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World War I or The Great War


World War I or The Great War 1914-1918/19: History s most destructive half-decade .for now Peace???? cont. The allies will make separate treaties with the other ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: World War I or The Great War

World War I or The Great War
  • 1914-1918/19 Historys most destructive
    half-decade.for now

Prelude to War
  • Nationalism in major European powers builds up
    and tensions grow as countries compete for
    territories and natural resources.
  • Militarism- glorifying the idea of war, became
    patriotic among the global empires and countries
    spend on the military to ensure their
    supremacy over their neighbors.
  • Industrialization now allows for the rapid
    production of weapons and military supplies.
  • Balkan nationalism- ethnicities compete for
    territory and support of larger nations or the
    elimination of influences from others.
  • Powder Keg

Balkan Powder Keg
  • The creation of alliances will eventually force
    the nations of Europe to go to war.
  • The Triple Alliance of 1882 was an attempt by
    Germany to isolate France. Italy joined in 1882.
    However, Italy will change sides as war breaks
  • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman
    Empire (joins later) will be known throughout the
    war as the Central Powers.

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Alliances cont.
  • Not to be outdone, France signs a defensive
    alliance with Russia in 1892 1894. If war
    breaks out, Germany will have to fight a
    two-front war.
  • Great Britain, as response to aggressive German
    naval building, in 1907 joins France Russia in
    an alliance known as the Triple Entente.
  • Britain also signed a defensive alliance with
    Belgium (1830s), protecting its neutrality.
  • Britain her colonial possessions, France her
    colonial possessions, Russia (until 1917), Italy,
    Japan, Greece, Serbia, Portugal, Romania, and the
    United States (joins in 1917) will be known
    throughout the war as the Allies.

Britain spent an estimated 500 million on
battleships alone between 1906-1914.
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Mad Rush To War
  • Tensions hostilities grow very quickly as
    opposing nations maneuver themselves into
    position that will lead to war.
  • Brinkmanship- use the threat of going to war to
    achieve a political/diplomatic goal. Normally
    used by larger countries against smaller
    countries, though not exclusively.
  • As part of militarism, nations institute
    conscriptions (draft or mandatory military
    service) in peacetime. This causes other nations
    to do the same to protect themselves if conflict
  • Estimated size of armies (in millions) at the
    onset of WWI Germany- 4.5 Austria-Hungary- 3
    France- 4 Russia- 6 Britain- .975

Outbreak of War
  • Conflicts between Austria-Hungary Serbia start
    the global conflagration that is World War I.
  • Since gaining independence, Serbia was
    technically under the political, economic,
    social influence of A-H.
  • Connected ethnically, both Slavic, Russia
    supported the Serbians in their attempts at
    breaking A-H influence.
  • Fearful of Russian intervention further south,
    Germany pledges full support to A-H regardless of
    what happens.

The shot felt around the world
  • In an attempt to eliminate A-H influences, the
    radical Serbian nationalist organization Society
    of the Black Hand organizes and carries out the
    assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his
    wife Sophie on June 28, 1914.
  • The couple were in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    on a public relations tour when they were shot a
    point blank range.
  • The assassin was 19 year old Gavrilo Princip.
  • Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of
  • This event was the spark that ignited the
    powder keg.

Archduke Ferdinand, wife Sophie, children
Actual bloodstained uniform worn by Ferdinand
Mug-shot of Princip after assassination
Photograph of Princip being arrested immediately
after assassination
The World Goes To War
  • On July 23, A-H delivers an ultimatum to Serbia
    demanding numerous terms be met or war would
    begin. The ultimatum basically demanded that
    Serbia surrender itself to A-H.
  • Serbia will cave in on all demands except one.
  • On July 28, A-H declares war on Serbia.
  • Over the next several days a series of events
    catapults the world to war.

Rapid Chain of Events
  • In support of Serbia, Russias Tsar Nicholas II
    orders his army mobilized on July 28-29.
  • Germanys Kaiser Wilhelm II declares war on
    Russia on August 1.
  • Germany wants to eliminate the biggest threat to
    them at that time and delivers an ultimatum to
    neutral Belgium allowing German forces to move
    through Belgium to attack France.
  • On August 3, Belgium rejects the ultimatum and
    Germany declares war on Belgium France.
  • On August 4, Britain declares war on Germany for
    violating the neutrality of Belgium.

Schlieffen Plan
  • The German plan of attack against France was laid
    out in the Schlieffen Plan.
  • This attack called for the German army to use the
    flat terrain of Belgium and quickly attack into
    France, capture Paris, and defeat the French army
    before it could regroup.
  • The plan would avoid the French fortifications
    and natural boundaries that separated France
    Germany cut off the British Expeditionary Force
    (BEF) from joining with the French.
  • With France out of the war, Germany could focus
    its attention on Russia, which it feared would be
    more difficult to beat.

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False Hope Bloody Stalemate
  • People on both sides believed that the war would
    be over by Christmas and soldiers marched off to
    war with high hopes of returning home quickly
  • Reality sets in with the 1st Battle of the Marne
    as the Germany advance is stopped 20 miles
    outside of Paris. Both sides dig in and the war
    of attrition known as trench warfare begins on
    the Western Front.
  • On the Eastern Front, Austrian, German Russian
    armies clashed starting at the end of August.
    While the Western Front gets most of the
    attention, the Eastern Front saw some of the
    worst fighting and highest casualties of the war.

French troops leaving for the front
Aftermath of the 1st Marne
Trench warfare on the Western Front
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New Weapons-Old Tactics
  • The industrial revolution allowed countries to
    create new weapons of war at much faster rates.
  • These new weapons were the most technologically
    advanced at the time but tactics/strategies were
    still from the Napoleonic Era to the American
    Civil War.
  • Most high commanders never changed their tactics
    to contend with the new weapons.
  • As a result, casualties (killed, wounded, POW) on
    both sides reached into the hundreds of thousands
    and even over one-million.

German machine gun During the course of the war
Germany manufactured over 100,000 of these guns.
The tank was developed first used by the
British to cross No Mans Land. Its size and
speed limited its use in certain terrains but
proved invaluable when used on the battlefield.
Poison Gas attack
Zeppelin airship
German submarines called U-Boats ravaged allied
shipping. The passenger ship Lusitania was
torpedoed and sunk by a U-Boat killing over 1000
people, including Americans.
Aircraft, originally used for observation, now
take on combatant roles and control of the skies
becomes a top priority.
Major Battles/Campaigns
  • 1st Battle of the Marne- Sept. 6-10, 1914 German
    advance halted 20 miles outside of Paris.
  • Battle of Verdun- February 21-Dec. 6, 1916 The
    longest single battle the war estimated number
    of total casualties exceeded 700,000.
  • Battle of the Somme- July 1-Nov. 19, 1916
    Attempt by the allies to relieve the French
    trapped at Verdun. Horrendous loss of life on
    both sides, with the British suffering over
    420,000 casualties 60,000 troops on the first
    day alone. The first use of tanks occurred
    during this battle.
  • Battle of Jutland- May 31-June 1, 1916 Only
    major sea battle of the war. Fought between
    Britain Germany, this was to be the epic battle
    between two titans of the sea. Britain suffered
    more losses in terms of ships and men, but
    Germany never used its surface fleet again.
  • 2nd Battle of the Marne- July 15-Aug. 4, 1918
    Final German offensive of the war. Failed
    attempt at breaking the stalemate. 1st use of
    American troops in battle.

Russian Troops surrender at Tannenberg
British wounded at the Somme
German counter attack at Verdun
German warship on fire after Jutland
Turning Points in the War
  • Russia is knocked out of the war after the
    Russian Revolution of 1917 toppled the Tsars
    government. In 1918, Russia Germany signed the
    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Russia is out of the
    war and has to give up large amounts of land to
    Germany. This allows Germany to shift troops to
    the Western Front.
  • T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, was a British officer
    charged with getting the support of Arabs to
    mount civil conflict within the Ottoman Empire.
    With British military economic support and
    promises of independence for the different Arab
    nationalities, Lawrence waged a successful
    guerilla war against the Ottoman Turks causing
    them to waste valuable resources, keeping troops
    off the front lines, and leading to their
    eventual defeat.

Turning Point cont.
  • The entry of the United States in World War I
    came after a series of events that pushed the
    isolationist nation into the conflict.
  • Anti-German sentiment propaganda began to
    spread around the country as many Americans saw
    Germany as the aggressor.
  • Unrestricted submarine warfare the Lusitania
    sinking on May 7, 1915 killed hundreds of
  • The Zimmermann Telegram was the final straw. The
    telegram stated that Germany would help Mexico
    retake the land lost in the Mexican-American War
    if Mexico sided with Germany if war were to break
    out with the US.
  • The United States declares war on Germany on
    April 6, 1917. Mexico, however, stays out.

Propaganda after the Lusitania sinks
Zimmermann Telegram decoded
Zimmermann Telegram coded
End of the Fighting
  • After the failure of the 2nd Marne campaign,
    German citizens soldiers were tired of the war.
  • Citizens began to aggressively protest against
    the government and on November 3, 1918, soldiers
    sailors refused to fight under the current
  • Wilhelm II attempts to reform the government but
    ultimately abdicates the throne on November 9.
    The new government immediately seeks to end the
    fighting and signs an armistice (cease fire) on
    November 11, 1918.
  • The fighting of World War I ends though Germany
    has not been technically defeated.

  • With the armistice signed, the allies, 32
    countries in all, went to work on creating an
    official treaty with Germany with the leaders of
    the Big Four leading the way.
  • The countries leaders that made up the Big Four
  • Woodrow Wilson of the United States
  • David Lloyd George of Great Britain
  • Georges Clemenceau of France
  • Vittorio Orlando of Italy
  • In what becomes the Treaty of Versailles, singed
    on June 28, 1919, the allies deal harshly with
    the Germans, who they believe are responsible for
    the war. Provisions of the treaty include
  • Germany cannot have a strong military
  • give up vast amounts of land in Europe colonial
  • sign the War Guilt Clause accepting
    responsibility for the war
  • make monetary reparations to the allies

Peace???? cont.
  • The allies will make separate treaties with the
    other Central Powers nations with many terms
    being the same as far as giving up land making
  • The United States signed the treaty but it was
    never ratified by the senate. Technically, the
    US remained at war with Germany and her allies
    until 1921.
  • The Treaty of Versailles turned out to be a
    punishment for Germany and not an attempt at
    bringing peace stability to Europe.
  • The 14 Points of Woodrow Wilson were an attempt
    of bringing stability to Europe, but many of the
    provisions were ignored.
  • As a result, the nations never really solved
    their problems. In fact, they only got worse and
    would lay the foundation for the worst conflict
    in human history World War II.

Major Effects of World War I
  • Political Effects
  • Some countries gained territory (size)
  • Romania got lands from Russia, Bulgaria and
  • Italy gained lands from Austria-Hungary
  • Japan gained colonies in the Pacific
  • Ottoman Empires lands in the Middle East (that
    were promised independence by Britain and France)
    were colonized by them instead
  • Britain Palestine and Iraq
  • France Syria and Lebanon

Major Effects of World War I
  • Social Effects
  • Minority groups in new countries (a source of
    conflict for later on)
  • Some Arabic peoples betrayed by Britain (and
  • Germany and Russia weakened
  • Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 ? another 30
    million deaths worldwide!
  • Refugees and mass migrations (many to USA,
    Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France)
  • Damage to countries in which the fighting occurred

  • World War I was the costliest (human economic)
    war up to that time and was a total war.
  • Since records were not accurate, it is estimated
    that over 8.5 million soldiers died over the
    course of the war with at least 3-4 times that
    wounded. Some records say that the number could
    reach 10 million dead.
  • Civilian casualties from the war reached almost 7
  • Disease, starvation, exposure to the elements,
    and combat related incidents contributed to the
    high mortality figures among civilians.

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