September 1914. The British Navy establishes the Blockade of Germany. Its objective was (obviously) an effort to restrict the maritime supply of goods to the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire).
The Blockade of Germany is generally believed to be one of the key ingredients of the Allied victory in the Great War – and in forcing Germany to accept humiliating and devastating terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
It is also believed to be one of the key factors that caused the November Revolution in Germany that did away with the monarchy and the German Empire (the “Second Reich”) and gave birth to the Weimar Republic.
The German Board of Public Health in December 1918 estimated that about 750,000 German civilians died from starvation and disease caused by the blockade up until the end of December 1918. An additional 100,000 people may have died during the continuation blockade in 1919.
These horrors made Adolf Hitler make a firm commitment of Adolf Hitler to make sure that they never, ever happen again to his beloved fellow Germans. And thus became the driving force for his quest for Lebensraum in the East – colonial wars determined by him and other Nazis to be the only way to make Germany self-sufficient in foodstuffs and basic strategic materials.
November 1914. Adolf Hitler receives Iron Cross Second Class. His first major battle was the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914), which the Germans subsequently aptly labeled the “Kindermord bei Ypern” (“Ypres Massacre of the Innocents”.
Approximately 40,000 men (between a third and a half) of nine newly-enlisted infantry divisions became casualties in just 20 days. Hitler’s regiment entered the battle with 3,600 men and at its end mustered just 611. In other words, the regiment lost four out of five men (83%, to be more precise). Hitler’s 1st company of 250 was reduced to just 42 men standing, suffering the same level of losses.
In that massacre simply staying alive was a very impressive achievement, but Adolf Hitler did much more than that. He demonstrated outstanding bravery and results which earned him Iron Cross Second Class – no small feat in German Imperial Army.
The fact that he survived when four out of five of his comrades-in-arms perished in battle (and not just survived but achieved something worthy of a prestigious decoration) was for Adolf Hitler the second proof that the Almighty God (or Providence) was watching over him – and wanted him to achieve something genuinely significant.
After the battle, was assigned to be a regimental message-runner – a very important job as lives of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of German soldiers and officers – and a major tactical success – often depended on the timely delivery of the message from battalion or regimental HQ.
For the same reason the job was highly dangerous as the message runner was a high-priority target for enemy snipers and assault teams that operated behind the German lines.
October 7th, 1916. Another miraculous rescue from a certain death. On that date, near Bapaume in France, during the Battle of the Somme (one of the bloodiest battles in human history) Gefreiter Adolf Hitler was getting a well-deserved rest with his comrades in the dispatch runners’ dugout.
For some reason he decided to briefly leave the bunker … and in a minute after he left, the French shell hit the dugout instantly killing everyone inside. This time, Hitler did not escape unscathed – he was wounded in his left thigh and had to spend two months in a military hospital at Beelitz in the German state of in Brandenburg.
This incident provided another proof for Adolf Hitler that he was, indeed, protected by the Providence – as long as he is working on his (yet unknown) Divine Mission.
March 17th, 1917. The (incorrectly labeled as one) February Revolution in Russia (which actually happened in March of that year) forced the Russian Emperor Nicholas II to abdicate, ending the 304-year rule of Romanov dynasty in Russia and transforming the last absolute monarchy in Europe and in the civilized world into a democratic (sort of) republic.
By itself, this revolution had only a local importance; however, it became a blueprint for the November Revolution in Germany (and in Austro-Hungary) that did away with two monarchies (in German and Austro-Hungarian), one empire (Austro-Hungarian) and created a short-lived Weimar Republic.
It created several independent states (Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) and – which is the most important by far – paved the way to power in Russia for the Bolsheviks.
March 17th, 1917. The United States of America enters the Great War tipping the scales decisively in favor of the Allies (and thus against Germany and other Central Powers).
The German government brought this disaster on itself in January of thatb year with the infamous Zimmermann Telegram (also called Zimmerman Note or Zimmerman Cable). The telegram was issued the German Foreign Office (it was signed by the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann) and proposed… a military alliance between Germany and Mexico.
The telegram was intercepted, decoded and made public by British intelligence (it is considered probably the most significant intelligence triumph for Britain – and not only during the Great War).
The Zimmerman Telegram became that proverbial “straw” that finally broke the back of the American “isolationist camel”, already enraged by (wildly exaggerated) reports of atrocities in Belgium in 1914, the sinking of RMS Lusitania in 1915 (and the unrestricted submarine warfare declared by German Navy).
Still, the American decision to enter the Great War on the Allied side was a blunder of genuinely galactic proportions – probably the worst in human history. Indeed, it led to the establishment of the two most murderous regimes in human history – the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and to the Second World War – the most destructive and homicidal military conflict in the history of mankind.
By the end of 1916, it was painfully evident that the Great War was at a stalemate – in other words, neither side had the resources for a decisive victory. In addition, the war was not exactly popular on either side.
Consequently, the United States should have used its immense diplomatic power to convince both the Allied and Central powers to accept this uncomfortable reality. And to broker the peace treaty that would have return European borders to May of 1914.
Which would have (definitely) saved 100+ millions of human lives, prevented the Second World War from ever breaking out and (highly likely) saved the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian empires (and monarchies).