Academic journal article Military Review

Armistice 1918

Academic journal article Military Review

Armistice 1918

Article excerpt

ARMISTICE 1918 by Bullitt Lowry. 344 pages. Kent Univerity Press, Kent, OH. 1996. $35.00.

This book is a thorough study of the armistice that ended the fighting on World War I's Western Front. Author Bullitt Lowry presents a preponderance of evidence that the 1919 Treaty of Versailles was anticlimactic. Its final conditions were included in the cease-fire terms the Allies dictated and Germany accepted on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Soldiers and statesmen alike should remember that preliminary terms have a way of perpetuating themselves into the postwar world's foundations.

Lowry reminds us that this problem is not new and that how a war ends is as important as how it begins. For example, after the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein used some obscure specifications for free-fly zones to perpetuate his regime. Our failure to end that war as brilliantly as the coalition forces fought it has led to a new genre of studyconflict termination-in think tanks and war and staff colleges.

This book is a thorough study of a short period of time-about five weeks. It is not for most general readers, because its strength is in its detailed analysis of negotiations among allies. If the book has a weakness, it lies in the discussion of US civil-military relations, such as the conflict between President Woodrow Wilson and General John J. …

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