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World War One. “The war to end a ll w ars” - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Sides. The Fronts. WWI is fought on two main fronts (contested area where the two sides are fighting) – the Eastern Front and the Western Front. The Eastern Front (1914-1916).

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world war one

World War One

“The war to end all wars”

- U.S. President Woodrow Wilson

the fronts
The Fronts
  • WWI is fought on two main fronts (contested area where the two sides are fighting) – the Eastern Front and the Western Front.
the eastern front 1914 1916
The Eastern Front (1914-1916)
  • Much more action than the Western Front – both sides push back and forth with Russia first invading Germany, and then the Germans and Austrians drive them back.
the western front 1914 1916
The Western Front (1914-1916)
  • Germany sweeps through Belgium but is stopped near Paris at the First Battle of the Marne.
  • Both sides set up trenches and the Western Front turns into a stalemate for almost four years.
trench warfare
Trench Warfare
  • The soldiers live in holes in the ground, separated by “no-man’s-land.”
  • The trenches include barbed wire, machinegun nests, gun batteries and heavy artillery.
trench warfare1
Trench Warfare
  • Unfortunately, military leaders had never fought this way before – they were used to mobile battles.
  • The only plan they could come up with was to order masses of soldiers into a frontal assault to try to break through the enemy trenches.
  • Begin with heavy artillery (bombing/shelling) and then send thousands of troops across no-man’s-land while completely exposed to machine-gun fire.
  • Thousands of men could be mown down in minutes and the few that made it to the other side then had to face the enemy in their trenches.
war of attrition
War of Attrition
  • Very few armies were able to break through and the war becomes a war of attrition (each side tries to wear the other down).
  • Since the war in Europe was a stalemate, both sides tried to widen the war by getting more countries involved.
    • Allies declare war on the Ottoman Empire and British forces defeat them in the Middle East.
    • Japan seizes German colonies in the Pacific Ocean.
the russian revolution 1917
The Russian Revolution (1917)
  • Russia becomes embroiled in a communist revolution and is forced to sign a peace treaty with Germany, taking them out of the war.

(To be continued next week…)

united states
United States
  • U.S. had remained neutral but were pulled in because of the naval war in the Atlantic.
  • Both sides had blockaded the other and the Germans were sending submarines to attack all ships crossing the Atlantic (unrestricted submarine warfare)
the lusitania
The Lusitania
  • 1915 – Germans sank a British ship, killing 1,100 civilians (including some Americans).
  • The U.S. convinces the Germans to stop unrestricted sub warfare(for a while), and we remain neutral…
the zimmerman telegram 1917
The Zimmerman Telegram (1917)
  • A secret telegram from the German Foreign Minister was intercepted by the U.S.
  • The telegram was meant for Mexico and it asked Mexico to attack the U.S. from the South so that the U.S. would be too busy to get involved in Europe.
  • It also hinted that the Mexicans should try to get Japan to attack the U.S. colonies in the Pacific. (The Japanese insisted they had nothing to do with the telegram.)
the last push
The Last Push
  • The stalemate had dragged on from 1914-1917. But when the U.S. entered the war, the Germans decided to gamble and launch an all-out offensive on the Western Front (hoping to win before the U.S. could send too many troops over).
  • They came within 50 miles of Paris, but were stopped at the Second Battle of the Marne by French, Moroccan, and American troops.
the end of the war
The End of the War
  • With 2 million American troops, the Allies were able to push Germany back.
  • 11:11 AM, 11/11/1918 – armistice ends the fighting
  • 65 million soldiers involved in the war
  • 37 million casualties (dead or wounded)
important outcomes of wwi
Important Outcomes of WWI
  • The Allies were not willing to negotiate with the German Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhem II and so the people, tired of war, overthrew him and created a democratic republic.
  • Poverty and loss of life in Russia is one of the causes of the Russian Revolution.
important outcomes of wwi1
Important Outcomes of WWI
  • Treaty of Versailles (dealt just with the Germans)
    • Forced to accept responsibility for causing the war (along with Austria and Hungary)
    • Had to disarm and give up territory
    • Forced to pay an enormous amount in reparations ($442 billion in 2013)
  • WWI is going to put Germany in a precarious position – it has not had time to acclimate as a democracy and an extreme depression will allow a militant regime to take over in the 1930s…