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Bell-Ringer. List the 4 Causes of WWI. World war I : A stale mate, trench warfare, new technology. Beginning of the war. Many Europeans were excited about war “Defend yourself against the aggressors” Domestic differences were put aside. beginning. War would be over in a few weeks

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bell ringer

List the 4 Causes of WWI

beginning of the war
Beginning of the war

Many Europeans were excited about war

“Defend yourself against the aggressors”

Domestic differences were put aside


War would be over in a few weeks

Ignored the length and brutality of the American Civil War

(prototype to World War I)


Belief that Modern industrial war could not be conducted for more than a few months

“Home by Christmas”


“Fatal attraction of war”

Exhilarating release from every day life

A glorious adventure

War would rid the nations of selfishness

Spark a national re-birth based on heroism

recruitment posters
Recruitment posters


simply put, 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.

the schlieffen plan
The Schlieffen Plan

Invade western front 1st

After defeating France concentrate on the Eastern front

Avoid fighting a 2 front war

the schlieffen plan s destructive nature
The Schlieffen Plan’s Destructive Nature

Germany made vast encircling movement through Belgium to enter Paris

Underestimated speed of the British mobilization

Quickly sent troops to France

the schlieffen plan s destructive nature1
The Schlieffen Plan’s Destructive Nature

Sept 6-10, 1914

Battle of Marne

Stopped the Germans but French troops were exhausted

Both sides dug trenches for shelter


the trenches
The Trenches

Trenches dug from English Channel to Switzerland

6,250 miles

6 to 8 feet deep

Immobilized both sides for 4 years

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 to help pass the time.

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


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

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.”
life in the trenches video
Life in the trenches video

technology chemical weapons
Technology:Chemical Weapons

WWI was the first major war to use chemical weapons

Mustard Gas

Chlorine Gas

The two most popular weapons: They caused suffocation, blindness, and death


Soldiers would protect themselves using Gas Masks

“The special shells the men call “shells on wheels” (shells filled with poison gas) are whizzing by continuously. They explode silently and have no smell but can be deadly. They killed several men yesterday. One of my men refused to put his mask on because he couldn’t smell anything. All of a sudden, he was dizzy, foaming at the mouth and his skin went black, then he went rigid and died”

-Paul Truffaut March 5, 1917

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-boat: 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

Red Baron

German “ace” (a person who shoots down 5 or more enemy planes)


most countries had few planes at start of war

production of planes increased rapidly

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


The Germans also used Zeppelins and by 1918 had over 100 of these airships capable of bombing missions


aka: landships

armored vehicles

could cross rough battlefield terrain

such as no man’s land

first tank, “Little Willie”

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

space for three men (cramped)

maximum speed of 2 mph (on rough terrain)


first developed in Great Britain

France & the US soon became interested

not very reliable or useful at first

used later in the war

November 1917, Battle of Cambrai


rapid-fire machine guns were used

early machine guns:

were big & heavy

needed a crew of four to six people to operate

lacked cooling mechanisms

shot 400-600 smallcaliber rounds perminute


later machine guns were lighter & more portable

lighter weight, but still too heavy

1918  guns for infantrymen now existed

lighter weight

lacked enough ammuntion

by end of war, guns had been added to tanks, warships, & aircraft


Krupp’s “Big Bertha” Gun

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


A situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible; "reached an impasse on the negotiations"

A situation in which further action is blocked; a deadlock.

New technologies allowed for both sides to have good defense but had not evolved their battle tactics to work with the new weapons.

The barbed wire in no mans land didn't help either. It made it impossible (along with the machine guns) to mount an attack on the other side's trenches to overpower them.

The war made it to where both sides had casualities and deaths everyday, but neither side were gaining any land, so there wasn't anybody really winning.