The outcomes of the Paris Peace Conference were published in 1919 in a single folio volume. Each of the 440 articles is listed in French and English, and those with territorial bearing are given visual expression through four included printed maps. Germany lost around 65,000 square kilometres of territory inhabited by almost 7 million inhabitants through the treaties. A large map of Germany shows these as the Saar region, between France and Germany, East Prussia and Schleswig. The latter had voted through plebiscite to leave Germany. Smaller maps show these areas in more detail, defining which boundaries were to be physically marked with fences on the ground.
The effect upon Germany of the most infamous article, number 231, would be less easy to communicate.
“The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies."
Termed the ‘war guilt clause,’ the contentious article was labelled ‘an armistice for 20 years.’ And so it proved.
A fascinating and unique insight into the planning and organisation of military campaigns, featuring over a hundred maps and charts.
Combining cutting edge scholarship with vivid and unfamiliar eyewitness accounts, from kings and generals, and ordinary soldiers, this is a pioneering and comprehensive account of the First World War.