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Europe Plunges into War. 1914: Rival groups: Triple Entente (G.B., Fr., Russia) Triple Alliance (Germany, Aust.-Hung., Italy) Aust’s declaration of war against Serbia set off a chain reaction w/in alliance system. I. The Great War Begins. Russia mobilized along Aust’s & Germany’s border

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1914: Rival groups:
    • Triple Entente (G.B., Fr., Russia)
    • Triple Alliance (Germany, Aust.-Hung., Italy)
  • Aust’s declaration of war against Serbia set off a chain reaction w/in alliance system
i the great war begins
I. The Great War Begins
  • Russia mobilized along Aust’s & Germany’s border
    • Germany declared war on Russia (Aug 1)
  • Russia looked to Fr.
  • Germany declared war on Fr.
  • G.B. declared war on Germany
a nations take sides
A. Nations Take Sides
  • Mid-Aug 1914: battle lines were clear
    • Central Powers
      • Germany, Aust-Hung, Bulgaria, Ottoman Emp.
    • Allied Powers
      • G.B., Fr., Russia, Japan, Italy
ii a bloody stalemate
II. A Bloody Stalemate
  • War became a stalemate
    • Western Front
  • Schlieffen Plan
    • Russia had weak RRs
    • Did not work as planned
    • First Battle of the Marne
  • Russia invaded in the east
    • Germany = TWO FRONT WAR!
a trench warfare
A. Trench Warfare
  • By early 1915: W. Front: miles of parallel trenches
  • Life was miserable

The men slept in mud, washed in mud, ate mud, & dreamed mud.

--trenches = rats, excrement, blood, bodies, disease

  • “no man’s land” = area betw. enemy trenches
    • Bombed-out, barren landscape

Shells of all calibers kept raining on our sector. The trenches disappered, filled with earth…the air was unbreathable. Our blinded, wounded, crawling, and shouting soldiers kept falling on top of us and died splashing us with blood. It was living hell.

W. Front = terrain of death
    • Stretched 500 miles (N. Sea to Switzerland)

Imagine a broad belt, ten miles or so in width, stretching from the Channel to the German frontier near Basle, which is positively littered with the bodies of men and scarified with their rude graves; in which farms, villages and cottages are shapeless heaps of blackened masonry; in which fields, roads and trees are pitted and torn and twisted by shells and disfigured by dead horses, cattle, sheep and goats, scattered in every attitude of repulsive distortion and dismemberment.

Military strategists = ????????
  • New tools of war:
    • Machine gun, poison gas, tanks, artillery, battleships, submarine, flame-thrower =


iii battle on the eastern front
III. Battle on the Eastern Front
  • Millions were sent to fight on E. Front
  • Stretched along German-Russian border
    • Russians & Serbs battled Germans & Austro-Hungs.
  • War was more mobile in east
  • Early on, Russia attacked both Aust. & Germany
    • Russia was later pushed out of Germany
    • Fared better against Aust. initially, but later pushed out
a russia struggles
A. Russia Struggles
  • By 1916: Russia’s war effort = poor
    • Russia had not yet industrialized
    • Allied supply shipments cut off by Central Powers
  • Russia’s only asset…
    • Large #s – fought war of attrition (large pop)