Support for that view comes from this little item in the Times, originally published by the International Herald Tribune on May 12, 1917:
LONDON — Despatches from Amsterdam quote the “Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung” (Krupp’s organ) which reproduces from “Wirklichkeit,” Count Bothmer’s new periodical, an article on Germany’s war aims.No coherent policy lies behind this omnium gatherum of demands, beyond a desire that Germany be recognized as the winner of the war and the leading power in Europe. Other German officials put out other lists of demands, equally arbitrary.
The writer (a Privy Councillor), who allows it to be understood that these aims are also those of persons occupying positions of authority, says that no cession of territory will be demanded from France except a small strip of land near Metz, which is unconditionally required by the military authorities.
As to Belgium, the writer says — “We should receive as guarantees all the railway communications, posts and telegraphs and telephones, which must come under German management. The Belgian coast must be strongly fortified, and Belgium, moreover, must enter into an economic and Customs union with Germany. “We ought to dispense with war indemnities, as I am of opinion that England will never be prepared to pay an indemnity, and that France, Russia and the others — Japan of course excepted— will not be able to pay anything.
“Courland and Lithunia will be annexed from Russia. As regards Poland, it is possible that we should negotiate with Russia. “In the Balkans, Bulgaria must obtain the whole of the Dobruja and Serbian Montenegro, and parts of Serbia around Nish, so that she would gain access to Hungary. From the remainder of Serbia and Montenegro one State would be formed, possibly under the rule of Prince Mirko (the King of Montenegro’s second son—who went over to the enemy).”
“To Russia the passage through the Dardanelles, even for warships, would be conceded, and by this means we should achieve a rapprochement between Russia and Germany.”
“Of our colonies we can demand back the Cameroons, Togoland and East Africa. It appears doubtful whether we could get back West Africa, as the Boers make claims to this region. To these portions of Africa must be added parts of the Congo State, which Belgium must cede as compensation for the money we have expended on Belgium.”
Since there is a lot of folklore out there about how badly Germany was treated after the war, and how this bad treatment led inevitably to World War II, etc., it is worth emphasizing that France and England were always ready to accept peace on the basis of the status quo ante, and that what prolonged the war was the German leadership's insistence on receiving concessions that would recognize them as the victors.