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Mechta
11th Nov 2018, 01:46
Given how much we have heard about the First World War, maybe some of PPrune's historians can enlighten me? I have never really grasped what each participating country had as its desired outcome from the war.

What did the Allies and the Central Powers each hope to achieve had they received an unconditional surrender from their enemy? As the war progressed, and the constituents of each side changed, presumably this must have affected the ultimate goals?

Breaking it down, what was each country's goal in the event of an unconditional surrender at each of these points?:

Germany at 4th August 1914
Britain & France at 4th August 1914
Russians until the revolution
Germany after the abdication of the Kaiser
Britain & France after the Americans joined the war on 6 April 1917

obgraham
11th Nov 2018, 02:26
Britain & France after the Americans joined the war on 6 April 1917 My conjecture, with only a little evidence:

I don't think the US had a "goal" when they entered in 1917, other than defeating the Germans. Most that I've read don't think the US made much difference to the strategic goals of the War, but the mere presence of a whole lot of arriving troops and the unlimited American industrial potential buoyed Britain and France. and sealed Germany's fate,as all three were clapped out by that time. Once the US entered the negotiations, however, that balance shifted.

France had different goals than Britain, and could never overcome their desire for revenge and reparation, no matter how understandable that was.

lomapaseo
11th Nov 2018, 03:43
If the First World War had not ended in an Armistice?

There would not have been a second world war

currawong
11th Nov 2018, 05:05
If the First World War had not ended in an Armistice?

There would not have been a second world war


Given the Soviet world view plus Japanese and Italian imperial ambitions of the time, a major conflagration was on the way, one way or another.

But point taken, the Treaty of Versailles did lead directly to what ultimately came to pass.

pattern_is_full
11th Nov 2018, 05:11
You might just as well ask "what was the desired outcome" of a fight that begins with one guy paying too much attention to another guy's girl in a bar, which results in insults, then a fist fight, then someone pulls a knife, and someone else pulls a bigger knife, then someone pulls a gun, and it all ends in a quadruple slaying. Because really, WW1 made just about as much sense.

One could say that:
• Germany didn't trust France, because it knew France still held resentment from the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine
• Britain was wary of Germany's colonial aspirations (Germany was a bit late to the "Empire Party" of the 19th century) - however at the end of their "battleship arms race" in 1912, had engaged in a detente with Germany trying to cool tensions (The UK having doubts about Russia as an ally).
• France did indeed resent Germany's taking of A & L and wanted revenge and the reacquisition of A&L.
• Russia was wary of expansion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire eastward into the Balkans, particularly as it involved slavic Serbia (see also the 1990s war in the Balkans) and of Germany, who had sent a officer to lead one of Turkey's armies (encirclement).
• There were another dozen or so minor "irritations" - regarding Morocco, the Italo-Turkish wars, etc. And a general worry by France and Britain about Bismarck's unification of Germany and what that meant for the balance of power between European powers.

You could say those tensions were the powder in the kegs. But what really lead to the rapid escalation of the war were the alliances that dragged Germany and Italy into a conflict supporting Austria-Hungary (A-H) (The Triple Alliance) and England and France into a conflict supporting Russia (The Triple Entente). Which each acted like three intertwined fuses - light one, and all three burst into flame. Of note, in about 1912, France accepted that Serbia was indeed a security matter for Russia, mkaing an attack on Serbia an attack on Russia, and thus an attack on the Triple Entente.

A Serb assassinates the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Ferdinand. A-H decides to crack down on Serbia, and issues an ultimatum and mobilizes troops. Russia mobilizes in defence of Serbia. Serbia rejects the A-H ultimatum. A-H breaks off diplomatic relations and declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilizes further (while still trying to negotiate something with Germany). Germany mobilizes and declares war on Russia (Aug. 1). France mobilizes. Germany declares war against France. Germany demands that Belgium allow free passage of German troops against France. Britain demands that Belgian neutrality be respected - France agrees, Germany declines. Germany begins its advance, and Britian declares war on Germany (Aug. 4). A-H declares war on Russia (Aug. 5).

In that sequence, the only "outcomes desired" thus far (Aug. 5) are: A-H desires an end to Serbian opposition; Russia desires an end to A-H aggression against Serbia; Britain and France desire that Belgian neutrality be respected. Everything else is just a domino-effect of the Alliances. "The enemy of my ally is my enemy!"

Once war was under way - then minds turned to the desired outcomes. Which likely shifted around somewhat.

Speaking specifically of Britain's war aims, we can find a speech summarizing their history by David Lloyd George in retrospect in 1918:

"We may begin by clearing away some misunderstandings and stating what we are not fighting for. We are not fighting a war of aggression against the German people. Their leaders have persuaded them that they are fighting a war of self-defence against a league of rival nations bent on the destruction of Germany. That is not so. The destruction or disruption of Germany or the German people has never been a war aim with us from the first day of this war to this day. Most reluctantly, and indeed quite unprepared for the dreadful ordeal, we were forced to join in this war in self-defence. In defence of the violated public law of Europe, and in vindication of the most solemn treaty obligation on which the public system of Europe rested, and on which Germany had ruthlessly trampled in her invasion of Belgium, we had to join in the struggle or stand aside and see Europe go under and brute force triumph over public right and international justice. It was only the realization of that dreadful alternative that forced the British people into the war.

"And from that original attitude they have never swerved. They have never aimed at the break-up of the German peoples or the disintegration of their state or country. Germany has occupied a great position in the world. It is not our wish or intention to question or destroy that position for the future, but rather to turn her aside from hopes and schemes of military dornination, and to see her devote all her strength to the great beneficent tasks of the world. Nor are we fighting to destroy Austria-Hungary or to deprive Turkey of its capital, or of the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, which are predominantly Turkish in race.

"Nor did we enter this war merely to alter or destroy the imperial constitution of Germany, much as we consider that military, autocratic constitution a dangerous anachronism in the Twentieth Century. Our point of view is that the adoption of a really democratic constitution by Germany would be the most convincing evidence that in her the old spirit of military domination had indeed died in this war, and would make it much easier for us to conclude a broad democratic peace with her. But, after all, that is a question for the Gerrnan people to decide."

Ahh, the irony of now clicking the "Post Quick Reply" button.... ;)

Mr Optimistic
11th Nov 2018, 09:18
They were all spoiling for a fight and got what they wanted. Naive self- determination principles deficient of local understanding and French bitterness towards the loser set up round two, and the nations were too exhausted to pay proper attention to the Russian civil war. Populations still convinced by national myths provided willing troops.
Well, thats my take on it for what it is worth.
Not a fan of annual celebrations.

ATNotts
11th Nov 2018, 09:32
They were all spoiling for a fight and got what they wanted. Naive self- determination principles deficient of local understanding and French bitterness towards the loser set up round two, and the nations were too exhausted to pay proper attention to the Russian civil war. Populations still convinced by national myths provided willing troops.
Well, thats my take on it for what it is worth.
Not a fan of annual celebrations.

I believe the PC term is commemorations.

That said, this year has more the feeling of a propaganda exercise aimed at bringing the nation together at time when it has rarely been more divided.

I'm totally in favour of understanding the history and learning from the many errors that were made on all sides, but from what I can see in the USA, the UK, Hungary and Poland, and to a lesser extent in countries such as Germany, The Netherlands and France I really don't think we have studied well enough, and understood the perils of petty nationalism.

longer ron
11th Nov 2018, 10:00
That said, this year has more the feeling of a propaganda exercise aimed at bringing the nation together at time when it has rarely been more divided.



Or alternatively - it is a 'Biggie' - 100th Anniversary of the Armistice !

Una Due Tfc
11th Nov 2018, 11:48
There were no good guys in that war, at least at the beginning. A bunch of Colonial powers all equally as capable of committing horrendous acts against those in nations they occupied by force who had been knocking the s*** out of each other for centuries. Nobody benefitted, except maybe those colonies who managed to throw off their shackles as a result of the inpoverishing of the Colonial powers which resulted from the war, and even then their working class men had been fodder for the guns, just like those of the Colonial powers themselves.

BehindBlueEyes
11th Nov 2018, 13:05
Great thread - really informative and some fascinating contributions. I’ve learnt a lot more about WW1and the multiple layers of politics etc that led up to it. Thank you all.

racedo
11th Nov 2018, 13:32
A-H messed up in issuing an ultimatum. A better course of action would have been just to mourn, send troops and sort it out quietly with little fanfare. Treat it as a police action rather than a demand to curb dissent.

Once an ultimatum issued then nations see it as a line in the sand and respond accordingly, the dominos then start to fall as moving back from an ultimatum will be seen as a sign of weakness. Leaders of various countrys being related added fuel to the fire as nobody wants their relatives to be seen as being better than themselve.

Buster15
11th Nov 2018, 13:43
If the First World War had not ended in an Armistice?

There would not have been a second world war

That is a really interesting point of view. As many have said, there were a number of European countries spoiling for a war in order to sort out old scores and rise up the pecking order.

As for specific objectives, once the war had started, we like some others were simply reacting to fast moving events.

As you quite rightly say, it was the end of war objectives that, in part resulted in WW2. I say in part because it is likely that the German Nazi party would have eventually forced a war in Europe anyway but the reparations gave him the amunition to persuade the German people to move forward with plans to dominate Europe.

In the same way, the division of Germany after WW2 could so easily have led to WW3.

Pontius Navigator
11th Nov 2018, 13:51
It is 'accepted ' that Versailles set the scene for WW2 with such severe reparations that the Germans could not pay. Had absolute surrender been pursued then it could have started much as post-WW2 started but without the Soviet threat. Unlike WW2 there would have been no Marshall Plan. The US would have returned to isolation. The weakened French would have been the only power left to pick up the peace in Europe as Britain would have sought rebuild Empire. The new Soviet Republic might still have been encircled by the European powers with the US. Without an effective occupation of Germany the Soviet might have been able to create its western buffer zone once it defeated the Allied attempts to crush the revolution.

Mr Optimistic
11th Nov 2018, 14:53
I often wonder why we give special significance to anniversaries ending in a zero. Seems natural but I dont quite see why, as there is no logic to it.

Buster15
11th Nov 2018, 14:57
I often wonder why we give special significance to anniversaries ending in a zero. Seems natural but I dont quite see why, as there is no logic to it.

Or in this case two zeroes.

pattern_is_full
11th Nov 2018, 15:15
I often wonder why we give special significance to anniversaries ending in a zero. Seems natural but I dont quite see why, as there is no logic to it.

Because humans learned to count with ten fingers.
____________
I agree with obgraham that from the US perspective, our aim once we entered was mostly to put an end to the war's stalemate. And "Make the World safe for Democracy" with "A war to end all Wars."

The irony is that Pres. Wilson had won re-election in 1916 with the slogan "He kept us out of War." But the loss of American lives on the Lusitania, the Zimmermann Telegram (revealing an attempt by Germany to have Mexico ally with them in the event we did enter the war) and the onset of U-boat activity against US "neutral" merchant shipping, hardened anti-German sentiment, both among the government and the people.

obgraham
11th Nov 2018, 15:16
The reason for "Commemorations" is exactly for times like here and now.

Perhaps we can put aside our petty complaints and nastiness just long enough to remember those thousands of tombstones. British, French, and their allies. Americans so far from home. Yes, even Germans, who all were somebody's family favorite.

We all know the names of the places. We need to think always about the young people who made those places notorious.

Fareastdriver
11th Nov 2018, 18:54
We commemorate the anniversary of the Armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month as the actual time when it came into force. What happens in France since they went over to Berlin time in 1940.

paulc
11th Nov 2018, 19:16
A visit to any war cemetery or memorial does show the scale of the human cost in any conflict. Me and Mrs C visited the Philippine / American memorial (Fort Bonifacio) in Manila in May this year. It was a very moving experience for both as her father was a survivor of the Baatan death march after being captured at Corredigor when the Japanese invaded. The memorial itself is a fitting and solumn reminder of the war in the Pacific. The lines of crosses and the lists of names made a big impression and it was slightly un-nerving to know that her father would have served alongside some of those names.

Gertrude the Wombat
11th Nov 2018, 19:21
Because humans learned to count with ten fingers.
Which is why, when Tom Lehrer says "base eight is the same as base ten ... ... ... if you're missing two fingers", I don't get why the audience laughs. I thought everybody knew that.

Lonewolf_50
11th Nov 2018, 20:05
If the First World War had not ended in an Armistice?

Either 1) we'd still be fighting it, one way or another or 2) the wire would have stayed up sorta like the DMZ in Korea (which ended without an Armistice; what's in place now is IIRC a cease fire).

lomapaseo
11th Nov 2018, 20:31
:ok::ok:If the First World War had not ended in an Armistice?

Either 1) we'd still be fighting it, one way or another or 2) the wire would have stayed up sorta like the DMZ in Korea (which ended without an Armistice; what's in place now is IIRC a cease fire).


....:ok: ....:ok:....:ok:

pattern_is_full
12th Nov 2018, 05:59
There was no chance there would not be an Armistice, or some other equivalent surrender by Germany. If necessary, an Allied advance and occupation all the way to Berlin, as in WW2 (minus Soviet Russia, which was out of the picture by 11/1918). Six months to a year at most, but perhaps at the cost of another 2 million combined casualties (going by similar losses in the 100-day Offensive that led to what was really a German surrender-in-place).

Due to the warfare in the Balkans, Germany had lost most of their access to petroleum - critical in this first major "mechanized" war. While the Allies had all the U.S. oil they needed, and U.S. troops were still arriving at 10,000 per day. Germany was a "dead man walking" and knew it, and was making peace overtures for a month or more before the final Armistice in Nov.

And given the severity of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, whether the Germans surrendered in Berlin or at the Hindenburg line, likely would have made almost no difference to the final state of Europe thereafter - except for those 2 million or so casualties.

Nevertheless, Lonewolf_50 - you are quite right - we are still fighting it in many ways. Russia lost the Baltic countries in WW1 - and still wants them back, or at least more under their control. Russia still worries about Black Sea access via the Bosporus in Turkey, just as they did then. A (re)united Germany dominating Europe (now economically instead of militarily) still raises hackles in places from Britain (cf: Brex*t) to Greece. Virtually every issue in the Mid-East stems in one way or another from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Allied (especially British and French) reorganization of those lands. Including the existence of Israel (cf: Balfour Declaration 1917).

KelvinD
12th Nov 2018, 07:28
Lomapaseo: The fighting in Korea ended with the Korean Armistice Agreement, signed by a US General (on behalf of the UN), N. Korea and China and is still in force.
I often wonder about celebrating the WW1 armistice as the 'end of the war'. Surely, an armistice is a temporary cessation of hostilities and as such the Treaty of Versailles was the de facto end of that war?
At the Cenotaph yesterday, it was interesting and somewhat heartening to see the German president laying a wreath along with Prince Charles.

james ozzie
12th Nov 2018, 08:12
Kelvin - I have seen at least one cenotaph inscribed with the war of 1914-1919. I believe this is strictly correct. As you say the Treaty signalled the true end of the war. But of course, for all practical purposes we know it as 1918.

Pontius Navigator
12th Nov 2018, 08:33
Some of my grandfather's medals are 1914-15 Star, 1914-1918 Medal and 1914-1919 Great War Medal for civilization.

Expatrick
12th Nov 2018, 09:29
I wonder how it would have panned out if the Russians had defeated the Germans at Tannenberg & gone on to take Berlin. I imagine the British & French would have been unhappy at the prospect of a Czarist Empire stretching from Alsace Lorraine to Vladivostok.

Allan Lupton
12th Nov 2018, 09:38
Some of my grandfather's medals are 1914-15 Star, 1914-1918 Medal and 1914-1919 Great War Medal for civilization.
Yes my father's medals include those last two.
1919 is quite right as that was when the treaty which ended the War was signed rather than just the armistice (which is just a formal name for a cease-fire) but many War memorials show 1918.

KenV
12th Nov 2018, 19:15
Speaking specifically of Britain's war aims, we can find a speech summarizing their history by David Lloyd George in retrospect in 1918:
....... Our point of view is that the adoption of a really democratic constitution by Germany would be the most convincing evidence that in her the old spirit of military domination had indeed died in this war, and would make it much easier for us to conclude a broad democratic peace with her. )Hmmmm. Post war Germany did indeed become a democracy, the Weimar Republic. It took only about 15 years for that democracy to install (with a 95% approval vote) Herr Fuehrer at its head. How did that turn out?

Pontius Navigator
12th Nov 2018, 19:42
I wonder how it would have panned out if the Russians had defeated the Germans at Tannenberg & gone on to take Berlin. I imagine the British & French would have been unhappy at the prospect of a Czarist Empire stretching from Alsace Lorraine to Vladivostok.
Not necessarily. The French, as the bankers of Europe had much to gain from Czarist Russia.

We might also ask the question, would the Revolution have taken place or would it have succeeded?

Remenber, after the Armistice the allied powers then tried to restore the White Russians to power.

Lonewolf_50
12th Nov 2018, 20:22
Nevertheless, Lonewolf_50 - you are quite right - we are still fighting it in many ways. Russia lost the Baltic countries in WW1 - and still wants them back, or at least more under their control. Russia still worries about Black Sea access via the Bosporus in Turkey, just as they did then. A (re)united Germany dominating Europe (now economically instead of militarily) still raises hackles in places from Britain (cf: Brex*t) to Greece. Virtually every issue in the Mid-East stems in one way or another from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Allied (especially British and French) reorganization of those lands. Including the existence of Israel (cf: Balfour Declaration 1917). Indeed, it never ends, does it?
This leads me to a slightly different understanding of an axiom from Clausewitz; 'in war the outcome is never final.' I have often wondered if he meant by that little comment that because war was the execution of politics/policy 'by other means' that it is the "it never ends" feature of politics that was being referred to as "the outcome is never final." Not sure, as I did not read his stuff in the original German.

Torquetalk
12th Nov 2018, 20:54
Hmmmm. Post war Germany did indeed become a democracy, the Weimar Republic. It took only about 15 years for that democracy to install (with a 95% approval vote) Herr Fuehrer at its head. How did that turn out?

Where do you get that 95% figure? It looks as though the best result they achieved in democratic elections was 44% under the constitution of the Weimar Republik. Not even half of those who voted, of those who were eligible to vote.

pattern_is_full
13th Nov 2018, 00:06
@KenV - sure!

But the question was, what were the war aims (or "desired outcomes"), not whether they were achieved, or whether they produced desirable outcomes in the long run.

KenV
13th Nov 2018, 11:43
Where do you get that 95% figure? It looks as though the best result they achieved in democratic elections was 44% under the constitution of the Weimar Republik. Not even half of those who voted, of those who were eligible to vote.
Hitler seized total power on Aug 2, 1934 upon the death of Hindenburg. On Aug 19 there was a nationwide vote to approve or disapprove Adolf as Herr Fuehrer. 95% of registered voters went to the polls and 95% of those gave him a "Ja". So you are right, the best Adolf could get under the Weimar Republik was about 45%. But that was enough. He controlled the legislative body of that republic and upon the death of the president (Hindenburg) they retroactively passed a law that merged the offices of the Chancellor and the President into the single office of Herr Fuehrer, with Adolf as the Fuehrer. Arguably, the Wiemar Republik ceased to exist at that moment, making your statement technically correct. Nevertheless, the German people got the opportunity to democratically vote to approve or disapprove this change to the republic. They voted 95% to approve it. They literally voted out a democracy and voted in a dictatorship with all pretense of a democracy ending in that moment. And we all know how that turned out.

And that's why the US has a constitution with three independent branches of government. No one branch can give itself or another branch total power. Not even the people as a whole can give any one branch total power and control. And BTW, the UK system does not have that and could not prevent what happened in Germany in 1934 from happening in the UK.

KenV
13th Nov 2018, 11:59
@KenV - sure!

But the question was, what were the war aims (or "desired outcomes"), not whether they were achieved, or whether they produced desirable outcomes in the long run.

You provided the quote I cited. Britain's war aim was to turn Germany into a democracy. It succeeded with the creation of the Wiemar Republik. Nevertheless, what resulted from that democracy turned out to be far worse than what Germany had before. It once again demonstrated the law of unintended consequences. It also showed the brilliance of the writers of the US Constitution. A democracy can (and eventually will) be exceedingly deadly. So they created a democratically elected republic with a government of very limited powers, with those limited powers spread among three different branches that check and balance each other. They hoped it would last, but were not optimistic. Turns out they got it more right than they themselves thought. It's the oldest (and arguably the most stable) continuous government on the planet.

Torquetalk
13th Nov 2018, 14:04
Hitler seized total power on Aug 2, 1934 upon the death of Hindenburg. On Aug 19 there was a nationwide vote to approve or disapprove Adolf as Herr Fuehrer. 95% of registered voters went to the polls and 95% of those gave him a "Ja". So you are right, the best Adolf could get under the Weimar Republik was about 45%. But that was enough. He controlled the legislative body of that republic and upon the death of the president (Hindenburg) they retroactively passed a law that merged the offices of the Chancellor and the President into the single office of Herr Fuehrer, with Adolf as the Fuehrer. Arguably, the Wiemar Republik ceased to exist at that moment, making your statement technically correct. Nevertheless, the German people got the opportunity to democratically vote to approve or disapprove this change to the republic. They voted 95% to approve it. They literally voted out a democracy and voted in a dictatorship with all pretense of a democracy ending in that moment. And we all know how that turned out.

The NSDAP had the largest share of the national vote in 1933, giving Hitler’s party the largest share of the seats in Parlament. By forming a coalition with the national conservatives, (who naively thought they could contain and use him), Hitler and his long-scheming allies were able to achieve a parlamentary majority and force legislation (including emergency powers, thereby ending democracy – das Ermächtigungsgesetz). The nomination of Hitler for Bundeskanzler by Hindenberg was a formality as the NSDAP was the largest faction in parlament.

There was no vote by the German electorate giving Hitler 95%. There was no vote by the German electorate for a dictatorship. This is simply incorrect

racedo
13th Nov 2018, 15:44
Hmmmm. Post war Germany did indeed become a democracy, the Weimar Republic. It took only about 15 years for that democracy to install (with a 95% approval vote) Herr Fuehrer at its head. How did that turn out?

Not quite true. Herr Hitler was not installed with a 95% approval rate......................... he had already siezed power and banned all parties. People were threatened with reprisals for not voting including death. Even threatened with these reprisals 3.3 million people submitted an incorrect ballot.

The last election prior to November 1933 was in March 1933, Nazi's along with National People's Party got less than 52% of the vote and 340 seats, with 324 required for a majority. Clearly Hitler did not have overwhelming approval, despite the terror tactics of his Stormtroopers and burning of the Reichstag.

KenV
13th Nov 2018, 18:05
Torquetalk and racedo, you are both ignoring the plebicite of 19 August 1934. Herr Fuerher recieved 95% of that vote which had a 95% turnout of registered voters. You may want to argue that the Wiemar Republik had effectively ended 17 days previously when the Reichstag the Nazis controlled passed a law to merge the offices of Reichs Chancellor and Reichs President, but there was most certainly a vote afterwards and Adolf got 95% of that vote. Adolf enjoyed immense support of the German public in 1934 thru at least the end of 1941, when his invasion of Russia ground to a halt and he declared war on the USA.

racedo
13th Nov 2018, 19:25
Torquetalk and racedo, you are both ignoring the plebicite of 19 August 1934. Herr Fuerher recieved 95% of that vote which had a 95% turnout of registered voters. You may want to argue that the Wiemar Republik had effectively ended 17 days previously when the Reichstag the Nazis controlled passed a law to merge the offices of Reichs Chancellor and Reichs President, but there was most certainly a vote afterwards and Adolf got 95% of that vote. Adolf enjoyed immense support of the German public in 1934 thru at least the end of 1941, when his invasion of Russia ground to a halt and he declared war on the USA.

Sorry but when state tells people VOTE or there will be reprisals, when the state has Brown shirts at the polls to make sure you vote then you vote.

BTW the vote was 38.4 Million for, 4.3 Million against and 0.9 Million spoiled....................... that doesn't show 95% approval. Even bearing in mind the huge electoral fraud it is only 88%.

Torquetalk
13th Nov 2018, 21:23
KevD,

You make the point that Hitler was popular well into 1941. Let’s just reflect on that: After years of brainwashing in being told that the allies were responsible for the Germans’ humiliation following WW1, Adolf Hitler enjoyed popular support during the early years of the war, having reinvaded the Südentenländer, the Elsace, Austria, and successfully socked it to most of the WW1 enemies at that stage of the war. Of course he was popular!

That 95% vote (or was it perhaps 90%?): You are referring to the Volksabstimmung in 1934 to confirm Hitler as Reichskanzler and Führer. This was NOT a democratic vote. The dictatorship was already in place and that election was not free, fair or even secret. When anyone gets 95% of the vote in a democracy you know something is wrong. Your original point that the Weimar Republic saw Hitler elected by 95% of the electorate in a popular vote is historically wrong.

WingNut60
13th Nov 2018, 21:43
........ No one branch can give itself or another branch total power. Not even the people as a whole can give any one branch total power and control........

Can you give us some insight into how the U.S. constitution, in a practical sense, would stop the exercise of the ardent and combined wishes of 95% of the population?

KenV
15th Nov 2018, 14:54
Can you give us some insight into how the U.S. constitution, in a practical sense, would stop the exercise of the ardent and combined wishes of 95% of the population?Interesting question, and a good one.

1. Herr Fuehrer was not installed by "the ardent and combined wishes of 95% of the population". He literally seized power and then conducted a vote to rubber stamp what he had already done. Once done, it could not be undone short of the literal annihilation of the nation. So no matter how much the population regretted their rubber stamp, there was nothing they could do.

2. Herr Fuehrer seized power by getting the legislature, which he controlled with about 44% of the popular vote, to pass a law combining the offices of Chancellor and President. Such a thing would be impossible under the US Constitution.

3. Even if a US president gained "the ardent and combined" support of 95% of the population, he cannot give himself more power than both Congress and the Supreme Court allow. It's that checks and balances thing.

4. Even if thru some miracle the president gained more power, Congress controls the purse strings (only Congress can levy and collect taxes, and only Congress can allocate and distribute taxes.) Only 1/3 of the Senate is elected at each national election. So even if all 1/3 of the Senators elected at the same time as the president were 100% supportive of the president, 2/3 would NOT have been elected at the same time, giving the electorate two more years to come to their senses. Congress could cut off the funds the president would need to do what Herr Fuehrer did.

5. Every member of the armed forces and all government employees owed their allegiance and swore obedience to Herr Fuehrer. In the US, all members of the armed forces and all federal authorities owe their allegiance to the Constitution and not the president, nor Congress, nor the Supreme Court. If a president gives orders outside the scope of the Constitution, those forces and authorities are not bound to obey those orders. Indeed this happens fairly routinely. Essentially every president issues executive orders/proclamations that are found to be extra Constitutional and are overturned.

6. There's plenty more, but this will suffice.

obgraham
15th Nov 2018, 16:35
More than anything else,the 2nd amendment would ensure that a similar takeover would fail.

It would require all the police and all the military to remove the weapons, snd those folks would refuse the order.

Torquetalk
15th Nov 2018, 17:27
Interesting question, and a good one.

1. Herr Fuehrer was not installed by "the ardent and combined wishes of 95% of the population". He literally seized power and then conducted a vote to rubber stamp what he had already done. Once done, it could not be undone short of the literal annihilation of the nation. So no matter how much the population regretted their rubber stamp, there was nothing they could do.

KevD

The way you are phrasing this is still a fudge to be honest. It was not a free, fair, secret or representative vote: Hitler did not get rubber-stamped; he achieved a 2/3 majority with the help of the hapless national conservatives and then outmanouevered his coalition colleagues by a combination of political machinations and terrorism, to achieve the dictatorship. The 88%/90%/95% vote can simply be ignored as it was manifest electoral fraud.

The US system may have some good checks and balances. I’m sure you are better place to make the case. But for accuracy’s sake, dictatorship is also not possible under the German consitution. Not surprisingly, post-WWII it was written to make sure that couldn’t happen again.

HyFlyer
15th Nov 2018, 19:09
Diese Nachricht wäre in deutscher Sprache verfasst worden.

Torquetalk
15th Nov 2018, 21:17
Diese Nachricht wäre in deutscher Sprache verfasst worden.

Wir verstehen kein Wort.

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
16th Nov 2018, 06:06
Such a thing would be impossible
Nothing is impossible, just harder.
Even if a US president gained "the ardent and combined" support of 95% of the population, he cannot give himself more power than both Congress and the Supreme Court allow.
Except if that 95% look the other way while he eliminates the Congress and the Supreme Court. I guess it depends how "ardent and combined" that 95% are, and what they believe the endgame is for them.

KenV
20th Nov 2018, 01:38
Your original point that the Weimar Republic saw Hitler elected by 95% of the electorate in a popular vote is historically wrong.
May I suggest you misread or misunderstood what I stated. I took pains to make clear that the Weimar Republik effectively ended with the death of Hindenburg. Herr Fuehrer's party only received about 45% of the vote under the Weimar Republik, so not even a bare majority. Herr Fuehrer only received a majority of the vote after the Weimar Republik was destroyed and he was appointed the dictator of the nation by legislative fiat. And that vote was rigged. Nevertheless, Herr Fuehrer was exceedingly popular and enjoyed tremendous support from the military and from the general population for the next several years. At least until the end of 1941 when his Russian invasion stalled and he declared war on the USA.

Torquetalk
20th Nov 2018, 19:55
KevD,

I’m sure we agree in essence.

The excellent remastered documentary World at War can be found on ebay (second hand) for a song, for info.