Restricting the German Military

The limits that the Treaty of Versailles placed on Germany’s ability to produce military goods is important to understand because it allows us to better understand why the treaty failed to keep peace in Europe after World War One. The German military was frustrated by the feeling that they had been betrayed by the political leaders who chose to end the war. In 1919, the German government was weak because leaders fled government positions as the war was closing. The treaty required the military to keep its navy, army and air force small. Section V. Articles 159-213 outlined the restrictions. The Army was limited to 100,000 troops with no armored vehicles (See Chart). The Navy was limited to six battleship, six light cruisers, twelve destroyers, twelve torpedo boats, and no submarines. The Air force was restricted to 100 aircraft for search and rescue only and no armament was allowed on aircraft. Furthermore, Germany was required to destroy bunkers, defense systems, and to remove mines from rivers, seas and harbors. The total sum of the restrictions dismantled the German military and aimed to not allow it to be rebuilt.

The Treaty had restrictions that infringed on the military and economic policy of Germany, and when viewed through the lens of the political failure in 1920’s Germany, this meant that Germany lost sovereignty over herself. The loss of sovereignty encouraged nationalism within Germany, and when combined with the other factors, helped open the door for the Nazi party. Examining the sources that are presented will help explain the details of how the Treaty of Versailles restriction on the German military, helped to advance the efforts of the Nazi party following World War One.



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