World Peace Before World War • By the late 1800’s, many people and countries were tired of wars and were moving towards peaceful relations. • The odd thing was that as people tried harder for peace, they were actually inching their way closer to war.
Germany Isolates France • Germany feared that France would want revenge because of their loss to them during the Franco-Prussian War. • Kaiser Otto von Bismarck came up with a plan to isolate France from the rest of Europe. • In 1879, he formed the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary, and Italy. • He also formed a treaty with Russia so that the Russians would not become involved if there was a war.
Wilhelm leads Germany • Wilhelm II took over and Bismarck was pushed out of office because he did not want to share power with anyone. • Wilhelm decided he did not need to follow any of the policies set by Bismarck and he let the agreement with Russia expire. • Because of this decision, it could force Germany to fight a war on two fronts. • Russia, now without an ally decides to ally with France.
Bad Decisions • Wilhelm II decided to make the German navy larger. • England responded by building more ships to keep their country safe. • They later formed an alliance with France and Russia. • A huge system of alliances was in place: • The Triple Entente, made up of England, France, and Russia VS • The Triple Alliance made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
Militarism • Definition: Policy of glorifying military power & keeping an army prepared for war & able to mobilize troops quickly in case of war • It led to an arms race. England had a great navy and Germany wanted a great navy too. Germany and France competed for larger armies. • The more one nation built up its army and/or navy, the more other nations felt they had to do the same.
The Alliance System • For 20 years, the nations of Europe had been making alliances. It was thought that alliances would promote peace. • Each country would be protected by others in case of war, making it foolish for one country to wage war on another. • The danger of these alliances was that an argument between two countries could draw all the other nations into a fight. • This led directly do World War I.
Europe Divided in the early 1900s Triple Alliance Triple Entente V
Imperialism • Imperialism: • Quest for colonies • How it increased tensions: • Intensified European nations’ sense of rivalry & mistrust toward one another as they competed for colonies in Asia & Africa • Nations had to continuously strengthen their military in order to protect their colonies.
Nationalism • It gave groups of “subject peoples” the idea of forming independent nations of their own. • Balkan Nationalism
Balkan Nationalism • Ottoman Empire = Sick Man of Europe • Balkan Pennisula = Powder Keg of Europe • The Ottoman Empire power was declining • Austria-Hungary wanted to have the Balkan land for themself. • Serbia, which was located in this area, wanted to bring all Slavic people under its control. • Russia supported Serbia • Panslavanism
Sparks of Trouble in the Balkans • Austria-Hungary seized control of Bosnia and Herzegovina before anyone realized what was happening. These lands had Slavic peoples living there and this made Serbia angry. • Serbia’s problem was that Russia, their ally, did not support their threat of war towards Austria-Hungary. Serbia had to back down and let Austria-Hungary keep the land. • By 1914, the situation had changed. Serbia had gained other lands and was beginning to appear like a strong nation. Austria was worried that Serbia might interfere with its control of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Assassination On June 28, 1914, while in Sarajevo on an inspection tour, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by GavriloPrincip, a Serbian nationalist. Black Hand His death served as the excuse for the Austrian ultimatum that led directly to World War I.
Final Blunders Lead to War • Austria-Hungary held Serbia responsible for the assassination. • On July 5th, Austria asked for and received from Germany a “blank check” of support for any action Austria-Hungary might take against Serbia. • On July 23rd, Austria sent a series of demands to the Serbians. • Austria-Hungary Delivers Ultimatum: • Get rid of all nationalists • Allow AH to investigate murder • Fire government officials involved in anti-Austrian propaganda • Serbia agrees to all but firing of officials. This interfered with Serbian sovereignty. • AH mobilizes • The demands were designed to humiliate and virtually destroy the Serbian nation.
Austria reacted on July 28th by declaring war on Serbia using the excuse that not all of their demands were met. • The Russians prepared to defend Serbia. • On July 31st the Germans sent a warning to Russia to stop mobilizing its army for war. • The Russians ignored the warning, and Germany declared war on Russia on August 1st. France came to the aid of its Russian ally by declaring war on Germany. • August 3rd Germany declared war on France
World War I Begins • The British hesitated to declare war, until the Germans marched through Belgium. England had promised to defend Belgium and finally declared war on Germany on Aug 4th. • Italy, the 3rd member of the Triple Alliance, refused to back Germany and Austria-Hungary because they claimed the Triple Alliance was for defensive purposes only. Austria's declaration of war against Serbia was not defensive it was an attack. • In August 1914, war officially began. The system of alliances for keeping peace had collapsed like a house of cards and brought the great nations of Europe into war with one another.
Nations Take Sides Central Powers Germany Austria-Hungary Ottoman Empire Allied Powers France Britain Russia Italy Neutral United States
Warm-Up • Which THREE nations belonged to the Triple Alliance? Triple Entente? Why was the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente formed? • What was the effect of Militarism in the years preceding the Great War? • What role did alliances play in causing the Great War? • Who was apart of the Central Powers? Allied Powers? • What role does Balkan Nationalism play in causing the Great War? What country was threatened the most by it? • Why did Italy switch sides? • Who was the victim and the assailant in the “spark” that started the war? • How did the two most powerful nations in Europe compete in the years preceding the Great War? • Why was Germany leery of France? • Why did Great Britain enter the war?
Germany’s Plan to Win Schlieffen Plan • Germany had a plan for winning the war on two fronts. • It called for a quick push through France, which will lead to a fast victory on that front. • Germany would invade France through Belgium • Germany then turns and attacks Russia in the east at full strength. • Purpose: keep Germany from having to fight on two fronts at the same time
Western FrontBattle of the Marne-Sept. 1914: • Allied victory • Destroyed Germany’s hopes for the Schlieffen Plan • Led to stalemate
Western FrontTrench Warfare: • Both armies dug trenches to fight from • Area b/w trenches known as “No Man’s Land” • Led to huge losses for small land gains • Most common type of fighting during the war. • Fought mostly in France
Western Front: Trench Warfare • Attacks “over-the-wire” were even worse. Generals still thought they could win a ground war with massed attacks of huge armies. • The problem was that when the troops came out of the trenches to charge the enemy, they ran into new, powerful weapons. • Machine guns, tanks, poison gas, and large artillery rounds devastated them. Killing hundreds in mere minutes. This was war on the Western Front. This particular hell was called “Trench Warfare.”
Western Front: Battle of Verdun • Allied Victory • Feb. 21–July, 1916), one of the most devastating engagements of World War I, in which the French repulsed a major German offensive • By July the Germans realized that their plan to seize Verdun and undermine France's will to resist had failed with a terrible loss of men—about 400,000 French casualties and nearly as many German—and material for both sides. From October until the end of the year, the French took the offensive and regained the forts and territory they had lost earlier.
Western FrontBattle of the Somme-July 1916: • Central Powers victory • 20,000 British killed in first day alone • Neither side gained anything as a result of Somme and Verdun
The city of Vaux, destroyed by the increasingly destructive weapons of war.
Life in the Trenches • As the neither side advanced, the trenches were dug deeper. Deep enough that a man could walk through them without showing his head above ground. • The trenches were connected to the supply lines by a system of tunnels. Defenses for the trenches became stronger and more fortified as the war drug on. No-Man’s-Land, the area between the two opposing sides was protected with barbed wire & mines. • The trenches were extremely uncomfortable to live in. When it rained, men walked in mud up to their knees. The dampness and bad weather brought on pneumonia, influenza, and fungus skin diseases. The men were constantly bothered by rats and body lice. • Days and nights were filled with firing of artillery guns. Artillery attacks went on for days without stopping. Many men became “shell-shocked” from the continual fear and noise.
Trench Foot • Immersion foot, archaically trench foot, is a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp and cold • Unlike frostbite, immersion foot does not require freezing temperatures and can occur in temperatures up to 60° Fahrenheit (about 16° Celsius). Immersion foot can occur with only twelve hours of exposure
Trench mouth earned its name because of its prevalence among soldiers who were stuck in the trenches during World War I without the means to take care of their teeth properly. As a result, they often developed trench mouth, a severe form of gingivitis that causes painful, infected, bleeding gums and ulcerations.
Technology of the War • Submarines • Planes • Machine guns • Tanks • Poison gas • Grenades
New Weapons of WWIMachine Gun: • Wipe out waves of attackers difficult for forces to advance
New Weapons of WWIPoison Gas & Gas Masks: • Introduced by Germans, used by both sides • Some caused blindness or severe blisters • Others death by choking
New Weapons of WWIArmored Tank: • Could cross many types of terrain (chain tracks) • Introduced by British
New Weapons of WWIAircraft: • Became powerful weapon • Countries invested to maintain airforce as they realized air supremacy was key to military victory
New Weapons of WWISubmarine: • Introduced by Germans (U Boats) • Primary weapon against ships was torpedo • Many nations did not like unrestricted submarine warfare because u boats attacked without warning