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The Eastern Front and global involvement

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World War I. The Eastern Front and global involvement. Longer than the Western Front No stalemate like the Western Front, but just as deadly Trenches never really developed, more fluid troop movement 1000 miles long, so troop density was lower. Location.

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Longer than the Western Front

No stalemate like the Western Front, but just as deadly

Trenches neverreally developed,more fluid troopmovement

1000 miles long,so troop densitywas lower

battle of tannenberg 1914
Germany vs. Russia—almost destroyed the Russian army

Happened at the same time as the Germans were losing the Battle of the Marne in France

Kept Russia at bay the rest of the war

Russian retreat resulted in permanent loss of land (15% of its territory)

Battle of Tannenberg 1914
the gallipoli campaign
1915-1916 in the Ottoman Empire

Purpose: to capture the capitol city of Istanbul and secure access for Russia to the Dardanelles strait (warm water port!)

An attempt by Britain andFrance to lure Greece and Bulgaria into the war on their side

Also a new front was neededsince the Western Front wasdeadlocked.

The Gallipoli Campaign
the gallipoli campaign1
Half a million died in the campaign

The Allies gave up the fight after a year

Heavy involvement from Australia and New Zealand, still a deeply felt loss—prior to this loss, they had great confidence in their British military roots

The Gallipoli Campaign
battles in africa and asia
Germany’s colonial possessions came under assault

Japan attacked their holdings in China and in the Pacific islands

English and French troops attacked African possessions—not well defended (Germany only recently established presence there)

Results in Africa: Germany lost all colonies

Battles in Africa and asia
colonial losses
Almost 9,000,000 colonial soldiers were conscripted (the draft)
  • A million and a half came from India—all ethnicities: Sikhs, Pakistani Muslims
  • Others came from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica
  • They were given indigenous uniforms and led by an ethnic “national”
Colonial losses
america enters the war
1917 Germany intensified submarine use in the Atlantic Ocean—using U-boats

Announced they would sink any ship, unannounced, that was near Britain

This was called unrestricted submarine warfare

This policy had been used before—1915, Germany sank the British passenger ship Lusitania—included 128 US citizens.

Germany had stopped this kind of warfare for awhile, but needed an edge on the Allies so they resumed it in 1917

America enters the war
u boats
“undersea boat”

Used for enforcing a blockade—for example, American supplies being transported to Great Britain as support in the war

Able to sink large ships with a single hit (Lusitania was a one-hit sink)

america enters the war1
The Germans took a gamble—they’d force the British to surrender before the US was provoked to full war

They lost the gamble.

Woodrow Wilson, the US President, warned Germany several times to stop unrestricted sub warfare, but 3 US ships were sunk

The US had previously kept a strict (?) non-intervention policy

America enters the war
zimmerman telegram
German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmerman sent a telegram to Mexico saying they’d help them “reconquer” the land lost to the United States if they’d join with Germany in WWI.

Britain intercepted the note, decoded it, and passed it on to the US.

Zimmerman initially denied the note’s existence, but in a speech later tried to explain the tone was misunderstood…

Zimmerman telegram
russia bows out
Russia was suffering from harsh winters, low food supply, low fuel supply

Civil unrest forced the Czar to abdicate his throne

The new government tried to stay in the war, but it was still too hard to maintain

A revolution produced another new government under Vladimir Lenin—ended Russia’s involvement in the war.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended the war between Germany and Russia

Russia bows out
end of the war
With Russia gone, Germany could focus its efforts on the Western front

Almost to Paris, it seemed like Germany could win the whole thing, but their army was so weakened, a newly revived Allied army was able to beat them—with 140,000 new US troops

350 tanks, then 2 million more US troops arrived

One by one, Central Powers surrendered

Kaiser Wilhelm stepped down on November 9, 1918. The new government met with the French to discuss a treaty.

Armistice—agreement—signed November 11 at 11 am.

End of the war