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WWI: Causes, Battles, and The End

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Kate Eckhardt

on 16 October 2018

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Transcript of WWI: Causes, Battles, and The End

World War I
(World History)

Background and Buildup to War
The End of the War
Causes of World War I
The Spark
System of Alliances
The Conflict Expands
Warfare on Water
Spanish Influenza
Summer of 1914
June 28: Archduke murdered by Serbian against the annexation of Bosnia by A-H
July 5: German Kaiser offers support to Austria Hungary (the "blank check")
July 23: A-H presents the ultimatum to Serbia
(with the assumption that the Serbian government was involved)
July 25: Serbia accepts all humiliating demands except one
July 26: Britain tries to organize peace conference; Germany refuses
July 28: A-H declares war on Serbia
July 29: Russia begins to partially mobilize
July 31: German mobilization authorized, while Russia fully mobilizes
Aug 1: Germany declares war on Russia, Russia declares war on Germany
, while France and Belgium begin to mobilize
Aug 2: Ottoman Empire allies with Germany
Aug 3: Germany declares war on France and invades neutral Belgium
; Britain sends ultimatum to Germany to withdraw; Germany refuses
Aug 4: Britain declares war on Germany
; declaration is binding on all dominions; US declares neutrality
Aug 4-16: Germany invades Belgium (also known as the "rape of Belgium")
Aug 6: A-H declares war on Russia; France and Britain invade German colony in West Africa
Aug 7: British troops land in France (120,000)
Aug 12: Britain and France declare war on A-H; A-H invades Serbia
Aug 17: Russia invades Germany
Aug 23: Japan declares war on Germany
Triple Alliance
Triple Entente
"the allies"
"the central powers"
Russia (until 1918)
Great Britain
Ottoman Empire
Serbia, Romania, Greece
Italy (for one year)
all British dominions
USA (begin neutral, enter war in 1917)
Austria-Hungary and Serbia conflict over Bosnia region
A-H annexes Bosnia in 1908
Archduke Franz Ferdinand

is the heir to A-H throne
Black Hand - secret military society formed by Serbian officers
sole aim is the unification of all southern Slavs without rule by Serbia or Montenegro
Assassin Gavrillo Princip murders Archduke and pregnant wife Sophia
Austria-Hungary wants revenge and blames Serbian government
Schlieffen Plan

- massive German attack to roll through neutral Belgium and capture Paris in 6 weeks
massive French attack through Alsace-Lorraine with the bulk of the troops
Germans commit atrocities in Belgium
England enters the war
Battle of the Marne
stalemate of trench warfare begins
a two-front war lessened German chance for victory
the positive morale for easy victory was quickly lost
Naval warfare
Great Britain blockaded Germany on North Sea
the German people were starving
To fight back Germans used U-Boats

'undersea' boats; German submarines with deadly torpedoes
the only things that broke the stalemate at sea
Battle of Jutland
- heavy losses on both sides;
no winner
showed that the U-Boat was the only tool the Germans had to fight the blockade
Influenza Epidemic (1917-1919)
killed 60-100 million people worldwide
killed 500,000 German soldiers in the peak of their summer 1918 offensive
killed 675,000 Americans
more US soldiers died from flu than from battle
killed healthy, young individuals
The Paris Peace Conference
Treaty of Versailles
The Big Four
(David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, Vittorio Orlando, Woodrow Wilson) needed to decide...
the fate of the German empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, & the Ottoman Empire
the fate of German colonies
Germany's punishment
how to deal with Communist Russia
Fourteen Points:
- the power to make decisions about one's own country
League of Nations
- a permanent agency where government could work together to solve problems
May 1919
Jan-May 1919
A Very Long Chain of Events in a Very Short Period of Time
The Western Front
most fighting took place in France
trench warfare

- 400 miles; muddy, rat-infested conditions
well-trained, well-equipped, modernized armies
war of attrition
whichever army had more resources won the battle
virtual, bloody stalemate from 1915-1917
massive casualties with very little gain
new deadly technologies
- machine guns, hand grenades, artillery shells. poison gases
The Eastern Front
unusual mobility and a widespread battlefield
distance of

1800 miles
clear-cut, decisive tactical victories
captured large amounts of prisoners
massed cavalries pursued retreating armies
A Two-Front War
Battle of Verdun
February 21 - December 18, 1916
Battle of the Somme
France vs. Germany
northern France
attackers' goal:
German general wanted to "bleed France white";
attacked a narrow strip of land that was historically
significant to the French [ancient forts that had
protected the French in the past]
results of the battle:
massive casualties -
10,000 French prisoners of war
360,000 French dead
340,000 German dead
advantage fell to the French for surviving; Germans did not capture Verdun
Longest battle of the war. The impact and casualties of Verdun caused the British to attack at Somme to relieve pressure from French. Verdun is a symbol to the French of the horrors of WWI.
German gains
Prior German line
Town of Verdun
French push-back Dec. 1916
July 1 - November 18, 1916
Allies vs. Germany
Somme River Area of France
attackers' goal:
British attacked to pull German troops away from Verdun and break stalemate
results of the battle:
On the first day of fighting, the British suffered 60,000 casualties alone (20,000 dead), most within the first half hour.
massive casualties -
416,000 British casualties
203,000 French casualties
435,000 German casualties
no victor - Allies only advanced 6 miles.
Main allied offensive of 1916. Bloodiest day in British history.

"Somme. The whole history of the world cannot contain a more ghastly word." —Friedrich Steinbrecher (a German officer)
"You eat beside the dead; you drink beside the dead, you relieve yourself beside the dead and you sleep beside the dead."

"People will read that the front line was Hell. How can people begin to know what that one word - Hell - means."

"Hell cannot be so terrible as this. Humanity is mad; it must be mad to do what it is doing."

"I saw a man drinking avidly from a green scum-covered marsh, where lay, his black face downward in the water, a dead man lying on his stomach and swollen as if he had not stopped filling himself with water for days."

"To die from a bullet seems to be nothing; parts of our being remain intact; but to be dismembered, torn to pieces, reduced to pulp, this is the fear that flesh cannot support and which is fundamentally the great suffering of the bombardment."

anonymous French soldiers

"Like Auschwitz, Verdun marks a transgression of the limits of the human condition" - Antoine Prost
Battle of Tannenburg
August 26-30, 1914
Russia vs. Germany
eastern Germany
attackers' goal:
Russian invasion of Germany
results of the battle:
-170,000 Russian casualties vs. 12,000 German casualties
-Germany was able to use their advanced rail network
to provide supplies, but this advantage would be lost when
Germany moved into Russia (who had wider railways).
Germany crushed the Russian invasion
This battle succeeded in distracting the German forces from their advance on France. It gave time for the Western Allies to collect themselves and turn on the German invaders in the Battle of the Marne. Russian general committed suicide.

Gallipoli Campaign
April 25, 1915 - January 9, 1916
Ottoman Empire vs. Allies
Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles Strait,
Border of Ottoman Empire and the Balkan Peninsula
attackers' goal:
Ottomans controlled an important sea passage, the Dardanelles (part of water route between Black Sea and Med.) The Allies wanted to take control of this important strait separating Europe from Asia and to capture the Ottoman capital - Constantinople.
results of the battle:
Massive casualties on both sides
Ottoman Victory; after months of fighting, the Allies withdrew their invasion
- In
, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation's history: a final surge in the defense of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli.
-The campaign is often considered as marking the birth of national consciousness in
Australia and New Zealand
and the date of the landing, 25 April, is known as "Anzac Day" - "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps"

Russia vs. Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire vs. Armenians
Caucasus, a mountain region that lies between the Black and Caspian Sea in NE Turkey - an area home to ethnic minority Armenians (mostly Christian)
Russia launched an attack on Ottoman Empire.
Ottomans claimed that the Armenians were aiding the Russians. In the spring of 1915, Ottoman leaders began forcibly removing Armenians from the Caucasus.
600,000 Armenians died from starvation and violence; 2 million were deported; Ottoman leaders were accused of genocide

Armenian Genocide
Troop Strength
More Battles
battles were also fought in
(mainly in colonies)
Allied colonies across the world contributed to the war;
India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Algeria
some colonial peoples believed that their service would help win independence; their hopes were in vain
How was the stalemate broken?
Coordinating together the use of more advanced military technology, along with U.S. entry into the war, created conditions in which the Allies could break the Western stalemate.
reconnaissance (spy) flights
tanks (protection for soldiers)
more precise air bombing
artillery bombing (often in front of tanks)
Revolution of 1905
Bloody Sunday
March Revolution
November Revolution
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
(March 1918)
Russian Civil War
A Communist Revolution
U.S. Entry into the War
Changing Maps in the Middle East
harsh penalties on Germany
war guilt clause
war reparations $33 billion
lost Alsace-Lorraine & German colonies
demilitarized Rhineland
military reduced to 100,000 men, wartime weapons destroyed, draft made illegal
European borders drawn without regard for ethnic considerations
Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia (from Austro-Hungarian Empire)
Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (from Russian Empire)
Poland re-created (from Germany, Russia, A-H)
Middle Eastern borders drawn without regard for ethnic considerations
Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq become French and British mandates (colonies with an expiration date)
During the war, Britain had fought the Ottomans in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). As it did so, British diplomats made a series of seemingly contradictory promises to potential allies.
Husayn-McMahon Correspondence, 1915-1916
Britain would support a Arab revolt in Palestine/Egypt area against OE in recognition for Arab indepdence
Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916
between Great Britain and France
France - Syria & Lebanon
GB- Iraq and Jordan
Balfour Declaration, 1917
GB promise a Jewish Homeland (Zionism)
U.S. declared
at the beginning of the war
the sinking of
(May 1915)
Germany declares
unrestricted Submarine warfare
(Feb. 1917)
Zimmerman Telegram
(Jan - Mar 1917)
the U.S. declares war on Germany in
April 1917
The Damage
Nov. 11, 1918 - Armistice Day (Veterans Day) - PEACE
Total Casualties - 37 million
~ 9 million soldiers died in the war
~ 7 million soldiers were imprisoned/missing
over 20 million soldiers were wounded
between 6 and 13 million civilians killed
survivors sensed that a whole generation of young men were destroyed
Anti-war art
Final Showdown on the Western Front
March - July 1918:
Germans launched huge offensive and pushed Allies back 40 miles
July - Sept. 1918:
Allies launch a counterattack and push back through France & Belgium with the help of the American troops
Sept. - Nov. 1918
- Uprisings for Central Powers
hungry city-dwellers across
Kaiser forced to step down
minority nationalist groups within
empire is splintered
Bulgaria and
also asked for peace
at 11am on November 11th, 1918
was signed and fighting ceased
Modern Technology Changed Warfare Radically
machine guns, tanks, submarines, barbed wire, poisonous gas, fighter pilots, etc.
death came easier and faster
created stalemate
why trenches?
the u-boats
machine guns
combat in the skies
Characteristics of War
1914 Map
2017 Map
Verse 1:
Enemy whirlwinds are howling around us,
Spiteful dark forces do us oppress.
We've joined the foe in the mortal struggle,
An unknown fate awaits us.

But we will rise up proudly and bravely,
Under the banner of the workers' cause,
The flag of the people's greatest battle,
For a better world, for sacred freedom.

To battle bloody,
Holy and righteous
March, forward march,
Workers, all.

To battle bloody,
Holy and righteous
March, forward march,
Workers, all.

Verse 2:
We despise the crowns of the tyrants,
And honor the chains of the suffering folk.
Thrones washed with the blood of the people,
We will cover with the blood of our foe!

Merciless death to all oppressors!
All parasites of the toiling masses!
Vengeance and death to all kings-plutocrats
Our hour of victory is near at last.

To battle bloody,
Holy and righteous
March, forward march,
Workers, all.

To battle bloody,
Holy and righteous
March, forward march,
Workers, all.
The Warsaw Song
start at 5:11
Full transcript