Presentation on theme: "War in the Trenches World War I Presentation created by Robert Martinez Primary Content Source: Prentice Hall World History Images as cited. www.allposters.com."— Presentation transcript:
War in the Trenches World War I Presentation created by Robert Martinez Primary Content Source: Prentice Hall World History Images as cited.
As the war began, German forces swept through Belgium toward Paris. German generals soon violated the Schlieffen Plan. Russia mobilized more quickly than expected. After Russian forces won a few small victories in eastern Prussia, Germany hastily shifted some troops to the east. That move weakened German forces in the west.
In September 1914, when British troops reached France, they joined the French along the Marne River. The battle of the Marne pushed back the German offensive and destroyed Germanys hopes for a quick victory on the Western Front.
Both sides then dug in for the winter. They did not know that the conflict would turn into a long, deadly stalemate. Battle lines in France would remain almost unchanged for four years. fineartamerica.com
On the Western Front, the warring armies burrowed into a vast system of trenches, stretching from the Swiss frontier to the English Channel.
An underground network linked bunkers, communications trenches, and gun emplacements. There, millions of soldiers roasted under the broiling summer sun or froze through the long winters. They shared their food with rats and their beds with lice. articles.latimes.com
Between the opposing trench lines lay no mans land. In this empty tract, pocked with shell holes, every house and tree had long since been destroyed. Through coils of barbed wire, soldiers peered over the edges of their trenches, watching for the next attack. They themselves would have to charge into this man-made desert when officers gave the order.
Sooner or later, soldiers would obey the order to go over the top. with no protection but their rifles and helmets, they charged across no mans land toward the enemy lines. With luck, they might overrun a few trenches. djophax.herobo.com
In time, the enemy would launch a counterattack, with similar results. Each side rushed in reinforcements to replace the dead and wounded. The struggle continued, back and forth, over a few hundred yards of territory. morganinaustralia.blogspot.com
In 1916, both the Allies and Central Powers launched massive offensives to break the stalemate. German forces tried to overwhelm the French at Verdun. The French sent up the battle cry. They shall not pass. The French defenders held firm, but the 11-month struggle cost more than a half-million casualties on both sides. pictureshistory.blogspot.com
An Allied offensive at the Somme River was even more costly. In a single day, 60,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded. In the five-month battle, over one million soldiers were killed, without either side winning an advantage.
Modern weapons added greatly to the destructiveness of the war. Rapid-fire machine guns mowed down waves of soldiers, making it nearly impossible to advance across no mans land. Artillery allowed troops to shell enemy lines and cities from more than 10 miles away.
In 1915, Germany began using poison gas that blinded or choked its victims or caused agonizing burns and blisters. Later that year, the Allies also began to use gas. Though soldiers were eventually given gas masks, poison gas remained one of the most dreaded hazards of the war. /tsaamericahistory.wikispaces.com
Although poison gas could be fatal, it was an uncertain weapon. Shifting winds might blow the gas back on the side that launched it. 1.bp.blogspot.com
In 1916, Britain introduced a new weapon, the armored tank. Mounted with machine guns, the tanks were designed to move across broken ground and through barbed wire. Still, the first tanks moved slowly and broke down often. They did little to break the stalemate. sirismm.si.edu
Both sides also used aircraft. At first, planes simply observed enemy troop movements. In 1915, Germany used zeppelins, large gas-filled balloons, to bomb the English coast.
Later, both sides equipped airplanes with machine guns. Pilots known as flying aces battled in the skies. These dogfights were spectacular, but had little effect on the course of the war. muslimsocialservicesagency.org
Submarines proved much more important. German submarines roamed the Atlantic. These U-boats did tremendous damage to the Allied side, sinking merchant ships that carried vital supplies to Britain.
To counteract submarine warfare, the Allies organized convoys, or groups of merchant ships protected by warships. Germanys policy of unrestricted submarine warfare would eventually help bring the United States into the war. farm4.staticflickr.com
In August 1914, Russian armies pushed into eastern Germany. Then, at the battle of Tannenberg, the Russians suffered one of the worst defeats of the war, causing them to retreat. After Tannenberg, armies in the east fought on Russian soil.
As the least industrialized of the great powers, Russia was poorly equipped to fight a modern war. Troops sometimes lacked even rifles. Still, Russian commanders continued to throw masses of peasant soldiers into combat.
Southeastern Europe was another battleground. In 1915, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and helped crush its old Balkan rival Serbia. That same year, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary and, later on Germany. Italy had signed a secret treaty with the Allies to gain Austrian-ruled lands inhabited by Italians.
In October 1917, the Austrians and Germans launched a major offensive against the Italian position at Caporetto. The Italians retreated in disarray. British and French forces later helped stop the Central Powers advance into Italy. Still, Caporetto proved as disastrous for Italy as Tannenberg had been for Russia.
Though most of the fighting took place in Europe. World War I was a global conflict. Japan, allied with Britain, used the war as an excuse to seize German outposts in China and islands in the Pacific. It also tried to impose a protectorate on China.
The Ottoman empire joined the Central Powers in The Turks then closed off Allied ships from the Dardanelles, a vital strait connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. In 1915, the Allies sent a massive force of British, Indian, Australian, and New Zealander troops to open up the strait. 24.media.tumblr.com
At the battle of Gallipoli, Turkish troops tied down the trapped Allies on the beaches. In January 1916, after 10 months and more than 200,000 casualties, the Allies finally withdrew from the Dandanelles.
In turn, the Turks were hard hit in the Middle East. The Ottoman empire included vast areas of Arab land. In 1916, Arab nationalists led by Husayn ibn Ali declared a revolt against Ottoman rule. The British sent Colonel T.E. Lawrence – later known as Lawrence of Arabia – to support the Arab revolt. upload.wikimedia.org
Lawrence led guerrilla raids against the Turks, dynamiting bridges and supply trains. Eventually, the Ottoman empire lost a great deal of territory to the Arabs, including the key city of Baghdad. media.iwm.org.uk
European colonies were drawn into the struggle. The Allies overran scattered German colonies in Africa and Asia. They also turned to their own colonies and dominions for troops, laborers, and supplies. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand sent troops to Britains aid. Colonial recruits from British India and French West Africa fought on European battlefields.
People in the colonies had mixed feelings about serving. Some were reluctant to serve the imperial powers. Other colonial troops volunteered eagerly. They expected that their service would be a step toward citizenship or independence. Such hopes would be dashed after the war. en.wikipedia.org