Turning Points of the Western Front 1916 • Battle of Verdun • Battle of the Somme
The Battle of Verdun was fought between the German and French armies from February21 to December181916 • The German objective was create high casualties and use of supplies to “bleed France white.” • The Battle of Verdun resulted in more than a 250,000 deaths and approximately half a million wounded. Verdun was the longest battle in World War I (10 months).
The Battle of the Somme July – Nov. 1916 • Began as a British offensive attack • first day, 1 July1916, the British suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead — the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. • 623,907 Allied casualties (146,431 killed) • 434,515 German casualties (164,055 killed) • Allies gained 5 miles of German held territory
Impact of Verdun and theSomme • WWI now a war of Attrition: who could hold out the longest rather than who would break through. • Led to popular discontent in France, Britain and Germany. • By 1917 Britain and France had replaced their political leaders in new elections (Lloyd George and Clemenceau) • Convinced Germany to reinstate unrestricted submarine warfare.
The Eastern Front • Eastern Front = Russia v. Germany + AustriaHungary • Since August 1914, Russians were in retreat
The Eastern Front • 3 million + men died in the fighting, more than 9 million men were wounded • every major country which participated lost its form of government.
The constantly moving front brought great civilian suffering to the Russian countryside. • Death or injury when caught in the crossfire • Destruction of homes, farms, towns, businesses, tools and factories • Starvation, freezing and sickness when cut off from food and fuel supplies
Russian Revolution • High casualties and constant defeat at the Front • Shortages of fuel and food on the home front make winters deadly • Many call for tsar Nicholas II to step down • February 1917 Tsar Nicholas abdicates the throne to a provisional government who continue the war.
Russian Revolution • Lenin and his Bolsheviks promise Peace, Bread and Land to the peasants • October 1917 the Bolshevik (communist) Revolution begins.
Lenin sues for peace • Germany gets Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania • Russia gets peace (and civil war from 1918-1921)
The Ottoman Front The dismantling of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious Allies will shape the politics and problems of the modern Middle East.
The Gallipoli Disaster, 1915 • The Dardanelles control access between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea • The Allies failed to take the Gallipoli Peninsula from the Ottoman Turks • Many Australian and New Zealand volunteers fought here
The Ottoman Empire had controlled many other ethnic and national groups for hundreds of years • Arabs, Kurds and Armenians all resented Turkish rule, so the Allies planned to use that anger
675,000 Indian fighting troops saw service in Mesopotamia (Iraq), as well as hundreds of thousands of auxiliary troops. • It took the Allies four years and 80,000 casualties to drive the Turks out of the Mesopotamian oilfields. • After the war Iraq was handed to the British as a mandate. From 1920-1932 British and Indian troops were involved in fighting with Arab rebels during uprisings against British rule.
Soldiers of the Sharif of Mecca carrying the Arab Flag during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918.
Fighting in Africa • German colonies in Africa, defended against Allied attacks • Britain used many Indian soldiers in Africa • The colonizedhoped helping in the war would mean more rights after the war. Black Soldiers in the German Schutztruppen [German E. Africa] British Sikh Mountain Gunners
Why the US Joins the War From the start of the war Germany pursued a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. Any ship flying the enemy flag or entering enemy ports was a target.
Why the US joins the war • Most Americans supported Isolationism – these were Europe’s problems, not ours stay out of it. • Officially neutral, but arming the Allies • Lusitania set Americans against Germany
War at Sea After the Lusitaina, Germany only sunk Allied ships because they feared the US would join the war.
The Zimmerman Telegram • Sent from Germany to Mexico in January 1917 • Intercepted and decoded by the British • Contributed to American Decision to Join the war once Germany reinstated Unrestricted submarine warfare in March 1917.