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First World War
Transcript of First World War
First World War
Image by Tom Mooring
a term to describe the situation in the Western Front from December 1914 - 1918.
Neither side could make a breakthrough since the techniques and weapons used were better suited for defense than to attack
Before 1914 the six most powerful countries in Europe were divided into two opposite Alliances.
Characteristics of the war
world events were dominated by the continent of
First World War
Austria - Hungary
This system of alliances was a 'Balance of Power'. Politicians believed that the size and power of the two alliances would prevent either side from starting a war.
Two crisis in Morocco raised temperature in Europe
Kaiser visited Morocco
French wanted to control Morocco
The Kaiser made a speech saying he supported independence for Morocco
The French were furious at his interfering in their affairs
The Kaiser was humiliated by Britain and France at the conference held in Algeciras
Britain and France formed an alliance with Russia.The Triple Entente saw their alliance as security against Germany agression
The French wanted to take over Morocco again
The Kaiser sent a gunboat to Agadir
The British feared that the Kaiser wanted to set up a naval base. They did not want German ships on the Mediterranean
Another conference was held= the British and the French stood firmly against Germany. As a result France took control of Morocco, and Germany was given land in central Africa as compensation
Britain and France reached an agreement that the French should patrol the Mediterranean and the Royal Navy should defend France's Atlantic and North Sea coasts
The Ottoman Empire was now small. Two rivals compete for this strategic place
In order to stop Serbian expansion, Austria took over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia and Serbia protested, but they back down when Germany made it clear that it supported Austria. Neither Russia nor Serbia were prepared to risk war over this issue.
Since many people in Bosnia were Slavs, this action annoyed them. As a consequence, several secret societies were formed in Serbia, whose members dedicated to throw th Austrians out of the Balkans. On of this societies was called the
Greece, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria attacked the Ottoman and drove them out of the Balkans.
Serbia became the leader of Slavs people in both the Balkans and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary was annoyed and wanted to teach Serbia a lesson
Most people at the Balkans had links with Russia (Serbs and Bulgars are Slav).
Russia wanted to be sure that the Dardanelles, the channel which gave it a sea route to the Mediterranean, did not fall into enemies hands.
Russia supported independence and expansion for the Balkan states. In that way, there would always be independent Slav countries friendly to Russia in that area.
Austria-Hungary was annoyed by the plans of Serbia to create a 'Yugoslavia' which would contain all the Slavs south of Austria
Murder in Sarajevo
Franz Ferdinand - Heir of the Austrio- Hungarian Empire
Austria declared war on Serbia.
Russian army got ready to help Serbia. Germany warned Russia not to help Serbia
Germany declared war on Russia and it began to move it's army towards France and Belgium
Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. Britain ordered Germany to withdrawn from Belgium.
Britain declared war on Germany
Austria declared war on Russia
Consequences of the assasination
When war broke out across Europe, it was greeted with enthusiasm. Everyone agreed it would all be over by Christmas. Newspapers and magazines filled the minds of the Europeans with images of heroic soldiers putting the enemy to flight. Young generations had been persuaded that this war would be a swift. A few lightning marches and a great battle would settle the matter.
They began as simple shelters but by 1915 they had developed into complex defensive systems
Artillery bombardments caused more casualties that any other weapon.
By the end of the war, artillery was much bigger and the artillery tactics were extremely sophisticated
Once trenches were dug, cavalry became too vulnerable to artillery and machine guns. Even so, horses and mules remained vital for transporting supplies and equipment.
Trench warefare changed the role of the infantry dramatically.
Germany's first poison gas attack was on April 1915.
The aim of a gas attack was to disable the enemy troops, so that your own infantry would be successful.
Later, scientists developed mustard gas and effective gas masks.
The main significance of such attacks was the psychological impact
As the war continued, artillery and infantry attacks were better synchronized and generals tried new tactics, weapons and equipment.
New camouflage techniques were used.
It was a British invention
Battle of the Somme: tanks were used for the first time
The first machines moved at a walking pace and they were not very manoeuvrable
1918 the German adapt field guns to fire at tanks
Treaty of Versailles
was based on the 14 points of Woodrow Wilson.
Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war.
Germany had to pay reparations to the Allies for the damage caused by the way
German territories and colonies
Germany's overseas empire was taken away. German colonies became mandates controlled by the League of Nations, which effectively meant that France and Britain controlled them
Germany's armed forces
The army was limited to 100.000 men
Conscription was banned
Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles, submarines or aircraft
The navy could build only six battleships
The Rhineland became a demilitarized zone
League of Nations
Was set up as international 'police force'.
Germany was not invited to join the League until it had shown that it was a peace-loving country
part of its population
all of its colonies
10 per cent of its land
Germany was to lose:
Germans were horrified. They didn't feel they had started the war. They believed that Germany should have been at the Paris Peace Conference to negotiate peace. They were angry, that they were being forced to accept a harsh treaty without any choice
Other Peace settlements
The four treaties were not negotiated by the 'Big Three' but by officers and diplomats working with the foreign ministers of the Allied powers
Treaty of St Germain 1919
Dealt with: Austria
Separated Austria from Hungary
Bohemia and Moravia became Czechoslovakia
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia became Yugoslavia (including Serbia)
Austria lost Galicia to Poland and land to Italy
Its army was restricted and it was forbidden to ever reunite with Germany
Austria suffered severe economic problems after the war, as much of its industry had gone to Czechoslovakia
Treaty of Neully 1919
Dealt with: Bulgaria
It lost land to Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia and its access to the Mediterranean
Its army was restricted and it had to pay reparations
Treaty of Trianon 1920
Dealt with: Hungary
Its main terms involved the transfer of territories: - Transylvania to Romania - Slovakia, Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia - Slovenia, Croatia to Yugoslavia
Hungary lost a substantial amount of its territory and its population.
Its industries suffered from the loss of population and raw materials
Treaty of Sèvres 1920
Dealt with: Turkey
Turkey was important because of its strategic position and the size of its empire.
It transferred Smyrna to Greece and Syria under French control
Turkey lost control of the straits running into the Black Sea
They had to accept that many countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Moroco, were now independent or under British or French protection.
A large Empire was very important for trade also for prestige
The power of a country was judge by the size of its empire
The British and the French had the biggest empires
In the 1870s Germany and Italy became united countries and they wanted overseas empires.
There was a fierce competiton for colonies developed between European countries
could bring wealth in terms of raw materials for indrustries, cheap food and minerals such as gold and diamonds
provide the mother country with a market for its industrial goods.
It was a static war
The weather had a marked effect on
In summer the trenches were hot, dusty and smelly
In wet weather soldiers spent much time up to their ankles or knees in water. Many suffered from 'trench foot', cause by standing in water for hours or days.
In winter the trenches offered little protection from the cold. Many soldiers got frostbite.
Mud was soldier's biggest enemy
As soon as war was declared Germany's Schlieffen Plan went into operation.
The idea was that Germany would attack France through Belgium to avoid two front war: Russia (east) and France (west) The theory was that Russia would take a long time to mobilize. The Germans had to try to get to Paris and defeat France within six weeks, so that they could send all their troops to Russia. But the plan wasn't successful because neither the Belgians nor the Russians did what the Schlieffen Plan expected them to do.
The Belgians put up a heroic resistance and gave time for French and British troops to mobilize.
Russia mobilized quicker that Germany expected, so troops had to be sent to Germany's Eastern Front.
The Battle of the Marne
The German army faced another problem. Their advance had been so fast that their supplies of food and ammunition could not keep up. Germans and French advanced.
The French and the British force were able to stop the German advance along the line of the River Marne. However, they could not drive them out of France entirely.
Neither side could make any progress and by 8th September, troops on both sides were digging trenches to protect themselves from snipers and shell fire.
Battle of Verdun
In February 1916 the Germans began a battle to capture the French Forts surrounding Verdun. The strategy of attrition, which was to "bleed French white", failed in that both sides had huge losses, but the German had greater resources
The British led by Douglas Haig had in mind a long-planned offensive at the Somme.
British troops advanced after a week- long artillery bombardment of German trenches.Britain lost million of men.
This battle was a turning point, it changed the view of the war.
The Battle of Ypres
It was a key battle of the race to the sea.
Both British and Germans had lost a great number of men. But the British held this important ground. They kept control of the English Channel ports, which meant they could be supplied with equipment and reinforcements.
Russia (Big Bear)
At the start of the war Russia quickly mobilized two huge armies and invaded East Prussia. This helped to ruin the Schlieffen Plan
At the Battle of Tannenberg: Russia suffered a shattering defeat by German forces. Russian soldiers were badly led, poorly equipped and underfed.
Russia had invaded the Austrian province of Galicia
Although the Russians were defeated at Gorlice in May 1915, it took four more months for the Austrians to drive the Russians out of Galicia
Summer: General Brusilov led a stunning offensive against the Austrians.
The Russians wasted the opportunity and instead of attacking other parts of the Austrian lines, he decided to send extra troops to advance.
Millions of Russians were dead. Such losses intensified Russia's domestic problems
Keeping soldiers supplied meant that civilians went hungry.
March: Russia collapsed. There was a Revolution which overthrown the Tsar and the Provisional Government ruled Russia.
November: the Bolsheviks (led by Lenin) took power and pulled Russia out of the war.
The Allied force aim was to land at Salonika, Greece and help Serbia defeat Austria and Bulgaria. Then march to create a new front against Germany
October 1915: Allied landing took place. Mixed force of British, French, Serb, Italian and Russian troops were immediately bogged down by Bulgarian resistance.
The main hazard facing the troops were diseases: malaria and dysentery.
September 1916: stalemate was broken. Bulgarians were defeated in two weeks
One possibility of breaking the stalemate was to attack one of Germany's allies.
Churchill and Lord Kitchener persuaded the government to attempt an attack on the Dardanelles strait.
The plan was that British warships were going to sweep through the Dardanelles strait, attack Constantinople and drive Turkey out of the war
What actually happened:
March 1915: warships bombarded as the British and French ships entered the strait. 3 battle cruisers were sank and others damaged. After that they decided they would launch a land invasion and capture the peninsula.
April 1915: British, French and ANZAC troops attacked Helles beach. The Turks had doubled the defensive attack.
A day after they had captured a number of Turkish trenches, the Allies realized that they could not throw the Turks from the Peninsula
Was neutral but was supplying loans and equipment to the Allies
Germany attacked and destroyed many american ships
May 1915: the passanger liner Lusitania sailing between USA and Britain was sank by a German U-boat.
When the USA discovered Germany wanted to ally with Mexico against them, the USA declared war on Germany on 1st April 1917
Paris Peace Conference
In 1919 the leaders of the victorious powers met in Paris to decided how to deal with the defeated countries. The Conference took place in the palace of Versailles. Thirty-two nations were supposed to be represented, but no one from the defeated countries was invited.
All the important decisions were made by the 'Big Three'
France had felt threatened by Germany. Clemenceau and other leaders saw the Treaty as an opportunity to cripple Germany so that it could not attack France again.
Wilson did believed that Germany should be punished. However, he also believed that the Treaty with Germany should not be too harsh. He thought that if Germany was treated too harshly, one day it would recover and want revenge. He believed that nations should
co-operate to achieve world peace
. He also believed in
(nations should rule themselves)
George wanted Germany to be punished but not too harshly. He did not want Germany to seek revenge in the future and possibly start another war.
Were supported by many diplomats, and experts advisers
French and Belgians soldiers entered
and simply took what was owed to them in the form of raw materials and goods. The German government ordered the workers to go on strike so that they were not producing anything for the French to take. Because of this, Germany had no goods to trade and no money. The government started to print extra money, but this caused hyperinflation
From the start of the war both sides tried to prevent the other from getting essential supplies to its soldiers.
The British had been blockading German ports since 1914. The blockade was supposed to strangle German industry so that it could not supply the German army. By 1917 civilians in Germany were experiencing severe shortages.
Germans tried something similar. They sank British ships supplying Britain. In 1917 they introduced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare against all the ships that they suspected were carrying goods to Britain. This caused shortage to Britain but it also had another unintended effect: it helped to bring USA into the war
By Ana Clara Ortiz
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