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Why did Germany lose World War One?

Do you know much about World War One? I hope this will be educational to you.

The war ended with the allies of Britain, France and Russia winning the war successfully. There were many reasons to why the Allies won the war. Some of the reasons were the effects of the long war on the German Economy, the Alliance Systems, The Allied Naval Blockade on Germany, The Development of the Tank towards the end of the war, and the leadership.

After Germany became united as one country, they were becoming one of the wealthiest and powerful countries in the world. Their industries were mainly based on stuff like steel and coal which played big parts in the lead up to becoming very rich. Since they became so strong, they wanted more colonies, more land and more money. They thought they deserve colonies like any other countries. So the Germans started the war on the upper hand. But as the war started, all started to go wrong for Germany.

First since Germany had to fight on two fronts France and Russia, Germany wanted to destroy France quickly then turn on Russia and underestimated Britain and thought they will be effective at sea but would play little part in a European war. However, Germany’s Schlieffen plan completely failed. It was very hard to break down the French resistance. France wanted vengeance on Germany as they stole Alsace-Lorraine away from France when France lost the war in 1870 against Germany. So Germany was attacked from two fronts. The British, who Germany underestimated at the start of the war, were in fact well trained to fight on land causing Germany problems. So the economy declined as the on going attritional warfare at the fronts was wearing down the Germans very quickly.

Another reason was the Alliance problems. Britain had strong allies which served Britain well. For example, the Dominions and Colonies provided great manpower and supplied food. Also in 1917, U.S.A joined the war which provided great manpower and brought resources useful in war. However, Germany’s allies were more or less useless. They did little to pressurize the enemies and unable to provide huge resources. Also, the Italians changed sides as soon as war broke out which was a shock.

A big problem for Germany was the Allied Naval blockade. As only the northern part of Germany faced the sea and there were only few major ports, Britain took advantage and stopped all supplies getting into Germany through sea. As the Germans couldn’t get any supplies from their allies and

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User Comments
  1. blondeboy

    On April 22, 2007 at 7:41 am

    thank you very much.. information came in helpfulxxx

  2. Papa Smurf

    On April 24, 2007 at 1:09 am

    hmmmm very goood thank-you was very useful

  3. happy

    On April 29, 2007 at 2:25 am

    have been looking all over the internet for something like this – was very useful, thanks

  4. daveyh

    On October 28, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    historically inaccurate! poorly written! awful! did you use ANY references at all!? terrible!

  5. daveyh

    On October 28, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    historically inaccurate! poorly written! awful! did you use ANY references at all!? terrible!

  6. hj

    On November 15, 2007 at 11:12 am


  7. tssss

    On November 20, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    some good points but not well structured with lot of gramatical errors that confuse you. do not copy/print because the teacher will understand nothing !

  8. delmar

    On November 21, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    hey, the one main reason Germany lost was because of the US engagement. before that, Germany kicked ass, and would have own the war if the US hadn’t engaged.

  9. callam son of david

    On November 28, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    what is this, i don’t understand…..


  10. Tammi

    On December 10, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    thanks for da info! dat helped me wid ma homework!

  11. almighty

    On December 14, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Delmar’s right, in short, the U.S. entering the war was what sealed it. Also, the German’s are notorious for underestimating their enemy, and overestimating themselves. Entire novels have been written on why the German’s lose at war.

  12. Ryan

    On December 17, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Agree with the poorly written comments. Your comments are very vague with little references.

  13. dghfh

    On January 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    u wrote everythin wrong you think that only britains commandeers are the best

  14. lizzinski92

    On March 3, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    thanks sooooo much……. this helped a ton

  15. WW3

    On March 28, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Very nicely written thanks :)

  16. Samhruta

    On April 4, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Very good and very useful info!!!!!!!

  17. guini34

    On April 19, 2008 at 5:37 am

    i agree the americans where crap…although they did contribute to ending the war, they played a more supporting role down to their lack of combat experience, with the majority of victories at the end of the war being taken by the British and French forces with lesser casualties than the americans,(see Edmonds, James Edward, A short history of World War I)also have to say this was a fairly inaccurate piece of work.

  18. Evan

    On April 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    o yea that was great

  19. at school

    On April 23, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    you missed heaps of things
    and focused on things thats had little impact
    do your reasearch idiot

  20. Topo Stone

    On May 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I find it interesting; maybe you are missing some details. But is it good and useful.

  21. Emily

    On May 18, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Cheers mate! Helped me a lot with homework! Thanks :) You are the best – whoever wrote this. Yea great stuff. Very useful info!

    Thanks again x :)

  22. Anonymous

    On June 3, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Thanx alot m8, helped me alot!

  23. Aaron Pau

    On June 19, 2008 at 2:27 am

    this report is great. But so am I. In other words whoever wrote this is seriously @#$%ed up. But ill give him a clap for trying to at least help.

  24. wtf...

    On August 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    wtf the war wasnt started because germany wanted more land the war was started because a serbian student assasinated franz ferdinand a archduke heir to the austro-hunagry throne, then austro-hunagry declared war on serbia and that activated a series of alliance and soon most of europe was at war…

  25. anyone can post something up these days :(

    On October 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Yaaaa. whoever wrote this your facts are wrong buddy.
    War was started from Imperialism, Militarism, Alliances and nationalism. And Germany’s economy was fine, it was waiting for the war, thats why they sprung back up in WW2 so fast, they were not totaly beaten… The war stopped at Verdun in 1917 with France and America (America was called doughboys). lol Also Alfred Von Schlieffen created the Schlieffen Plan in 1905 but he died…. Von Molkkte executed the Schlieffen plan. There was already tension and the assasination was the trigger. lol and Germany wasn’t even a country when it took over Alace and lorraine…. It was the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war that did that….. Im 16 and I know that… Don’t post up information if its incorrect, cause all those ppl that said “Thanks!” just fail their homework. Do research next time buddy, from a data base or a real text book….

  26. CTO

    On October 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Basically, there is some alright information and it does the job of summing up the factors as to why Germany lost the war. However-apologies if English isn’t actually your first language (in which case, nice job)-but it is written in the grammatical style of a foreigner…Perhaps slightly misinformed and focussing on seemingly minor factors, where a lot more should be written about U.S intervention. Having said this, I think people calling the author of this an idiot is a bit out of order…A million rates if your foreign though, because if you are that’s a decent essay!

  27. CTO

    On October 20, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    that should have been …’if YOU’RE foreign’…apologies to any pedants…!

  28. Leo Waltner

    On October 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    this is one of the worst essays that i have ever read and it is historically completely inaccurate!

  29. jesse potter

    On November 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    this did absolutely nothing i asked i am so disappoiunted in you . you will not be happy with me tonight

  30. dessy

    On November 18, 2008 at 8:29 am

    thank you, this helped a whole lot!! i have to make a speech for class and this info was really useful!

  31. Teacher102

    On December 3, 2008 at 7:39 am

    possibly the worst essay every written on the first world war. full of sweeping statements. A bit of advice: next time you write an essay use some facts, it might also help knowing a tiny bit about the subject you choose to write about.

  32. ihateschool

    On December 3, 2008 at 11:14 am

    u guys are very harsh
    it wasn’t actually that bad, i think it focused on only one perspective of the war and not the factual ideas, but it was more of a response to why he thought Germany lost. i think it was okay, u may want to check your facts because Franz Ferdinand was the spark of world war one, and u missed out the Treaty of Versailles which was a very important factor. Also the war wasn’t totally Germany’s fault, it was bound to happen some time, germany in fact lost 1,950,000 in world war one. Also Germany had been resentfully blamed for the war, just because they lost. I believe everyone lost, families were destroyed, houses ruined, millions dead. In 1917 the War was still in a state o stalemate. Neither side could win. But neither side was ready to make peace. Then in April 1917 the USA joined the war on Britain’s side. and in March 1917 there was a revolution in Russia. In March 1918 the new COMMUNIST government made peace with Germany.
    The Germans now launched a final enormous attack on France, before many American troops arrived. But they could not break through. Back in Germany, people had had enough of the war, and food shortages were so bad, they were starving. So Britain and its allies took the opportunity to counter-attack. They began to push the Germany Army back. The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm, fled from the country and the government which replaced him asked for an armistice (cease fire). On 11 November 1918 the war was over. And this is where I end.———————————-

  33. WW1

    On December 8, 2008 at 7:55 am

    you are very stupid. dont write another essay. so bad i cant find the words to describe it. are a complete fool. why dont you get a job and stop messing around writing terrible essays with not a single ounce of truth.

  34. kim

    On December 13, 2008 at 4:43 am

    u guyz r just stupid diz is pure solid info! it have correct information about y germany lost! so wat r u guyz orn bwt! get ur factz ryt nd ur mind fixed!!

  35. abdab

    On December 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    this information made me get an erection after this text i managed to start to masterbate and have sex thank you x

  36. dammit you're all morons apart from the ones who call you an idiot

    On January 18, 2009 at 5:02 am

    WOW. This was surprisingly bad.
    (Also, kim, don’t call other people stupid wen u tip lyk diz because it’s pretty funny and no matter what you say no one’s gonna listen)

  37. abc

    On January 31, 2009 at 4:39 am

    I think that it is a good essay to use for answering school questions; however it lacks the facts to be used as an actual essay. But then again, if you are looking to write a full essay, you would not be researching full answers on the internet, unless you have some sort of mental incapability.

  38. 123

    On February 1, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Really helpful,
    Thanks :)

  39. ...

    On February 22, 2009 at 12:33 am

    kinda biased…but its useful
    thxs =]

  40. dudey dude

    On February 23, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Also the Germans lost because of the unsucess of the Schlieffen Plan where the Russians mobilised their troops earlier than expected

  41. dudey dude

    On February 23, 2009 at 3:26 am

    informal starting with stuff

  42. dudey dude

    On February 23, 2009 at 4:31 am

    they wanted land because of the new imperialism

  43. gook

    On February 25, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    what the hell, do you really call that an essay. Im sure i could have written better when i was in grade 7. And kim, either your black or dumb because noon typz lik dis.

  44. Jimbomonkey1234

    On March 13, 2009 at 12:50 am

    While I find your simplistic writing (and that you omitted Austria-Hungary and the fact that the Russians were the first to mobilize troops) ridiculous, I’m willing to accept this as an overview for the common…sixth grader. At least put a warning preceding the article that reads, “A very simple overview of WWI.”

  45. simge

    On March 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    very helpful, helped my history report a lot xx

  46. /??

    On April 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

    although, it is noted as delmar says the role of the usa was significant in the ending of the war,though he has overstated it. The two battle at sea, most significantlt jutland, ensured the blockade of resources entering germany, even if the usa hadn’t of entered it is still likely that Germany would have lost.

  47. firepoise

    On April 22, 2009 at 12:13 am

    As a history teacher I want to say “well done” for putting the effort into writing this post. I am shocked by the comments from people. If you are going to read the efforts of other people in the hopes of using it for your own work then the least you can do is offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism not damming opinion.

    You have covered many of the key reasons why the Central Powers lost WW1 and although I think you have overstated the role of tanks and I don’t agree with your opinions on the leaders it is a good attempt at understanding a complex issue.

    There were many factors which led to the defeat of the Central Powers in WW1 but the generally accepted thesis is the failure of the Schlieffen Plan with the digging of trenches at Marne. This led to trench warfare as opposed to the short war expected by the German Generals. With the blockade Germany and the other Central Powers did not have the resources to fight an enemy which was supplied by the USA. The entry of the USA did NOT play a massively significant role in terms of military success. The impact of the USA’s entry lies more in the fact that it spurred Ludendorff to launch a final offensive in the hopes of achieving victory before the fresh troops arrived. This failed and led to his resignation and severely lowered the morale of German troops. Added to this was the desperate economic situation within Germany, the example of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the unwillingness of the sailors at Kiel to go on a suicide mission.

    Technology did not play a significant role in the defeat or victory of the powers beyond being a main reason for trench warfare and the impact of that however the developments during WW1 were to play a key role in subsequent wars.

    BTW, Schlieffen died in 1913.

    Good to see so many people fascinated by history! :)

  48. fjente

    On May 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Helped with my childrens homework, so thanks!

  49. yo

    On May 28, 2009 at 11:10 am

    WW1 ur a cocksucking SOB this guy has spent his time writing this essay (which i found realy useful for my history homework) and all you do is mouth about it why dont you go shove a big dick up ur ass and get on with your life.

    thanks for your help lolman 1 2 3

  50. jaky

    On November 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    hey guys ! i have to say that is an good essay ofcourse its not covering all the points of ww1 but at least someone made the effort to write it. I have a question for all the people who complained why don\’t you post something better than insulting this guy or at least give him some help. I\’m not an native speaker either so i can see his gramatical problems.

  51. jaky92

    On November 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    hey guys ! i have to say that is an good essay ofcourse its not covering all the points of ww1 but at least someone made the effort to write it. I have a question for all the people who complained why don\’t you post something better than insulting this guy or at least give him some help. I\’m not an native speaker either so i can see his gramatical problems.

  52. zeynep

    On December 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    yoo bence çok güzel olmuş bu yazı. elinize sağlık :D takma sen yazına kötü diyenleri. bi boktan anlamıyorlar onlar :D xoxox

  53. Paige

    On February 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    There was so much more to the war than you’ve covered, and a lot of this essay is made up of bias and sweeping statements. Next time, try to use more facts and resources, and state where you got your information from; It’ll give you a clearer perspective on the relating issues and help everyone else who uses this for research purposes to develop their points.

    Personally I think you’ve magnified small points and minimised important ones. Most of the information is plausible, but not complete. Your bias hasn’t been backed up with evidence, and a lot more explaining could have been done for certain points.

    If I was to give you advice as a teacher, I would suggest you focus more on the failure of the Schlieffen plan, the retreat of Germany’s allies nearing the end of the war, the naval blockade, propaganda (although everybody seems to miss the importance of propaganda, and that’s in every stage of history), and finally, America’s part in the war (not only their decisive action but the threat they posed – before they joined the war and after).

    I also think the role of weaponry and economy has been underestimated, although I don’t believe the development of tanks had as much of an effect as you’ve claimed (hence it would be useful for you to here incorporate some evidence to support your opinion) and I think you’ve underestimated the value of the development of aircraft during the war.

    Additionally, you have not mentioned Ludendorff’s Spring Offensive (and the Allied counter-attacks), the assasination of Ferdinand (although this was nowhere near being the prime cause of the war), and the state of Europe before the war in regards to German encirclement, militarism, imperialism, colonisation, nationalism, alliances, and all those other long words teachers love to see in essays.

    Finally, I think it’s unfair to make judgements on the leaders at the time in the way you have. Yes, German leaders may have made some disadvantaging decisions, just as Allied leaders did, but it’s important when studying history to remember the context of the time. This type of war had never before been seen, and the leaders were often distantly-associated with the actual horrors of the front. They didn’t have the benefit of hindsight either, and if you think about the particular plans, they aren’t all that ridiculous; It is usually a lack of planning or misled assumptions that led to an attacks downfall.

    For everyone else reading and/or posting on this, if it helps you, fine, but don’t use this as your only source of research for your homework and assignments. If you don’t like it, post something better for us all, or at least give constructive criticism rather than just harrassing the person to no positive outcome. Oh, and if you’re going to insult the person like that, at least back up your evidence for that bias too.

  54. Maj. Geordiel

    On March 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    terrible writing. seemed one sided and pro allies. never mentioned any useful inromation about the decisive battles that made a real difference inthe outcome of the war. lots of erros in grammar too. no historical and fatcual referrences too.

    to sum it up, it sounds exactly how i imagine my great grandfather would tell it as some distant far removed observer of the actual war.

  55. right...

    On March 17, 2010 at 12:20 am


  56. stoned

    On March 17, 2010 at 12:21 am



  57. Benderoo

    On March 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    cheers m8 v.useful!

  58. this guy

    On June 24, 2010 at 11:59 am

    u suck

  59. Fred

    On September 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

    This is pretty much all wrong, If you want good info, read the encyclopedia!

  60. Charles

    On October 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I found this very helpful, thank you. Maybe the grammar could have been slightly better, but I had no idea which topics to use and how to begin, and this gave me a very useful starting point to research the reasons, e.g. the Schlieffen Plan, the blockade and the US’s entry into the war. So, I’m very grateful =)

  61. sophia

    On November 6, 2010 at 4:52 am

    you missed a lot of key information, but a great analysis :)

  62. Ann

    On November 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    thank you very much Paige, I find your information really helpful !

  63. jasas

    On January 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    i thought it was pretty good, but the grammatical errors confused me

  64. Tom

    On February 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

    hmm… germany didn’t start the first world war, perhaps you should read your history books before writing an article about something you don’t really understand. This is the Internet, there might be some people who actually believe what you have written…

  65. Brewchief

    On March 19, 2011 at 1:42 am

    “yo”, you really shouldn’t be lashing out at anyone in defense of this “essay”. It is riddled with so many inaccuracies and so oversimplified that it is UTTERLY USELESS as a history resource. There are many great resources to learn about history. This is not one of them.

    Try going to a library and cracking a book. The more the better, as you will find many opposing viewpoints and documentation of historical events.

  66. thechief

    On March 30, 2011 at 2:16 am

    okay to begin with germany didn’t just lose the war, many other nations got screwed! brittan and france lost almost an entire generation of men. another thing the u-boat campaign was brilliant( i am not German) it attack Britain on all fronts, the english tried everything and the depth charges were very inaccurate plus when the British were trying to get any supplies through to england they had to be accompanied by two battle ships simply because the submarines were brilliant in destroying ships

  67. redburn

    On April 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    write an article about germany on ww2 and message me: my triond username is redburn

  68. I am no expert

    On June 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    First of all, atleast the author had made an effort into writing this. I’m sure all you people criticizing this essay couldn’t do a better job. Though yes, I must agree that there are some main points missing, but it did give me some help when studying for my history exam. So, thank you

  69. Jeff

    On July 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I know you wrote your comment a few years ago, but the US (who entered the war in 1917) had little impact in actual battles compared to Britain, Canada, France, and Russia. When the US declared war, they needed 100 days to get to the European Front. The Germans knew this so they launched an offensive to through the Allies back into the sea. Canada (and elements of the British army) started a series of counter offensives which re-gained much land, and had a significant toll on the German armed forces on the Western Front, both in material and men. Saying US won WW1 and \’kicked ass\’ is ridiculous.


    On November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    nice answer…i give it 9/10

  71. Chase Unfried

    On January 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    “However, Germany’s Schlieffen plan completely failed”
    Considering the fact that they never fully executed the original Schlieffen plan and the general acting on it was a coward, and always doubted everything he did, until he fucked it up, yeah. The Schlieffen plan would’ve probably destroyed what chance France had. Oh, and the French sucked, like every war.

  72. Renal

    On March 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Some comments are always more terrible than the essay.
    I agree with some of ur perspectives ‘cauze i’m dealing with the factors which caused Germans agreeing to an Armistice in Nov.1918
    Ur essay helped me to check my points.
    Thanks a lot.

  73. Zarathustra

    On March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hallo I´m German so please don´t be angry if I make some language mistakes.

    Most informations of the article are right, but there are some points I can´t agree with.
    Firstly, you are writing “Britain, France and Russia winning the war successfully”.
    Im sorry, but that´s wrong. Of course Britain and France won, but Russia lost the war, they surrendered in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918. After war it was canceled, but Russia didn´t even exist than, because it became to the USSR.
    In war they were defeated and after it they lost territory to the new Polish state.
    Secondly, Germany don´t even lost the war because of France and Great Britain (I don´t write this, only because I´m German):
    1914-1915 German troops conquered fastly big parts of France and Paris would be able to conquer.
    In the same time Austria-Hungary lost everywhere against the Russian army, so Germany had to help them. In same time Russia attacked eastern Germany and 1915 Italy decleared us the war, so there was not enough troops for the western front.
    German troops were still relatively effective on all fronts, you can see it on the winnings in the east and number of casulties, which mostly was smaller than the losses of the entente.
    But until 1916-17 Germany was still economically at an advantage, so that French front was almost at the collapse, many allied soldiers in this time wanted do desert. This still happened in Italy and the disaster took its course there.
    The Blockade of the british navy wasn´t so important, it only killed many civillians, but after the USSR surrendered, Germany got his food from the Ukraine, so the british blockade bekame senceless. 1918 Germany conquered the biggest part of the italian and russian war equipment and still one million soldiers from the eastern front became free for France.
    The point because of that Germany still lost the war is the entry in war of the United States.
    Without US troops and US equipement, then Germany would have won in the Spring Offensive 1918 (with new troops from the east), which was verry succesfull, but failed because of the big number of new coming US troops.
    This was Germany’s own fault because of the submarine war (how you said).
    And still one point: Germany didn´t start this war. It´s not like in world war two!

  74. dosen't matter

    On April 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    worst information ever!!!!!!!! And FYI at near end of the war no german land was occupied by the allies, internal collapse was the main cause of them losing…

  75. Michael McCoy

    On October 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    The writer of this ‘narrative’ is wrong/mistaken/misguided on so many fronts, I don’t know where to start.
    He/she even becomes confused about which war is being discussed, WWI or WWII.
    Even the briefest discussion of WWI without the mention of The Balfour Declaration and Zionist aspirations is woefully lacking.
    This is a perfect example that a sensible test should be administered before anyone would be allowed to post online.
    I’d love to hear this person’s rendition of the so-called ‘holocaust’ or the events surrounding the 911 attacks on America.
    Laughter is good for the soul.

  76. michael kelly

    On January 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    where did you get your information from? :)

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