WWI Why????? History 12
Underlying Causes • The new powerful nation (only since 1870!) of Europe, Germany, Challenges the power of established imperial nation, Britain. • Germany wants it’s own place in the sun and has surpassed British industrial production.
Imperialism • An Empire, every great nation wants one. • Great Britain, Germany and France needed foreign markets after the increase in manufacturing caused by the Industrial Revolution. • competed for economic expansion in Africa. • several crises in North Africa with Germany against Britain and France. • In the Middle East, the crumbling Ottoman Empire was desired by Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Russia.
Nationalism • Congress of Vienna in 1815, (after Napoleonic wars) ignored nationalism in favor of peace. • Germany and Italy were left as divided states, but strong nationalist movements and revolutions led to the unification of Italy in 1861 and that of Germany in 1871. • Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 left France seething over the loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany.
Nationalism • a problem for Austria-Hungary and the Balkans, areas comprised of many conflicting national groups. • The Panslavism of Serbia was supported by Russia which conflicted with Austria-Hungary's Pan-Germanism.
Tensions Build • Germany has the most powerful army in Europe. • Starts to build a navy to rival the British. • Naval arms race begins
Alliances • Were designed to keep the peace • Triple Entente - UK, France, Russia, • During WWI - Portugal, Romania, Italy, Japan, China, Liberia, Siam, Greece • Central Powers - Austria-Hungary Empire, German Empire, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire
Weird politics • Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King George V of England were all first cousins • They were all grandchildren of Queen Victoria of England
Who Fought? • the Central Powers • Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey aka Ottoman Empire • the Allies (Entente) • U.S., British Empire (Canada, Anzac, India), France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Montenegro, Portugal, Italy, and Japan. • About 10 million combatants killed, 20 million wounded.
Ottoman Empire? Huh? We call it Turkey now
1914 – The Spark • The heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Francis Ferdinand is assassinated by a Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip • Austria blames Serbia and declares war. • Austria-Hungary gets backed up by Germany • Serbia is backed by Russia
1914 • Germany worries that France will support Russia, Germany fears a two front war. • Germany attacks France first and then Russia. German Plan – to take out France quickly and then deal with Russia (the Schlieffen Plan) and avoid two front war
War in Western Europe • German Plan almost works BUT – British and French are able to stop the German advance. • War bogs down into trench warfare in the west. • Line of trenches from Swiss border to English channel.
War in Western Europe cont.. • Brutal – war become a war of attrition, Britain calls on resources of her empire including Canada, Australia and India. • New technology – machine guns give advantage to the defender. • Both sides try to break through enemy lines. Railways become important in transporting troops to “plug holes”. • Other new technology such as poison gas, planes and tanks become tools of war.
War in Eastern Europe • Also a slaughter, but somewhat more mobile. • Russians have some success against Austro-Hungarians but little success against the Germans. • War failures and massive casualties are a major cause of the Russian Revolution and the downfall of the Tsar monarchy in Russia
War at Sea • The deciding factor in the war • The Germans have edge with submarines but the British have a more effective blockade • British keep their supply lines open and eventually begin to starve the Germans into submission
War at Sea cont… • Americans enter the war over issues of “Freedom of the Seas”. • U.S. also angry over German promise to support Mexico in a war with the U.S. • The U.S. enters the war in 1917 on the side of the Triple Entente and bring fresh men and supplies
1917 • Dec. 15 Armistice between new Russian Bolshevik government and Germans. • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which gave up huge amounts of land to Germany • Russia dropped out because of the Revolution
1918 • After four years, facing civil uprisings at home, Kaiser abdicates. • Germans sign armistice, Nov. 11, 1918. • German armies march home. • NO GERMAN LAND INVADED • Estimated 10 million dead
Losses • France bore the brunt of the war • Most of it was on French land • Lost 2 million, another 4 million wounded (out of 39 million) • France wants REVENGE
animals • 800,000 horses killed • 40,000 dogs killed • Winnie the Pooh • Rin Tin Tin - famous dog that starred in 40 movies served in the war • Lots of courier pigeons used
Other things to note • UK - 250,000 amputees • Spanish flu (h1n1) kills 50 million world wide • USA only involved for 8 months • Halifax explosion • Women given the vote
WWI firsts • First war to be fought on 3 continents. • First industrialized conflict. • First use of chlorine & mustard gas. • First use of the flame thrower. • First tank battle. • First use of mass airplanes.
First use of x-ray in the military. • First use of a blood bank. • First use of guide dogs by blinded soldiers. • First use of trillion in estimating war costs. • First commissioning of war art for propaganda. • First U.S. president to visit a European country while in office was Woodrow Wilson on 12/04/18