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Enforced DisarmamentFrom the Napoleonic Campaigns to the Gulf War$
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Philip Towle

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206361.001.0001

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The Disarmament of Germany after the First World War

The Disarmament of Germany after the First World War

(p.66) 4 The Disarmament of Germany after the First World War
Enforced Disarmament

Philip Towle

Oxford University Press

After the First World War, the democratic nations tried for the first time in the modern period to impose far-reaching disarmament measures on their enemies. These were not the limited defensive measures imposed on France in 1815 or Russia in 1856 but the continuation of the allied offensive to break the power of Germany and its former allies, Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Turkey escaped the same fate only because it stood up to allied forces. The disarmament provisions of the Armistice in November 1918 and of the Treaty of Versailles fourteen months later were as far-reaching as the allies could make them. The German army was to be reduced to 100,000 and, to prevent the buildup of reserves, officers were to serve for twenty-five years and men for twelve. Only armaments sufficient for such a small army were to be retained and the rest of the German arsenal was to be destroyed under allied supervision. This chapter offers a genesis of the forced disarmament of Germany after its defeat in the First World War.

Keywords:   Germany, First World War, forced disarmament, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, allies, Treaty of Versailles

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