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World War I. Characteristics & Technology. Essential Question. How did technology change the way that war was fought in World War I?. Alliances. Central Powers. Allied Powers. Great Britain France Russia America (Eventually). Germany Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Ottoman Empire.

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world war i

World War I

Characteristics & Technology

essential question
Essential Question
  • How did technology change the way that war was fought in World War I?

Central Powers

Allied Powers

Great Britain



America (Eventually)

  • Germany
  • Austria-Hungary
  • Bulgaria
  • Ottoman Empire


Central Powers

Allied Powers

  • Geography – Controlled from North Sea to Middle East
  • Quicker Action – Easier communication & troop movement
  • Better Trained Armies – Germany had strongest army in world
  • More Soldiers
  • Greater Industrialization – Could produce weapons & ammo
  • Controlled the Seas – British navy moved materials around the world
innovations in warfare
Innovations in Warfare
  • Weapons were mass produced
  • Many new weapons were used
u boats
  • German Submarines
  • Caused extensive losses to Allied ships
  • Germans also used poison gas against infantry
machine guns
Machine Guns
  • As powerful as multiple rifles
  • Made infantry attacks against heavily fortified positions costly
  • Protective trenches were used to combat this tactic
long range artillery
Long-Range Artillery
  • Killed in large numbers
  • Could attack from long-distances
  • Defensive weapons
  • Primarily used to observe troop movement
  • Slow & difficult to maneuver
  • Sometimes used in air battles called dogfights
  • Also used to drop bombs
  • Aces were high skilled fighter pilots
  • The Red Baron – Famous German fighter pilot
  • Introduced by Britain in 1916
  • Easily moved over rough terrain using treads
  • Enabled troops to cut through barbed wire & enemy lines
  • Previous wars in Europe fought by professional soldiers
  • WWI soldiers were mostly drafted civilians
  • Undrafted men & women worked at home to support the war effort
  • Total War – A war in which nations use all their resources to help the war
  • The use of selective bits of information, true or false, to get citizens to support the war
  • Government set up agencies to control news
  • Generally showed enemy as brutal while praising own soldiers
early years
Early Years
  • Germany attacked France, & advanced to Marne River, but was stopped by French & British troops – ended German hope of quick victory
  • Western Front – Trenches stretched from Switzerland to English Channel & North Sea
  • Eastern Front – Russia attacked to divert German forces from Western Front
early years1
Early Years
  • Battle of Tannenberg – August 1914
    • Russia defeated by Germany
    • Half of Russian forces lost
    • Germans attacked Poland after victory here
  • Fighting on Gallipoli
    • Russia lacked weapons to arm soldiers
    • Britain & France tried to capture Constantinople to create route to get supplies to Russia
    • Used naval bombardment & infantry but failed to capture Constantinople
naval warfare
Naval Warfare
  • Britain blockaded North Sea to prevent Germany from obtaining supplies
  • Germany blockaded Britain using U-Boats
  • May 1915 – U-Boats sinks Lusitania
  • 1,200 killed, including 128 Americans
  • Germany reduced blockade after U.S. condemned the attack
the stalemate
The Stalemate
  • By late 1915 the war came to a stalemate
  • Military leaders on both sides wondered if they would ever break through enemy lines
  • Many lives lost
  • Became a war of attrition – slow wearing down process where each side tries to outlast the other
united states in world war i
United States in World War I
  • Tried to remain neutral
  • Were most industrialized neutral nation, & supplied both sides
  • British propaganda influenced Americans; they didn’t know it was exaggerated or false
  • America was pushed to war by 3 things
america pushed to war
America Pushed to War
  • Germany offers to help Mexico regain Arizona, New Mexico, & Texas if they helped Germany. Message intercepted by British & given to U.S.
  • Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare
  • Russia became democracy, so America was more likely to fight for democratic ideals
declaration of war
Declaration of War
  • President Woodrow Wilson told Congress, “the world must by made safe for democracy.”
  • April 6, 1917 – Congress voted to declare war on Germany