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World War I. Characteristics & Technology. Essential Question. How did technology change the way that war was fought in World War I?. Alliances. Central Powers. Allied Powers. Great Britain France Russia America (Eventually). Germany Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Ottoman Empire.

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World war i

World War I

Characteristics & Technology

Essential question
Essential Question

  • How did technology change the way that war was fought in World War I?


Central Powers

Allied Powers

Great Britain



America (Eventually)

  • Germany

  • Austria-Hungary

  • Bulgaria

  • Ottoman Empire


Central Powers

Allied Powers

  • Geography – Controlled from North Sea to Middle East

  • Quicker Action – Easier communication & troop movement

  • Better Trained Armies – Germany had strongest army in world

  • More Soldiers

  • Greater Industrialization – Could produce weapons & ammo

  • Controlled the Seas – British navy moved materials around the world

Innovations in warfare
Innovations in Warfare

  • Weapons were mass produced

  • Many new weapons were used

U boats

  • German Submarines

  • Caused extensive losses to Allied ships

  • Germans also used poison gas against infantry

Machine guns
Machine Guns

  • As powerful as multiple rifles

  • Made infantry attacks against heavily fortified positions costly

  • Protective trenches were used to combat this tactic

Long range artillery
Long-Range Artillery

  • Killed in large numbers

  • Could attack from long-distances

  • Defensive weapons


  • Primarily used to observe troop movement

  • Slow & difficult to maneuver

  • Sometimes used in air battles called dogfights

  • Also used to drop bombs

  • Aces were high skilled fighter pilots

  • The Red Baron – Famous German fighter pilot


  • Introduced by Britain in 1916

  • Easily moved over rough terrain using treads

  • Enabled troops to cut through barbed wire & enemy lines


  • Previous wars in Europe fought by professional soldiers

  • WWI soldiers were mostly drafted civilians

  • Undrafted men & women worked at home to support the war effort

  • Total War – A war in which nations use all their resources to help the war


  • The use of selective bits of information, true or false, to get citizens to support the war

  • Government set up agencies to control news

  • Generally showed enemy as brutal while praising own soldiers

Early years
Early Years

  • Germany attacked France, & advanced to Marne River, but was stopped by French & British troops – ended German hope of quick victory

  • Western Front – Trenches stretched from Switzerland to English Channel & North Sea

  • Eastern Front – Russia attacked to divert German forces from Western Front

Early years1
Early Years

  • Battle of Tannenberg – August 1914

    • Russia defeated by Germany

    • Half of Russian forces lost

    • Germans attacked Poland after victory here

  • Fighting on Gallipoli

    • Russia lacked weapons to arm soldiers

    • Britain & France tried to capture Constantinople to create route to get supplies to Russia

    • Used naval bombardment & infantry but failed to capture Constantinople

Naval warfare
Naval Warfare

  • Britain blockaded North Sea to prevent Germany from obtaining supplies

  • Germany blockaded Britain using U-Boats

  • May 1915 – U-Boats sinks Lusitania

  • 1,200 killed, including 128 Americans

  • Germany reduced blockade after U.S. condemned the attack

The stalemate
The Stalemate

  • By late 1915 the war came to a stalemate

  • Military leaders on both sides wondered if they would ever break through enemy lines

  • Many lives lost

  • Became a war of attrition – slow wearing down process where each side tries to outlast the other

United states in world war i
United States in World War I

  • Tried to remain neutral

  • Were most industrialized neutral nation, & supplied both sides

  • British propaganda influenced Americans; they didn’t know it was exaggerated or false

  • America was pushed to war by 3 things

America pushed to war
America Pushed to War

  • Germany offers to help Mexico regain Arizona, New Mexico, & Texas if they helped Germany. Message intercepted by British & given to U.S.

  • Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare

  • Russia became democracy, so America was more likely to fight for democratic ideals

Declaration of war
Declaration of War

  • President Woodrow Wilson told Congress, “the world must by made safe for democracy.”

  • April 6, 1917 – Congress voted to declare war on Germany