The End of Germany’s WWI in Europe

Weapons and Warfare

As the year 1917 drew to its close, the Allied war effort rested almost solely on the shoulders of the United Kingdom and its empire — a situation serious enough to persuade the British prime minister to once again address the question of peace negotiations. His speech to the British Trade Union Congress of 5 January 1918 followed a peace feeler by the German secretary of state, Richard Kühlmann. Under what came to be known as the ‘Kühlmann Peace Kite’, the Berlin government was willing to accept terms favourable to Britain. Belgium and Serbia were to be restored, Alsace-Lorraine to be returned to France, and there would be colonial concessions to Britain. As there was no reference to Russia, the Germans obviously expected compensation at Russia’s expense. The Kühlmann Peace Kite soon turned out to be another diversionary manoeuvre, like the German peace talk a year earlier, but the possibility…

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