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Washington State and World War I

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Kierney Johnson

on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of Washington State and World War I

By: Kierney Johnson
Washington State and World War I
photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Before the war, there were some large and powerful “Empires” in Europe: The German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, the French Republic and Italy.
They had developed alliances to try to maintain a balance in power so no one country had too much power.
The Central Powers: Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy.
The Allies: Great Britain, France and Russia.
Serbia overpowered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
On June 18, 1914 a Serbian nationalist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
One month later, Austro-Hungary invaded Serbia, Germany invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and France, and Russia attacked Germany in the east.
The Origins of World War I
The estimated death toll from WWI was about 9 million. The reason it was so high was that they fought with new technology but used old fighting tactics. They had not actually used the new technology yet on a battlefield and the commanders had no idea what to do with it or against it. Some of the new inventions were defensive and needed to be overcome to advance the lines. These defensive innovations were such things as...
New Technology: Old Tactics
Another brand new addition to war technology was the airplane..
early in the war used mainly for reconnaissance (or spying on the enemy)
made it impossible to move any large number of troops secretly.
offensive ability quickly became apparent and they evolved to carry grenades, small bombs and machine guns
In response to airplanes both sides developed anti-aircraft artillery (attack enemy planes from the ground) and fighter planes (attack enemy planes in the air).
The Airplane
Germans marched towards Paris, both sides built defensive trenches
front lines of the conflict did not change much until 1917.
fought back and forth for several years, neither side gaining any significant ground (all they did was kill each other, they did that very effectively).
2) machine guns which could cut down an advance over any open ground
1) barbed wire which could prevent an infantry assault
2) machine guns which could cut down an advance over any open ground
3) poison gases like chlorine and mustard which killed or crippled men, and were considered inhumane because of the huge numbers that could be affected all at once.
1) tanks (mostly British) - armored trucks that could roll right over the barbed wire and offered protection from artillery shells and machine guns
Some new offensive weapons that emerged were...
2) new types of more accurate heavy artillery, not like the cannons of the 19th century
3) submarines (mostly German) that could sneak up on enemy ships and sink them without warning.
Since all of the battles were across the Atlantic Ocean, America was isolated from the war. The U.S. willingly made contracts for weapons and supplies to send the allies, but did not wish be involved in"Europe's problem".

May 1915: German submarines sank the Lusitania, a passenger ship that had no military value, 128 Americans died.
United States outraged and demanded Germany stop attacking passenger ships and other non-combatant vessels. Germany agreed.
January 1917:Germany realized merchant shipping from United States was supplying their enemies.
Germany resumed their blanket submarine warfare, sank seven US merchant ships before April.
Reasons U.S.A. Entered World War I
The United States intelligence network intercepted telegram sent by German diplomat inviting Mexico to join Germany against USA. promised to help Mexico reacquire Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
President Woodrow Wilson made the telegram public
April 6th, 1917: United States Congress declared war on Germany and entered the war on the Allies’ side.
And just to make sure you've understood why this all started...
Before you read about Washington state's involvement you must first understand why World War I started...
The Contributions of Washington State
Even before the United States had officially joined the war, Washington and other U.S. States were accepting industrial contracts from Great Britain and its allies. The war in Europe caused a surge in the economy of Washington State. Basically all of Washington’s resources could be put to good use in the allied cause. Resources such as...
The wheat farms of eastern Washington grew plentiful supplies of wheat to be ground into flour to feed the allied soldiers
The fishing industry contributed canned preserved salmon that could easily be shipped overseas.
Boeing Airplane Company built airplanes for the allied cause and developed a reputation for high quality aircraft that remains to this day.
The newly developing steel industry made weapons and ammunition. The shipyards in Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver/Portland constructed new ships for the allied navies.
The forests of Washington supplied lumber for buildings, ships and airplanes.
Washington's Ultimate Sacrifice
The lives lost and the time given by those who fought in Europe during the Great War was by far the most important and serious contribution to the war effort to come from the State of Washington.
1917: Washington State military units: National Guard, the 2nd Infantry, and a Field Artillery Unit were sent to France.
over 60,000 Washington State men enlisted in the military.
1,642 were killed in action or died as result of their service.
A University of Washington graduate, U. S. Army First Lt. Deming “Dick” Bronson was awarded the Medal of Honor for “gallantry in action” because he led assaults against German strongholds over a several day period while he was severely wounded.
Washington State Capitol in Olympia has a monument dedicated to the Washington soldiers who fought in WWI
Even with all of the resources and additional manpower of the United States, it still took 19 months to convince Germany and its allies that they were losing the war. Finally they agreed to a cease-fire on November 11th, 1917.
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