The Alliances • Triple Alliance • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy • In August 1914, Turco-German Alliance was signed by Germany and the Ottoman Empire who aided in the Triple Alliance. • At the beginning of the war, Italy drops out of the Triple Alliance and switches sides.
Triple Entente • France, Russia, Britain • 1917, America enters the war on the side of the Triple Entente. • On May 7, the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans.
The Chain Reaction • After the assassination, Austria declares war on Russia. Russia mobilizes an army along the German border as well. • August 1st, Germany declares war on Russia, then two days later, before France could react to the declaration of war against Russia, Germany declares war on France. • This locked most of Europe in war.
Two Front War • War with France on the west. • War with Russia in the East.
The Schlieffen Plan • Plan designed by General Alfred Graf von Schlieffen. • In the event of a two front war, the Schlieffen Plan called for Germany to attack France first. • He had reason to believe that because Russia lacked railroads, they would have trouble mobilizing troops.
Under the Schlieffen Plan, a large portion of the German Army would race to the west to defeat France, then return to fight Russia in the east. • Speed was vital to the plan • France’s northern border with Belgium was unprotected.
Germany demanded passage through Belgium on their way to France. • When Belgium, a neutral country, denied Germany passage, Germany then invaded Belgium. • This upset Belgium's neighbor of Great Britain.
Britain Goes to War • August 4th, outraged that Germany violated that neutrality of Belgium, Britain declares war on Germany.