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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Map of Europe

Guest mredick

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I am always interested in maps. The prewar maps of Europe were so different than today. When I look at the map of Europe today what i see is the result of the political subdivisions accomplished by the Kaiser and his Generals after the treaty of Brest Litovsk. The nations of Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, The Ukraine and others were defined by the German Princes dividing up the spoils.

In a broader sense, Germany started the war to strike Russia before she became too strong to beat. The remarkable part is that Germany won this war in the East. They finished off Russia without falling prey to the temptation to conquer Moscow and they let Russia collapse on her own. They then proceeded to do what they had hoped to do from the start...colonize and organize the "European" parts of the Russian empire. German troops were in the East until they left in June of 1919 and were likely a stabilizing force in some sense. They sure left a power vacuum and the postwar civil wars in the East were brutal.

This political subdivision was swamped by the further events of WWII and Soviet army successes. I now see that the dream of the Kaiser's European Union has come true...a century later and after terrible terrible waste.

Does this make sense to anyone else? I don't see this topic written about often, but there is little written about the Eastern front in English anyway.

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Me thinks you read far too much Bismark "realpolitik" into the situation. Germany always considered whether rightly or wrongly is irrelvant the Western Front to be the "real front" and the Eastern Front(s) to be more holding or attritional at best rather than of grand strategic or war winning role. Many Germans lived in the areas that you refer to. As well simply pulling out and leaving anarchist, bolshevik or proto-nationalist forces to "run amok" would have and did upset regional Germany army commanders and of course German Foreign office and other bureaucrats who long before 1918 (indeed before 1914) did intend in part to "civilize" Eastern Europe with Germanic culture via the bayonet of course. One of the ironies, in my opinion is that the Eastern Front(s) had far more long range political, social, economic, cultural impacts than what happened on the Western Front and most historians would not agree with this assessment. Still you do read far too much deliberate intention of grand strategic thinking. The German game plan from 1917 (if not earlier say 1916) was to hold or contain the Russians while focussing on the Western front. After April 1917 Germany became desperate to defeat the Anglo French forces in the West before the anticipated millions of Americans came over. The Russian Revolution was of course a great delight to put it mildly to the Germans - let Imperial Russia collapse internally.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Reechy Ditch hi John!

GERMANY WON ON EAST. Maybe but Brest -Litovsk treatment was to late on change general situation Germany. I see like important that Germany was unable finish off Russia in campaign 1915. This was this exactly time for finish east front because in 1915 havent Germany so great problems with comodities for industry and meal for people respectively army. Essential question is how large part of Russia must Germany occupied than Russia signed separately freedom. Brest Litovsk was another thing. There wanted Bolsheviks free hand for citizenwar and lost part of Russia. When we see on areas which ocupied Germany than importantest was Ukraine, because it was one of greatest grain reservoir on the world. Second was Batoum because oil there. I think war on East was war about comodities. What you think?

With regard Ladislav

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