The Great War The Great War

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					The Great War

“It’s grrrrrrreat.”
       Europe: A Powder-Keg
What started WWI?
• Militarism
  – The build-up of armies and munitions world-wide.
• Alliances:
  – Agreements designed to bolster each nation’s
• Imperialism
  – Nations dominating foreign lands politically,
    economically, and culturally.
• Nationalism
  – “My country can beat up your country!”
• The Triple Alliance
  – 1879, Germany and Austro-Hungary formed a dual
  – This became the “Triple Alliance” when Italy joined in
• The Triple Entente
  – 1907, France was concerned with being attacked by
    the Triple Alliance.
  – Britain was concerned with the growth of the German
  – Russia was also concerned by the growth of the
    German army.
  – All three formed the Triple Entente in 1907.
WWI Alliances
          The Schlieffen Plan
• Germany wants to avoid a
  war on two fronts…
• The Schlieffen Plan
  – Since Russia would take
    about 6 weeks to mobilize her
  – Attack France first through
    Belgium and quickly defeat
  – Then attack Russia.
  Background: The Black Hand
• A nationalist group
  aimed at uniting all
  slavs into one nation-
  – Angered by Austria-
    Hungary’s annexation
    of Bosnia in 1908.
                      The Spark
• In the early 1900s, Austro-
  Hungary acquired a new
  territory, Bosnia.
• Archduke Franz Ferdinand set
  out to visit the new territory.
  – He and his wife are gunned
    down in Sarajevo
• The Austrian Gov’t expects the
  gunman may have been a
  member of the “Black Hand”
  – Slavic nationalist group angered
    by annexation of Bosnia.
The Issue
The Austrian government sent an ultimatum
  to the Serbian government after the
  assassination of Archduke Franz
   – This demanded that the Serbs:
       1. Punish members of the Black Hand.
       2. Seek out and destroy the nationalist movement.
       3. Allow the Austrians to help with the investigation
          of the case in Serbia.
If Serbs do not meet demands, AH will
    declare war.
If you were Serbia, what would you do? Why?
 a ChaIn of allIanCes…
• Serbia refuses the Austrian demands.
  – AH declares war on Serbia (July 28th,
• Russia, Serbia’s ally, mobilizes for war.
• Germany, Austro-Hungary’s chief ally,
  demands Russia stop mobilizing.
  – When Russia refuses, Germany mobilizes.
     • In response, France mobilizes (Russia’s ally)
• August 1st, Germany declares war on
  – Puts “Schlieffen Plan” into action, and
    attacks France through neutral Belgium.
  – Britain's alliance with Belgium brings it
    into the conflict.
WWI Begins


“Central Powers”
•Ottoman Empire

•Great Britain
• Germany…
 – Schlieffen Plan enacted,
   German troops within 30
   miles of Paris.
 – Russians advanced on
   • Germans take away
     troops from West to
     reinforce East
       – Stalemate
          »Trench Warfare
                  Trench Warfare
After the Battle of the Marne in September, 1914, the Germans were forced to retreat.
The German commander, General Erich von Falkenhayn, decided that his troops must
at all costs hold onto those parts of France and Belgium that Germany still occupied.
Falkenhayn ordered his men to dig trenches that would provide them with protection
from the advancing French and British troops. The Allies soon realized that they could
not break through this line and they also began to dig trenches.
•   Parts of a Trench
    – No Man’s Land
    – Artillery Line
    – Dugout

•   Trench Life…
    – “Trenchfoot”
    – Rats, Lice
         The Western Front:
       “the great slaughter”
• 1915-1917
  – Over ten months
    in 1916, 700,000
    soldiers died over
    a few miles of
• Military
  searched for a
  way to
   “total War”

Total War = A conflict where
all aspects of a state become
involved or become targets of
military aggression.
Total War
The Eastern Front
         • Ottoman Empire
           invades Russia,
         • At first, Russians
           push into east
           Germany and
           – Germans push back,
             trenches dig in.
         • Italy also joins the
           Russians against
           the Germans.
           – Promised territory
             by the Allies!
the eastern front, Cont’d
• Unrest in the Ottoman Empire
  – Ottoman Empire was already on
    the decline before WWI.
    • Nations of Balkans had successfully
      declared independence (Those nations
      allied with Russia).
  – During WWI
    • Arabia declared its independence
      – British troops advanced and seized Egypt and
    • Christian Armenian minority begins
      pressing Ottoman Empire for
      independence in 1915…
    The Armenian Genocide
• Genocide
  – Systematic destruction of a group based on ethnicity.

• Beginnings
  – Turkish leaders in the government had blamed the
    Armenians for the weakening of the Ottoman Empire.
     • Nationalism!
     • Began persecuting them in late 1800s.
• Mass Murder
  – Turkish gov’t ordered a campaign to “relocate” Armenians
    because of fear of Russian invasion.
     • Forced to march for months through the desert with little
       food or water.
     • Those that survived the elements were slaughtered by the
       Ottoman Army, or moved to forced labor camps where
       they were worked to death.
  – Est. 600,000 to 1.5 million Armenians
    were murdered.
Entry of the United States
              • US declares neutrality,
                – Supplies GB.
              • GB had been
                blockading Germany.
                – Germany responded
                  with U-Boats.
              • 1915 – German U-boat
                sinks the British ship
                – Over 100 Americans
              • US pressures Germany
                to warn ships before
                – “Sussex Pledge”
entry of the unIted states, Cont’d
• Early 1917 - Germany
  breaks Sussex Pledge.
  – U.S. breaks off relations.
• Zimmerman Note is
  – Germans ask Mexico to join
    Central Powers and attack
    United States.
• Russia pulls out of
  – US investments at risk in
    GB and FR!
• U.S. declares war,
  – Most troops do not
    actually arrive until 1918.
       Last Year of the War
• On March 3rd, 1918,
  the newly- Communist
  Russia signs a treaty
  with Germany ending
  their involvement in
  the war.
  – Had undergone
    Russian Revolution.
• Germany can focus on
  Western front!
  – Know they need to
    finish off France
    before the United
    States arrives.
germany’s BIg gamBle
          • General Erich
            – Uses all of
              resources in a final
              push towards
          • Attack launched
            in March 1918.
            – Gets to within 50
              miles of Paris!
     Ludendorff Offensive
• Americans Make the Difference
  – Why?
     • European Allies used to defensive fighting.
     • Morale boost
  – May, 1918
     • US Marines arrive and counterattack with the support of
       hundreds of tanks.
  – By July, 1918
     • Germans retreating in large numbers.
Ending the War
        • By September…
         – Allies were
           through France
           and toward
         – Ludendorff:
           • “War is lost…
             We must ask for
Ending the War: Nationalism
• Central Powers
  – Ottomans, Bulgaria
    make peace in Autumn.
  – Poles, Hungarians,
    Czechs, Slovaks declare
    independence from
    Austria-Hungary in
  – Kaiser Wilhelm flees
    from Germany in Nov.
• Armistice
  – Nov. 11th, 1918
The Costs of War
        Paris Peace Conference
•    Jan, 1919
    –   USA, Britain, France, Italy
•    Topics:
    1. What should happen to
       German colonies, Alsace-
       Lorraine, and the Polish
    2. Should everyone have to
       disarm, or just Germany, and
       to what extent?
    3. Who is guilty, and should they
       have to pay reparations?
    4. How do we ensure a lasting
                           Prime Minister
David Lloyd                Georges
George, Great              Clemenceau,
Britain                    France           Woodrow
                                            Wilson, USA
            Vittorio Orlando,
        Versailles, 1919

• Delegates from each of the Allied countries met
  to determine the fate of Europe.
Europe Before WWI
Europe After WWI
1. What was Germany’s role in the Peace
   Conference? Why might this cause
   future problems?
2. What is the League of Nations missing
   that is necessary to keep peace?
3. What conditions were forced upon
   Germany by the Treaty of Versailles?
4. What was Italy’s main goal at the
   conference? Why might they be angry
   with the Allies in the future?
5. Which empire(s) have been destroyed by
   World War One?
 The Treaty of Versailles
Did the Treaty of Versailles Cause
• Conference in Paris, 1919
  – Germany not invited.
• Territories
  – Taken away from Germany.        YES!
  – Italy gets none.
     • Revenge?
• Disarmament
  – Only Germany forced to cut size of army.
• War Guilt and Reparations
  – Blamed Germany, made them pay.
• Failure of Peace Keeping
  – USA never joins the League of Nations
      Document Assignment!
• Answer the questions in the four
• Also, underline anything that might help
  you answer the following question…

How did the Treaty of Versailles
 create tension that might lead to
     Coding the Reading
• C = Colonies
• AL = Alsace-Lorraine
• PC = Polish Corridor
• MD = Military Disarm
• WG = War Guilt
• R = Reparations
• PK = Peace Keeping (General Label)
At the start of WWI,
  countries on both
  sides used
  propaganda to stir
  nationalism and
  encourage citizens to
  join the military.
• Propaganda
  – Media meant to
    influence the
    opinions or
    behaviors of people
     Review Questions
• What is Propaganda? How did it
  influence the war?
• Which country changes sides
  during WWI?
• What was the Armenian
  Genocide? Why did it occur?
• What is going on on the Western
  Front during 1916-17?

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