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Europe Plunges Into War. Introduction.

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introduction
Introduction
  • Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia set off a chain reaction within the alliance system. The countries of Europe followed through on their pledges to support one another. As a result, nearly all of Europe soon joined what would be the largest, most destructive war the world had yet seen.
the great war begins
The Great War Begins
  • July 31, 1914:Russia announces full mobilization of its armed forces.
  • August 1, 1914:Germany, taking Russia’s mobilization as a defacto declaration of war, declares war on Russia.
  • August 3, 1914:Germany declares war on France.
  • August 4, 1914:Germany declares war onneutralBelgium and invades in a right flanking move designed to defeat France quickly. As a result of this invasion, Britain declares war on Germany.
the great war begins1
The Great War Begins
  • Nations Take Sides
    • By mid-August 1914, there are two sides at war throughout Europe:
      • Central Powers—Germany, Austria-Hungary; later joined by Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire
      • Allies—Great Britain, France, Russia; later joined by Japan, Italy (once a member of the Triple Alliance, but switched sides because Italians believed the war was unjustly started)
a bloody stalemate
A Bloody Stalemate
  • As the summer of 1914 turned to fall, the war turned into a long and bloody stalemate, or deadlock, along the battlefields of France. This deadlocked region in northern France became known as the Western Front.
the conflict grinds along
The Conflict Grinds Along
  • The Schlieffen Plan
    • Called for attacking and defeating France in the west and then rushing east to fight Russia.
    • Counted on the slow mobilization of Russian forces due to lack of railways.
    • Called for 39 days for the fall of Paris, and 42 days for the defeat of France.

General Alfred Graf von Schlieffen

the conflict grinds along continued
The Conflict Grinds Along (continued)
  • By early September Germany had swept into France and reached the outskirts of Paris
  • September 5, 1914—At the First Battle of the Marne, Germany is forced to retreat.
  • With this defeat the Schlieffen Plan failed because Germany was then forced to fight a two front war.
war in the trenches
War in the Trenches
  • Conflict descends into trench warfare—armies fighting from trenches.
  • Battles result in many deaths and very small land gains.
  • Life in trenches is miserable, difficult, unsanitary.
  • New weapons only lead to more deaths.
  • The slaughter reached a peak in 1916.
    • February 1916: Battle of Verdun—Each side lost more than 300,000.
    • July-November 1916: The Somme—Each side suffered more than 500,000 casualties.
    • Only 5 miles were gained in each of these battles.
new weapons of the war
New Weapons of the War
  • poison Gas
    • chlorine and phosgene—both toxic substances that caused suffocation
    • mustard gas—a blistering agent that caused severe burns and blisters on the skin and stripped severely damaged the lungs. It sometimes took five weeks to die from mustard gas exposure.
  • machine gun
  • tank
  • submarine
  • airplanes
slide15

The British Vickers machine gun required a six man team to operate. One to fire, one to feed the ammunition, and the rest to help carry the weapon and supplies.

slide17

Submarines:

German U-Boat U-14

flying aces
Flying Aces
  • Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918) was a German fighter pilot known as the "Red Baron". He was the most successful flying ace of World War I, being officially credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories. He was killed in combat with Canadian pilots near the Somme River.
trench warfare problems all quiet on the western front excerpt
Trench Warfare ProblemsAll Quiet on the Western Front, excerpt
  • “We must look out for our bread. The rats have become much more numerous lately because the trenches are no longer in good condition. Detering says it is a sure sign of a coming bombardment.
  • “The rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat—the kind we call corpse rats. They have shocking, evil naked faces, and it is nauseating to see their long, nude tails.
all quiet on the western front excerpt
All Quiet on the Western Front, excerpt
  • “They seem to be mighty hungry. Almost every man has had his bread gnawed. Kropp wrapped his in his waterproof sheet and put it under his head, but he cannot sleep because they run over his face to get at it. Detering meant to outwit them: he fastened a thin wire to the roof and suspended his bread from it. During the night when he switched on his pocket-torch he saw the wire swing to and fro. On the bread was riding a fat rat.
  • “At last we put a stop to it. We cannot afford to throw the bread away, because then we should have nothing left to eat in the morning, so we carefully cut off the bits of bread that the animals have gnawed.
all quiet on the western front excerpt1
All Quiet on the Western Front, excerpt
  • “The slices we cut off are heaped together in the middle of the floor. Each man takes out his spade and lies down prepared to strike. Detering, Kropp, and Kat hold their pocket-torches ready.
  • “After a few minutes we hear the first shuffling and tugging. It grows, now it is the sound of many little feet. Then the torches switch on and every man strikes at the heap, which scatters with a rush. The result is good. We toss the bits of rat over the parapet and again lie in wait.
all quiet on the western front excerpt2
All Quiet on the Western Front, excerpt
  • “Several times we repeat the process. At last the beasts get wise to it, or perhaps they have scented the blood. They return no more. Nevertheless, before morning the remainder of the bread on the floor has been carried off.”

(pp. 101-103, Ballantine paperback edition.)

trench foot too disgusting to be pictured
Trench Foot (too disgusting to be pictured)
  • Affected feet become numb and then turn red or blue. As the condition worsens, they may swell. Advanced immersion foot often involves blisters and open sores, which lead to fungal infections; this is sometimes called tropical ulcer (jungle rot).
  • If left untreated, immersion foot usually results in gangrene, which can require amputation. If immersion foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling returns. Like other cold injuries, immersion foot leaves sufferers more susceptible to it in the future.
the battle on the eastern front
The Battle on the Eastern Front
  • Early Fighting
    • Eastern Front—site of main fighting along the German-Russian border.
    • Russians push into Austria and Germany, but soon forced to retreat.
  • Russia Struggles
    • Russia’s war effort was suffering by 1916; many casualties and few supplies.
    • The huge size of Russian army keeps it a formidable force and prevents Germany from sending more troops to the Western Front.