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?.
World war I : A stale mate, trench warfare, new technology
List the 4 Causes of WWI
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
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
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.
“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
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
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
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!
Elaborate systems of defense
Concrete machine gun nests
Troops lived in holes underground
“No Man’s Land”
Land between trenches where soldiers were often mowed down.
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
“We all had on us the stench of dead bodies.” Death numbed the soldier’s minds.
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.
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
German soldiers after rat hunting in their trenches
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!
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
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
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
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.
Effects of War
Sacrifices of War