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Major Battles of World War One
Transcript of Major Battles of World War One
The First Battle of the Marne
The Third Battle of Ypres
Occurred in the middle of 1917 in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium.
Launched by Allied forces, with a goal of destroying German submarine bases in the Belgian coast.
9 British divisions and 6 French divisions advanced towards German lines, pushing them back over a mile and capturing more than 5,000 prisoners.
While fighting, British took control of land east of Ypres.
Allies became exhausted towards end of battle and Germans regained position.
Battle ended with no significant gain for either side but many casualties.
The Second Battle of the Marne
The Second Battle of Ypres
Occurred in April and May of 1915.
Only major attack launched by the German forces on the Western front.
Began as a means of diverting Allied attention from the Eastern Front and to test the use of chlorine gas.
Battle between Germans and French Algerian and territorial division troops.
Marked the first use of gas on the Western Front.
The German infantry stunned Allied troops with the release of chlorine gas.
Allied troops fled in panic towards Ypres, as the heavy gas clogged the trenches they had been living in.
Germans continued these attacks which led to the withdrawal of several Allied forces.
However, Germans destroyed city of Ypres rather than capturing it.
Battle of Verdun
German attack began on February 21,1916 with an artillery bombardment of the forts surrounding Verdun.
French army retreated while the German army pounded through French lines
On February 25, 1916, Fort Douaumont surrenders to German forces.
On the same day French General Joseph Joffre directed French armies to stop retreating any further and assigned General Henri Philippe Petain to command the French army at Verdun.
"Ils ne passeront pas," which means, "They shall not pass!" was Petain's motto for battle.
Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was a ten month long ordeal between the French and German armies.
Both France and Germany suffered great death tolls- estimated 540,000 French and 430,000 German casualties and no strategic advantages were gained for either side.
Considered to be one of the most brutal events of WWI and is also known as “the battlefield with the highest density of dead per square yard”.
Sam Iryami, Arianna Flamer, Kyle Sansaricq, Brent Israel
The First Battle of Ypres
The Battle of Somme
The Battle of Tannenberg
The Battle of Tannenberg
The Germans had advanced through Belgium and set their sights on France.
The Allies in this battle were the French Army and the British Expedition Force.
Germany was the only central power involved.
The battle took place in Northern France near Paris in 1914.
The battle was the turning point of the first world war.
The attack was so well disguised, and so well delivered that the Germans were taken entirely by surprise.
The German advance that had been ravaging Europe since the beginning of August was stopped in its tracks.
The battle ruined the Schleiffen Plan, Germany’s strategy of quickly defending France and hurrying over to the Eastern front and defeating Russia.
The battle saved France and became known as the "Miracle of the Marne."
The Second Battle of the Marne was the last major German offensive against the French.
This battle took place in 1918 near the Champagne region of France.
The French fooled the Germans into launching artillery and gassing fake trenches and artillery positions.
The Germans advanced into a trap.
Suffering many casualties, they were surrounded and the Allies launched a major counterattack led by the French. It was also helped by British, U.S., Italian troops, and around 350 tanks.
The Germans were defeated ending a four year stalemate.
The Germans were now longer able to launch another major offensive.
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) came in to aid the Allies and Belgian forces against the German offense.
British, Allies and Belgians used trench warfare to hold off Germans.
Germans struck Belgian forces first at the Yser River, defeating them and further advancing toward the coast.
Germans next planned a series of assaults on Ypres to break through British lines.
British stopped the advance and sent Germans back to their own lines.
Fighting ended on November 22 with bad weather conditions, leaving the Germans without their target of Ypres.
On July 1, 1916, an artillery salvo that lasted for a week launched the notorious "Big Push” across the Somme River.
With the French Army struggling in the south at Verdun, the British desired to advance the German defenses in a few short hours.
There were orders to the troops from high command to preserve uniformed lines and march across no-man's land towards the enemy.
This, paired with the failure of the artillery bombardment to destroy German machine-gun posts led to one of the biggest massacres in military history.
When the attack began, Germans dragged themselves out of their trenches, manned their posts, and annihilated the advancing waves of British troops.
After the first day, with a gain of only 1 mile, the British had suffered 57,470 casualties.
However, the British field marshal who planned the attack, Douglas Haig, pushed on with the attack until November 19th of the same year.
For the skimpy achievements, total losses on the Ally side numbered 419,654 with German casualties between 450,000 and 680,000.
The Battle of Somme
After July 1, a long stalemate settled in, with the German army digging defenses faster than Allied attacks could take place. Despite small advances, the Somme became a bloody battle of attrition, and Haig has been criticized for prolonging the campaign into winter, especially for the last six weeks. The Somme was an expensive lesson in how not to mount effective attacks, but the German army was also weakened and in February retreated to new, and shorter, defensive lines.
Germany counterattacked against Russia in Tannenberg on August 26, 1914.
The battle lasted four days.
The Germans crushed the invading Russian army and drove it into full retreat.
More than 30,000 Russian soldiers were killed.
The German troops pursued and captured thousands of Russian soldiers, over 92,000 taken prisoner.
By August 29, 1914, Germany had won one of the most critical victories won by the Central Powers in World War I.
The German Army displayed remarkable mobility and excellent strategy.
The battle displayed Germany's strength in moving troops by train to the war front.
The Battle of Tannenberg resulted in further battles between Germany and Russia on the Eastern Front in September 1914.
The only success from the Allied standpoint was the distraction it caused Germany from the battles on the Western Front.
During the month of March, three more forts near Verdun had surrendered to the Germans, but Verdun itself remains undefeated.
In April, the French Air Force secured the sky over Verdun which became a huge asset in protecting the area.
In June, French forts Thiaumont and Vaux had fallen to the German army even while Britain has attacked Germany by the Somme River
This attack by the British as well as a Russian offensive in the east forced German troops away from Verdun and now placed Germany in a defensive mode and France on the offensive.
By November of 1916, Fort Vaux, Fort Thiaumont, and Fort Douaumont had been reclaimed for France.
By December, the French had advanced to their original lines, where they were on February.
Nothing new was gained by either side as a result of this battle.
Occurred in late 1914 near the Belgian city of Ypres and surrounding cities.
Fighting between Allied and German forces for control of Ypres due to its advantageous location.
Known as the "Race to the Sea", as the city had control of ports of the English Channel and access to the North Sea.
Began after the Allied Victory at The First Battle of The Marne.
Both sides began advancing through Belgium, with the Germans occupying the city of Antwerp, pushing Belgian defense back to Nieuport, which was under control of the Allies.
Preceding WWI, Germany became Europe’s #1 leading industrial power. However, France felt threatened by this even though they were the second largest colonial empire and French leaders felt that they couldn’t protect themselves from Germany’s growing power by their own.
As a response, France built a line of continuous, sunken forts in hopes of any invading armies would have difficulty maneuvering through them.
These forts extended from the Swiss frontier to the French city of Verdun, making this an important strong point for the war effort in France.