to death; the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and Britain having a good leader.
In this essay I will speak about all of these causes, and explain how they contributed to Germany’s loss. There are many arguments and interpretations as to why Germany lost WWI, but the one I believe is most valid is the entrance of America into the war . I will explain why later in this essay. I think Germany’s defeat looked likely when the Schlieffen Plan failed. I think it became inevitable, when America entered the war, and I will explain why in the rest of this essay. The first cause of Germany’s loss was their request for Armistice.
This in itself did not mean the end of the war, but Germany’s reasons for the request did. The German forces were exhausted by this point and did not feel like they could carry on fighting for long. To the Allies, that was Germany giving up. I think this cause was quite an important one, as this was the direct cause of the war ending, although I think there are some factors which caused Germany to request armistice which I would consider more important. The second cause of Germany’s loss was the entrance of the USA into the war.
Coming into the war later than everyone else, the USA were a fresh fighting force, which rejuvenated the Allies and motivated them to fight even harder. Their superior weaponry and tactics meant that they provided invaluable assistance to Britain in helping them win the war. They aided Britain in their attack on the German U-Boats, allowing the British Navy to form blockades of German ports, causing and linking to the fact that Germany could not get enough food to feed its people or army, which I believe contributed greatly to the Allies’ success against the Triple Alliance.
In addition to this, their help with the counter attack against the Ludendorff Offensive, and capture of the Hindenburg line and 400,000 German troops helped hasten Germany’s defeat. Germany tried to go too far too fast, and could not achieve their goals. This is why I think that this is the most important cause of Germany’s loss of the First World War. I think this cause is more important than Germany’s request for armistice, because I believe armistice was purely symbolic or a formality, the war was won when Germany gave up, and that was what the Americans made them do.
The third cause of Germany’s loss was that the British, French and Americans developed new forms of tanks which could meet the challenges brought on by trench warfare. These tanks could cross trenches and barbed wire, were insusceptible to machine gun fire and did not get stuck when going over shell holes. This meant the Allies could drive a tank through no-man’s land and know it would reach the enemy trenches relatively unscathed. A tank can do a lot more damage than a conscriptee with a rifle, so if every tank they sent at the Germans reached them, then they could cause a lot of trouble for them.
Theoretically this should have meant that the Allies got the upper hand, but German trenches were better built, and there were not enough tanks to attack every section of every trench, so the Allies had to often rely on using explosives, the force of which the German trench walls could withstand. Therefore, I don’t believe that this is a particularly important cause of Germany’s loss, as I think its effect was too subtle. The fourth cause of Germany’s loss was the German people starving.
This was caused by the British blockades, which restricted food and supplies reaching German and the German Army. Without these supplies, they couldn’t help the war effort. The German soldiers couldn’t fight properly if they were always hungry and this would have caused a lack of morale amongst the troops. Also, the people in Germany had to face news of battle defeats, which didn’t exactly help. The German people no longer wanted to fight the war and felt let down by their government.
Many people argue that this is the most important cause of Germany’s loss, as without the people’s support, the Triple Alliance couldn’t go on fighting the war, but I believe that without the support of the USA, Britain would never have been able to implement the blockade strategy and cause such problems for Germany. The fifth reason for Germany’s loss was the failure of the Schlieffen Plan. Germany wanted a short war, and they thought that the Schlieffen Plan would bring them this.
However, their plan did not work, and Germany was forced into a long drawn out war which it didn’t want. Their plan was to attack and take over France, then quickly race over to Russia and attack them before they could mobilise. Russia was notoriously slow at getting their act together, and Germany believed that it was an advantageous move on their part. They would take out Russia’s ally, and then attack the other country before it had time to gather its army.
What they didn’t know, and couldn’t know, was that it would take Russia only six weeks to mobilise its forces, Belgium would fight back, and that Britain would come to the aid of Belgium. The Russians stated advancing west, at a formidable speed, causing Germany to send more men from its main fighting fore, in order to reinforce the Eastern Front. Belgium’s army, although small, managed to delay the German advance for nearly a month, and create a constant threat to German supply lies in the north. The Germans also underestimated the alliance between Britain and Belgium.
They did not expect that when they attacked Belgium, Britain would come to its aid, even though the 1839 London Treaty promised they would. I think this was an important cause of Germany’s loss as it meant Germany had to fight a war they didn’t want to and this could have meant they panicked, due to the fact they were facing an eventuality they hadn’t planned for. It was the drawn out nature of the war which caused Germany to request armistice, so I believe that the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and the civil dissatisfaction in Germany are closely linked.
I believe however, that the arrival of America is still the most valid cause, as all the factors which directly contributed to Germany’s request for armistice were situation which could have only occurred due to the presence of the USA. In conclusion, I believe that the USA’s entrance into the war is the most valid cause of Germany’s loss of World War One. There are several important causes of Germany’s loss, such as low morale and civil disappointment causing Germany’s request for armistice, but they could not have happened without the presence of the USA in the war.
Therefore, I think although all of these causes are important on their own, their common factor is the entrance of the USA. Just to end this essay; I believe that the causes of Germany’s loss of World War One are similar to those of World War Two. In both wars, they ended up fighting a war on two fronts and underestimated Russia. Morale in Germany was low on both occasions and they couldn’t provide for the war effort. It seems to me that Germany made several mistakes in World War One, but didn’t learn from them, and made them again in World War Two.