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World War I.

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Presentation on theme: "World War I."— Presentation transcript:

1 World War I

2 The War There were three major fronts in Europe:
The Western Front – This front extended across Belgium and northeastern France to the border of Switzerland. (Germany vs France and Great Britain) The Eastern Front – This front ran from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. (Germany and Austria-Hungary vs Russia) The Southern Front – This front ran between Italy and Austria. (Austria-Hungary vs Italy) Fighting also took place in the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Middle East and even in Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

3 1.) 2.) 3.)

4 An Industrialized War World War 1 was a war between groups of major industrial powers. New technology made this war an enormously destructive one. Many of the inventions of the late 1800s and early 1900s became weapons. Internal Combustion Engine The Airplane Radio Dynamite

5 Machine Gun

6 Airplane Manfred von Richthofen

7 Submarine

8 Tank

9 Poison Gas

10 Poison Gas Throughout the war, the use of gases such as Mustard and Chlorine were launched by either side. Deaths from these poison attacks totaled near 90,000, with more than 1.2 million soldiers being poisoned, but not killed.

11 Trench Warfare After the early German attacks through Belgium into France, the Western front slowed to a screeching halt. In place of movement, a static war began to emerge. In this static war, neither side advanced much, instead settling into protected positions. The dug-out emplacements were known simply as the trenches. Life in the trenches was difficult, as the solider had to deal with the filth of daily life. Mud, Disease, Waste



14 Over the Top Much of the time was spent remaining vigilant, under near constant artillery barrages and sporadic gas attacks. These slow times were some of the hardest to pass for the soldiers. However, these slow times were broken up by “going over the top.” Attacks starting from trenches required infantry to climb over the top of the defenses before they could cross the No Man's Land to attack the enemy trenches. “Going over the top” was an unpopular task; soldiers awaited the blowing of a whistle from an officer, then charged out to attack the enemy.



17 War of Attrition Unlike past wars, World War 1 did not see many attacks that claimed victory on the battlefield. Instead, in the face of overwhelming military might, both sides in the war hoped to exhaust one another. This is known as a War of Attrition. World War 1 produced approximately 37 million casualties. In that number is 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded.

18 The Battle of Verdun, 1916 With the war stalled for years, even in 1916 both sides were hoping to find a way of knocking each other out of the war. The German High Command developed plans to lure Allied forces into open battle by attacking the fortress city of Verdun in northeastern France. Verdun holds specific historical importance to the French, and the Germans believed, correctly, that the French would fight for it. What came about was an 11 month (Feb-Dec) meat grinder, in which the French suffered 378,000 casualties (163,000 KIA) and the Germans suffered 330,000 (143,000 KIA)

19 Verdun phosgene

20 The Battle of the Somme, 1916 In an attempt to relieve the siege at Verdun, the British and French launched a massive offensive along the occupied Belgian border, with the hope that the Germans would pull troops away from Verdun to defend against this attack. The Somme Offensive, which lasted from July to November of 1916 instead turned into a horror all its own. The Allied side suffered 620,000 casualties while the Germans suffered 450,000 casualties of their own.


22 Turning Points of the War
Several major events changed the war in These events included the withdrawal and the addition of nations involved in The Great War. Entry of the United States – Although the United States had allowed American ships to carry supplies to the Allies, the country had tried to remain neutral in the war. However, the Germans introduced unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, which drew the Americans into the war. Lusitania


24 Turning Points of the War
Entry of the United States – In addition to the new submarine attacks, British intelligence agents intercepted a message from the German government, pledging support for the Mexicans if they would attack the United States. This message, known as the Zimmerman Telegram, enraged many in the American public who now demanded war.

25 Turning Points of the War
Russian Withdrawal – In Russia, low morale due to several massive military disaster (Battle of Tannenburg – Russians lost 250,000 while the Germans only lost 5,000) contributed to a revolution in By early 1918, Russia’s new Communist leadership signed a treaty with Germany that took Russia out of the war.

26 War at Home Unlike the wars of the past, WW1 was not only fought on the battlefield, but at home as well. A war fought in this way is called a total war. In a total war, all of a nation’s resources go into the war effort. Governments conscripted men to fight in the war. Governments raised taxes and borrowed money to pay for the war. Governments rationed goods at home so that the military could be provided for. Governments used the press to print propaganda. Women at home took jobs that soldiers had left behind. Women enlisted in the military in support roles Women volunteered for the Medical Corps.

27 Propaganda Propaganda is a form of communication aimed at influencing the attitude of a group toward some cause or position. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular idea.






33 The Loss of Russia Yesterday we said that Russia left the war following a series of military disasters. (example was Tannenburg) This, along with anger towards the Russian government of Czar Nicholas II, lead to a series of uprisings which eventually toppled the government of Russia in late 1917, where it was replaced by a Communist government lead by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin’s government quickly moved to pull Russia out of the war, eventually settling on a humiliating treaty with Germany in early 1918.

34 The Loss of Russia The treaty ending the war between Russia and the Central Powers was known as the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This treaty stripped Russia of much of its western lands, including the wealthy “bread-basket” of the Ukraine.

35 The Final Moves With Russia out of the war, and American doughboys just arriving in Europe, the final months of the war were a race against time. By the middle of 1918, the Allies had superiority in numbers and in supplies. The British naval blockade of Germany was taking its toll and the German people began to weaken, behind their soldiers. In the summer of 1918, the Allied Powers launched a massive offensive that was successful in finally exhausting the Central Powers.


37 The Final Moves In the Fall of 1918, Bulgaria became the first member of the Central Powers to withdrawal from the war. On September Bulgaria signed an armistice with the Allied Powers. The other Central Powers followed suit over the course of the next two months, with Germany finally signing an armistice on November 11th The Great War was over.

38 The Costs of the War The costs of the war in terms of human lives were amazing. Central Powers: Dead - 4,386,000 Wounded - 8,388,000 Military missing - 3,629,000 Allied Powers: Dead - 5,525,000 Wounded - 12,831,500 Military missing: 4,121,000 In addition to this, famine broke out across Europe as much of the healthy farmlands were destroyed and unable to grow food after four years of war. Disease ran rampant, and the Spanish Flu which broke out on the Western front spread world wide, ultimately killing approximately 50 million people.

39 The Costs of the War The economic costs of the war were just as unbelievable. Across Europe, factories, farms, and homes were destroyed. The nations of Europe had spent greatly to fight the war, and now had serious debts to repay. Bitter because of the level of destruction, the Allies insisted that the Central Powers make reparations as part of the coming peace treaty. The war itself was over, but in terms of human and monetary loss, the wars effects would be felt for decades.

40 In summary… Nationalism, militarism, imperialism, and political rivalries led to the first World War. In the Balkans, what began as a local incident grew in to a global conflict. Industrialization and new technology made the weapons of the war much more destructive than any thing that had been used before. The war absolutely devastated Europe. By the war's end, four major powers - Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Russia - had been defeated.

41 The Paris Peace Conference
World War I had a lasting impact on international politics. In January of 1919, the victorious Allied Powers gathered at the Palace of Versailles, outside of Paris, to work out the terms of peace. This meeting was called the Paris Peace Conference. United States President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George joined French leader Georges Clemenceau in being the three most important people of the conference.

42 The Paris Peace Conference
There was a divide in opinion on how the defeated nations should be treated. President Wilson believed that the people of Europe had a right to self-determination, while the leaders of Great Britain and France were far more concerned with punishing the Central Powers, especially Germany who they believed caused the war to get out of hand. President Wilson came to Paris armed with a list of fourteen things he believed were necessary to secure peace. These 14 Points included: the previously mentioned self-determination, as well as the desire to form an international group of nations, which would prevent war.

43 The Paris Peace Conference
In the end, despite Wilson’s desires, the British and French had their way and the punishment of Germany and the Central Powers became the focus of the peace conference. The Allied Powers were successful in finding four major ways of punishing the Central Powers. Territorial Losses – Land was taken from Germany. Some of it was used to help create the new country of Poland. Alsace and Lorraine, which Germany had taken from France after the Franco-Prussian War, was returned to France. Other areas of Germany were picked off, and the German colonies were stripped away and given to the winners of the war. Military Restrictions – Germany’s powerful army and navy were torn apart, its fleet transferred to Great Britain and its army limited in size. Germany was also prohibited from placing troops in western parts of its own country, the highly industrial Rhineland.


45 The Paris Peace Conference
In addition to limited the size of Germany, and the size of its military, further punishments were placed upon Germany. Reparations – Germany was forced to pay a debt to the victors. When first issued, the war reparations totaled in the neighborhood of $16 Billion dollars. War Guilt – Germany had to accept full responsibility for the war. This caused a great deal of bitterness amongst the German people. In addition to the four main things listed above, the peace agreement, now known as the Treaty of Versailles, established an international organization known as the League of Nations. The league was made up on more than 40 nations that agreed to settle disputes through discussion instead of war, but if aggression was necessary the members of the League agreed to act together.

46 The Paris Peace Conference
Despite being the only major portion of Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points to be adopted as part of the peace deal, the United States never actually joined. Many Americans, including those in Congress that had to agreed upon joining, were afraid that becoming a member would drag the United States into future European wars. In refusing to join, the United States weakened the League of Nations and set in motion events that would cause World War II.

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