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The Great War (WW1)
Transcript of The Great War (WW1)
Road to WWI
the process whereby the dominant political and economic interests of one nation confiscate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people
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-the aggressive preparation for war-
most all countries (except for US/Britain) had a military draft
most armies doubled between 1890 & 1914
leaders came up with complex plans to mobilize troops and their supplies
heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne
visiting Sarajevo, Bosnia in June 28, 1914
Black Hand - Gavrilo Princip was 19 years old
they wanted Bosnia to be free of Austria-Hungary to become part of a large Serbian kingdom
Princip fatally shot Ferdinand and his wife
Europe was plunged into an immediate crisis, but many diplomats believed that tensions would subside as they had so many times in recent years.
Instead, international restraints failed, the crisis deepened and Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28th.
That single war declaration touched off a series of similar actions by treaty-bound nations, bringing all of Europe into the conflict within a matter of days.
As the alliances kicked into gear and nation after nation declared war, the following military lineup emerged:
* Allied Powers: Britain, France and Russia (all rivals in earlier times) made common cause against Germany; Italy switched sides in 1915 and join the Allied nations; Romania joined in 1916 and Greece in 1917.
Austria - Hungary
A/H wanted to attack but feared the
asked to be their ally
Emperor William II gave them the "blank check"
On July 28th, 1914 A/H declared war on
July 29th the Czar Nicholas II ordered full mobilization & Germany considered this an act of war
German govt told Russia to stop mobilization
Russia ignored their orders and Germany declared war
GERMANY: Schlieffen Plan
Germany had a plan:
TWO FRONT WAR with
RUSSIA: a small force would be sent to occupy the Russian while the majority went to France
FRANCE: a rapid invasion was planned against the French
Germany declared war on France
Great Britain declared war on Germany
by the end of this day all the great powers of Europe were at war
Russia would take at least 6 weeks to mobilize.
France would be easily defeated in 6 weeks.
Belgium would not resist any German attack.
Britain would remain neutral.
1. Belgium army held up German's with British help
2. Russia moblized in 10 days
3. Germans forced to reallocate troops to Russian front
1. Diplomats could easily prevent war
2. use of PROPAGANDA (ideas spread to influence public opinion for/against the cause)
3. Government officials believed the war would be over in weeks or be they would be home by Christmas
Germany v. France/Britain
Battle of Marne, 1914
Germans came within 30 miles of Paris
the French had to send in 6,000 troops via
taxicabs from Paris
with the fresh troops the French were able
stop the German advancement
the Western Front turns into a stalemate
both sides dug ditches for shelter
they were protected with barbed wire
trenches reached from the English Channel into Switzerland
both sides would virtually stay in the same positions for 4 years
marked by mobility
Russians moved quickly on the the Germans
Italians switch sides & attacked the Austrians in 1915
Germany/Austria joined forces pushing them back into their own territory
2.5 million Russians were killed
barbed wired, shell holes, mud, injured & dying men
3 MAIN PHASES
1) Artillery: bombard the enemy with a consistent barrage
of shells trying to kill as many as possible
2) Machine Guns: kill as many soldiers in "no man's land"
3) Charging: throw a grenade in the opposing trench then
(war based on wearing the other side down by constant attacks & heavy losses)
1915 is the first time airplanes are seen on the battlefield
fighting for control of the skies
- used pistols - machine guns
zeppelins: gaint airships used to bomb London/England
could fly at high altitudes that fighter planes could not reach
credited with over 80 victories
needed 3-6 men to work on flat surface
fire power of 100 guns
bolt action rifle
15 rounds per min.
shoot from about 1,400 meters
Germans first to use gas in 1915
chlorine gas = burning in throat
PROBLEMS: weather & wind
fired into trenches
took 12 hours to take effect
SIDE EFFECTS: blistering skin, vomiting, sore eyes
death could take up to 5 weeks
first time in use on Western Front
first tank called "little willie" (crew of 3)
by the end of the war more modern tanks were developed
b/c of stalemate on the Western Front each side looked for new allies
Isolationism refers to America's longstanding reluctance to become involved in European alliances and wars. Isolationists held the view that America's perspective on the world was different from that of European societies and that America could advance the cause of freedom and democracy by means other than war.
Britain set up blockade on Germany
Germany responded with unrestricted submarine warfare
Germans sent warnings out on May 1st
On May 7th the Germans sank the Lusitania
1,000 passengers died and around
100 Americans died
riots broke out and they called for Wilson to declare war on Germany
by 1917 the Germans were eager to break the deadlock so they brought back
unrestricted submarine warfare
which brought America into the war
the majority of the troops did not arrive until 1918
(war that involves the complete mobilization of resources/people, affecting the lives of all citizens in warring countries)
increase in govt power
1. war was not as short as they expected
2. rationed food supplies/materials
3. planned economies: systems directed by govt agencies
4. gov't looked at citizens/soldiers as equals
the year 1917 had not been a good year for the allies b/c
1) allied offensives badly defeated on Western Front
2) Russia withdrew from the war
3) war was beginning to wear down Allied Powers
however, by 1918 the United States troops had brought a much need psychological boost to the Allies
(a truce, an agreement to end the fighting)
Wilson's 14 points
1. Open diplomacy.
2. Freedom of the seas.
3. Removal of economic barriers.
4. Reduction of armaments.
5. Adjustment of colonial claims.
6. Conquered territories in Russia.
7. Preservation of Belgian sovereignty.
8. Restoration of French territory.
9. Redrawing of Italian frontiers.
10. Division of Austria-Hungary.
11. Redrawing of Balkan boundaries.
12. Limitations on Turkey.
13. Establishment of an independent Poland.
14. Create a League of nations.
11th hour / 11th day / 11th month
(the guns on the Western Front fell silent)
allied powers could require reparations
german soldiers were to leave their weapons behind and they were to be destroyed
POW's could return to their countries
Treaty of Versailles
Germany was very unhappy with the peace terms
War Guilt Clause claimed Germany was responsible for starting the war
Ordered Germany to pay
for all damages that they caused to the Allies
Military provisions called reductions to 100,000 men in the military
Cut naval forces and eliminate the air force
Land along the Rhine River was considered a demilitarized zone
maps were redrawn
Germany/Russia lost much of their territory
Austria-Hungary was wiped off the map
Ottoman Empire dismantled
new nations emerged
Finland, Poland, Czech, Austria, Hungary, etc
difficult to draw strict ethnic lines
ethnic minorities left behind
Increased Germany's desire to regain its power and prestige
nearly 10 million people died in the name of progress
entire populations destroyed
total war (mobilization of resources/people)
the "war to end all wars"
-Web of treaties to protect themselves
-Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
-Triple Entente: France, Russia, Great Britain
Countries seek alliances to preserve a balance of power throughout Europe.
war of attrition
over 10 million lives lost
"war to end all wars"
* Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy (initially aligned by treaty), Bulgaria in 1915 and Turkey.
* Neutral Nations: Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries did not make war declarations, but in some instances their citizens did participate in the conflict.
Desire of subject peoples for independence
Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Romanians, Poles
Serbs supported by Russians vs. Austria-Hungary
Desire of independent nations for dominance & prestige
Germans, Italians, Austria-Hungary, France, Britain
-Great pride in one’s country or aspiring to become one’s own country
3 Reasons the U.S.
Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
Sinking of Luisitania
(100 Americans killed)
Battle of Verdun, 1916
Battle of Somme, 1916
after a weeklong artillery bombardment launched the now infamous "Big Push" attack across the river Somme.
British intended to breakthrough the German defences in a matter of hours.
The High Command orders to the troops to keep uniformed lines and to march towards the enemy across no-man's land.
This, coupled with the failure of the artillery bombardment to dislodge much of the German wire, or to destroy their machine-gun posts, led to one of the biggest slaughters in military histor
Battle of Verdun was a ten month long ordeal between the French and German armies.
Both the French and German armies suffered incredibly with an estimated 540,000 French and 430,000 German casualties and
no strategic advantages were gained for either side.