History - the First World War - II

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					                   WW I
     The Changes in the Balance of Power
• By Fall 1917, the German and Austro-Hungarian
  governments were determined to continue the war
  until final victory. Berlin had refused to make any
  concessions regarding Alsace-Lorraine and the
  Austro-Hungarian Empire was faithful to
  Germany in spite of the personal opinion of the
  new Emperor Charles. The reason for this hard
  position was the worsening situation of the
  Russian provisional government and the
  disintegration of Russia’s armed forces.
• As soon as Lenin seized power in November
  1917, he announced he wanted an immediate
  peace.
• Four months later Russia was out of the war and
  the Central Powers hoped they could win a
  decisive victory on the western front before the
  arrival of the American troops.
• They tried in Spring 1918 but in July 1918 the
  fourth German offensive in France was broken
  and 27 American divisions arrived on the western
  front. The balance of forces turned in favour of the
  Entente.
• Austria-Hungary had entered into war in 1914
  thinking only a military victory could stop the
  disintegration of the Habsburg Empire. The old
  empire fought with energy until November 1916
  while Emperor Francis-Joseph (who ruled 68
  years!) was alive. But war was not supported by a
  major part of the population and signs of crisis
  appeared in early 1917. The new emperor Charles
  was worried and nervous, and faced economic
  difficulties. The demands of the Polish minority
  in Galicia were given new impetus by the defeat
  of the tsarist regime in Russia.
• There was a serious shortage of foodstuffs in
  Austria in Fall 1917, strikes occured in Vienna in
  January 1918 as well as a fear of a revolution.
  The peace with Russia and Romania gave only
  temporary relief. In summer 1918, French
  marshall Foch took the offensive against the
  German forces on the Western Front with
  numerical superiority provided by the US troops.
  In September, the Austro-Hungarian army was
  exhausted on the Italian Front and on 15
  September a French-Serbian offensive broke the
  Bulgarian defences on the Macedonian Front. On
  19 September the British armies broke through the
  Ottoman Front in Palestine.
• The same day, Bulgaria signed a ceasefire, from
  then on, Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman
  Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s
  southern flank were threatened.
• On September 29, 1918, the German generals told
  the Kaiser that the German troops could no longer
  fight effectively and that Germany had to ask for
  peace to avoid a catastrophe. It was the military
  which imposed this decision on the Kaiser.
• When Wilson stated that the Allies would not
  negotiate with the wartime leaders of Germany,
  the German government asked Wilhelm II to
  resign on October 31.
• His refusal started a revolutionary movement and
  the German republic was proclaimed on
  November 9 while the army did not intervene
  helping the success of the revolution which was
  bloodless.
                      Attention

  The German army was not defeated completely
  nor collapsed. There was no crisis in armaments
  but only in foodstuffs, even if the morale was hurt
  by the blockade. The fear of an Entente
  occupation of the Germany’s own soil determined
  the decision of the German government.
The Signature of Armistices ending the First World
                        War

• Bulgaria on September 19, 1918.
• the Ottoman Empire on October 30, 1918.
• the Austro-Hungarian Empire on November 3,
  1918.
• Germany on November 11, 1918.

				
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