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War on land – the Western Front  The Western Front was the most important for several reasons.  Its size (320km) and the fact it was operational for.

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Presentation on theme: "War on land – the Western Front  The Western Front was the most important for several reasons.  Its size (320km) and the fact it was operational for."— Presentation transcript:


2 War on land – the Western Front  The Western Front was the most important for several reasons.  Its size (320km) and the fact it was operational for all four years.  The fighting on the Western front had a significant impact on ideas and attitudes.

3 Cross Section of a trench

4 View from above

5 Why did trench warfare lead to a stalemate?  In order to hold their positions soldiers had to dig down to keep out of the line of fire.  These hastily dug ditches soon became permanent.  They evolved into complex defensive systems on both sides.

6 Casualties  Deadlier for attackers than defenders.  Why would this be the case?  What is ‘going over the top’?  Why did this lead to stalemate?

7 War of Attrition  There was little change in the position of the front over the four years.  The aim of battles was not to win territory but to destroy the opposing army.  It was a war of attrition to break the morale of the enemy and reduce their numbers.

8 Pictures from the trenches

9 Study Section  The Christmas truce.  Shell-shock.  Trench foot.  The work of miners tunneling beneath the trenches.  Communication systems used in the trenches.  Those who were shot for ‘cowardice’.

10 How did the development of weaponry lead to a change in tactics on the Western Front?  Both sides used a wide range of weapons to try and break the deadlock.  The infantry charge was the key battle tactic used throughout the war.  Weapons were developed to make this strategy more effective.

11 Machine guns and rifles

12 Main types of guns…  Lee-Enfield rifle with bayonet attached – 25 rounds a minute could be fired.  600 rounds a minute could be fired.  Another WW1 innovation was the submachine gun known as a ‘trench sweeper’

13 Grenades

14 Hand grenades  Small hand-thrown bombs.  The British used the pineapple shaped Mills bomb.  The Germans used stick-shaped grenades nicknamed ‘potato-mashers’

15 Heavy Artillery

16 The real killer  In WW1 artillery inflicted 70% of all casualties.  The war was so static the guns could take up permanent positions.  Every major attack was preceded by a prolonged artillery barrage.

17 Problems with artillery  Not accurate enough to destroy enemy trenches.  It gave the enemy warning of an attack to come. (Battle of the Somme)  ‘Creeping barrage’ and ‘artillery ambush’

18 Chemical Warfare

19 Poison Gas  Chlorine Gas was first used by the Germans.  Phosgene Gas 18x stronger.  Mustard Gas which burned, blinded and slowly killed victims over several weeks.  Gas masks were developed by scientists making gas as a weapon less effective.

20 Tanks

21 WC’s???  The tank was not able to break the stalemate.  It was slow and unreliable and many tanks broke down before reaching the trenches.  Their armor plating was also not strong enough to resist artillery.  Battle of the Somme & Battle of Cambrai

22 What was the importance of naval warfare in WWI?  The control of the seas was crucial to both sides.  GB was an island and needed food, industrial supplies and soldiers from other countries.  Germany also needed food and other supplies from overseas.

23 GB rules the waves?  GB was successful in controlling the trade routes.  The Allies blockaded German ships.  GB enforced the search of neutral shipping and stopped them going to Germany.

24 Mines and Submarines

25 U-Boats  The Germans used U-boats to try and enforce their own blockade on GB.  This proved to be politically dangerous warfare.  The Germans hope that unrestricted sub warfare would starve GB and France.

26 Why was GB able to survive the U-boat blockade?  The convoy system was the turning point.  As technology progressed depth charges and ‘listening devices’ helped to attack U-boats.  Improved sub. nets forced the U-boats to go north around GB made them less effective.

27 Convoy System

28 Battle of Jutland

29 Major Naval engagement  One major challenge to GB’s supremacy – 31 May-1 June  After several hours of exchanging artillery fire, the Germans sailed back to port.  GB lost 14 ships and Germany 11.  The result Germany had not destroyed GB’s fleet it was still in control of the surface waters.

30 Importance of naval supremacy  GB’s navy was able to move 8.5 million troops across the British Empire.  Imports reached GB and they were able to maintain the blockade on Germany.  They were also able to sustain the convoy system and transport US troops and equipment for the final battles.

31 Zeppelins and airships

32 Airships and civilian targets  The Germans had the Zepellin and were able to bomb civilian targets in England.  The British used airships mainly for escorting ships and spotting U-boats.  They soon became easy targets and were replaced by bomber fleets later in the war.

33 WWI Bombers

34 Bombing Raids  The German Gotha caused 3000 casualties in raids over London and SE England.  By 1918 GB was making raids into enemy territory – Mainz, Stuttgart and Mannheim.  The idea of attacking civilian targets had become a feature of war by 1918.

35 Aircraft-Reconnaissance  Pilots were able to report on troop concentrations and artillery movements.  Photographs of trench systems could be taken from the air.  Messages were dropped by aircraft and communication with the ground possible.

36 Red Baron and Micky Mannock

37 Dog-fights  At first pilots tried to attack each other with rifles and pistols.  By 1915 machine guns were fitted and synchronized to shoot through propeller.  Dog-fights became a common site over the trenches.

38 Potential of airpower  By 1918 there were more than 8000 aircraft on all sides.  Control of the skies over the battlefield had become essential for victory.  It was clear that bombing civilians affected enemy morale.  The end of WWI was still determined by what happened on the ground.  This was a sign of what was to come in

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