Presentation on theme: "WWI Notes 2: The August Madness and the Beginning of WWI World Wars Ms. Hamer February 4, 2011."— Presentation transcript:
WWI Notes 2: The August Madness and the Beginning of WWI World Wars Ms. Hamer February 4, 2011
Myth of the August Madness While widespread fervor about the war happened… During and after WWI, the vision of the August Madness was hyped up more and more
What was the August Madness? Widespread celebrations in European cities after the declarations of war in early August 1914 –Especially in Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Vienna and definitely in Berlin Caused by relief felt after not having to wait to see what would happen with the tensions in Europe Led to feelings of national unity Militarist expectations of heroism and glory were part of it Some were just caught up in the excitement
Who Participated in the August Madness? Urban, middle class and elites, and especially students –Men more so than women Still much objection to war –Rural areas were not so thrilled –Minorities were not as enthusiastic
Scenes from the August Madness Berlin London – Trafalgar Square
What were the Effects of the August Madness? Domestic truces within countries –Though this was followed with inner paranoia and fear of spies… Mass enlistment –20 million men mobilized throughout Europe Governments harnessed this enthusiasm for their war goals –“Spontaneous” Propaganda Failure of International Socialism to prevent a capitalist war…
British Man Ready to Enlist “I felt restless, excited, eager to do something desperate for the cause of England. And then the impulse came, sending the blood tingling all over my body: why not join the Army now? A great and glorious suggestion. It might not be too late. Girls smiled at me, men looked at me with respect, the bus drivers wished me luck and refused to take money for my fare, and everybody made way for me, as being on the King's business.”
Mobilization It's a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to go; It's a long way to go; It's a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to Tipperary, To the sweetest girl I know! To the sweetest girl I know! Goodbye, Piccadilly, Goodbye, Piccadilly, Farewell, Leicester Square, Farewell, Leicester Square, It's a long, long way to Tipperary, It's a long, long way to Tipperary, But my heart's right there! But my heart's right there! It's a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to go; It's a long way to go; It's a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to Tipperary, To the sweetest girl I know! To the sweetest girl I know! Goodbye, Piccadilly, Goodbye, Piccadilly, Farewell, Leicester Square, Farewell, Leicester Square, It's a long, long way to Tipperary, It's a long, long way to Tipperary, But my heart's right there! But my heart's right there! Home by Christmas! No major war in 50 years! Nationalism! Home by Christmas! No major war in 50 years! Nationalism!
Recruitment Posters Kitchener in England This one wouldn’t arrive until 1918, but you can see where the US got it from
The Schlieffen Plan Germany’s Schlieffen Plan : –Was to solve the problem of the two-front war Germany would have to fight Knock out France in 42 days by attacking through Belgium, then face Russia Would violate Belgian neutrality Would it have ever worked? –Required troops to march 20-30 miles a day while fighting resistance –Troops would quickly outdistance supply lines and artillery
Plan XVII France’s Plan XVII (keep in mind they started at 14!) –Was based on an offensive to retake the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine –Left a small contingent to defend against the Belgian border because the Germans would never do anything so heinous as attacking through neutral Belgium… Stressed the offensive, which ended up being a bad call: –Smaller force –Played into the expectations of the Schlieffen Plan
Germany Invades Belgium – August 4, 1914 Advance was hampered by Belgian resistance – destruction of railroads as well as German fear of snipers New technology (heavy guns) took out old forts Germans were 20 miles from Paris by early September
Battle of the Frontiers August 14 – September 6, 1914 Germany declared war on August 1 st and within two weeks was fighting the French in the series of battles called the Battle of the Frontiers –Huge and violent battles –Failure of prepared plans Belgians flooding canals and battlefield
Paris The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) mobilized VERY quickly and met the Germans at Mons and then retreated to Paris with the French –French government fled to Bordeaux but prepared Paris for attack by mining bridges –French troops mobilized to defend Paris
Miracle of the Marne September 6-10 German advancing armies got too close to each other and turned before Paris, exposing their flank to the waiting Allies –Allies were able to keep Germans from Paris –Among other acts of heroism were the 600 taxis that brought troops to the Marne from Paris!
Effects of the Battle of the Frontiers and the Battle of the Marne German forces fell back and dug in Even though shallow trenches, it was the beginning of trench warfare Schlieffen Plan failed so Germany would face a multi-front war
German Atrocities in Belgium and Northern France
Reasons (?) Germans were really worried about French snipers (a problem from the Franco Prussian War of 1870) Problems with civilian resistance –Germans used terror to try to stop this… The combination of this led to misconceptions –“man hat geschossen” – “one has shot at us” –Sometimes mistook friendly fire for resistance –German soldiers drinking looted alcohol did not help
German Atrocities Germans killed more than 6,000 civilians (men, women, and children) in Belgium and Northern France Burned the University at Louvain along with its library and killed hundreds of civilians there Shelled Reims Cathedral on September 19, 1914
Problems with Rumors of Atrocities After the real atrocities, rumors spread of others that ended up being fakes: –Germans chopping the hands of Belgian children to prevent them from fighting Later in the war when it was realized that these were fake, it lessened the reality of the actual atrocities –This sentiment would later lead to disbelief of the “rumors” of attacks on Jews by the Third Reich…
Race to the Sea After the Battle of the Frontiers, the Allies and Central Powers struggled to create a front line in their favor The goal of each side was to secure a good port on the English Channel –Germany got Antwerp on October 11, 1914 From this point on, there were battles on the Western Front, but the line remained fairly stagnant
Trenches Not only were the trenches the cause of mass destruction on the battlefield, but they were also havens for disease: – Rats and lice were infected with disease, which spread quickly to the men. – Trench foot was a rotting disease that happened when the soldiers’ feet were wet for days on end from the mud in the bottom of the trenches.
Wikipedia on Trench Foot Characteristics Affected feet become numb and then turn red or blue. As the condition worsens, they may swell. Advanced immersion foot often involves blisters and open sores, which lead to fungal infections; this is sometimes called tropical ulcer (jungle rot). If left untreated, immersion foot usually results in gangrene, which can require amputation. If immersion foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling returns. Like other cold injuries, immersion foot leaves sufferers more susceptible to it in the future. Causes Immersion foot occurs when feet are cold and damp while wearing constricting footwear. Unlike frostbite, immersion foot does not require freezing temperatures and can occur in temperatures up to 60° Fahrenheit (about 16° Celsius). The condition can occur with as little as eleven hours' exposure. The mechanism of tissue damage is not fully understood. Prevention Immersion foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks frequently when the feet cannot be kept dry. During World War I, trench soldiers were provided with whale grease and told to apply it to their feet, to reduce the prevalence of this condition; the idea was to make the feet waterproof. It was found, however, that this made the condition worse as it made the feet perspire and absorb even more water. It was also discovered that a key measure was regular foot inspections by officers.
British Recollections of Life in the Trenches On Lice and Rats: “If you're nearly frozen, they keep quiet: as soon as you warm up those blasted lice start to bite like the devil. It's horrible. I often think it is one of the worst things we have to endure out here.” “There are millions!! Some are huge fellows, nearly as big as cats. Several of our men were awakened to find a rat snuggling down under the blanket alongside them!” The Confusing Layout “Getting along a trench is not as easy as you think. For one thing it is not straight for more than four yards (it is 'traversed' to prevent crossfire and shell fire having much effect). Then there are all sorts of odd off-turns, to officers' dugouts, or other lines of trenches: at other places there are steps down and other unknown steps up where a piece of parapet has been blown in, or some walls of a traverse have collapsed. In these mazes where we have fought each other so often and each side has held the ground in turn, you can never be quite sure whether a trench won't lead you straight to the German lines. In more than one place in our present line we actually do have communication trenches connecting our and their lines.”
Trenches Aerial View German SE; British NW 1917 Periscope Rifle
Mining Trenches Trenches could be attacked by digging underground tunnels beneath enemy trenches and mining underneath them and then exploding these mines. 1915- Remnants of a German mined trench with British captors and German prisoners and dead
Trenches This harsh warfare and the terrible living conditions that accompanied it led many soldiers to mutiny or mental illness. Commanding officers often held their troops at gunpoint and forced them to leave the trenches and attempt an attack on the enemy across no man’s land. “A Bedford patrol went out and crawled very bravely close to the German barbed wire. They stayed a long time and listened and they were just about to crawl back when a voice from the German trenches said in perfect English, 'If you don't go away soon, we shall really have to shoot you.' They went.”
Initial Use of Gas The French were the first to use tear gas in August 1914, Germans used it against French and Russians in 1914 and early 1915. –All of these quantities were too small to be noticed or froze (Russia – duh) –Combatants did not see this as a violation of the Hague Treaty because tear gas is not poisonous British victims of tear gas
Chlorine Gas Germans used poisonous chlorine gas launched from cylinders so it was wind carried in the Spring of 1915
German Victory at Tannenberg August 26-30, 1914 Even though Russian troops mobilized against Germany and A-H faster than the Central Powers expected, Germany was able to win a large victory against the Russians at the Battle of Tannenberg Russian prisoners at Tannenberg At great cost to themselves, Russia was able to draw German troops from the Western Front by engaging so quickly