World War I Zack Davis World History 1° 5/12/3
Entry Into War • On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, both of Austria-Hungary, were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, one Gavrilo Princip. • Austria-Hungary made harsh demands of Serbia. • Serbia gave in to most of the demands. • Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. • Russia mobilized troops near its borders with Germany and Austria-Hungary. • Germany declared war on Russia, then France, and ally of Russia, two days later. • Germany asks permission of Belgium to invade France through Belgium • Belgium declines, Germany declares war on Belgium • Great Britain, an ally of Belgium, declares war on Germany.
Diplomacy • Austria-Hungary made harsh demands of Serbia, it was practicing a form of diplomacy, trying to resolve issues without war. This was a very harsh example of diplomacy, of course. • Serbia offered to have the demands it did not accept settled by an international conference. This act of diplomacy failed.
Public Opinion • The United States had a foreign policy of “isolationism” before the war. Isolationism was the belief that a country should stay out of the affairs of other countries. • The sinking of the British passenger ship Lusitania on May 7, 1915 greatly swayed public opinion in the United States in favor of joining the war for the Allies. 128 Americans were killed. Germany said the ship was carrying ammunition.(It was.) Germany agreed to stop sinking neutral and passenger ships. They returned to the this policy of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, however. • In Feb. 1917, the Zimmerman note was made public. It was a telegram from Germany to Mexico promising Mexico United States territory if Mexico would join the Central powers. Public opinion shifted in favor of the war, and the U.S. entered the war on the side of the Allies on April 2, 1917.
Weapons • Many new weapons were introduced during World War I. • New weapons killed more people faster. This lead to stalemates, especially along the Western Front. • New weapons for warfare included poison gas, tanks, and better machine guns. • Germans used U-boats, or submarines, for naval warfare. • Airplanes were used in warfare for the first time during World War I.
Strategy — Political • Before World War I, European nations allied with each other. If one nation went to war, the others in the alliance would help them. • Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. When the war actually started, Italy switched sides. • France, the United Kingdom, and Russia formed the Triple Entente. Other nations would later join the war on this side, which would also be called the Allies.
Strategy — Economic • Economic supply lines were very important in the war. • Countries set up blockades to prevent supply shipments to other countries. • Germany was able to successfully shut off Allied supply lines to Russia, greatly weakening Russia’s war effort. • One of the reasons Germany went back to a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 was that the German leaders thought they could starve Britain into defeat before the United States entered the war.
Strategy — Physical • Schlieffen Plan —Germany’s plan for war • The Schlieffen Plan was for Germany to quickly defeat France in the west, and then to attack Russia in the East. Russia’s troops would take a long time to mobilize because the country’s railroad system was poor. • The Central Powers lay between Russia and the rest of the Allies, and therefore were able to cut off Allied supply lines. • However, the Allies surrounded the Central Powers, forcing Austria-Hungary and Germany to fight two-front wars.
Propaganda • Governments used propaganda to drum up support for the war. • News about the war was censored if it might turn public opinion against the war.
Battles • The First Battle of the Marne took place on September 5, 1914. • The Allies attacked German forces northeast of Paris. • Germany was driven back almost 60 miles after 4 days of intense fighting. • The Schlieffen plan called for a quick victory in France. This was no longer possible. • Battle of Tannenberg — On August 1914, Germany attacked Russia at Tannenberg. The Russian army there was decimated.
Prisoners of War/Casualties 20,000,000 soldiers were killed in World War I. An additional 20,000,000 were wounded and there were 20,000,000 refugees. The war cost an estimated 388,000,000,000 dollars.
WWI Battlefield Deaths (in millions)
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