Presentation on theme: "World War I: A Global Conflict Any type of weapons should be used in the time of war in order to win. Agree or Disagree? It is often necessary to kill."— Presentation transcript:
An aerial photograph of the opposing trenches and no-man's land in Artois, France, July 22, 1917. German trenches are at the right and bottom, British trenches are at the top left. The vertical line to the left of centre indicates the course of a pre-war road.
Thinking Slide: What difficulties or problems might occur with Trench Warfare?
British trench, France, July 1916 (during the Battle of the Somme)
Living Conditions in the Trenches: Rats Trenches were typically cold, wet, and dirty. Often having disease and infection spreading rapidly Rats in the millions infested trenches. Gorging themselves on human remains (grotesquely disfiguring them by eating their eyes and liver) they grow to the size of a cat. Although men would try to rid themselves of the rats, it was futile. A single rat could produce up to 900 offspring in a year, spreading infection and contaminating food.
A photograph of a man suffering from trench foot.
11 Medical services were primitive and life- saving antibiotics had not yet been discovered. Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through onset of infection and gangrene. The Germans recorded that 12% of leg wounds and 23% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection.
Trench Facts Each battalion had its own supply of rum that it distributed to its soldiers. Each division of 20,000 men received 300 gallon. Every soldier carried iron rations -- emergency food that consisted of a can of bully beef, biscuits and a tin of tea and sugar. A single pair of rats could produced up to 900 offspring in a year. A total of 3,894 men in the British Army were convicted of self-inflicted wounds. A firing- squad offense -- none were executed, but all served prison terms. The British Army treated 20,000 soldiers for trench foot during the winter of 1914-15. One-third of all casualties on the Western Front may have been killed or wounded in a trench. A lit candle was fairly effective in removing lice, but the skill of burning the lice without setting yourself on fire was difficult to learn. Soldiers in the trenches often depended on impure water collected from shell- holes or other cavities, causing dysentery
Machine Gun Machine guns, usually positioned on a flat tripod, would require a gun crew of four to six operators. They had the fire-power of 100 guns. The 1914 machine gun, in theory, could fire 400-600 small-caliber rounds per minute, a figure that was to more than double by the war's end, with rounds fed via a fabric belt or a metal strip.
Machine Gun The reality however was that these early machine guns would rapidly overheat and become inoperative without the aid of cooling mechanisms; they were consequently fired in short rather than sustained bursts. Cooling generally took one of two forms: water cooled and, increasingly as the war developed, air cooled. Water jackets would be provided for the former (which held around one gallon of liquid) and air vents would be built into the machine gun for the latter
British Vickers machine gun crew, western front, World War I.Vickers machine gun crewWorld War I
Artillery Bullets (shells) had great power and carried much further.
Tanks Tanks were used for the first time in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme. They were developed to cope with the conditions on the Western Front. The first tank was called ‘Little Willie’ and needed a crew of 3. Its maximum speed was 3mph and it could not cross trenches The more modern tank was not developed until just before the end of the war. It could carry 10 men, had a revolving turret and could reach 4 mph
Airplanes Planes were also used for the first time. At first they were mainly for reconnaissance and then later used to deliver bombs (actually dropping bricks). But later, became fighter aircrafts armed with machine guns. Fights between two planes in the sky became known as ‘dogfights’ Light machine guns were adopted too for incorporation into aircraft from 1915 onwards, for example the Vickers, particularly with the German adoption of interrupter equipment, which enabled the pilot to fire the gun through the aircraft's propeller blades.Vickersinterrupter equipment
Manfred von Richthofen Also known as “The Red Baron” a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service Credited with over 80 air combat victories
Considered uncivilized prior to World War One, the development and use of poison gas was necessitated by the requirement of wartime armies to find new ways of overcoming the stalemate of unexpected trench warfare. Although it is popularly believed that the German army was the first to use gas it was in fact initially deployed by the French. In the first month of the war, August 1914, they fired tear-gas grenades (xylyl bromide) against the Germans. The Germans, However, were the 1 st to study it and use it on a large scale. Country Casualties Deaths Austria-Hungary 100,000 3,000 British Empire 188,706 8,109 France 190,000 8,000 Germany 200,000 9,000 Italy 60,000 4,627 Russia 419,340 56,000 USA 72,807 1,462 Others 10,000 1,000
Why did it take so long for America to get involved in the war? 28 America was isolationist “Why should I get involved in someone else’s problems”
Thinking Slide: 29 Is isolationism really an option for a country as powerful as the United States?
Which side should the US pick? 30 11 million German-Americans Irish-Americans hated Great Britain Close cultural ties Shared transatlantic cables (so censored stories) Big business loaned much $ to allies Central Powers:Allies: US Exports to both sides:
· In 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the Lusitania, a British passenger ship, killing approximately 1,200 people, including 128 Americans.Lusitania
· Americans were infuriated with the destruction of the Lusitania.
– Secret message from Germany to Mexico urging Mexico to attack the U.S. if the U.S. declared war on Germany Moving Toward War Zimmermann telegram: – Germany promised to help Mexico regain land it lost to the U.S. in the Mexican War. * The U.S. declared war on the Central Powers in 1917.
(above) Zimmermann Telegram as Received by the German Ambassador to Mexico, 01/19/1917 (right) decoded words