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Fighting the War:. BBC Resources WW!. Fighting the War. World War 1 represents a transitional time in warfare. Previously wars were fought with single shot relatively inaccurate guns.

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fighting the war

Fighting the War:

BBC Resources WW!

fighting the war1
Fighting the War
  • World War 1 represents a transitional time in warfare.
  • Previously wars were fought with single shot relatively inaccurate guns.
  • Armies would line up facing each other on the field of battle in long lines. (This was how Europeans had fought wars since the ancient Greeks.)
  • World War 1 or the Great War put an end to that.
the start of the war
The Start of the War.

The Schlieffen Plan:

This was the plan the Germans created to fight the war.

  • The German army would perform a surprise attack on France by going through Belgium. This attack and following battles was supposed to take 6 weeks to defeat France.
  • The attack on France would be started when Russia started to mobilize its army.
  • The bulk of the German army (90%) would be used to defeat France then sent east to reinforce the soldiers fighting a holding action against Russians.
  • Map (return after slide)
  • Discuss—what could possibly go wrong?
problems with the plan
Problems with the Plan
  • The plan counted on Britain not joining the war in defense of Belgium.
  • The German Army didn’t defeat France in the six week time frame.
  • The Russian army was able to mobilize faster that the Germans anticipated.
results of the schlieffen plan
Results of the Schlieffen Plan
  • The German advance was stalled by the French, Belgians, and British.
  • This lack of movement created a static line of opposing armies.
    • This became known as the “Front”
the trenches
The Trenches
  • The front became a network of trenches dug into the ground.
  • These were necessary because of machine guns and artillery.
  • Both sides created intricate trench systems
  • The area between the two fronts became known as no man’s land.
  • Both sides used barbed wire to create obstacles in no mans land to slow advancing troops.
life in the trenches
Life in the Trenches
  • The trenches were the response to the carnage machine guns had on the infantry
  • Life in the trenches was difficult. The trenches flooded easily, so they were constantly muddy and wet.
  • This caused men to develop a condition called trench foot.
life in the trenches continued
Life in the Trenches continued…
  • Besides the constant shelling from artillery and threat of machine gun fire, and the mud and wet conditions
  • Rats occupied the trenches with men.
  • There were two types of rats: the black rat and the Norwegian rat (this one could get as big as a house cat)
  • Some men developed a condition called shell shock (PTSD) and became incapable of fighting.
other inventions of the war
Other Inventions of the War
  • The trenches created the desire of the high command on both sides to try to develop a weapon that would create a “breakout” so they could take the offensive.
poison gas
Poison Gas
  • This resulted in the use of poison gases, they used three main types
    • Tear gas (mace)
    • Mustard gas
    • Chlorine gas

This resulted in the development of gas masks to combat the attacks causing gas not to be the weapon that turned the tide of the war.

weapons continued
Weapons continued
  • The weapon that helped turned the tide of the war was the tank.
  • First developed by the British.
  • The first tanks were underpowered and slow but allowed infantry to advance on the enemy.
the battle of the somme
The Battle of the Somme
  • The most costly battle in terms of lives during the war is the Battle of Somme.
the christmas truce
The Christmas Truce

THistory Channel Video Clip

  • Happened the first Christmas of the war (1914).
  • Sporadic ceasefires happened in many places up and down the Western Front.
  • Men from both sides met in No Mans Land and exchanged cigarettes, souvenirs, and even played soccer in some places.
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