From Versailles via Paris to Moscow 

Strategic Options and Perspectives of the German Empire with a View to National Power Policy (Part 1)

Eberhard Birk/Gerhard P. Groß


At first glance, the strategic-political analysis of the framework conditions for the international systems as well as for all the interrelations of the dynamic “Concert of Europe” between the two world wars1) unveils a seeming paradox with a view to the “dark continent”2) in the “age of extremes”3): Notwithstanding the German Empire’s defeat in the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles,4) by which the central European country’s political and military power was curtailed, the very same country was able to achieve a dominant position in terms of power politics between the “Eiffel Tower” and the “Kremlin” within a little more than 20 years. This position went beyond the scope of the objective that the German Empire, which had been proclaimed in 1871 with pompous political imagery in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, had aimed at in a far less ambitious attempt5).