WAR OF WORDS

All About History - - ARMISTICE DAY -

In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math politi­cians and gen­er­als rushed to bur­nish their own lega­cies “At eleven o’clock this morn­ing came to an end the cru­ellest and most ter­ri­ble war that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fate­ful morn­ing, came to an end all wars.”

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Lloyd Ge­orge, speech in the House of Com­mons, (11 Novem­ber 1918)

“This is not a peace. It is an ar­mistice for 20 years.” Mar­shal Fer­di­nand Foch, French Gen­eral, said af­ter the Treaty of Ver­sailles (1919)

“The war has ended – quite dif­fer­ently, in­deed, from how we ex­pected. Our politi­cians have failed us mis­er­ably.” Wil­helm II, Em­peror of Ger­many. Re­ac­tion to Hin­den­burg and Lu­den­dorff’s ad­vice that an ar­mistice must be re­quested (29 Septem­ber 1918)

“Af­ter ex­pend­ing the great­est ef­fort, and suf­fer­ing the great­est sac­ri­fices in blood in all his­tory, we must not com­pro­mise the re­sults of our vic­tory. Amer­ica is far away and pro­tected by the ocean, Eng­land could not be reached by Napoleon him­self. You are shel­tered, both of you; we are not.” Ge­orges Cle­menceau, Prime Min­is­ter of France, speech at the Paris Peace Con­fer­ence (27 March 1919)

“I can pre­dict with ab­so­lute cer­tainty that within an­other gen­er­a­tion there will be an­other world war if the na­tions of the world do not con­cert the method by which to prevent it.” US Pres­i­dent Woodrow Wil­son, speech in Omaha, Ne­braska (8 Septem­ber 1919)

“The real rea­son that the war that we have just fin­ished took place was that Ger­many was afraid her com­mer­cial ri­vals were go­ing to get the bet­ter of her, and the rea­son why some na­tions went into the war against Ger­many was that they thought Ger­many would get the com­mer­cial ad­van­tage of them. The seed of the jeal­ousy, the seed of the deep-seated ha­tred was hot, suc­cess­ful com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial ri­valry.” US Pres­i­dent Woodrow Wil­son, speech at the Col­i­seum in St Louis, Mis­souri, on the Peace Treaty and the League of Na­tions (5 Septem­ber 1919)

“The truth is that we have got our way. We have got most of the things we set out to get… The Ger­man Navy has been handed over; the Ger­man mer­can­tile ship­ping has been handed over, and the Ger­man colonies have been given up. One of our chief trade com­peti­tors has been most se­ri­ously crip­pled.”

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Lloyd Ge­orge, quoted in Lord Rid­dell’s di­ary en­try (30 March 1919)

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