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How Fighting EndsA History of Surrender$
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Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001

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The Breaking Point: Surrender 1918

The Breaking Point: Surrender 1918

(p.299) 18 The Breaking Point: Surrender 1918
How Fighting Ends

Jay Winter

Oxford University Press

German defeat was built into the structure of the war effort of the Kaiserreich. The fact that defeat was deferred for so long was due to two phenomena: (1) Allied blunders and misconceptions were as disastrous as those of the German leadership. These failures enabled Germany to avoid the logical consequence of her profound strategic disadvantages, which arose out of the greater capacity of the Allies to solve the problems of supply and distribution, at the heart of industrial warfare. (2) The strength and sophistication of the German army, in particular in defensive positions, enabled it to hold its own and to win on the Eastern front long after its overall strategic position in the war had become untenable. After March 1918, everything came apart. Front and home front unraveled at the same time, requiring Germany to seek out an Armistice ending a war she could never have won.

Keywords:   defeat, logistics, supply, distribution, strategy, tactics, home front

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