Serious German and French strategists read the treaty, arguing that it had left France in a much weaker position in 1919 than in 1914. In particular, France no longer had an alliance with Russia to balance Germany, and France`s intense efforts to make Poland a reliable Eastern ally proved difficult to maintain. Nor had the Allied politicians followed Foch`s advice to separate the German Länder west of the Rhine and create their own Rhine state linked to France by a reciprocal security pact. Instead, the treaty compromised by demilitarizing the Rhineland and limiting the size of the German army and the type of weapons the Germans could possess. However, as Foch predicted, these borders proved almost impossible to monitor and the Germans found ways around them, such as the Rapallo Accords to train soldiers and test equipment in Russia. What hand that tries to put us in such chains would not be more contorting? The Treaty is unacceptable. [96] First, a “Council of Ten” (composed of two delegates from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, and Japan) met formally to decide on the terms of peace. This Council was replaced by the “Council of Five”, composed of the foreign ministers of each country to discuss minor issues. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and US President Woodrow Wilson formed the “Big Four” (after the temporary withdrawal of Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, they became the “Big Three”). These four men met in 145 closed sittings to take all the important decisions that were then ratified by the entire Assembly. The smaller powers participated in a weekly “plenary conference” that discussed topics at a general forum, but did not make decisions. These members formed more than 50 commissions that made various recommendations, many of which were included in the final text of the treaty. [30] [31] [32] In the end, the European Allies imposed difficult peace conditions on Germany and forced the nation to give up about 10 percent of its territory and all its overseas possessions.

Other key provisions of the Treaty of Versailles demanded the demilitarization and occupation of the Rhineland, limited the German army and navy, prohibited it from maintaining an air force, and asked it to conduct war crimes trials against Emperor Wilhelm II and other leaders for their aggression. . . .