Fighting wwi trench warfare
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Fighting WWI – Trench warfare. Enduring Understandings 1. Nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances propelled the industrialized nations into a devastating world war. 2. Advancement of technology changed the nature of global conflict and cooperation.

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Fighting WWI – Trench warfare

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Fighting wwi trench warfare

Fighting WWI – Trench warfare

Enduring Understandings

1. Nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances propelled the industrialized nations into a devastating world war.

2. Advancement of technology changed the nature of global conflict and cooperation.

3. Cooperation among nations may not necessarily be fair for all parties.

Intro to how WWI was fought.

Complete page 2 – graphically organize understanding of how the war was fought.

Watch the Battle for Verdun and the Battle of the Somme – answer the questions


Germany goes on the offensive

Germany goes on the offensive

The Fear – Two Front War

The actual event

  • As nations mobilize for war, Germany employs the Schlieffen Plan – a strategy to attack France through the flat plains of Flanders – in Belgium

  • Germany, between the two big powers of Russia and France was afraid of fighting a two front war.

  • It was thought that Russia—with its lack of railroads—would have difficulty mobilizing its troops so Germany could defeat France, and then focus on Russia.

  • Violation of Belgian neutrality brings Great Britain into the war

The Plan – attack through Belgium, reach the sea and turn towards Paris – defeating France in 6 weeks.


Schlieffen plan fails

Schlieffen Plan fails

  • Assumptions:

    • Russia won’t mobilize for at least 6 weeks

    • Belgians can’t fight – so victory will be easy

    • Britain will remain neutral

    • France will be defeated in 6 weeks and will at first attempt to go on the offensive in Alsace-Lorraine

  • Reality:

    • Russia mobilized in 10 days – maps of outbreak of war

    • Belgians put up stiff resistance

    • Britain entered war quickly when Belgium was attacked

    • France put up stiff resistance and fought hard -

  • The Allied victory at the Marne breaks the back of the Schlieffen Plan – the war then turns into……


Bloody stalemate

Bloody Stalemate

  • The Allied victory at the Marne breaks the back of the Schlieffen Plan

  • Trench warfare and the failure to capture new ground make life on the Western Front an ongoing horror

  • New weapons of war—machine guns (much improved by the time of WWI), flame throwers, tanks, poison gas, airplanes, submarines, etc.—are used in battles along the Western Front

  • Despite major battles and horrific casualties, neither side advances far – maps of Western Front


Trench warfare

Trench Warfare

  • The first major battle of the war involving trench warfare is the Battle of Verdun

    • Germans conduct a sneak attack on the fortress city of Verdun

    • The French thought it was a feint and that the real attack would come somewhere else

    • France holds and then counterattacks

    • The German Plan by von Falkenhayn is to “bleed the French white.” The first example of a war of attrition. Goal - Kill as many Frenchmen as possible.

    • This is the bloodiest battle of the war – over a million men are killed on both sides combined.

  • Watch video and answer question sheet.


Trench warfare1

Trench Warfare

  • The second major battle of the war involving trench warfare is the Battle of Somme – July 1, 1916 to November 18, 1916

    • France wants Britain to attack Germany to relieve the pressure on Verdun

    • The Germans were forced to move troops to Verdun to defend their positions there.

    • Britain began with a 7 day artillery barrage – 1,738,000 shells were fired

    • The Germans were protected by deep bunkers and trenches

    • The British then charged right into heavy machine gun fire, losing 60,000 on the first day.

    • Bad weather and exhaustion end the offensive with 7 miles gained and 620,000 allied and 500,000 German casualties

  • Watch video and answer question sheet.


Fighting wwi trench warfare

Click on image to view video


Eastern front

Eastern Front

  • Russians and Serbs battle Germans, Austrians, and Turks along the Eastern Front in 1914

  • Without modern technology, the Russian army was continually short on food, guns, ammunition, clothes, boots, and blankets; hangs on through sheer strength of its numbers

  • Allies are unable to ship war supplies to Russia’s ports

  • The Russian Bolshevik Revolution leads to a change in government and a demand to end the war

  • Russia loses and then signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending their war and giving land to Germany


The war spreads to the rest of the world

The War Spreads to the rest of the world…


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