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WWI - Trench Warfare and Battles

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Anthony B

on 21 February 2017

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Transcript of WWI - Trench Warfare and Battles

Western Front
The Schlieffen Plan...
German surprise attack

Deceive France by circling through neutral Belgium

Result: Failed, brings Britain into war
Why the plan failed:
Before Trench Warfare
Why Trench Warfare?

were outdated
, and did not account for the
new technology
(eg. Machine guns, and Artillery)
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and millions of men worldwide called these trenches home for more than 4 years

Millions more would never escape the horror of the trenches on the Western Front
Important Battles of WWI
Battle of Ypres - 1915
First time German army uses Chlorine Gas on a large scale.
Canada stands strong - pushed back German army.
Soldiers use damp rags to protect their lungs
Battle of the Somme - 1916
July 1 - November 18 (5 months)
Most costly battle in the history of the world.
16,000 British die in first day -
over 1,000,000 casualties total
Known as the "blood bath" because of the effects of the
Machine Gun
Canadians given nickname 'Storm Troopers'
Battle of Vimy Ridge - April 9 -12 1917
French and British both fail to capture the ridge from the Germans. Task given to the Canadian forces.
First 'all-canadian' battle.
Julian Byng and Arthur Currie leading the Canadians
Creeping Barrage - innovative tactic
Planning and Soldier preparation
Successful victory (because of Canadians)
Dawn of a Nation?
The Eastern Front
Germany was fighting the Russian's on the eastern front.
Conscription Crisis
1914 - military service was voluntary and many joined for various reasons (short war, heroes, imperialists etc)
However... by 1916 military casualties had risen, and replacements were hard to find.
For example, in August of 1917 there were 3,117 volunteers, and 13,232 casualties in the same month
With so many casualties, PM Borden becomes convinced that conscription was necessary, something he previously promised wouldn't be.
Conscription: Forcing men of a certain age to join the army, became the main issue in the1917 election. Many Canadians were divided on the issue.

conveniently, women were given the right to vote in 1917... as long as they had family (husbands, fathers, brothers etc.) fighting overseas.
How would this impact the results?
December, 1917;
two supply ships, the Imo and the Mont Blanc collide

Resulting explosion wipes out downtown Halifax

5000 dead

9000 wounded or homeless

The Halifax explosion helped to gain support for PrimeMinister Borden...
... it brought the destruction of war close to home.
R. Borden wins the 1917 election, the Military Services Act/conscription is introduced.
However, there are many opportunities for exemptions to the law

In total, only 24 000 conscripts saw action in Europe

Pages 42-45
Questions 1 & 2
The infantry would fight on the field

Then the cavalry would attack from the flanks
- Belgians put up a fight
Armies tried to outmaneuver each other
World War One became a war of attrition (neither side could break through the other’s lines) so they were locked in a stalemate (no one could win)
Millions of men died as a result because the nature of war was changed forever.
In 1917, Russia had to exit the Great War because of a Bolshevik (communist) revolution. BYE BYE!
The Russian government (Monarch) brought its forces home to put down this uprising.
The revolutionists win, Russia becomes a Communist country.
Brought Europe to War


Eastern Front
Ottoman Empire Turkey
Two outcomes:
1 - Delays German Army ... and
2 - alerts France
Germany now has to fight on 2 fronts (East with Russia, and West with France and Britain)

No quick end to war
What this means? Why is this Significant?
Build up of French Army
Build up German Decoy Army
German army
Full transcript