‘This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years’: the origins of the Second World War

Stephen Goss

South East
Notice Period:
Short (maybe less than one month's notice)
Professional historian
Paid: £90.00
19th May 2024

Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch accepted the German surrender in November 1918. The peace terms he advocated were so punitive that German would not have posed a threat to France again. According to Churchill, when he heard the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Foch responded: ‘this is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years’. He was proved right.

This talk covers the international and domestic chaos into which the once Great Powers were thrown by the First World War. It addresses the grievances of the defeated powers which led to the rise of extreme left and right-wing regimes. It outlines the political state of the victorious nations in the inter-war period, the impact of the Great Depression, the failure of the League of Nations, as well as the origins and effect of appeasement.

The Great War was supposed to be the war to end all wars. This talk explains why the most devastating conflict the world has ever known occurred a mere two decades later.

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About Stephen Goss

An academic historian published in peer-review journals who has been a popular speaker in local historical societies and community groups for a decade.

With me you get history based on the highest standard of research and analysis - presented in an engaging, witty and enjoyable way. I tailor my talks to suit your audience; I guarantee you will be fascinated with the insights and hear humorous anecdotes which will stay with you.

I am also a multiple award-winning tour guide with 100% positive reviews on TripAdvisor. If you would like a walking tour, or a combined talk and walk, please contact me. Each of my talks are accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. I can provide laptop, projector, microphone and speaker if necessary.

However, as an Ulsterman, I can address any size of audience effectively without aid, and nonetheless ensure it is engaging. Let me know what you need and I am happy to accommodate.

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