The great war
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The Great War. The Crisis in the Balkans. Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism, and Alliances had pushed everyone to the brink of war The Balkans was the region most likely to erupt Region with many different nationalities Known as a powder keg

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The Great War

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The great war

The Great War


The crisis in the balkans

The Crisis in the Balkans

  • Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism, and Alliances had pushed everyone to the brink of war

  • The Balkans was the region most likely to erupt

    • Region with many different nationalities

    • Known as a powder keg

    • Nationalities broke of to form independent nations

      • Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia


Nationalism drives tension

Nationalism Drives Tension

  • Each nation in this region longed to increase its borders

    • Serbia wanted to absorb all of the Slavic people on the Balkan Peninsula

    • Russia Supported Serbia

    • Austria did not support it, they thought it would stir rebellion in Austria's Slavic population


Austria increases power

Austria increases power

  • In 1908 Austria took over Bosnia and Herzegovina

    • Both had large Slavic populations

  • Serbian leaders were outraged, increased tension between Serbia and Austria

    • Serbs vowed to take the new land from Austria

    • Austria vowed to crush the Serbian effort


Attack on austria

Attack on Austria

  • The Heir to the Throne was Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    • On June 28th 1914 the Archduke and his wife Sophie were touring Sarajevo, the capitol city of Bosnia

    • They were almost Bombed by a Serbian national group called the Black Hand

    • They were then shot by GavriloPrincip and killed

  • Austria used the murders as an excuse to punish Serbia.


Austria declares war

Austria Declares War

  • On July 23 Austria gave Serbia an Ultimatum containing numerous demands

  • Serbia agreed to most of them but not all of them

    • Offered to settle other by international conference

  • Serbia rejected the offer and on July 28th declared war on Serbia

    • Russia, an ally with Serbia, mobilized troops on the border of Austria

  • Every other leader urged Russia and Austria to work things out but they didn’t


War breaks out

War Breaks out


The powers were aligned

The Powers were Aligned

  • Central Powers

    • Germany, Austria- Hungary, Bulgaria and Ottoman Empire

      • Italy was a member of the Central powers at first but joined the Allies later

  • Allied Powers

    • Great Britain, France, and Russia

      • Japan would also join the Allies but didn’t play a huge role.


Nations prepare for war

Nations Prepare for War

  • Russia moved against Serbia

    • Expecting German to support Austria they also moved to the border of Germany

  • Germany took Russia's movement as a declaration of war

    • Declared war on Russia

  • Russia looked to France, but before France could react Germany declared war on France

  • Great Britain declared war on Germany


Home by christmas

Home By Christmas

  • By August 1914 millions of soldiers across Europe were marching off to war

    • Believed the war would be short

    • Convinced each would win

  • Very few people predicted that the war would turn into one of the most horrifying events the world had known.


The schlieffen plan

The Schlieffen Plan

  • Germany knew it was facing a two front war

    • Developed a battle plan that was built around crushing France quickly and moving towards Russia

      • Didn’t view Russia as powerful

    • Developed by Alfred Graf von Schlieffen

    • Relied on speed and an easy victory over France


Germany finds early success

Germany Finds Early Success

  • By early September German forces had swept into France and were just about to conquer Paris

  • Battle of the Marne

    • On September 5 1914 the Allies regrouped and attacked the Germans

      • Taxicabs were used to rush soldiers to the front lines

      • Germans retreated after a 4 day battle

  • First battle of the Marne was perhaps the most important battle of the war


Germany in trouble

Germany in Trouble

  • With the defeat at the Battle of the Marne the Schlieffen plan was ruined

    • Quick end of the war was now out of the question

  • In the East Russia was already invading Germany.

    • Now Germany had to fight on two fronts

    • Germany sent thousands of soldiers to the east and the soldiers on the west were left to settle in

  • The western front now developed into a stalemate


Trench warfare

Trench Warfare

  • During the Winter months the troops dug in.

  • By 1915 the battle lines were made up of miles of parallel trenches.

    • Muddy nasty pits

    • “The men slept in mud, washed in mud, ate mud, and dreamed mud.”

    • Swarmed with rats

    • No fresh food

    • Constant shelling meant sleep was rare

  • Incredibly deadly, and little ground was ever gained


No mans land

No Mans Land

  • The land between the trenches

    • Attacks consisted of an over the top rush towards the other trench

    • Had to cross the bombed out landscape

    • Met with machine gun fire

  • If they stayed in the trenches they were just as likely to be killed by artillery fire.

  • The line of trenches stretched over 500 miles from the sea to the Swiss border.


Life in trenches

Life in Trenches

  • “Shells of all calibers kept raining on our sector… the trenches disappeared, filled with earth… the air was unbreathable. Our blinded, wounded, crawling, and shouting soldiers kept falling on top of us and died splashing us with blood. It was a living hell.”

    • A French Soldier


Trench warfare weaponry

Trench Warfare Weaponry

  • Poison Gas

    • Germans introduced it but both sides used it

    • Many were odorless and came silently

    • Different types caused different problems, burning skin, blisters, blindness, and death by suffocation.

  • Machine Gun

  • Tank

    • Armored combat vehicle, introduced by the British at the battle of the Somme


Problems with new weapons

Problems with new weapons

  • While people thought that new technology would speed up the war it led to the stalemate

    • And an extremely High death toll

      • At the battle of Verdun each side lost more than 300,000 men

      • In the second battle of the Somme River more than 20,000 men were killed on the first day

      • By November of 1916 each side had lost more than a half million soldiers.

  • With those high casualties both sides only gained less than 5 miles


The eastern front

The Eastern Front

  • While the western front was deathly and slow moving

    • Both sides were sending million of men to the eastern front to fight

    • Germans fought the Russians and the Serbians on their border

  • Germans and Austrians had the earliest success on the eastern front

    • In one battle over 30,000 Russians were killed.


Russian army

Russian Army

  • Matched up better against the Austrians than the Germans

    • Defeated them twice in September of 1914 and moving deep into Austria

  • It wasn’t until the end of 1914 that the Russians were pushed out of Austria.

  • This would start the ball rolling on the Russian Struggle


Russia struggles

Russia Struggles

  • By 1916 the Russian Army was falling apart

    • Russia was the furthest behind in industrialization

      • Leaving its army short on food, guns, ammunition, clothes, boots, and blankets

      • Allies couldn’t get supplies through German lines to the Russians.

    • Only had one asset

      • Large Population, Russia could lose huge numbers of soldiers yet always had someone in supply to replace them.

  • Held off the Germans for almost 3 years but it was struggling to contain the world war

    • Battles had moved into Africa and Asia


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