World War I The Great War
What were the Causes of WWI? • Nationalism • Imperialism/Colonialism • Militarism
What else? • Diplomatic Failures • Alliance System
Pre-WWI Alliances • 1882 Triple Alliance • 1894 Franco-Russian Alliance • 1904 Entente Cordiale • 1907 Anglo-Russian Entente
Alignment on the Eve of War • Entente: Britain, France, Russia, US (sort of) • Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand • June 28, 1914 • Heir to Austro-Hungarian throne • Killed in Sarajevo by Serbian separatists • Austro-Hungarian Empire accuses Serbian government of endorsing the assassination
The July Crisis • A-H demands reparations from Serbian government, they refuse • A-H declares war • Russia sees this as a threat to their influence in the region, declares war on A-H • Boom. WWI starts.
Kaiser Wilhelm II • Last German emperor and king of Prussia • Aggressively pursued colonial expansion • Alienates Britain with naval expansion • One of the most hated men in Europe outside of Germany • Offered full support to A-H as Serbian crisis intensified
The Schlieffen Plan • Germany knew it was going to face a 2-front war • Predicted that Russia would be slow to mobilize • Planned to defeat France quickly, then turn attention to Russia • Basis of German strategy in WWI and WWII
The Western Front • Germany invades Belgium in 1914, forces Britain into the war • Constant fighting • 8 Million Entente casualties • 5.6 Million Central Power casualties
Trench Warfare • The Western Front became an intricate series of trenches • Snipers, machine guns, artillery • Little protection from the elements • Disease
Why do you think chemical and biological warfare are now considered a war crimes?
Battle of the Marne, Sept. 6-10, 1914 • High-water mark of German dominance in the W. Front • Germans planned to hit the northern flank of the French, push them back, encircle French army and Paris simultaneously
Battle of the Marne, Sept. 6-10, 1914 • France counterattacks, Forcing the Germans to move south of Paris, preventing encirclement • Germans become bottle-necked in the Marne River Valley • Halting Germany at the Marne was the first major German defeat of the war
Battle of Verdun, February-December 1916 • Longest battle of WWI • Verdun region held 20 major forts and 40 smaller forts • German military realizes that a decisive victory here could be an immediate knock out punch
Beginning of the Battle • Germany moves in 140,000 soldiers and 1,200 artillery guns that would put down 2.5 million shells on the French • French forts weakened only 30,000 French soldiers in the region at the start
Flamethrowers • First use of flamethrowers in combat was during the Battle of Verdun • Use of flamethrowers in combat is now considered a war crime
Verdun • Verdun quickly turns into a stalemate • The Germans are unable to capture the city • 360,000 Germans and 340,000 French are lost during the battle
The Somme • Joint British-French attack • Entente leaders intend to bleed Germany of resources • World War One military strategy essentially assured a stalemate
Somme • The battles of the Somme and Verdun were the epitome of World War One battles. Enormous troop movements and artillery bombardments that result in stalemates.