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the great war

The Great War

Grant King

Brittany Nance

It was "The War To End All Wars,"- a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history.Yet, it was more than just a war between nations. It was a war between what was and what was to be. The "old world" was dying, and the new world had yet to be born. People of all classes and nations saw it as some great cleansing fire that would accelerate this battle and lead to a better world. But, when it was over, more than men had died in the mud of the battlefields. The naive dreams of progress, along with the innocence of the pre-war world, faith in God, and hope in the future all died in the trenches of Europe.

-Tony Novosel

the road to world war i1
Conscription: military draft; established as regular practice in most Western countries by 1924 [except for U.S and Great Britain]

 armies doubled in size; highly destructive if war came

Mobilization: process of assembling troops and supplies and making ready for war; 1914-considered act of war

ex.) July 1914- Czar Nicholas II ordered Russian army against Austria-Hungary

Archduke Franz Ferdinand: heir to Austria-Hungary throne; assassinated June 28, 1914-visited Sarajevo, Bosnia; Black Hand-Serbian terrorist organization that wanted Bosnia free of Austria-Hungary and to become part of large Serbian kingdom, planned archduke’s death (throwing bomb at car-failed); Gavrilo Princip shot both archduke and wife

Austro-Hungarian govt. wished to attack Serbia but feared Russian intervention on Serb’s behalf

Emperor William II: German; he and chancellor responded to Austro-Hungariangovernment with a “blank check” giving its full support on Serbian attack efforts, even if it caused war

 Austria sent ultimatum to Serbia July 23, 1914; made extreme demands; Serbia rejected to preserve sovereignty

Austria-Hungary declares war

The Road to World War I
the road to world war i2
Czar Nicholas II: Russia-July 28, ordered partial mobilization of Russian army against Austria-Hungary; leaders informed there could not be partial mobilization-plans based on war against Germany and Austria-Hungary, mobilizing against only Austria-Hungary would create chaos among army; Czar ordered full mobilization of army; July 29-act of war on Germany as well as Austria-Hungary; also known as “Blood Nicholas”; inspired troops by visiting who still did not have necessary supplies; infamous for “Bloody Sunday”, Rasputin’s free reign; abdicated March 1917

Triple Alliance: 1882-Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy

“ARTICLE 4. In case a Great Power non-signatory to the present Treaty should threaten the security of the states of one of the High Contracting Parties, and the threatened Party should find itself forced on that account to make war against it, the two others bind themselves to observe towards their Ally a benevolent neutrality. Each of them reserves to itself, in this case, the right to take part in the war, if it should see fit, to make common cause with its Ally.

ARTICLE 5. If the peace of any of the High Contracting Parties should chance to be threatened under the circumstances foreseen by the preceding Articles, the High Contracting Parties shall take counsel together in ample time as to the military measures to be taken with a view to eventual cooperation. They engage henceforward, in all cases of common participation in a war, to conclude neither armistice, nor peace, nor treaty, except by common agreement among themselves.

ARTICLE 7. The present Treaty shall remain in force during the space of five years, dating from the day of the exchange of ratifications.”

The Road to World War I
the road to world war i3
The Road to World War I
  • Militarism: aggressive preparation for war, military leaders drew up vast and complex plans for quick mobilization of millions of men and quantities of supplies in the event of war, feared that any changes in these plans would cause chaos in armed forces; Euro political leaders had little leeway and were forced to make decisions for military instead of political reasons; 1900s-growth of armies; heightened tension between Europe states; armies doubled in size between 1890-1914

*1.3 million men (Russian army)

* 900,000 men (French/German armies)

*250,000-500,00 men (British/Italian/Austro-Hungarian armies)

the road to world war i5
1. Which ethnic groups were left without nations in Europe before 1914?

Of all the ethnic groups, three nationalities did not become nations before 1914. They were the Slavic minorities and the Hapsburg Empire in the Balkans, the Irish in the British Empire, and the Poles in the Russian Empire.

2. How did the creation of military plans help draw the nations of Europe into World War I?

3. Which decisions made by European leaders in 1914 led directly to the outbreak of war?

Militarism, Nationalism, and the desire to stifle internal dissent played a role but the response to another crisis in the Balkans in the summer of 1914

4. What were the chief domestic problems confronting European nations before 1914?

Socialists lead labor movements and were inclined to use strikes to achieve their goals and different ethnic groups wanting their own nation state.

The Road to World War I
the war

The War


the war1
The War
  • Propaganda: ideas spread to influence public opinion for or against a cause-before 1914, many political leaders thought war involved too many risks others believed that diplomats could easily control any situation and prevent war-beginning of Aug. 1914 new illusions, propaganda; many people convinced war was justified and believed it wouldn’t last long.

British propaganda leaflet dropped into German trenches by balloon:


They tell you that you are fighting for the Fatherland. Have you ever thought why you are fighting?

You are fighting to glorify Hindenburg, to enrich Krupp. You are struggling for the Kaiser, the Junkers, and the militarists....

They promise you victory and peace. You poor fools! It was promised your comrades for more than three years. They have indeed found peace, deep in the grave, but victory did not come!

It is for the Fatherland.... But what is your Fatherland? Is it the Crown Prince who offered up 600,000 men at Verdun? Is it Hindenburg, who with Ludendorff is many kilometers behind the front lines making more plans to give the English more cannon fodder? Is it Krupp for whom each year of war means millions of marks? Is it the Prussian Junkers who still cry over your dead bodies for more annexations?

No, none of these is the Fatherland. You are the Fatherland.... The whole power of the Western world stands behind England and France and America! An army of ten million is being prepared; soon it will come into the battle. Have you thought of that, Michel?”

the war2
The War
  • Trench warfare: warfare conducted through ditches protected by barbed wire; two lines of trenches reached from English Channel to Switzerland; kept both sides in the same position for four years; trenches dirty, lice ridden, consisted of rotting bodies and rats; both sides produced humorous magazines to pass the time; established a “live and let live” system-based on realization that neither side was going to drive out the other, resulted in arrangements such as not shelling the latrines and not attacking during breakfast

*Daily life: 30 min. before sunrise, troops “stand to” (combat ready), if no attack-

-ate breakfast

- inspection

-sentry duty

-worked on trenches

-care of personal items

the war3
War of attrition: war based on wearing the other side down by constant attacks and heavy losses; WWI had turned into by 1916-1917;1916- 700,000 men in 10 months in Verdun, France died over a few miles of land

Total war: complete mobilization of resources and soldiers; masses of men organized (1916 Germany- 5.5 million men) and supplies manufactured and purchased for years of combat; increase in government powers and manipulation of public opinion to keep war effort going

Planned economies: systems directed by government agencies; during total war, govt. powers extended over economies throughout Europe

 free market capitalistic systems set aside and set up price, wage, and rent controls; rationed food supplies and materials; regulated imports and exports; took over transportation systems and industries

Lawrence of Arabia: 1917-British officer in Middle East; urged Arab princess to revolt against Ottoman overlords

 1918-British forces from Egypt destroyed Ottoman Empire in Middle East

The War
the war4
The War
  • Admiral Holzendorff: Jan, 1917-Germans eager to break deadlock in war and naval officers convinced Emperor William II that resuming use of unrestricted submarine warfare would send British into submission within 6 months, concerned about American intervention; officers assured emperor that Americans were too unorganized to help British
  • Battle of the Marne: Sept. 1914, France-French army under General Michel Maunoury attacked German army under General Alexander von Kluck, France and Britain able to prevent German plan for swift victory; Germans were not defeated-successful retreat; ends hopes for short war; battle lasted 4 days,

-French casualties: 250,000

-British Expeditionary Force casualties: 12,733

  • Battle of Tannenberg: Aug. 1914, Poland-Russian army under General Alexander Samsonov (goal: invade Prussia); German army under Generals Paul von Hidenburg and Enrich Ludendorff; Russian attempt to retreat but cutoff by Germans, only 100,000 of 150,000 Russian soldiers managed to escape slaughter or capture; causes Samsonov’s suicide; battle lasted 6 days

-German Casualties: 20,000

-Russian P.O.W.: 92,000

the war5
The War
  • Battle at the Masurain Lakes: Sept. 1914, Poland-German army under Hindenburg and Ludendorff attack Russian army under Rennenkampf; battle lasted 6 days-second major Russian defeat

-German casualties:10,000

-Russian casualties:125,000

Feb 1915, Poland-began during heavy snowstorm; German army under Eichorn attack Russian army under Plehve; Russain XX Corps surrenders after two weeks of battle

-Russian casualties: 100,000

-German suffer little losses, most soldiers suffer from exposure to harsh


  • Battle at Verdun: Feb. 1916-Dec. 1917, France-German under Chief of Staff of the German Army, Enrich von Falkenhayn attack French under General Henri-Philippe Petain; French defenders retreat until only 8 km from Verdun; Fort Vaux fell June 1916 to new German attack; combat continued through summer and fall but scale of attacks reduced by need to transfer troops to defend Somme frontline; General Charles Mangin became national hero when forts at Douavmont and Vaux were recaptured for France by Nov. 1917; longest battle of WWI lasting 10 months

-French casualties: 550,000

-German casualties:434,000

the war6
The War
  • Battle of Gallipoli: April 1915- Jan 1916, Dardanelles-British attack Turkish forts at Darndanelles, abandoned forts;First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill-impatient about slow progress and pressured admirals to point of nervous breakdowns; replaced by Vice Admiral Sir John de Robeck who immediately ordered fleet advancement up straits

-British casualties:205,000

-ANZAC losses: 33,6000

-French casualties-47,000

-Turkish casualties-250,000

  • Lusitania: British ocean liner-voyage to Liverpool, England from New York in May 1915; “floating palace”; thought to be a threat to German authorities-accused of carrying ammunition and other war supplies across Atlantic; captain: Captain William Turner; Walther Schwieger (submarine U20) fired torpedo; ship sank in 18 min.; credited with U.S. entry into WWI

*Reaons for sinking so quickly- carrying wartime essentials: motercycle parts, metals, cotton goods, good, 4,200 cases of rifle ammunition, 1,250 cases of shrapnel, 18 boxes of percussion fuses; possible coal dust explosion

-764 out of 1,959 saved

-94 children and infant fatalities

-123 U.S. citizen fatalites

the war7
The War
  • Zimmerman Telegram: Jan. 1917-German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman sent telegram to Count von Burnstorff and then to the Imperial Minister in Mexico informing of the intention to begin unrestricted submarine warfare in February and proposing an alliance with Mexico:

“Make war together, make peace together, generous financial support, and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement detail is left to you.”

  • Battle at Somme: July 1926, Western Front in France; French army under Commander in Chief, Joffre, and British Army Sir Douglas Haig lead joint attack on German forces in a battle of attrition to drain German reserves and gain territory; originally planned mainly French attack but battles in Verdun turned offensive into large scale British divisionary attack in which an 8 day preliminary bombardment that might destroy German defenses; Germans able to exploit good defensive positions in barbed wire and concrete bunkers:wiped out 58,000 enemy soldiers (worse day in British Army history) but continued attacks; Nov-Great Britain captured fortress at Beaumont Hamel but harsh weather causes end to battle that lasted 4 months

-British casualties:420,000

-French casualties:200,000

-German casualties:500,000

the war8
The War
  • Battle of Ypres: Oct. 1914, Belgium-Taken by German army at beginning of war; British Expeditionary Force (BEF) able to recapture; German attempt to recover-BEF suffers heavy losses; attacks continue but arrival of French army and bad weather cause Germans abandon Ypres by late Nov.

-German casualties:135,000

-BEF casualties:75,000

April 1915-German launched another major attack on Ypres; after brief preliminary bombardment, used chlorine gas against French and Algerian soldiers; troops fled-left a 7km gap in the Allied line; wearing primitive gas-masks, Germans advanced into gap; arrival of British army blocked German advance but the Allied forces had been disadvantaged by the loss of the high ground north of town; fighting and gas attacks continued until May; Allied line held, but the German army was able to use new higher positions to bombard town with heavy artillery- inflicted heavy losses; town nearly demolished by German shells

July-Nov 1917-German army under Hubert Gough makes third attack on British army under Hubert Plumer and French army; 10 day preliminary bombardment, with 3,000 guns firing 4.25 million shells; flooding caused by British bombing of drainage systems made it impossible for the infantry and the use of tanks; Hiag calls off attacks temporarily until Sept. in which Hiag calls unsuccessful attacks caused by German use of mustard gas; late Nov-town finally taken by British and Canadian infantry

-BEF casualties: 310,000

the war9

The War


the war10
1. Why did World War I require total warfare?

Many thought the war would be short but many battle losses and heavy casualties showed no sign of slowing and the requirement of more weapons, food, and other supplies drove many countries deeper into war.

2. What methods did governments use to create enthusiasm so war, and counter opposition to the war at home?

Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary used force to subdue their populations. British parliament created DORA(Defiance of the Realm) which allowed the government to arrest protesters as traitors, and censor newspapers and wartime governments used propaganda to “brainwash” civilians into believing the war was a justified cause.

3. Which government powers increased during the war?

They gained total control over economics. Governments set up price, wage, and rent controls. They also rationed food supplies and materials, regulated imports and exports, and took over transportation systems and industries. By 1926, civilian morals were beginning to crack under pressure of total war. To fight the growing oppostition, the government manipulated society by posting war supporting posters such as one recruiting poster containing a small daughter asking her father, “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?”.

4. How did the war effect women’s rights and the role of women in society?

Women now had jobs that weren’t available to them before. Women replaced men fighting in the war in factories producing war supplies. When the men returned they had lost their jobs, 650,000 were unemployed in Great Britain and those still employed had low wages. In some countries such as in Germany, Austria, and the U.S., women in wartime received voting rights immediately after the war and British women gained the right in 1918.

5. Which events brought the United States into the war?

U.S. involvement grew out of the naval war between Germany and Great Britain after Germany introduced unrestricted submarine warfare and the destruction of the Lustania which killed over 100 Americans. Unrestricted submarine warfare had been stopped to avoid antagonizing the U.S. but started up once again inevitably brought the U.S. into the war

6. How did soldiers try to make life in the trenches bearable?

Both sides produced humor magazines devoting certain issues to defining military terms. The “live and let live” system, both sides agreed to not attack during breakfast or shell the latrines, was arranged.

The War
the russian revolution1
Soviets: councils composed of representatives from the workers and soldiers; sprang up in army units, factory towns, and rural areas; largely made up of socialists; represented radical interests of lower classes

-Soviet of Petrograd formed March 1917

War communism: government control of banks and most industries, seizing grain from peasants, and centralization of state administration under Communist control; Russia 1921-Communist’s vision of new social order-able to translate revolutionary faith into instruments of power-revolutionary terror, began Red Terror: aimed at destruction of all who opposed new regimen just as the Reign of Terror in French Revolution

Grifori Rasputin: uneducated Siberian peasant who claimed to be a holy man; gained Romanov trust of Alexandra by stopping the bleeding of son who had hemophilia; interfered with government affairs and caused great damage, series of military and economic disasters caused Russian peoples intervention; assassinated Dec. 1916; credited with bringing the end Romanov dynasty

Alexander Kerensky: head of provisional government, decided to carry on war to preserve Russia’s honor; satisfied neither worker nor peasant-tired and angry form years of suffering and wanted end to war

The Russian Revolution
the russian revolution2
The Russian Revolution
  • Bolsheviks: began as small fraction of Marxist party called Russian Social Democrats; leader-Vladimir Ilyich Ulianov (V.I. Lenin); dedicated to violent revolution because only violence could destroy capitalist system; “vanguard”: small party of well-disciplined professional revolutionists; reflected discontent of people, promised end to war, redistributing of all land to peasants, transfer of factories and industries form capitalists to committees of workers, and transfer of government power from provisional govt. to soviets; by Oct. made up majority of Petrograd and Moscow soviets-from 50,000 to240,000; seized Winter Palace and overthrew government in Nov.; renamed Communists; gained total power over Russia by 1921 through conquering civil wars with Red Army and murdering of the royal family
  • Lenin: Vladamire Ivich Ulianov-leader of Bolsheviks Communist party that seized dominant power in Russian in the nineteen teens; March 1917-once provisional government was formed, saw opportunity for seize of power; April 1917- German military leaders shipped him to Russia hoping to create disorder and to prevent ideals from infecting Germany; March 1918- signed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany giving up eastern Poland, Ukraine, Finland, and Baltic provinces; promised peace that did not come to Russian people
the russian revolution3
The Russian Revolution
  • Trotsky: Leon Trotsky- commisionar of war; organizational genius; organized and disciplined Red Army; reinstated draft and insisted on rigid disipline: soldiers who deserted or refused to obey orders were executed on the spot
  • Petrograd: formerly St. Petersburg; beginning of March 1917- government started bread rationing in city after price skyrocketed causing woman-led strikes among the working class, 10,000 women marched through city demanding peace, bread, and end to Autocracy; soon joined by other workers together called for general strike; many troops refused to break up crowd and joined strike

shut down all factories in entire city on March,10

  • Ukraine: land lost to Germany during Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; attacked Red Army with White Army in southwest and Baltic regions and advanced to Moscow before being stopped
  • Siberia: first threat to Communist forces; White force attacked westward and advanced almost to Volga River before being stopped
the russian revolution5
1. What were the main causes of the Russian Revolution?

-Czar Nicholas II allowed an uneducated fake, Rasputin, to make government, military, and economic decisions while he was away at war; the March in Petrograd by working class women for bread rationing, the abdication of Nicholas II, and the rise of the Bolshevik Communists and Lenin.

2. How did World War I contribute to the Revolution?

-Russia was unprepared both militarily and technologically for total warfare of WWI, had no competent military leaders, and Czar Nicholas II took charge of armed forces despite lack of ability and training. Russian industry was unable to produce weapons for the armies, soldiers trained using broomsticks and were sent to the frontlines without rifles and told to pick up one from a dead soldier.

3. How did the presence of Allied troops in Russia ultimately help the Communists?

-It helped the Communists to appeal to the force of Russian patriotism. At one point over 100,000 foreign troops were stationed in Russia in support of anti-Communist forces, their presence made it easy for the Communist government to call on patriotic Russians to fight foreign attempts to control the country.

4. What steps did the Communists take to turn Russia into a centralized state dominated by a single party?

-The use of a policy of war communism which was used to ensure regular supplies for the Red Army. To have this control, the Communists gained control of banks and most industries, the seizing of grain from peasant farmers and the centralization of state administration under Communist rule. The Cheka Red secret police began to Red Terror and added the element of fear to the regimen.

The Russian Revolution
the end of the war1
The End of the War
  • Armistice: true or agreement to end fighting; Germany- withdrawal of Russians = new hope for successful end to war; American troops pouring into war fronts and Allied forces began advancement towards Germany; Sept. 1918-General Ludendorff informed leaders that war was lost and demanded that govt. ask for peace; Allies unwilling to make peace; reforms begun to create liberal government; Nov.- sailors in Kiel, Germany mutiny and within days councils of workers and soldiers forming, taking over civilian and military offices; Social Democrats under Friedrich Ebert announce creation of democratic republic

 German government signs armistice two days later

  • Reparation: payments made to the victors (winners) by the vanquished (losers) to cover the costs of a war; after surrender, Germany stripped of all weapons and made vast payments to cover all costs of the war to France ( Georges Clemenceau), and a separate Rhineland as a buffer state between France and Germany
  • Mandate: nation governed by another nation on behalf of the League of Nations; as a result of the war, the treaty of Versailles, and other separate peace treaties, new nations emerged out of German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian territory- Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary were formed; as result of compromises, almost every eastern Euro sate was left with ethnic minorities which could lead to later conflicts; Ottoman Empire broken up but promised recognition of independence of Arab sates in empire
the end of the war2
Erich von Ludendorff: guided German military operations in the west to break military stalemate; attack March 1918, by April troops within 50 miles of Paris; advance stopped at Second Battle of the Marne in July; French, Moroccan, and newly arrived American soldiers supported by hundreds of tanks and caused German retreat back to Marne; Sept. 1918Ludendorff informed German leaders that war was lost and to seek peace because of high numbers of American troops pouring into battle fields

Friedrich Ebert: leader of Social Democrats; announced creation of democratic republic

David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau: prime minister of Great Britain; won elections at Paris Peace Conference in Dec. 1918, platform:make Germans pay for war; most important decisions at Conference made by himself, Clemenceau, and Wilson; created League of Nations: Allied powers (U.S. , France, Great Britain, and Italy): Wilson-world organization preventing future wars, Clemenceau-compromised obtaining guarantees for French security, gave up France’s wish for separate Rhineland and accepted defensive alliance with G.B. and U.S.

The End of the War
the end of the war3
The End of the War
  • Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points: basis for peace settlement that he believed justified enormous military struggle, presented to U.S. Congress Feb.. 1917; proposed for justified, lasting peace and open peace agreements rather than secret diplomacy; reducing military forces or weapons to a “point consistent with domestic safety”; ensuring self-determination; WWI:people’s war against “ absolute and militarism” which were enemies to liberty and should be eliminated by creating democratic governments; became spokes person for new world order based on democracy and international cooperation

“ It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of, but the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk and overwhelmed in the waters in the same way. There has been no discrimination. The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it. The choice we make for ourselves must be made with a moderation of counsel and a temperateness of judgment befitting our character and our motives as a nation. We must put excited feeling away. Our motive will not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the physical might of the nation, but only the vindication of right, of human right, of which we are only a single champion”

the end of the war4
The End of the War
  • Second Battle of the Marne: summer 1918, France-German army under Erich von Ludendorff attack French army under Commander-in-Chief Henri-Philippe Petain; French army weak due to poor shape of soldiers and lack of British support; Germans unable to break through and Petain able to set up counter attack including support from Italy, Great Britain, 24 divisions of the French army, and over 85,000 American troops; July- Germans withdrawal: last real attempt by Central Powers to win WWI

-German casualties: 168,000

-French casualties: 95,000

-British casualties: 13,000

-U.S. casualties: 12,000

the end of the war6
1. What were the most important provisions to the Treaty of Versailles?

-There was peace. Germany had to pay reparations for damage to Allied governments. They also had to reduce their army to a hundred thousand men, cut back their navy, and eliminate their air force. France regained Alsace and Lorraine.

2. Why was the mandate system created? Which countries became mandates? Who governed them?

-It was created because Woodrow Wilson apposed the outright annexation of colonial territories by the Allies. Iraq, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were the mandate countries and were governed by Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.

3. Compare and contrast Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points to the Treaty of Versailles.

-Both worked toward peace. Wilson wanted peace agreements open and public, not secret. The Fourteen Points; France wanted Germany to give up their weapons but in the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was stripped of its air force.

The End of the War
the impact of the great war1
1. How many people, both military and civilian, were killed or wounded on both sides?

-Almost 10 million people in World War 1

2. What was the monetary costs of the war for both sides?

-It cost the Allied Powers $125,960,477,000 and $60,643,160,000 for the Central Powers

3. What innovations in military warfare occurred during World War 1?

-Trench warfare was introduced, war of attrition based on wearing the other side down by constant attacks and heavy losses.

4. How did the slaughter of WW1 affect British, French, and German painters?

-Absolute Truth showed paintings of battlefields and what had really happened.

5. How did the slaughter affect poets and writers?

-Their subjects were more morbid and involving the perspective of a soldier such as: How to Die by Siegfried Sassoon, Anthem for a Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, The Happy Warrior by Hubert Read, and Before Action by W.N. Hodgson.

6. What was the impact of the war on the French environment?


7. How did the Great War contribute to the rise of an international movement of Pacifism?


The Impact of the Great War
works cited
Works Cited
works cited1
Works Cited