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Why was WW1 so long?

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Marga Navarro

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Why was WW1 so long?

...The Great War was thought to be a short-term war which would be over by Christmas. Nobody expected it to be so long and devastating; for four years it managed to destroy all of Europe leaving it socially, economically and physically wounded.

Development of weapons
In the beginning...
Mind-set of the countries & innovations on the battlefield
Each side was fighting for its way of life, and what they believed was right. They saw it as a fight for their mere survival, and saw it as their duty to destroy those who they saw as barbarous and dangerous. This was a result of thirty years of intense nationalism, and propaganda. So basically neither side had any desire to give up the fighting.

The destruction and length was mostly due to the new technological advances of: machine guns, barbed wire, and rapid firing artillery.

Also the new “trench warfare” method caused many deaths on both sides but prevented any significant advancement.

The offensive weapons hadn't been totally developed yet, no decisive weapon was introduced.

Stalemate-deadlock made the war long as advance was very difficult.
Industrial progress also allowed to send more men to the front and keep them fighting for longer. Indeed, factories (often with female workers) were able to follow the rhythm at which the army was using ammunitions. In earlier conflicts, the stock was limited and basically one would have to stop fighting at one point, this limit didn't exist any more in 1914. The productivity in factories had increased so much that a few men in the rear were enough to keep the whole economy working, meanwhile the rest could fight.

Monday, February 17, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
The Main Reasons
A lot of conflicts took place through Europe
Many Countries were involved
-Mind set of the countries.
-Innovations on the battle field: defense position had become unbreakable (trenches).
-Factories can keep up with the rate at which the army used ammunition.
-Many countries involved.
-The strongest military and naval powers (Germany and England) were on opposing sides.

The trigger that started the war (assasination of Archuduke Franz Ferdinand), soon became irrelevant as countries were dragged into war.
The fighting soon turned into a competition of power between long term nationalistic rivalries of countries, each trying to prove their superiority.
The why became unimportant; Countries from all across Europe and even countries from across continents such as the United States became involved, the diversity of nationalities and interests made it hard for them to get to a common agreement.
Why was WW1 so long?
Two strongest powers on opposing sides
England & Germany
Britain had been for a long time the leading naval power, and Germany had the strongest army. These two countries found themselves on opposing sides in the war:
Germany in the
Triple alliance
alongside Austro-Hungary and Italy (who later changed sides) and Britain sided with France and Russia in an alliance known as
The triple entente.
Being that the two most important military powers were enemies, their was a balance provided to the fighting that was in part to blame for the length of the war.
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