Presentation on theme: "Trench Warfare. Fighting a new type of war Warfare in which soldiers dug into deep trenches across the battlefield. Both sides dug a dense network of."— Presentation transcript:
Fighting a new type of war Warfare in which soldiers dug into deep trenches across the battlefield. Both sides dug a dense network of trenches from the English Channel coast to Switzerland.
Trench Warfare Trenches are connected; 600 miles in the east, 1900 miles in the west Artillery fire Attack across No Man’s Land Retreat or counterattack
Trench Warfare Both sides dug a dense network of trenches protected by mines and barbed wire. Soldiers spent weeks in these muddy, rat- infested holes in the ground. Soldiers raced across “No-Man’s Land” to attack the enemy.
Life in the Trenches Cramped Full of mud, rats, and rotting corpses Was the only type of protection that the soldiers had. Soldiers stayed in these trenches for weeks at a time with little food and water. Barbed wire was one of the many deadly obstacles in “No Man’s Land”
Life in the Trenches Tight Rats, lice Dirty, muddy Extreme cold - temperatures within a trench in winter could easily reach below 0º Celsius. Deafening noises, sudden flashes Little sleep Horrid sanitation
Artillery Quick-firing artillery turned the area between opposing trenches into a “no-man’s land” too dangerous to occupy above ground. Soldiers who left the trenches to attack enemy lines rushed into a hail of bullets from enemy machine guns that could fire 600 bullets per minute.
Poison Gas Probably the most feared weapon of WWI. Used by both sides. Indiscriminate Burned and blinded soldiers. Soldiers had to put on crude gas masks An attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries.
Poison Gas Chlorine gas - 1st used, affected respiratory system Phosgene gas - 18 times more potent then Chlorine gas. Can take 2 days for lungs to fill with fluid. Mustard gas - burns eyes, skin. Swelling, vomiting follow. Able to penetrate clothing. Battlefields couldn’t be reoccupied.
Tanks A British invention. Smashed through barbed wire. Cleared paths through “no-man’s land” between enemy lines. Crossed trenches.
Airplanes First major conflict in which airplanes were used in combat. Fighter planes fought each other far above the trenches. Manfred von Richthofen was Germany’s top ace. (An ace was an aviator who had downed five or more enemy aircraft.) – von Richthofen shot down over 80 enemy planes before he was killed in action on April 21, 1918.
U-Boats German submarines. Used to block trade (As a neutral nation, the US claimed the right to trade with either side in the conflict) Were equipped with both guns and torpedoes. German U-Boats sank over 10 million tons of Allied shipping. This will eventually lead the US into the war.
German Soldiers Fighting for pride in their country. Many young men could hardly wait to get into the army. Many were afraid that their army was so powerful that the war would be over before they had their chance to enter battle.
Illnesses in the Trenches World War I’s biggest killer was disease. Sanitary Conditions – poor – common infections – soldiers suffered from parasites
“War neurosis” or “Combat Stress” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms include tiredness, irritability, lack of concentration, headaches. Mental breakdown often occurred Came from conditions, heavy artillery Treatment not helpful - get soldiers back in the trenches Generals saw this as cowardice and could have killed soldiers as a result. Shellshock
“In death there is not much distinction, friend or foe are treated alike”
Germany fights a two front war 2 Battle Zones - France and Russia
Schlieffen Plan –Attack and defeat France through Belgium –When France is beat attack Russia before they can mobilize forces
Western Front Germans sweep through Belgium and advance into France by early September Germans almost capture Paris
1 st Battle of the Marne September 6 th -10 th –First time the German advance was stopped French soldiers told to “die in your tracks rather than retreat” France led by General Joffre and Troops from around Paris save the day They catch buses and take taxis to the front to fight
German Problems Germans move too quickly –No support troops –Only one unit Germans have to move troops from the western front to the eastern front to fight the Russians –6 corps moved to the eastern front to fight Russia
War at Sea For ports in Belgium and France Germans tried to cut France off from Great Britain Germans use u-boats to try to gain control of the area Great Britain controls the Mediterranean Sea
North Sea Only way Germans can get boats out Great Britain controls it and cuts off German trade
Poison Gas 1 st used by Germans British soldiers choke to death British develop gas masks Germans would have to find a new way to win the war
Air Warfare Planes used to drop propaganda leaflets, direct artillery fire, and discover enemy positions.
Guns Machine guns added on planes Dogfights begin (send planes out in squadrons to fight one another) Squadron= 10-20 planes Every man for himself
Goal Get behind an enemy plane and shoot it down Knock out 5 planes and you become an ace –Eddie Rickenbacker USA - 26 planes –Baron von Richtofen Germany - 80 planes Eddie Rickenbacker
Air Raids Zeppelins used to bomb cities You can’t hear them coming