The great war
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The Great War. August 1, 1914 – November 11, 1918. The Major Players. The Central Powers. The Entente . The German Empire The Austro-Hungarian Empire AKA “The Habsburg Empire” The Ottoman Empire AKA “Turkey” Bulgaria (October 1915) And on the other side…. The Russian Empire

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The Great War

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The Great War

August 1, 1914 – November 11, 1918


The Major Players

The Central Powers

The Entente

  • The German Empire

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire

    • AKA “The Habsburg Empire”

  • The Ottoman Empire

    • AKA “Turkey”

  • Bulgaria (October 1915)

  • And on the other side…

  • The Russian Empire

  • The French Empire

  • The British Empire

  • Serbia

  • Belgium

  • Japan

  • Greece

  • Italy (1915)

  • Portugal (1916)

  • Brazil (1916)

  • Romania (1916)

  • ‘Merica (unofficial status)


Casualties: What does that mean?

  • France and Germany lost more than 3% of their populations

    • France – 78% of its forces suffered casualties

    • Germany – 56% of its forces suffered casualties

  • Deaths

    • 9 million died as a direct result of the war

    • 6 million died indirectly

  • In all

    • 15 million seriously injured

    • 7 million taken as POWs

  • Over 30 million casualties

Not including civilian deaths!

Or genocide.


What got the civilians? The usual.

  • Hunger

  • Disease

  • Flu epidemic of 1918-1919

  • The Armenian genocide

  • The Russian Revolution (and subsequent civil war)


The First Total War

  • The military goes to the front and fights(duh).

  • The civilians produce materials for war

    • Weapons and ammunition

    • Food

    • Transportation

    • Medical treatment

    • POW camps

    • Feed for horses

  • It was supposed to be “over by Christmas.”

  • It became a war of attrition (for both people and materials).


Major Patterns following WWI


Busted up Empires  New nation-states

  • The Central Powers and Russia

    • Poland, Hungary, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, etc.

  • Ottoman Empire

    • Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine

  • Expansion of British and French territories in the Middle East

“The Sick Old Man of Europe”


Compare and Contrast

1914

1918


Reorganization of Governments

Colonial Resistance!

Communism! Fascism!

  • India

  • China

  • Korea

  • Egypt

  • Paved the way for later independence movements

  • Russian Revolution in March/February of 1917

  • Right-wing movements in reaction to post-war issues:

    • Unemployment

    • Hyperinflation

    • Repparations


In the Beginning


In the Beginning: Blame it on the Balkans

  • Serbia wanted more land for ethnic Serbs in the Balkans

  • Fought several small wars over this

  • Gained ground and started making Vienna nervous


Franz Ferdinand Gets Taken Out

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand

June 28, 1914

  • Visits Bosnia on Habsburg business

  • Assassinated with his wife by Serbian nationalists (aka “The Black Hand”)


Secret Deals and Public Demands

Secret Deals

Public Demands

  • German support promised for Austria

  • Harvests begin in earnest in Central Europe

  • Will Russia support Serbia?

  • Allow Austrian investigation

  • Cease anti-Austrian propaganda

Demands rejected.

War declared.


It all happened so fast…

  • July 28 – Austria declares war on Serbia

  • July 30 – Russia mobilizes to support Serbia

  • August 1 – Germany declares war on Russia

  • A pause

    • Germany’s location

    • The entente

  • August 3 – Germany declares war on France

  • August 4 – Great Britain declares war on Germany

  • And just like that… we’ve got a war on our hands.


In the even earlier beginning…


More than just the Black Hand

  • Industrialization  social changes

    • Urban migration

    • Demand for workers’ rights

  • Spread of democracy

    • Increased enfranchisement

    • Constitutional monarchy

      • Austria, Germany, Russia, Turkey

  • Realpolitik (realist foreign policy)

    • Many alliances made to stabilize power

    • Worked well from 1815 – 1914


Developing International Press

  • “Yellow journalism”

    • Little or no legitimate, well-researched news

    • Instead, sensationalism / nationalism to sell papers

  • Pushed rulers to extend their empires and be aggressive in their foreign policies

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Tsar Nicholas II


Germany: Late to the Party

  • Available land for overseas colonies snapped up quickly

  • Powerful economy + vocal nationalists = conflict

  • Expansion overland, not overseas


So Territorial

  • Britain wanted to maintain its colonial dominance in Africa and Asia.

    • Feared German military’s growth and expansion

  • Russia wanted land in every direction

    • Central Asia

    • Southeast Europe

    • Ottoman territory

    • Also feared German expansion

  • Ottoman Empire

    • Slipping due to lack of industrialization

    • Antiquated military compared to other powers

    • Internal affairs meddled with by Russians, French, and British


The Alliance System

The Triple Alliance, 1882

Franco-Russian Alliance, 1892

  • Germany

  • Austria-Hungary

  • Italy

  • Mutual fear of German expansion

  • An attempt to balance power and keep Germany from attacking either of them

  • Britain joined in 1907


The Schlieffen Plan: Fighting a War on Two Fronts

  • Developed in 1904

    • Just as Russia was wrapping up Russo-Japanese War

  • Attack France in a massive offensive and attain quick surrender

  • Shift troops to the east to face Russia

  • Depended on quick defeat and turnaround


Time’s Running Out for Schlieffen

  • France fortifying its border with Germany

  • Russia loaned money to build up its military and transportation infrastructure

  • Had to act by 1916

    or it would be too late.


The Threat of Mobilization

  • Timing was crucial.

  • Hesitation, disastrous.

  • Mobilization of troops almost equivalent to an act of war

  • When FF killed, fear of being left behind pushed everyone into war


The Chain of Friendship


A Few More Things

  • Invitational Meet in Rockwall on Saturday, October 26

  • Rankings by next week

  • Prepare for the battle battle.

  • Who’s bringing breakfast?


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