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Scots on the Western Front. The Outbreak of War Identify the two armed camps in Europe by 1914. Examine the events leading to the outbreak of war.

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Presentation on theme: "Scots on the Western Front. The Outbreak of War Identify the two armed camps in Europe by 1914. Examine the events leading to the outbreak of war."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scots on the Western Front

2 The Outbreak of War Identify the two armed camps in Europe by 1914. Examine the events leading to the outbreak of war.

3 Before 1914 Europe was dominated by five powerful countries. Russia France Britain Germany Austria-Hungary However there were various tensions between these countries and this ultimately led to the outbreak of war in 1914. Tension in Europe

4 The Causes of the War Alliance System Sarajevo Assassinations Schlieffen Plan Rivalry Between Britain and Germany Outbreak of War

5 The Naval Arms Race In the 1870s Germany began to build more warships. In 1889, Britain adopted the two power standard – the British navy had to be larger than the fleets of the next two largest navies combined. In 1898 Germany began a major ship building programme – the British saw this as a direct challenge. In 1906 the British launched the ‘Dreadnought’ - a new type of battleship. The Germans launched a similar type of ship in 1908 – the Nassau. By 1914 Britain had 22 Dreadnoughts and Germany had launched 15.

6 The Triple Alliance Vs The Triple Entente By 1914 Europe was divided into two rival groups. The Triple Alliance – Germany, Austria- Hungary and Italy. The Triple Entente – Britain, France and Russia.

7 The Alliance System The Alliance system was supposed to act as a deterrent to war. Neither side would want to start a war because their rivals had the support of other countries The danger was that if two countries started to argue, the others could be dragged into war. There was a key difference. The Triple Alliance was a military alliance. The Triple Entente was a ‘friendly understanding’ – the countries involved made no definite commitment to each other.

8 Preparing for War As tension grew in Europe countries began to plan for war. In 1897 Germany began to draw up their plan for war. Their worst fear was facing a WAR ON TWO FRONTS with France and Russia. Why?

9 The Schlieffen Plan  By 1905 Count Von Schlieffen, the Chief of the German General Staff had drawn up the Schlieffen Plan.  The Germans planned to use 90% of their forces to knock out France while the other 10% defended their border with Russia. The plan was based on a number of assumptions:  The Russian army would take 6 weeks to mobilise.  France could be defeated in 6 weeks.  Belgium would not resist any German attack.  The British would remain neutral.

10 The Sarajevo Assassinations 28 th June 1914 the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie visited Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Important Austrian officials had already been assassinated in Bosnia. The Archduke wanted a procession through Sarajevo with an open top car.

11 The Assassins A Bosnian terrorist group, the Black Hand planned to assassinate the Archduke. This group was trained and funded by Serbians. Seven assassins travelled to Sarajevo with bombs, pistols and poison in their possession. Two were schoolboys and two were teenagers.

12 The Assassination The first two assassins lost their nerve. The third threw a bomb, it bounced off the Archduke’s car and landed on the car behind. The Archduke wanted to visit the hospital where the victims of the bomb were. His car had no police guard, his driver took a wrong turn and reversed outside a café where one of the assassins, Gavrillo Princip was. Princip seized his opportunity and fired at the car, killing the Archduke and his wife at point-blank range.

13 The Outcome All of the assassins were caught. They were far too young for the death penalty and sent to prison. Princip was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He died in April 1918 aged 23 of tuberculosis. Austria-Hungary’s Emperor Franz Joseph had lost his son and heir to the throne. He blamed Serbia and was determined to crush her.

14 The Outbreak of War 28 th June – Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand 23rd July – Austrian ultimatum to Serbia 25 th July – Serbia refuses to accept two of the demands 28 th July – Austria declares war on Serbia 29 th July – Russia mobilises her army to support Serbia 1 st August – Germany declares war on Russia 3 rd August – Germany declares war on France 4 th August – Germany invades Belgium, Britain tells Germany to withdraw. Britain declares war on Germany.

15 The British Army in 1914 Aim Examine the challenges facing the British army in 1914.

16 The British Army in 1914 When war broke out in 1914, France and Germany had a conscript army. Britain however had a small volunteer army of about 100,000 men led by Field Marshall Sir John French. The British army was known as the British Expeditionary Force. British soldiers signed up for a certain number of years and often joined the regiment closest to their local area e.g. many young men from the Highlanders would join the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regiment.

17 The British Army in 1914 After Britain declared war, the BEF was sent to France and Belgium to stop the German Advance. The German Kaiser famously issued an order on 19 August 1914 to "exterminate...the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army "General French's The first few months of the war were known as the ‘War of Movement’ and although the Germans were not defeated, the British, French and Belgian army managed to slow the Germans down and stop them from capturing Paris. The Schlieffen Plan failed and Germany was now facing war on two fronts.


19 Calais and Dunkirk Ypres

20 The War of Movement 1914 However the BEF paid a huge cost in the early months of the war and by the end of 1914 they had suffered 90,000 casualties. Although a nationwide recruitment campaign had begun in Britain to increase the size of the army, it would take time to prepare new recruits who could fight in France and Belgium. In 1908 the Territorial Army was started in Britain – ‘part-time’ soldiers who signed up for four years. Volunteers worked at their normal jobs during the day but would attend evening drills and summer camps. Over 245,000 men were in the Territorial Army and their main role was home defence. However 20,000 had agreed to serve overseas if needed.

21 Recruitment During World War One Aims: Understand why Britain needed to increase its army in 1914. Examine the methods used by the Government to achieve this.

22 Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State For War believed that the war would last three years and that 1 million men would be need. Kitchener was put in a charge of a recruitment campaign encouraging men between 19 to 30 to join the British army. ‘War Fever’ swept through Britain and huge numbers responded to the call to do their duty for King and country. Men gave false details in order to join up and a blind eye was turned to volunteers who did not meet the physical requirements by recruiting sergeants and doctors. Recruitment During World War One


24 Recruitment Posters Study the propaganda posters on the website Briefly explain what themes/ideas are portrayed in these poster to encourage recruitment.

25 Why Did Men Join the Army? War would be over by Christmas For Adventure – travel the world Patriotism Influenced by other people e.g. friends, family Unemployment War Hysteria

26 McCrae’s Battalion In 1914, Hearts were top of the Scottish League but as the war gathered pace the pressure was on professional footballers to join up. Sir George McCrae obtained permission to raise a new battalion in Edinburgh – the 16 th Royal Scots. Thirteen Hearts players signed up and 600 Hearts players. McCrae’s Battalion numbered 1350 officers and men.

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