The war’s last months were more destructive than trench warfare had been. Germany remained on French soil, believing herself unbeatable. The armistice was the Allies’ bid to obtain – on paper – Germany’s unconditional surrender. At Versailles she was made to shoulder the blame for the war so she was forced to pay for it. The war, with losses of over 20 million, was later deemed as a senseless waste, but at the time it was seen in positive terms – for defence against aggression and for glory. It curbed militarism, for a while, but was not the war to end all wars. Its terrible message to the century it shaped was that war can fulfil ambitions and that war can work.
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