This page examines events during the German Revolution of 1918-1919, as well as the early events which created the Weimar Republic.
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By late September 1918, it was becoming clear to the German High Command that the war was lost.
Even though the war had ended with Russia following the conclusion of the harsh treaty of Brest-Litovsk with German hegemony in Eastern Europe, the war in the west was going badly.
Although these reforms were meant to preserve the Emperor as a constitutional monarch, but as negotiations with the Allies continued, it was clear that Wilhelm's position was untenable.
As Germany's allies of Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria sued for peace and the Allies marched toward the German border, the war-weary populace longed for an end to the fighting.
In Bavaria, a “Workers' and Soldiers' Council” forced the last King, Ludwig III, to abdicate.
On November 9, the Revolution at last reached Berlin with crowds of soldiers and workers carrying red flags, forcing the Kaiser to abdicate. One was made at the Imperial Palace, by Karl Liebknecht, the anti-war leader of the revolutionary left organization – the Spartacus League.
Yet the Naval Command hoped to go out in a blaze of glory.
So on October 24, 1918 the Imperial Navy issued an order for the fleet to sail and engage the British Royal Navy on the high seas.