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World war I : A stale mate, trench warfare, new technology. Bell-Ringer. List the 4 Causes of WWI. The Alliance System Breaks Down!. July 28, 1914 – Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia Russia Austria-Hungary Germany Russia France Germany What would Great Britain do?.

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World war I : A stale mate, trench warfare, new technology

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World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

World war I : A stale mate, trench warfare, new technology

Bell ringer


List the 4 Causes of WWI

The alliance system breaks down

The Alliance System Breaks Down!

  • July 28, 1914 – Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

  • Russia Austria-Hungary

  • Germany Russia

  • France Germany

  • What would Great Britain do?

Beginning of the war

Beginning of the war

Many Europeans were excited about war

“Defend yourself against the aggressors”

Domestic differences were put aside and nations pulled together to fight the Great War

Great expectations

Great Expectations!

The belief was that modern, industrial war could not be conducted for more than a few months without a winner

“Home by Christmas” was the thinking on both sides

Recruitment posters

Recruitment posters


It is the manipulation of public opinion. It is generally carried out through media that is capable of reaching a large amount of people and effectively persuading them for or against a cause.

Recruitment posters1

Recruitment posters

Recruitment posters2

Recruitment posters

The schlieffen plan

The Schlieffen Plan

“Breakfast in Paris and dinner in St. Petersburg

After defeating France, get Russia

A two-front war would not be in Germany’s best interests

This plan was supposed to prevent it

The schlieffen plan why did it fail

The SchlieffenPlan: Why did it Fail?

Germany made an encircling movement through Belgium to surround Paris

They by-passed French forts built after 1871

Britain joined Allies when Belgium was invaded

Belgium fought back and delayed the Germans

Britain quickly sent troops to France

The French rushed their army to front lines

Paris is saved and stalemate results

Paris is Saved and Stalemate Results

First Battle of the Marne (Sept. 5-10, 1914; Germany was driven back from Paris

Russian forces had indeed invaded Germany

Both sides dug trenches along the Western Front

Germany now had to fight on two fronts

A 4-year stalemate resulted

The trenches

The Trenches

By 1915 both sides had built trenches from the English Channel to Switzerland

The Western Front spanned 415 miles!

6,250 miles of trenches total!

6 to 8 feet deep

Millions died and little land was won

It was really insane!

Life in the trenches

Life in the Trenches

Elaborate systems of defense

barbed wire

Concrete machine gun nests

Mortar batteries

Troops lived in holes underground

“No Man’s Land”

Land between trenches where soldiers were often mowed down.

Life in the trenches1

Life in the Trenches


Soldiers would read, write letters, gamble, play games to help pass the time.

Rats (corpse rats) also kept them busy as did fighting to be rid of lice.

Many soldiers went crazy from “shell shock” due to constant artillery bombardments

Death is everywhere

“Death is everywhere”

“We all had on us the stench of dead bodies.” Death numbed the soldier’s minds.

Shell shock

Psychological devastation

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

Medical services were primitive and life-saving antibiotics had not yet been

discovered. Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through onset of

infection and gangrene. The Germans recorded that 12% of leg wounds and

23% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection.

Life in the trenches2

Life in the Trenches

Trench warfare baffled military leaders

Attempt a breakthrough = Over the top!

Then return to a war of movement

Millions of young men sacrificed attempting the breakthrough

Rat tales

Rat Tales

  • “The rats were huge. They were so big they would eat a wounded man if he couldn't defend himself.“

  • “ If you left your food the rats would soon grab it. Those rats were fearless. Sometimes we would shoot the filthy swines. But you would be put on a charge for wasting ammo, if the sergeant caught you.”

  • “I can't sleep in my dugout, as it is over-run with rats. Pullman slept here one morning and woke up to find one sitting on his face. I can't face that, so I share Newbery's dug-out.”

  • “Rats. There are millions!! Some are huge fellows, nearly as big as cats. Several of our men were awakened to find a rat snuggling down under the blanket alongside them!”

  • “Rats came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welch. a new officer joined the company and, in token of welcome, was given a dug-out containing a spring-bed. When he turned in that night he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.”

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

German soldiers after rat hunting in their trenches

Bell ringer world war i begins

Bell Ringer: World War I Begins

  • Write a short diary entry (5-7 sentences) describing your life in a World War I combat trench.

  • Beginning Review: WW I Alliances and the Schlieffen Plan

Life in the trenches video

Life in the trenches video

The eastern front

The Eastern Front

  • German-Russian Border – Ger. & A-H vs. Russia & Serbia

  • The Frozen Front – lack of food and clothing; 100’s froze to death daily

  • Russia not industrialized was always short on food, clothing, weapons, and ammo

  • Russia’s asset was its numbers

  • Germany blockaded the Baltic Sea and the Ottoman Empire controlled the Black Sea

Chemical weapons

Chemical Weapons

WWI was the first major war to use chemical weapons

Mustard Gas and Chlorine Gas

The two most popular weapons: They caused suffocation, blindness, skin disorders, and usually death!

Death is everywhere1

“Death is everywhere”

Mustard gas

Carried by the wind

Burned out soldier’s lungs

Deadly in the trenches where it would sit at the bottom



U-boats submarines used by Germans in WWI and WWII

developed by Germans

Unrestricted submarine warfare

any ship traveling in water around Great Britain was subject to attack



easy to attack without being seen

attack merchant ships

cut off (British) supply lines

Great Britain developed convoys

helped against threat of attack

Allied Ships Sunk by U-Boats



Uses of aircraft:

observe enemy positions

armed with machine guns & bombs

attacked battlefields & cities

attacked enemy planes (“dogfights”)

useful from beginning of war

Manfred von Richthofen – Germany’s Red Baron had 80 kills

Ace = a person who shoots down 5 or more enemy planes



Most countries had few planes at start of war

18’ – 23’ long X 28’ – 30’ wide

120 MPH; 23,000’ altitude; 2 HR flight times

Planes had to be easy to fly

first, designed for stability

later, designed for maneuverability

Generals began including planes in planning

France had had 140 planes at the start of war  ended with 4,500. 10,000 existed among all combatants at end of war

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

  • The Germans also used Zeppelins and by 1918 had over 100 of these airships capable of bombing missions on London and Paris.

  • 60 – 70 MPH tops

  • Could fly at high altitude but it took longer to climb

  • 28-man crew

  • 4 machine gun pods for defense



aka: Landships

1st armored vehicles

First tank; “Little Willie” built by Britain, but soon all nations built their own

14 tons (weight) with 12-foot long track frames

space for three men (cramped)

maximum speed of 2 mph (on rough terrain)



These early tanks were very slow and not really effective

Invented in Great Britain, but all powers eventually built them

It was thought they would break the stalemate on Western Front

British mark i battle tank

British Mark I Battle Tank

Machine guns


rapid-fire machine guns were used early

were big & heavy

needed a crew of four to six people to operate

lacked cooling mechanisms

shot 400-600 smallcaliber rounds perminute

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

Improved and Deadlier Artillery

Germany’s “Big Bertha” -43 ton howitzer could fire a 2,200 lb shell over 9 miles!

It took its 200-man crew, over six hours to re-assemble it on the site.



New warfare video

New Warfare video

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

Effects of War

World war i a stale mate trench warfare new technology

Sacrifices of War

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