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Life in the Trenches

Life in the Trenches

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Life in the Trenches

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  1. Life in the Trenches The Course and Conduct of WWI

  2. Agenda for 2/22/2012 How was WWI different from previous wars? Bell Work-Poetry from the trenches Why a Stalemate? The Great War: Slaughter- “Trench Warfare” All Quiet on the Western Front The Great War: Mutiny- “Shell Shock” The Great War: Hatred and Hunger- “Men Without Faces” Extra Credit Opportunities New class website:

  3. Dulce Et Decorum Est After reading along to the Wilfred Owen’s poem write a short paragraph describing the significance of the poem by addressing the following questions: Who is the author and where is he writing from? What is he describing in the poem? How does the poem inform you about the nature of trench warfare?

  4. The Schlieffen Plan Overview: In 1914, Germany believed war with Russia was extremely likely.  If war broke out, Germany assumed France would also attack as she was both an ally of Russia and keen for revenge for her defeat in the Franco-Prussian war. If this happened, Germany would face a war on two fronts.  Germany wanted to avoid this at all costs. Germany planned to defeat France rapidly and then turn to the eastern front for a major offensive on Russia.  This was the basis for the Schlieffen Plan.

  5. Background: The Germany Army Chief of Staff, Alfred von Schlieffen was asked to plan a way of preventing a war on two fronts.  His initial plan was produced late in 1905.  He believed that it was a priority to defeat France quickly, forcing them to surrender before Russia had a chance to mobilize her armed forces. Schlieffenplanned to use 90% of German military forces to deliver a knock out blow to France.  The remaining 10% would defend the eastern border of Germany against Russian attack.

  6. German Assumptions: • Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilize for war • France would be easily defeated in six weeks • Belgium would not resist a German Attack • And Britain would remain neutral

  7. The Reality • On 2nd August 1914, the German army invaded Luxembourg and Belgium according to the Schlieffen Plan. • The Germans were held up by the Belgian army, backed up by the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) which arrived extremely quickly. • Russia mobilised in just 10 days and Germany was forced to withdraw troops from the Schlieffen Plan to defend her eastern border. • Germany did not take the chance to take Paris, instead decided to attack east of the capital.  They were met by French at the battle of the Marne (5-11 Sept) which halted the German advance. • As a result of inaccurate assumptions and advanced warfare technologies. WWI becomes a “bloody stalemate” where both sides have to slug it out in the trenches.

  8. Extra Credit Opportunities! Because we do not have a lot of time to spend on WWI, I have had to cut some activities that I think are valuable. So, I decided to pick a couple of them and give you the option of doing them for extra credit. You can pick one of two assignments for Extra Credit: Write a poem from the trenches. Take what you have learned from today’s lesson and construct a poem in the style of Wilfred Owen. Read chapter six of All Quiet on the Western Front and fill out a dialectical journal in response to what you read. Links to the book as well as the format for your journal are on the new class wiki