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November 1918

by Martin Ederer 1918 had begun auspiciously The one sticking point was were both unauthorized and illegal, Baden to hand over the Chancel-
enough for the Triple Alliance. Wilson’s insistence that he and mutiny followed when the lorship. The handover was illegal,
November 11 of this year marks Although Austria-Hungary was would only negotiate with boiler stokers refused to obey. Mu- but under the chaotic circumstanc-
the 100th anniversary of the struggling on its fronts, Lenin’s a “free and democratic” tiny became revolt as red flags es that counted little. Ebert hoped
end of World War I. This conflict Russia had quit the war. With were raised and soviets declared. to preserve as much of the old
had begun with high hopes on all Russia out of the war, Germany Germany. Short form: Regional governments toppled as order as possible in a post-Wil-
sides for a short, glorious conflict could now concentrate on the Kaiser Wilhelm II had to go. the revolutions spread. Still the helm Germany. In his view, sovi-
and easy victory. It only ended four Western Front in France, which Kaiser refused to abdicate. Wil- et-style social revolution meant
years later with 10 million dead, had stalled in 1914 and had re- final push for Germany. It was do helm’s chancellor, Prince Max of disaster.
more than double that number mained stagnant, albeit while or die. Initially, the operation Baden, continued to negotiate with
wounded and maimed, some na- grinding up millions of lives. showed signs of success. The push the Allies and to commit to some Then, Ebert’s Social Demo-
tions physically destroyed and With U.S. intervention in the war brought some German forces as sort of parliamentary democracy cratic colleague, Philipp Scheide-
monarchies toppled elsewhere. and all the resources it could bring close as 75 miles from Paris. under the imperial family. mann, panicked at rumors that the
to bear, Germany faced an urgen- communists were going to declare
Russia had become the world’s cy in winding things up on the As summer wore on it was be- While Max was busy trying to Germany a soviet republic. As a
first officially communist state, and Western Front. coming clear, however, German convince Wilhelm to abdicate in preemptive strike against Bolshe-
the United States had emerged as a forces were stretched too thin to favor of his son, the revolution vism, Scheidemann declared Ger-
world power. The war had distract- Paul von Hindenburg and Er- sustain the offensive. By late sum- reached Berlin. On Nov. 9, Max many a republic on Social
ed Great Britain and France from ich Ludendorff planned a major mer 10,000 U.S. troops were arriv- unilaterally declared that Wilhelm Democratic terms, a move so ille-
their world empires, which gave new spring offensive for the ing daily to face exhausted had abdicated (actually Wilhelm gal that it horrified Ebert. Bolshe-
Japan the opportunity to roll out Western Front – Operation Kai- German resources and personnel. didn’t until late November). The vism averted for the time being, it
imperial plans of its own in the Pa- serschlacht – that opened in In the end, Kaiserschlacht and all combination of imminent defeat fell to Ebert’s government to ac-
cific. March 1918. This was to be the associated operations were held and the spectre of communist revo- cept the armistice. The war was
where Germany’s 1914 offensive lutions led the Social Democrat over, but all kinds of new troubles
had stalled: at the Marne River. Friedrich Ebert to ask Max of were only beginning.

By the end of October 1918, The Lockport Rotary Club at the Town and Country Club in Lock-
Austrian fronts in the Balkans had port recently listened to Mangold Ranch Versatility President Me-
collapsed, depriving Germany of gan Mangold. She spoke about equine behavior, natural
its reliable petroleum source, and horsemanship training and Western and English riding differences.
Italian victory at Vittorio Veneto From left to right are: Julie Coy, Mangold, Lockport Rotary Presi-
led to the virtually simultaneous dent-elect Ellen Schratz and Lockport Rotary Past President and
Austrian surrender and the break- past NFTA Board member Dave Greenfield.
up of Austria-Hungary as Prague,
Budapest and Zagreb sought their
own exits from the war. By early
November, Italian forces had oc-
cupied all of Tirol.

By this time, as well, it became
clear to German military leader-
ship that the war effort was unsus-
tainable, and that it would be better
to surrender before Entente forces
invaded Germany. Germany be-
gan to negotiate a truce based on
Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen
Points. The one sticking point was
Wilson’s insistence that he would
only negotiate with a “free and
democratic” Germany. Short
form: Kaiser Wilhelm II had to go.

In late October the German
Imperial Naval Command ordered
the German Navy out to confront
the British Navy in the hopes of
squeezing out a German victory
from imminent defeat. The orders


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