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World War One
Transcript of World War One
How did WW1 start?
How were animals used in WW1?
June 28th 1914
Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by Serbian terrorists.
July 28th 1914
Austria declared war on Serbia
August 1st 1914
Germany declared war on Russia
August 3rd 1914
Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium.
August 4th 1914
Britain declared war on Germany.
August 23rd 1914
Germany invaded France.
October 29th 1914
Turkey joined the war on Germany's side.
Trench warfare started to dominate the western front.
January 19th 1915
The first Zepplin raid
on Britain took place.
February 19th 1915
Britain bombarded turkish forts
May 23rd 1915
Italy declared war on Germany and Austria
August 5th 1915
The Germans seized Warsaw
(the capital of Poland) from the Russians.
September 25th 1915
Start of the battle of Loos
January 27th 1916
Conscription introduced in Britain
July 1st 1916
Start of the battle of Somme.
September 15th 1916
Tanks were first used at The Somme.
Lloyd George became British prime minister.
December 7th 1916
April 6th 1917
USA declared war on Germany.
December 5th 1917
Armistice between Germany and Russia signed.
March 3rd 1918
A treaty was signed between Russia and Germany.
July 15th 1918
The German army started to collapse.
October 30th 1918
Turkey made peace.
Austria made peace.
November 3rd 1918
November 9th 1918
Kaiser William II abdicated
November 11th 1918
Germany signed an armistice with the allies, the official date of the end of WW1.
World war one was the first big war of the 20th century, it involved more countries than any other war known before it. The war started in 1914 and ended in 1918, lasting 4 years in total. By the end of the war 8 million soldiers and 9 million civilians had lost their lives as a result of the conflict. While many thought this would be 'the war to end all wars' ,in actuality, the concluding peace treaty set the stage for WW2.
In this project I will be trying to discover all aspects of the war, I want to find out what women did in the war, what children did, how the soldiers lived in the trenches, how they used propaganda to persuade people to go to war and send their partners to war and many other questions like these that are spinning around in my head as I write this.
Many historians disagree about what the main cause was for WW1. However most agree one of the many reasons was the growing power of Germany. Leading up to 'The Great War' the balance of power throughout the European nations became uneven. This caused military alliances to form.
Some of the other issues that contributed to the beginning
of WW1 were:
Imperialism ~ European nations were creating empires and started becoming competitive over power and resources.
Militarism ~ Countries started building up their armies and navies.
Nationalism ~ Countries started looking out for their own interests.
As the countries started creating empires and organising allies, the tension was growing and the countries were becoming more and more competitive and also wary of the other countries. All it would take is a spark to light the fuse that would start the biggest war ever known. The spark was lit on 28th June 1914 when the Arch-Duke of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by a group of Serbian terrorists, one of which was part of the Serbian government. The terrorist group called themselves 'the black hand gang' and it is believed they had been planning the attack for a long time. Franz Ferdinand was in Bosnia inspecting Austrian troops and decided to take a tour of the town when himself and his pregnant wife were both shot, they later died in hospital.
Seven days after the murder took place, Germany promised Austria their total support. Then, a month after the murder, on the 28th of July 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia. This angered Russia, and as a result Russia mobilized their army. This alarmed Germany and three days later, they invaded France through Belgium. This infuriated Britain, therefore they declared war on Germany the following day.
8,000,000 soldiers died
9,000,000 Civilians died
300,000 homes destroyed
12,000,000 tons of shipping sunk
6,000 factories destroyed
1,000 miles of railway destroyed
112 coal mines destroyed
Throughout the war, millions of soldiers wrote letters, books,diaries and poems about their experiences and their situations to express their emotions and for posterity.
A famous book an English soldier wrote is "Goodbye to all that" by Robert Graves and on the other hand, "All quiet on the western front" by Erich Von Remarque (a german soldier) was considered such a potent anti-war book that Hitler banned it. Both books have sold in large numbers.
Poetry is and has always been a big part war, particularly in WW1 and WW2. Some famous war poets include; Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Owen Seaman, Issac Rosenberg and John McCrae. McCrae wrote his most famous poem in May 1915. 'Flanders Fields' is often read at rememberance services and is probably one of the most famous WW1 poems.
Letters were also a big part of WW1, it was the only means of communication between the troops and their families, and even letters weren't always reliable. This is a letter written by Sergeant-Mayjor James Milne to his wife before he was sent over the top of the trench into no-mans land. The letter was to be delivered in the event of his death. But luckily he survived and was later reunited with his family.
July 20, 1918
My own beloved wife
I do not know how to start this letter. The circumstances are different from any under which I ever wrote before. I am not to post it but will leave it in my pocket, if anything happens to me someone will perhaps post it. We are going over the top this afternoon and only God in Heaven knows who will come out of it alive.
I am in his hands and whatever happens I will look to him in this world and the world to come. If I am called my regret is that I leave you and my bairns. I go to him with your dear face the last vision on earth I shall see and your name upon my lips, you the best of women. You will look after by Darling Bairns for me and tell them how their daddy died.
Oh! How I love you all and as I sit here waiting I wonder what you are doing at home. I must not do that. It is hard enough sitting waiting. We may move at any minute. When this reaches you for me there will be no more war, only eternal peace and waiting for you.
It is a legacy of struggle for you but God will look after you and we shall meet again when there will be no more parting. I am to write no more sweetheart… Kiss the Bairns for me once more. I dare not think of them my Darlings.
Goodbye, you best of women and best of wives, my beloved sweetheart. May God in his mercy look over you and bless you all… May he in that same mercy preserve me today. Eternal love from
Yours for evermore
Animals played a really important part in WW1. Horses, Dogs and Pigeons were all used.
Horses were used as a mode of transport and in Calvary charges, which were a big part of WW1. A Calvary charge involved troops on horses charging as fast as possible towards the enemy. This was incredibly dangerous and as a result, over 8,000,000 horses died in The Great War. A book, film and stage show that portrays how war really was for horses is 'War Horse'. The film follows the story of a horse called 'Joey' throughout his time in the war. It really gives you a clear image of how horrific the war was and how cruelly horses were treated during the conflict.
Dogs played a vital part in WW1. It is estimated that by the end of the war the Germans had employed around 30,000 dogs in total over the 4 years of conflict. Britain, France and Belgium over 20,000 and Italy 3000. The USA didn't really use dogs at first, but by the end of the war, they had the most highly ranked service dog military in history.
There were two main dog breeds used in WW1. German Shepards and Doberman Pinschers. Both German breeds. These breeds were chosen in particular because of their agility, territorial nature, strength, guarding ability and the fact that they are easy to train. They also sometimes used terriers to hunt and kill rats in the trenches.
Dogs had a variety of roles in WW1, depending on their intelligence and training. These are a few of the roles:
Pigeons had a very important job during WW1, they were used to send messages. Over 10,000 pigeons were used in the 4 years of conflict with an impressive success rate of 95% of messages reaching their destinations.
At the time of WW1 man made communication systems were still unreliable, so pigeons were used extensively. Pigeons were used because they have an extraordinary homing instinct and can also fly relatively fast.
During WW1 propaganda was used to recruit troops and to persuade women at home to start doing various jobs for their country. The government used various emotions to persuade people to do things they did not necessarily want to do. Propaganda ensured that the people only got to know what their government wanted them to know. In WW1 this was particularly bad, the governments went to a new level of making their people despise the enemy.
"Germans crucify canadian officer"
"Belgium child's hand cut off by Germans"
The government even ensured newspapers only let people know what the government wanted them to. They printed headlines that would create emotion, regardless of whether they were true or not. These are two of the most infamous of those headlines...
The same thing happened in Germany, some of their headlines were...
"French doctors infect German wells with plague germs"
"German prisoners blinded by allied captors"
As you can see, some of these stories were horrific and most inaccurate. These headlines were printed to strengthen and develop the hatred for the enemy that the government had already engendered. The government caused emotions by using the element of shock. They said things about other countries that they knew would infuriate their people and make them so outraged they could not stand to not fight against them. This was very clever of the government but also extremely biast and untruthful. I believe it was wrong of them to not report objectively.
"Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?
This poster is aimed at men, and is designed to shame them into joining up. They did this by encouraging the young men to look into the future, to when the war is over and they have families of their own. The message of the picture is simply "If you don't go to the war you will be ashamed to admit it in the future and will regret not going" The poster shows this by picturing the man with his children, and the quote at the bottom shows one of the children have asked about the war, the father looks very thoughtful, he appears to be contemplating what to tell his children. This makes men feel ashamed because they feel that their children won't think as highly of them if they know they didn't go to war.
This poster is aimed at young men, persuading them to enlist by reminding them of how beautiful their country is and asking "Isn't this worth fighting for?" It makes people feel patriotic and also angry that the enemy might destroy their stunning, Picturesque home. It also implies the enemy might invade and take over the country.
This poster implies that it is incredibly easy to just go and 'help'. The relaxed tone of the poster, created by the informal language, gives the impression the troops are very relaxed and friendly and that it is very simple. The term 'Slip across' really enforces this likewise the image of the man simply stepping across The English Channel to go and fight in France just makes it seem so easy. I also think the term 'help' makes it sound like it isn't that hard, it won't last long and they won't have to do much whereas the term 'fight' makes the war sound difficult, dangerous and more of a long process. I think this is wrong because it gives a false impression to young men.
This poster is aimed at women, urging them to tell their husbands and sons to go to war, this is shown clearly in the poster. They've shown two women and a child watching out the window as the local men march off to war.
The writing on the poster also shows clearly the purpose of the poster.
Women of Britain
No Man's land
The open space between two sets of opposing trenches is known as No Man's land. This is because no man wanted to cross the distance for fear of attack. No mans land was so dangerous because the enemy can see you approaching, it was also very upsetting to see because on no man's land lay thousands of dead bodies surrounded by old barbed wire and a sea of mud.
The main weapon used by soldiers in the trenches in WW1 was the bolt-action rifle. 15 rounds could be fired in 1 minute and a person 1400 meters away could be killed.
The German army were the first to use Chlorine gas at the battle of Ypres in 1915. Chlorine gas causes a burning feeling in the throat and chest pains. It is a very painful death, you suffocate.
The Zeppelin was an airship that was used in the start of the war in bombing raids. They carried machine guns and bombs.
Tanks were also used for the first time in WW1 at The Battle of Somme. They could only go at 3mph and could not cross the trenches.
Planes were used for the first time in WW1. They were used to deliver bombs and for spying work.
Remembrance day( also called 'poppy day' or 'armistice day') is a memorial day that began in 1919 to remember the millions killed, injured and affected in all conflicts. On, this day, millions of people stop what they're doing and observe a two minutes silence at 11am. It is always at 11am because at 11am on the 11th of November 1918, WW1 ended.
On remembrance day lots of services and parades are held. The queen, government representatives and soldiers march to the cenotaph in London and lay wreaths of poppies.
Why the poppy?
During WW1 the fields of Northern France and
Flanders were destroyed leaving giant, hideous mud pits with barbed wire and many dead bodies that could not be recovered.
The poem 'Flanders Fields' by a Canadian surgeon called John McCrae, helped us realise the significance of the poppy being a lasting symbol for the fallen. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice the soldiers of WW1 and later conflicts made to protect their countries.
The Poppy is used to symbolise remembrance day because the poppy was the only plant that could grow on these battle fields after the conflict.
The poppy became the symbol of The Royal British Legion, for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces.
Rats infested the trenches in their millions. There were two types, brown and black. The brown rat was especially feared. They gorged themselves on human remains, allowing them to grow to the size of a cat. Rats were a big problem in the trenches, contaminating food and spreading infection. Another problem is no matter how hard the men tried to kill all the rats, it was impossible. A single rat couple could produce up to 900 offspring in a year.Frogs, lice and all sorts of insects also inhabited the trenches. Lice spread disease, like Trench fever, a particularly painful disease.
A condition that was very common in the first few years of conflict was 'Trench foot'. It was a fungal infection of the foot, caused by, cold, wet and unsanitary trench conditions.
The trenches also stunk an awful lot. They stunk of rotting carcases, men that hadn't had a wash in weeks, poison gas, cigarette smoke and stagnant mud. The troops got used to it after a while, although first time visitors found the stench hard not to notice.
In this project I've learnt loads about WW1. I have found all the information I have gathered really interesting and have really enjoyed putting together all my findings to create this presentation. If I had more time, I would make my information more detailed, and more interactive so the presentation is more interesting for the audience. I would also research more thoroughly, and make the process of my research more clear. To do this, I would write down all the websites I use as I went along and also print the pages of information I find, to highlight the key information. Overall, I am pleased with this project and really enjoyed doing it too!