The Impact of Ww1 on Germany


World War One had a devastating impact on Germany. Throughout World War One, the people of Germany had been led to believe by their government that they were winning the war.

Government propaganda had been used to great effect. When the temporarily blinded Adolf Hitler had gone into hospital in 1918 (the result of a gas attack), he, along with many German soldiers, was convinced that Germany was not only winning the war but was in the process of putting together a major military assault on Allied lines.
Only the military leaders such as Ludendorff and Hindenburg knew the true state of Germany's military plight which had become even more apparent when America had joined in the war in 1917. The success of the Ludendoff Offensive in 1918 was only paper-thin as Germany had lost many of her most able officers in battle.
Germany itself was being starved of food and all goods as a result of the British Navy's blockade of her ports in the north. With such a small coastline, the British Navy found it a relatively easy task to blockade her. German troops were poorly equipped and what food there was went to the war effort leaving the people of Germany very short of food.
In the autumn of 1918, the Allies launched a massive attack on the German lines. The German Army could not stand up to such an attack and in just a few weeks the German Army had collapsed. The euphoria of the success of the Ludendorff Offensive was quickly forgotten. Many Germans could not accept that they had lost the war.
The blame was put on weak politicians rather than on military exhaustion. In the space of two months, Germany had gone from being a fighting nation to a defeated one; from a nation with a leader - Kaiser William II - to one with politicians leading the country. William II had been forced to abdicate - give up the throne.
The two months of October and November 1918 are crucial in setting the scene of why Germany got off to such...